2013 was bursting with great new music from beginning to end. Due to the wonders of modern access, headphones at the day job, and a long commute, I spent time with upwards of 175 releases this year including reissues. These were my 25 favorite new albums of the rock & roll sort that emerged from the heap (Artist /Title /Record Label):
1) Superchunk – I Hate Music (Merge Records)
2) Mikal Cronin – MCII (Merge)
3) Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)
4) Califone – Stitches (Dead Oceans)
5) Hiss Golden Messenger – Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)
6) John Murry – The Graceless Age (Evangeline Recording)
7) Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (Anti)
8) Charles Bradley – Victim Of Love (Daptone)
9) The Julie Ruin – Run Fast (The Julie Ruin Records)
10) Lee Ranaldo & The Dust – Last Night On Earth (Matador)
11) Sonny & The Sunsets – Antenna To The Afterworld (Polyvinyl)
12) Adam Green & Binki Shapiro – Adam Green & Binki Shapiro (Rounder)
13) Savages – Silence Yourself (Matador)
14) Yo La Tengo – Fade (Matador)
15) Holydrug Couple – Noctuary (Sacred Bones)
16) Phosphorescent – Muchacho (Dead Oceans)
17) Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble In Mind)
18) Barrence Whitfield and the Savages – Dig Thy Savage Soul (Bloodshot Records)
19) Chris Forsyth – Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors)
20) La La Brooks – All or Nothing (Norton Records)
21) Steve Gunn – Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors)
22) Of Montreal – Lousy With Sylvianbriar (Polyvinyl)
23) Wooden Shjips – Back To Land (Thrill Jockey)
24) Promised Land Sound – Promised Land Sound (Paradise of Bachelors)
25) King Khan & The Shrines – Idle No More (Merge)
After everything shook out, it was interesting to see how the labels fared. North Carolina labels registered almost a third of the spots and “the majors” really weren’t anywhere to be found. The tops: Paradise of Bachelors (4), Merge (3), Matador (3), Dead Oceans (2), Polyvinyl (2)
These hits and other Greater Listens will be spotlighted daily over at the Greater Listening Area’s Facebook page.
Visit us there for the Now Sounds and a few surprises on Wayback Wednesdays as well.
Note/Public Service Announcement: The Greater Listening Area believes that advance listens and streaming are wonderful things, but that we should all be mindful of the importance of purchasing physical or digital recordings and other merchandise and getting out to live shows. Better yet, we should purchase music at a show from the artist, through a label’s website or at your local independent record store. Finally, when you hear something that deserves it, share it with your friends and “Shout it Out” from your own social media platforms.
Happy New Year and here’s to finding the Top 25 of 2014.