Sunday, February 23, 2014

The 2013 David Music Poll results

THE 2013 David Music Poll Results

1.     Lorde, Pure Heroine (38 votes)
2.     Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City (32)
3.     Haim, Days are Gone (24)
4.     Beyonce, Beyonce (21)                     
                  The National, Trouble Will Find Me
       6.    Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob (20)
       7.    Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe (16)
       8.    Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady (15)
       9.    Arcade Fire, Reflektor (14)
                  Kanye West, Yeezus (14)

Runners up:  Arctic Monkeys, AM (13), Daft Punk, Random Access Memories (12), Neko Case, The Worse Things Get… (9), Justin Timberlake, the 20/20 Experience (9), Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park (8)

NOTES:  Welcome to the fifteenth iteration of the David Music Poll. This year we had a record 114 respondents.  Some only put singles, showing how our listening habits are changing.  But there was an interesting overlap– more than I can remember – in those people who listed albums.  Lorde is the first purely debut artist to top the poll since 2008 … when the poll was won by Vampire Weekend, this year’s number two.  Like Vampire Weekend, The National also hits the top ten for the third album in a row.  Two-time winner Arcade Fire, which has hit the top ten four times, is a relatively low ninth place this year, reflecting that more than a few people (myself included) were underwhelmed by Reflektor. Tegan and Sara crack the top ten for the first time, as does Beyonce and debut artists Chvrches and Haim.  Janelle Monae’s been here once before, and Kanye West three times.  Previous winners Phoenix and Franz Ferdinand and former runner-up Yeah Yeah Yeahs released new albums to little effect, while Neko Case just missed out on her fourth trip to the top ten and Kacey Musgraves made a notable debut. 

Individual lists are to be found at  

Thanks to everyone who participated this year! 

/:) David

I praise the Lorde


1)     Lorde, Pure Heroine
2)     Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob
3)     Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
4)     Daughter, If You Leave
5)     Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
6)     The National, Trouble Will Find Me
7)     Sara Bareilles, This Blessed Unrest
8)     Sin Fang, Flowers

Notes:  Clearly this is the year of female-fronted new-wavish bands for me.  Lorde did something astonishing – that is, created something I hadn’t heard before, and wanted to hear over and over again.  Tegan & Sara scored most of my year with their synthpop turn, which Chvrches chiming in with their own mix, which harkened back to my college radio.  Daughter also harkened back to alternative 90s music, but in a more moody way.  Then two of my favorite bands lived up to their previous albums – no small feat.  Sara Bareilles ended up making my feel-good Lilith album of the year, and Sin Fang hit my radar right at the end of the year – but I’ve been listening to it so religiously ever since (especially the first two tracks) that I’m giving it a berth here.  Honorable mentions go to Laura Marling, Haim, the Great Gatsby soundtrack, Icona Pop (the most fun album of the year),


1)     Boy, Little Numbers
2)     Lorde, Ribs
3)     Sin Fang, Young Boys
4)     Tegan & Sara, I’m Not Your Hero
5)     Florence + the Machine, Over the Love
6)     Chris Rubeo, Erin
7)     Daughter, Human

Honorable mention:  Tom Odell’s Another Love, Barenaked Ladies’ Odds Are, Sara Bareilles’s Brave, Chvrches’ Gun

Trouble Will Find Daniel H (if it hasn’t already)

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Future Bible Heroes - Partygoing
Waxahatchee - American Weekend

Amelia K’s Wild Women

Lorde, Pure Heroine
Lucius, Wildewoman

And my big discovery of the year, a band I am obsessed with but which doesn't have a new album out this year: Mountain Man

Crissa C hits the City

MOST ESSENTIAL: Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City

Chvrches: The Bones of What You Believe
Kurt Vile: Walkin on a Pretty Daze
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe
James Blake: Overgrown
Bonobo: The North Borders
When Saints Go Machine: Infinity Pool

BEST SONG: Daft Punk: Doin' It Right (with Panda Bear)

Kody Gets a Little Big Closer

Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob

The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars
Andrew McMahon, The Pop Underground EP

1.) Passenger, "Let Her Go"
2.) Lana Del Rey, "Young and Beautiful"
3.) The Civil Wars, "The One That Got Away"
4.) Avicii, "Wake Me Up"
5.) Imagine Dragons, "Demons"
6.) Lily Allen, "Hard Out Here"
7.) Lorde, "Royals"

