Music, 2013

2013 was a strange year for me. I lived in two new cities. I experienced major changes I hadn’t been anticipating. And I didn’t listen to any new releases in free jazz or noise. I did discover some fantastic music, and the music made a huge difference in a year of huge differences. So here’s the new music I was listening to that was released (more or less) in 2013.

CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe

The beauty, the pain, and the synths combined on this album in a way that connected with something that had always been missing somehow.

Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind
2013 was the year I rediscovered hardcore and metal, and Converge has long been my favorite (maybe it’s because they pioneered the whole metalcore thing, maybe it’s the religious iconography, mostly it’s the relentlessness). This album floored me.

LCD Soundsystem, Discography
I’m late to this party, but LCD Soundsystem seem like the types to appreciate a good afterparty. And their discography matched my year to a T: age, loss, joy, friends, and dancing.

Beyonce, Beyonce
Just go watch the visual album. And then watch it again. And then watch it again and take notes. And then watch it again. Also recommended: watch it with someone you love.

White LungSorry
Punk. Full tilt.

LordePure Heroine
After CHVRCHES, Lorde confirmed my movement toward listening to pop. Have mercy.

Birds in RowYou, Me, & The Violence
“French hardcore” means different things to different people, I suppose…

The Naked and Famous, Discography
This is the kind of sharp pop I started to discover this year. A bit over the top. And that’s just perfect.

The Ex & Brass UnboundEnormous Door
One of my favorite bands returned with a subtle and dynamic record. So much bounce, so much roar. The Ex doing what they do best: collaborating with friends and inviting the rest of us to the party.

Hands down my favorite album, and the record that drew me back toward metal and hardcore. I love albums as total works, and this one ranks among my favorites. (Other favorites: The Roots,  Things Fall Apart, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, Radiohead, OK Computer, Sonic Youth Daydream Nation). YES. Sunbather is THAT good.