It must surely now be time for some serious lists!!
TOP 10 SONGS
Vance Joy – Riptide
Okkervil River - Down Down the Deep River
The Postelles - Pretend It's Love
Here we go.....drum roll please DJ Sam.....
Last track on a ripping album. Like a few others on the album a slow beginning morphs into a lovely sunny and shimmering masterpiece. Makes you want to listen to the album all over again.
Excellent fuzzy guitar grabs you right from the start, and the tempo of the song never lets up. A little light on for lyrics, but lovely harmonies in the chorus, and a great touch with some trumpets coming in lightly at the end.
Again, the final song of a most enjoyable 4th album from Laura. I love the way her voice and her guitar rise and fall in tandem with the emotion of this song, there is probably a story in these lyrics that I haven't got yet!
As Camera Obscura are just so damn good at doing, this track generates a smile from the opening beat. It may well be a fairly simple song if you break it down, but once it gets its hooks into you, it's completely addictive.
As these guys have shown throughout their awesome 1st album, they are brilliant at changing the tempo of their songs and integrating their harmonies throughout in a manner that demands your attention. This song starts big, then ebbs and flows along the journey...epic!
A quite slow, and light, song....however it's almost mesmeric in its many intricacies, and as I mentioned in my October review of the album, this track manages to be both haunting and catchy at the same time. Brilliant stuff!
It's unusual for me to notice lyrics, however these were what first caught my attention with this innocent sounding little number. They're quite funny and a little cynical, which appeals to me, along with a gentle and catchy tune to get it across.
An almost suppressed short series of guitar 'alarms' has you straining your ears to catch what it is....just as the crunching opening riff hits you right between the eyes. The sultry vocals of Stephanie Minn along with the band harmonies enter almost immediately and take you on a raw, almost brutal melodic journey. Listen to it....you'll understand what I mean.
The opening track of a truly brilliant album....this song has it ALL! A gentle yet catchy piano intro and understated opening verse soon has you absolutely soaring into the chorus. I'm not sure what it's about, but I loved it from the very first listen.
It's quite difficult to describe this song, I have no idea what genre it would fit into, probably more than one. I reckon I'd have hated this track 3 years ago, but in 2013 it is simply the most awesome fucking song of the year!
top 10 Albums
The battle for 6-10 was also fairly solid, and honorable mentions go to the following:
Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle: 16 tracks, none of them bad, but lacked the high points of others.
Iron & Wine - Ghost On Ghost: A real surprise all year, this was really hard to rule out in the end.
Ex-Cops - True Hallucinations: Similar to Laura Marling, great album lacking just 1-2 more killer tracks.
Anyway, here's the Top 10 Albums of my year...if you're more of a song than album person, then I have this covered too!!
Strong 2nd LP from these guys from the US. Still with a strong guitar sound, but you can really see the development. The lead singer has an incredibly strong & versatile voice.
Say Yes To Me
Excellent and fun debut album, raucous, energetic as well as catchy. I really should've gone and seen them live....
Best Of Friends
Step Up For The Cool Cats
I Found Love
Bit of a surprise here, as I liked it immediately....that NEVER happens! This is an album that can change your mood for the better.
Make My Sun Shine
She Changes The Weather
This is nearly like listening to a different band than album #1, but geez it's good on so many more levels. Pretty shit cover though.....
Out Of Time
How Does It Feel
This probably suffers unfairly due to the amazing quality of their previous 2 albums, which most bands in the world haven't got near. Yes, it's not as good as them, but there's no doubt they've still got it!
Do It Again
Fifth In Line To The Throne
I Missed Your Party
Break It To You Gently
Not a lot of standout tracks, however the old adage about a champion team beating a team of champions springs to mind here. It's such a great album to listen to....a journey of eras, sounds and moods.
On Blue Mountain
Absolutely brilliant debut album, so many good songs.....I'm amazed that it hasn't been recognised in at least a few of the EOY lists.
Big Red Dragon
The John Wayne
My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me
Has proved itself a stayer after an early year release, easily my most played album this year. Heavier than what I usually tend toward, but enough melody there to keep me happy.
Do It Wrong
I'm still a bit surprised I like this so much.....however, I'm not the only one who rates it!
Note: Worst song of the year (easily!) was 'Ya Hey' from this album.
When 8 out of 10 tracks are rated, you know it's a great album. Good to see some recognition for it across the board.
Shout It Out
See It My Way
Am I Wrong
Peace Of Mind
Don't Let Me Go
As well meeting my main aim of helping me to keep track of what I'm listening to, I think that as the year has gone on, it's enhanced my enjoyment of music by making me ponder about why I like something (or why I don't!).
I won't say that I know anymore about music than I did 11 months ago, but I think that I am appreciating some things on a few more levels.
Anyway......see you in 2014!