Rob A’s Reflektive List

Arcade Fire, Reflektor

Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady
Rhye, Woman
Haim, Days Are Gone
Darkside, Psychic

Daft Punk, Get Lucky
Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly, Do What U Want
Drake, Hold On, We're Going Home
Kanye West, Bound 2

Lauren S’s National anthems

Here are my most essential albums of 2013:

1. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
2. Cold War Kids, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
3. Bastille, Bad Blood
4. Local Natives, Hummingbird
5. Arcade Fire, Reflektor
6. OneRepublic, Native
7. Leagues, You Belong Here 
8. The Boxer Rebellion, Promises
9. The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars
10. Amos Lee, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song

7 Essential Songs:

1. "Fireproof" by The National
2. "Lost That Easy" by Cold War Kids
3. "Heart Beats" by Johnnyswim
4. "The Struggle" by Grizfolk
5. "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic
6. "Gone" by Olivia Broadfield
7. "Wake Me Up" by Avicii

Andrew K Gets Personal

Most essential album: Eleanor Friedberger, Personal Record.

Discovery of the year: Van Morrison, Astral Weeks (Yes, I'm late to the party. It came out in 1968.)

Lev G Was Always Royal

Literally the only new song I listened to this year was Lorde, "Royals." It was good! But that's all I got. 

Anna Q Follows Her Arrow
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park.  (And why am I so sure that I am the only person who will make this choice in your cohort???)  (Ed. Note:  Keep scrolling to see if she’s right.)

Jess S is very Civil:

The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars

Lorde, Pure Heroine would be a close second!

Megan B has quite a Weekend

TOP: Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Queens of the Stone Age, “…Like Clockwork’
Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Eminem, the Marshall Mathers LP 2
Arctic Monkeys, AM

Top Seven Songs (this was so hard!!)
7. Lorde, Royals
6. MS MR, Hurricane
5. Avicii, Wake me up
4. Frank Turner, Recovery
3. Arctic Monkeys, Do I Wanna Know
2. Franz Ferdinand, Right Action
1. Vampire Weekend, Unbelievers

Corey H Loves Lucius

Lucius, Wildewoman
Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob 

The Bones of what Andrea R believes


CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Polica, Shulamith
Frightened Rabbit, Pedestrian Verse
Daughter, If You Leave
Phosphorescent, Muchacho


CHVRCHES - Recover
Phosphorescent - Song for Zula
Frightened Rabbit - the Woodpile
Lorde - Royals
Icona Pop - I Love It
Sara Bareilles  - Brave
Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Katy Perry - Roar

Aimee is down to the Wire with her singles

Haim, The Wire
Daft Punk, Get Lucky
Paul McCartney, New
Justin Timberlake, Mirrors
Beyonce, Drunk in Love
Tegan and Sara, Closer
Vampire Weekend, Diane Young

Also: Frozen Soundtrack, Let it Go 

Honorable Mentions (with mixed feelings): Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines; Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball. 

Scott W’s saying Monae, Monae

Janelle Monae *Electric Lady*
Dessa *Parts of Speech*
Beyonce *Beyonce*

Justin B’s unfunny Valentine

1. My Bloody Valentine, MBV
2. MIA, Matangi
3. Boards of Canada, Tomorrow's Harvest
4. The Dodos - Carrier
5. Beyonce, Beyonce (*just 'cause... haven't actually listened to it)

Lia C’s Drunk on Beyonce

1. Beyonce, Beyonce
2. Lorde, Pure Heroine
3. Ellie Goulding, Halycon
4. MIA, Matangi
5. The 1975, The 1975
6. Miley Cyrus, Bangerz

Lucas K’s Haim/T&S Cage Match

Here are my picks! Haim edges out Tegan and Sara for the top album spot, but "Closer" edges out "Falling" for song of the year, imho.

