Oh, 2013, what am I supposed to do with you? You have been full of disappointment. SO MANY UNDERWHELMING RECORDS!
But I think, or I hope, I can come up with ten records that I have been loving this year. Let's see...
1. Frightened Rabbit-Pedestrian Verse
I'm not going to waste anyone else's time by explaining, once again, how good I think this record is. Go back and read every post I've written this year if you want to know why. Bottom line: it's a well-written, well-produced, enjoyable, dynamic pop-rock record from a band who really gets it.
Favorite Tracks: Acts of Man, The Woodpile, State Hospital.
Has a more beautiful record been released this year? Lord, this record is stunning. It doesn't seem like much at first but the more you listen, the more these tracks sneak up on you. And then you realize how intricate and detailed it all is.
Favorite Tracks: Song for Zula, The Quotidian Beasts, Sun, Arise!.
3. Majical Cloudz-Imposter
Just like the first two records on this list, this one came out of nowhere. But at least I knew of Phosphorescent and was technically already a FR fan but I hadn't heard of Majical Cloudz until a few days before this record was released. And I was hooked from the start. Devon Walsh's voice is magnificent, the lyrics are great, and it's yet another record whose intricacies slowly reveal themselves and eventually blow you away.
Favorite Tracks: This Is Magic, Mister, Chilhood Endz.
4. Laura Marling-Once I Was an Eagle
This is only a few weeks old but I can't stop listening to it. I've been a fan of Laura Marling's since her first record and although I find her a bit hit or miss since Alas, I Cannot Swim, this record is a return to form. Dare I say, it's her best. Back in February when I wrote about The Midnight Organ Fight, I mentioned that I had to keep restarting tracks because it was the only way to absorb the great lyrics. I have this problem with this record too. It takes me awhile to listen to one track because I stop and start songs at least three times. Laura Marling's music has always been far more mature than her years but on Once I Was An Eagle, her songwriting is so strong and confident.
Favorite Tracks: I Was An Eagle, You Know, Breathe.
5. James Blake-Overgrown
Jame Blake has the voice of an angel.
Favorite Tracks: Overgrown, Retrograde, DLM.
6. Jim James-Regions of Light and Sound of God
Oh, Jim James. Like I asked previously, is there a more talented, more hard-working, cooler man in indie music? Doubtful. And this record only further proves it.
Favorite Tracks: Dear One, A New Life, Know Til Now.
7. Tegan and Sara-Heartthrob
Like Laura Marling's record, Heartthrob was a return to form for Tegan and Sara. They released the perfect pop record this year and while I was a bit wary at first, it turned out to be a real winner. Sara Quin proved herself to be a fantastic songwriter on this record.
Favorite Tracks: Closer, Now I'm All Messed Up, I'm Not Your Hero.
Huh, I guess I only really love seven records this year. Oh well. But if I had to round it out, I'd put Frank Turner's Tape Deck Heart, The National's Trouble Will Find Me, and Baths' Obsidian. I also liked Cloud Cult's Love. But we have six more months to go; perhaps this year can redeem itself.
Truth be told, I don't think anything is going to top Pedestrian Verse.