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WCDB’s Top Albums of 2013

Reflektor

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Voting Points: 213

The spectacle of the album release was a wonder in itself, and Arcade Fire’s experimentation into Disco was the top voted album of the year by a wide margin in our poll.

Acid Rap

2. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap

Voting Points: 157.5

The second mix tape from Chance the Rapper caught the attention of multiple departments in our station, helping it be named the top hip-hop album of the year on our list.

Modern Vampires of the City

3. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Voting Points: 142

The sound matured for Vampire Weekend, solidifying their role as one of the premiere pop artists in today’s music scene.

Hummingbird_(local_natives_album)

4. Local Natives – Hummingbird

Voting Points: 112

An inspired and experimental album from the group garnered them a lot of attention this year from media publications, and our DJs viewed it with a similar level of admiration.

FIDLAR

5. FIDLAR – FIDLAR

Voting Points: 106

The debut album for the California Skate-Punk band brought a ton of energy with it during their screamed stories about drugs and youthful ideals.

Wakin On A Pretty Daze

6. Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze

Voting Points: 102

A relaxing and pretty listen, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze gave Kurt Vile a lot of artistic freedom to create long songs about his past experiences that have led up to this point.

II

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II

Voting Points: 92

The sophomore album by the group tended to get mixed reviews from critics, but our DJs were supporters with it finding it’s way onto numerous lists.

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8. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Voting Points: 90

One of the more consistent alternative bands out there released another very good album this year, while also having a documentary about them made by Berninger’s brother aptly named “Mistaken For Strangers” receive favorable reviews at film festivals. 

Foxygen

9. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

Voting Points: 87

Foxygen found themselves getting talked about a lot this year with We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors, and they were the most played artist on our station in 2013.

Yeezus

10. Kanye West – Yeezus

Voting Points: 77.5

Probably the most polarizing man in music added a new album to his discography this year and debate ensued about where the album actually stood in his discography. Our DJs liked it enough to have it round out the top 10.
Continue reading WCDB’s Top Albums of 2013

Patricia’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

Savages

10. Silence Yourselves – Savages

Released May 6, 2013

Silence Yourself is Savages first full length LP.  I was first introduced to Savages this year and when I finally got to listening to the album, I really enjoyed it.  It’s loud but it also has it’s softer moments too. The track that I enjoy the most is Hit Me because it has all of this energy and craziness packed into a 1:41 song.

Overgrown

9. Overgrown – James Blake

Released April 5, 2013

I first got into James Blake after he released his first album James Blake back in 2011. With this album, James Blake decided to go with less of an electronic sound than his previous releases and went with more of an R&B sound. This album is a nice listen and it has the ability to appeal to more people than his previous releases, with my favorites off this album being “Retrograde” and “Overgrown“.

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8. Trouble Will Find Me – The National

Released May 27, 2013

I wasn’t too familiar with The National’s previous work, but I really did enjoy this album. This is The National’s sixth full length album and it’s pretty sweet, I really enjoy the calmness of it.  Take a listen to “Pink Rabbits” & “Don’t Swallow The Cap“.

Wakin On A Pretty Daze

7. Walking On A Pretty Daze – Kurt Vile

Released April 9, 2013

I wish I had this album playing whenever I would take long drives in the summertime because it feels like that kind of album. It’s sweet and an easy album to listen to.  My picks are “Never Run Away” and “Was All Talk“.

Loud City Song

6. Loud City Song – Julia Holter

Released August 20, 2013

Loud City Song is the third album Julia Holter has released.  This is the first album where she recorded with a full band to add a more full sound that she was missing in her previous releases. The track “Horns Surrounding Me” is a clear representation of the full sound, and the album as a whole is really pretty and easy to listen to. My Favorites off this album are “This Is a True Heart” and “In the Green Wild“.

Reflektor

5. Reflektor – Arcade Fire

Released October 28, 2013

On Arcade Fire’s fourth album they decided to go for more of a disco feel.  This definitely was not my favorite Arcade Fire release, but I do believe that they accomplish what they wanted to do because they wanted to make an album with disco and dance elements in it. I do prefer Arcade Fire’s sound from their previous releases, but I still think that Reflektor is a solid album.

6 feet beneath the moon

4. 6 Feet Beneath The Moon – King Krule

Released August 24, 2013

King Krule does a really good job of mixing rock, hip hop and other genres into this album. I started listening to King Krule back when he released his EP King Krule and then listened to his EP U.F.O.W.A.V.E that he released back when he went by the name Zoo Kid.  Most of the songs from U.F.O.W.A.V.E made it to 6 Feet Beneath The Moon and have been cleaned up and updated.  This album has beautiful moments like in “Neptune Estate” and more upbeat moments like in “A Lizard State“.