1. Haim, Days Are Gone
2. Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob
3. Camera Obscura, Desire Lines
4. The 1975, The 1975
5. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Heist
6. Breakbot, By Your Side
7. MIKA, The Origin of Love
8. Best Coast, Fade Away
9. Neko Case, The Worse Things Get...
10. Elton John, The Diving Board

Scott D’s Bibiology

Bibio, Silver Wilkinson
Gold Panda, Half of Where You Live
Gregory Alan Isakov, The Weatherman
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Betty Who, The Movement
Jessy Lanza, Pull My Hair Back
The National, Trouble Will Find Me
Disclosure, Settle
Major Lazer, Free the Universe
The Preatures, Is This How You Feel?

Jen N imagines dragons

Most essential album of the year: Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

My Top 7 Songs of the Year. Er, 6. I had trouble coming up with others…

1. “Demons" by Imagine Dragons
2. "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers
3. Pink and Nate Ruess “Just Give Me a Reason"
4. Lorde “Royals"
5. “Lightning Bolt” by Pearl Jam  
6. “Pompeii” by Bastille

Rick K’s Got Trouble with a Capital T

The most essential album of the year:
1. The National, Trouble Will Find Me.

2. Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt

Justine L Goes Electric

Janelle Monáe, Electric Lady
Dessa, Parts of Speech
Beyoncé, Beyoncé

Kate W is seeing Ghosts

My top five albums of 2013:

John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail
Imagine Dragons, Night Visions
Arctic Monkeys, AM

If you haven’t listened to GMF by John so...immediately. Quite possibly the best song ever recorded in the history of the world. And I’m not kidding.

Chris K takes over.  And destroys.

Album of the Year: Take Over And Destroy, Endless Night

The rest:
2. Clutch, Earth Rocker
3. Aosoth, Arrow Through The Heart
4. The Black Dahlia Murder, Everblack
5. Stomach Earth, s/t
6. Autopsy, The Headless Ritual
7. Iron Tongue, The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown
8. Light Bearer, Silver Tongue
9. Sannhet, Known Flood
10. Exhumed, Necrocracy
11. Watain, The Wild Hunt
12. Carcass, Surgical Steel
13. Lightning Swords of Death, Baphometic Chaosium

ALBUM COVER OF THE YEAR: Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire
WORST SONG OF 2013: Robin Thicke, "Blurred Lines"

Bob R lights up the Sky

Sky Ferreira, Night Time, My Time
MS MR, Secondhand Rapture

Leanna storms the…

Big discovery:  Bastille

Their covers of hateful songs like We Can't Stop blow my mind. Their cover of Scrubs nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Beth D gives a little piece of her Heart

1. Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob
2. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito

Best single:
Lorde, Royals

Brent W’s Trailer Park of Fun

Can't bet my life on this order.  But I'll try

1. Kacey Musgraves  - Same Trailer, Different Park
2. Kanye West - Yeezus
3. Daughter - If you leave
4. Data Romance - Other
5. Drake - Nothing was the same
6. Kate Nash - Girl Talk
7. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
8. Metz - Metz
9. No Joy - wait to pleasure
10. Rue Royal - remedies ahead

Alecia W Gives ‘Em Hell

Pistol Annies, Hell on Heels
Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

Pistol Annies, Boys from the South
Imagine Dragons, On Top of the World
Ylvis, What does the fox say?
Pink, Just Give Me a Reason
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines (I know, I hate myself for it)
Lorde, Royals

Anna C swears by Yeezus

I'm excited to see the end results this year, a LOT of good records came out in 2013 & I feel like the Annual Poll is going to be neck & neck! Here are my picks: 


1. Kanye West, Yeezus
2. Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt
3. Lorde, Pure Heroine
4. Screaming Females, Chalk Tape
5. Potty Mouth, Hell Bent
6. Against Me!, True Trans (EP)
7. Those Darlins, Blur The Line
8. Priests, Tape 2


1. Kanye West, Hold My Liquor
2. Garbage & Screaming Females, Because The Night (Patti Smith cover)
3. Against Me!, FUCKMYLIFE666
4. Bleached, Dead In Your Head
5. Lorde, Buzzcut Season
6. Waxahatchee, Dixie Cups & Jars
7. Those Darlins, Optimist

Records that were not released in 2013 but were in heavy rotation on my Spotify account & turntable: 

PAWS, Cokefloat!
The Babies, Our House on the Hill
The Murder City Devils, In Name And Blood
High Dive, High Dive
Hank & Cupcakes, Naked
Lifter Puller, Fiestas & Fiascos
Jets to Brazil, Orange Rhyming Dictionary
Warpaint, The Fool
Broken Social Scene, You Forgot It In People
Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town

Brian M flies off to Portugal for this year’s list

Ah, my favorite time of year. Thankfully, I've already done my list.

