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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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“.
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“.
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“.
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“.
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.
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“.
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.
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“.
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“.
The year 2013 was the first year I, dj bANANAS iN pAjAMAS, graced WCDB as a DJ. It was the best of years, It was a year filled with great music and plenty of hard choices. The top 20 albums according to me are officially out and the crowds have been quelled. Enjoy.
TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2013
20. Los Campesinos! – No Blues
This album came out on October 29. Many would call this indie rock-pop at it’s best, but I call it great music. That’s why its number 20. My favorite song, “Avocado, Baby”, strikes at my heart strings. The lyrics, “A heart of stone, rind so tough it’s crazy, That’s why they call me the avocado, baby” really shows you how this band can be a little goofy but sing about some of the more serious things in life. Do I recommend listening to this album? Of course!
19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
I’ve listened to this album over and over again, and the music video for “Mosquito” continues to creep me out. This album has a song produced by the GOD James Murphy. The two songs that are to be listened are called “Sacrilege” and “Mosquito”.
18. James Blake – Overgrown
Overgrown is one of those albums you can have playing while you do EVERYTHING. Driving? Overgrown. Sleeping? Overgrown. Shopping for groceries? Overgrown. The song “Retrograde” just resonates with your ever living soul. You probably hum, I know I do. His previous album is just a preview of what he can do. This album really shows a mature James Blake. Amazing.
17. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
I started listening to this album by playing the song “Fireproof” through my speakers. It was like a wild fire and before I realized it I had listened to this album multiple times through. There are other songs to look forward to hearing, “Don’t Swallow The Cap”, “This Is The Last Time”, and “I Need My Girl” are just some of the few that need to be named.
16. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
The pop that was seen on previous albums is again found in this album. The gang of four that call themselves Vampire Weekend have once again made a great album. Songs like “Step”, “Diane Young”, and “Unbelievers” really can be traced back to their first album. This album receives my 5 Diane Youngs out of 5 Diane Youngs.
Continue reading dj bANANAS iN pAjAMAS’ Top 20 Albums of 2013
The Governor’s Ball music festival is taking place this weekend, and I am super excited for this. The festival boasts a consistent and impressive lineup that features some of the top artists from alternative music, hip-hop and EDM, with ticket holders having to choose between two artists for each time slot. Fortunately I’m familiar with a decent amount of the artists playing at this festival, and in this post I’ll let you know which artist I’m going to try to see during each time slot this weekend and why.
12:15-12:45: Swear and Shake vs. Pacific Air
Pacific Air is brothers playing indie pop. They’re a relaxing listen and well-traveled as they’ve opened for high profile acts before like Passion Pit and Two Door Cinema Club. Swear and Shake seems like it’d be a fun show as well but they’re more folky and seemingly conventional, so I’m planning on starting the festival with Pacific Air.
12:45-1:30 Solid Gold vs. Bear Mountain
We got Solid Gold’s 2012 release Eat Your Young at CDB last year and it wasn’t anything special, I’d say it’s alternative rock with a lot of electronic qualities mixed in to it, again more relaxing than danceable. I hadn’t heard of Bear Mountain before this year’s lineup, but their music seems like it would lead to a better live show then what I’ve heard from Solid Gold, Bear Mountain’s sound is more danceable and upbeat electronic so it should be a fun set to attend.
1:30-2:15 St. Lucia vs. Reignwolf
St. Lucia will put on a good electronic pop show, but my interest is in seeing what Reignwolf does during this time slot. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who seems like he’d put on a sick show, check out the video below where “Bicycle” sounds White Stripes-esque with him covering both Jack and Meg’s parts. This guy’s going to be a hit at governor’s ball for sure.
2:15-3:00 Polica vs. The Knocks
Electronic rock/R&B vs. Electronic Pop. I’m not overly excited about Polica, so The Knocks seem like a safer bet for enjoying the set but either way I don’t view this as a decision you can mess up, the options are pretty similar.
3:00-3:45 Dinosaur Jr. vs. Holy Ghost!
I’d be psyched to see Holy Ghost! over either of the past two artists, but in this slot there’s no way I can see them. I’m an alt-rock kid, and Dinosaur Jr. is one of the bands that defined that genre in the 90s, making the fact that they still release awesome albums like last year’s I Bet on Sky even more impressive. I have to go with the classic artist in this spot to get my fill of actual alternative rock.
3:45-4:45 Best Coast vs. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
I might regret this and be stuck watching a girl on stage sing to me about how great California is, basically the only premise of 2012 release The Only Place, but I’m going to gamble we get the distorted energetic Crazy For You tracks that would make the set amazing. If you were completely off-put by her last release, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs won’t be a bad consolation prize.
4:45-5:45 Of Monsters and Men vs. Dillon Francis
I saw Of Monsters and Men perform last year in Albany and they put on a good show, but I’m a bit bored of their sound now(and the mini-genre as a whole to be honest). I’m not overly into EDM but my friends who are recommended this artist, so I’m going to go with a new experience here rather than attending a show where I know I’ll be indifferent about the band.
5:45-6:45 Crystal Castles vs. Local Natives
This is another big contrast in sound between the artists, so I’d say it depends on your mood. Crystal Castles will definitely be more upbeat and danceable, and apparently she’s very good live, but I’m probably going to give Local Natives a shot here as I find their music easy to enjoy.
6:45-8:00 Feist vs. Young the Giant
This one is based entirely upon the Broken Social Scene rumor if nothing else. BSS is booked in the city to do a late-night gig on Thursday night, and a rumor is going around that Feist’s label mates might help end the BSS hiatus by doing a collaborative set or maybe even taking the stage for their own set after Feist. If it happens it would be probably the most notable story from the festival.
8:00-9:30 Beach House vs. Erykah Badu & the Cannabinoids
I feel like I’m making a mistake on this one so don’t let me sway you away from Erykah Badu, but I loved Beach House’s 2012 release Bloom and am hopeful that they put on the most relaxing show ever performed for their set. Can’t pick wrong between these artists though as they’ll both put on great shows.
9:30-11:00 Kings of Leon vs. Pretty Lights
Finally the headliners, neither of which I’m overly enthusiastic about unfortunately. I’m going to go with the same mentality I had for Dillon Francis in giving the artist who I know less about the shot here. I enjoy some Kings of Leon songs, but Pretty Lights seems like a more fun way to enjoy the end of the first day to me as I’ve heard good things about their live shows.