Music/Popular Culture

The best CDs of 2013 that I didn’t hear until 2014 (plus videos from all of the year’s best)

CATEGORY: MusicHappens every damned year. It gets to be December and you formulate an idea in your head about the best music of the twelvemonth (I always wanted to use that word in a post). Up through 2012 this resulted in a fairly detailed and often multi-part review of the year’s best CDs. As I noted a few weeks ago, though, I’m retiring from that. Still, I did list what I thought were the top albums of the year.

Then January hits and you start tripping across CDs from the previous year that are fantastic and that would definitely have been on your list had you heard about them before you wrote and posted the damned review. What do you do? Do you go back and revise, including the new discoveries? Do you accept that nothing is ever complete and leave it alone? Do you do what I used to do, years ago, and define your year-end list as the best things you had heard and make clear that new discoveries will go on next year’s review?

Thank the gods I didn’t put a lot of intellectual and emotional energy into naming a Best CD for 2013, because a few spins through the newly discovered If You Wait by London Grammar would have me in a straitjacket by now. I think I know which of the discs on the 2013 list would have been my CD of the Year (there were two that really stood apart from the crowd), but I’m not at all certain that either is much more compelling than the LG debut. And what about Dead Soul’s In the Darkness? I doubt I’d have it at #1, but it might well be top five.

Since it’s just a bulleted list, I have gone back and added these CDs to that original post. Easy enough. I also thought it might be nice to keep everyone updated as late-arrivers show up at my door, wondering why I ignored them. So that’s what I’m going to do. Every time I come across a 2013 disc that would have made my list, I’m going to update that post and let you know. Because, well, you deserve it.

Not only that, I’m going to play you videos. Not just of them, but of all the bands on that list!

So here we go, alphabetically. Because that’s how we roll, bitches. Up first, Aline with “Je Bois et Puis Je Danse.”

And how’s this for the comeback CD of the year? Sabbath, with “God is Dead?”

Our Swedish discovery of the year (hat tip to our friend Anders Thyr) was Dead Soul.

We love Editors. This is “The Weight.”

There’s an immutable law of the music universe. If Eels release a CD, it’s one of the best of the year.

My favorite Pop disc of the year had to be More Than Just a Dream by Fitz & the Tantrums.

I wrote about Matthew Grimm the other day, and his Songs in the Key of Your Face is another late-comer to the list. Pay particular attention to “Enemy” if you’re one of those people concerned about how your future is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Mayer Hawthorne took Neo-Soul someplace new and very special last year.

I discovered Hey Marseilles last year because I worked with the pianist. For those of you with a thing for Champer Pop, this is pure wonderfulness.

Jason Isbell had my last official CD of the Year in 2012. Bet your ass Southeastern would have been in the running in 2013.

I don’t really know which of the London Grammar videos I ought to share with you. There are three official ones out and each is breathtaking. I guess we’ll go with “Nightcall.”

You know I love The Lost Patrol. And I really love this one. Mollie is having way too much fun here and Stephen and Michael are – wisely, I think – doing precisely as they’re instructed.

And we arrive finally at Frankie Rose. Not sure why there aren’t any official vids for this disc. Listen along, anyway.

Doco made the list with The Freeway Camping Life, but I’m damned if I can find a video. I was especially hoping there was at least a live capture of “Surly.” Oh well – you can listen to the disc by clicking on that link, and you really should.

So, how about a bonus? This is Mayer Hawthorne covering the song that everybody was talking about last year. Yep. It’s a smooth neo-Soul vibe for Lorde’s “Royals.”

And one more bonus. London Grammar does something to Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” that will make you want to cry. This is just stunning.

There you go. Enjoy, and I’ll keep you posted on the best music of 2013 as in continues to roll in.

Categories: Music/Popular Culture

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