Let’s put Alt-rock on the sidelines for a few minutes for the sake of another alternative discourse (Actually that’s not completely accurate as a few notable mentions will be on here too). Hi, I’m John Gentile, Director of Electronic and RPM at WCDB. It’s pretty cool actually, I get a corner office, free coffee, free candy, and a personal vegetarian cheetah who hangs out in my pink limo, but that’s beside the point. Many great albums have graced the airwaves of WCDB over the last 12 months, and I’m here to set the record straight (zing!).
Before I get into it, I’d like to point out how much of a great thing End Of The Year Lists are. Every DJ at WCDB joined for a few reasons: A love for music in various shapes and forms, a love for alternative culture and a passion for educating themselves and others in the greatest of cutting edge music. Upon becoming a WCDB DJ, your horizons are instantly broadened and you meet new exciting people who are either completely on your musical wavelengths or on the opposite end of the spectrum. Together our goal is to educate ourselves, spread the love of great music to others, and learn about great new music from our peers. We do this to spread this experience to you, the listeners and readers, while taking the opportunity to let our fellow DJs know what we loved best.
With all this being said, it’s completely subjective. What some others might find amazing and groundbreaking, others might find to be just “meh”. My endearing zingers expressed here are for your amusement, and never take anything I say too seriously with that in mind. And so without further adieu, I present to you my Top 5 albums of 2013, with minimized rock and a twist of electronic music for good measure. I wasn’t originally going to do this, but hey, my love for WCDB knows no bounds.
5) Cash Cash – Overtime EP
I‘ll just get my token EDM banger album out of the way before digging deeper. This release is heart-pounding fun, and will get any party that isn’t filled with a bunch of boring people on their feet. It’s catchy, well done, and not too much. I look forward to catching more from them and hearing a more evolved sound.
Recommended Tracks: “Overtime”, “Satellites”
4) Capital Cities – In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery
One smash hit doesn’t make an album any less notable. With thier first album, Capital Cities rocks your socks off with a mix of uplifting vocals, interesting tunes, and a great experience that a lot of albums seem to lack these days. If you’re not keen on sharing your music with friends look elsewhere, because this album is filled with sing along material. Beyond “Safe and Sound”, there’s so much more to this release.
Recommended Tracks: “Farrah Fawcett Hair”, “I Sold My Bed But Not My Stereo”, “Kangaroo Court”
3) The Neighborhood – I Love You
I tried to get The Neighbourhood’s first short EP I’m Sorry… to gain traction a year back at WCDB, but no one would listen to it outside of a select few. I felt like the band was so underrated and I was certainly excited for this album to hit the shelves. Since this release I’ve shared this album with many great people, some of my best friends back in Brooklyn, strangers at gatherings, former lovers, and even a man waiting outside a soup kitchen (seriously). While NBHD doesn’t bring something new to the table, they put together a robust album with great sound, solid vocals, and a unique take on electronic mixed with a lighter rock vibe. If you haven’t listened to it front to back yet, you need to. If you don’t care for it, I’m sorry but you’re just wrong.
Recommended Tracks: “Afraid”, “Female Robbery”, “Let It Go!”
2) Flume – Deluxe Edition
Immersive. Engaging. Amazing. Ingenious. Beautifully crafted. Flume, a newbie to the Chillwave electronica scene blew audiences away with his first major release. In coordination with Future Class Records this album had it’s world radio premiere on my show, with Flume himself calling in to say hello during it. If you love chill instrumental electronica, this is the “be all end all” of everything you’ve ever wanted. Check out disc two for a mixtape with rap dubs.
Recommended Tracks: “Stay Close”, “Space Cadet”, “Change”, “Insane”
1) The Chain Gang Of 1974 – Wayward Fire
Even though it didn’t come out this year, this was the year it was unburied. Every alternative kid at WCDB would love this hidden gem if they ever found it. Every track is a work of art, and you’ll wish this album would never end. A gorgeous mix of rock with strong hints of synth, you can really feel the inspiration to bring 80s rock into the digital age. This masterpiece should be in our Rock Rotation, played at least once every week on my show, and should be mixed into Electric Capitol on the regular. It’s incredible. The Chain Gang Of 1975 is something special, and if there’s anything you need to listen to out of this list, it’s this one.
Recommended Tracks: “Sleepwalking” (Single/Only If You Like Electronic)
Otherwise if you love Rock: “Taste of Heaven”, “Matter Of Time”, “Devil Is A Lady”, “Milo”
Chain Gang Of 1975. #1. My blatant arrogance makes me a picky music critic. This is what I have for you, but here’s some notable mentions.
CHARLI XCX – True Romance
Hello Taco Party Box, I can see your smile from here. CHARLI XCX’s first “real” album wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be. I honestly expected some EDM infused nonsense with female pop vocals slapped on top, like a cherry on a crappy diner sundae, but boy was I wrong. With some compelling passive aggressive vocals and catchy beats to complement them, this surprise underdog impressed me.
Recommended Tracks: “You (Hahaha)”, “Stay Away”
Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety
2012, so what. The album deserves a chance, it’s a trippy blend of bass, synth, and experimental drums, making it an experience that I kept gravitating to in 2013.
Happy New Year everyone, peace out and behave tonight. Have fun but please remember to not drink and drive, and if Tiesto comes on at the bar throw your drink at the DJ and demand some of these goodies I recommended. It’s sure to be a hit.
Comments, questions, shoot me a line. firstname.lastname@example.org.