Hummingbird_(local_natives_album)

3. Hummingbird – Local Natives

Released January 29, 2013

It’s been four years since Local Natives released their first album Gorilla Manor, so as a fan of the band I was eagerly waiting for them to finally release some new music. This album is packed with meaningful songs that were written at the time of the passing of Kelcey Ayer’s mother.  In the song “Colombia”, Kelcey is praying to his mother and asking her if he is giving and loving enough, and moments like this are what show the beauty in this album. “Colombia” and “Ceilings” are two of my favorites.

Foxygen

2. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic

Released January 22, 2013

I don’t remember how I heard about Foxygen, but I remember being obsessed with it as soon as I listened to the album. I went to the record store, bought the album, and played it all the time. Foxygen has a lot of elements from other bands, but they still manage to make their sound their own. My favorites off of this album are “Oh No 2” and “On Blue Mountain“.

Modern Vampires of the City

1. Modern Vampires Of The City – Vampire Weekend

Released May 14, 2013

I was so excited for this album. Soon after it released, I had go to the store to pick up a copy. Vampire Weekend’s third album follows up the band’s 2010 release Contra with a different sound, as on this album Vampire Weekend goes for a less upbeat sound like their previous albums and focus a lot more on their lyrics. One of my favorite lines from the album is “Wisdom’s a gift but you’d trade it for youth/ Age is an honor – it’s still not the truth” from the song “Step”.  The themes of youth and faith are explored throughout this album and Vampire Weekend does it in a way where it feels effortless. Listen to “Unbelievers” and “Step“.

Kyle’s Best of 2013

2013 wasn’t an amazing year for music, but a lot of cool things did happen. There were artists who re-emerged on the scene in Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, and The Pixies, and then there was a movement headed by Daft Punk and Arcade Fire to try and revive disco in a modernized way. The reason for my semi-disappointment is that a lot of the artist’s efforts this year to set a new standard for their peers failed in my eyes to create something overly significant and lasting (with one exception). Motives aside, and favoritism thrown out the window, here are my top 25 albums to get released in 2013

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25. Of Montreal- Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Grade: B

I’m really interested to know if this album’s stripped down and more accessible approach was a choice made by Barnes or his management. A part of me hates it because I view him as one of the most fascinating artists out there and really enjoy hearing what he creates when he tries to make electronic masterpieces, but Lousy With Sylvianbriar serves as a reminder to earlier Of Montreal days when he made his living off making pretty pop songs and displayed his thoughts in a less bizarre way.

Track Pick: “Triumph of Disintegration

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24. Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin

Release Date: April 16, 2013

Grade: B

One of the better noisy rock albums that came out this year, Thee Oh Sees is a band that must be an absolute blast to see live and tries to capture that energy on the album. When that does happen it’s an awesome thing to hear, but it happens inconsistently as interest tends to fade during the second half of the album, but there are some gems on it like the one suggested below in “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster”.

Track Pick: “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster

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Afraid of Heights

23. Wavves- Afraid of Heights

Release Date: March 16, 2013

Grade: B

I like listening to Wavves because their music is fun, and that’s why Afraid of Heights gets mentioned here despite it’s struggle to be substantial. They can do much better than this and have shown potential to write interesting songs, but they haven’t quite gotten to their peak yet in my opinion and I’m hopeful that they do soon.

Track Pick: “Cop

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22. The National- Trouble Will Find Me

Release Date: May 17, 2013
Grade: B

The product was still good on Trouble Will Find Me, but it’s a difficult one to get inspired by because it sounds uninspired in comparison to the previous three releases. I do enjoy Berninger’s delivery and cadence in their music a lot though, and it appears that even a sub-par record by The National is a quality album when you compare it to it’s peers.

Track Pick: “Don’t Swallow the Cap

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peace-in-love-album-leak21. Peace- In Love

Release Date: March 25, 2013

Grade: B+

This was the debut album for the group and it was a great success by a lot of standards. Their sound has evolved already from their first EP, and In Love is a more consistent album than most bands will achieve in their entire discography, let alone on their debut. This group has a ton of potential but I still have some questions about which genre they ultimately gravitate towards, because they’re stuck in between pop and rock right now and that’s not a good place for them to be because they’re completely different approaches.

Track Pick: “California Daze

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Continue reading Kyle’s Best of 2013