1. Portugal. The Man, Evil Friends
2. Arctic Monkeys, AM
3. Beady Eye, BE
4. The Icarus Line, Slave Vows
5. Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Daze
6. Samantha Crain, Kid Face
7. Kanye West, Yeezus
8. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Mind Control
9. Mazzy Star, Season of Your Day
10. Babyshambles, Sequel to the Prequel
11. Low, The Invisible Way
12. Manic Street Preachers, Rewind the Film
13. Neko Case, The Worse Things Get....
14. Earl Sweatshirt, Doris
15. Rob Zombie, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
Albums from 2012 that should've been on my list last year
Peter Murphy's Carver Combo, Let the Fire In
Lana Del Rey, Born to Die
Beth Orton, Sugaring Season

Essential albums from previous Years that I first heard in 2013
Blue Oyster Cult, Secret Treaties
Adam and the Ants, Antmusic EP
The Deep, Psychedelic Moods
Whiskeytown, Stranger's Almanac
Mountain, Climbing!
Loop, Heaven's End
Echo and the Bunnymen, Crocodiles
Fresh Maggots, Fresh Maggots

Best Songs of 2013
Portugal. The Man, "Evil Friends"
Arctic Monkeys, "RU Mine"
Beady Eye, "Soon Come Tomorrow"
Kanye West, "Black Skinhead"
Babyshambles, "Dr. No"
Rob Zombie, "Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De L"
The Strokes, "Welcome to Japan"
Secret Colours, "Me"
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, "Let's Get High"

Stephen B Goes West

Stephen’s Top Ten Albums of 2013:

1. Kanye West, Yeezus
2. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
3. Beyoncé, BEYONCÉ
4Lorde, Pure Heroine
5. M.I.A., Matangi
6. Disclosure, Settle
7. Los Campesinos!, No Blues
8. Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks
9. Arctic Monkeys, AM
10. Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady

Stephen's Top Ten(ish) Songs of 2013:

1. Kanye West, "Blood on the Leaves"/ "New Slaves"/ "Black Skinhead" [Cheating — I can't choose]
2. Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu, "Q.U.E.E.N."
3. Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"/ "Wrecking Ball" 
4. Lorde, "Tennis Court"
5. CHVRCHES, "Recover"
6. Deafhaven, "Dream House"
7. Queens of the Stone Age, "The Vampyre of Time and Memory"
8. Tegan & Sara, "Closer"
9. Disclosure, "When a Fire Starts to Burn"
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Sacrilege" 

BONUS Ten More:

Most Critically Praised Albums I Just Can't Stand:

1. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
2Arcade Fire, Reflektor

Biggest Letdown That Wasn't That Bad But Wasn't Good Either:

3. Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail

Most Decent Album That Got Way Harsher Reviews Than It Should Have:

4. Lady Gaga, ARTPOP

Best Older Albums I Discovered This Year:

5. Tyler, the Creator, Bastard (2009)
6. Solange, True (2012)

Best Cat-Related Video/Singalong/Anthem:

7. Anamanaguchi, "Meow"

Most Forgotten Release of the Year That Even Britney Spears Doesn't Remember Came Out in 2013:

8. Britney Spears, Britney Jean

Best F-U to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for Appropriating LGBTQ People for Profit:

Best/Most Terrifying Clown-Sung Cover of a Popular Song:

Kate H Gives a convincing Speech

Best Album: 
Dessa, Parts of Speech

I can't believe that Dessa is not the official darling of publishing. I mean, she raps about Greek myths and Plath and the Chicago Manual of Style. This is obviously a thing that should happen.

Other favorites: 
The National, Trouble Will Find Me
Bonobo, The North Borders
Janelle Monae, Electric Lady
The Shouting Matches,Grownass Man
Lorde, Pure Heroine (extended)
Atoms For Peace, Amok

Sara R Pumps Up the Janelle

Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady

Kaleb’s Unrest is not silence

I’m joining in for the first time! Some of my picks are odd but the weirdness sums up 2013 for me.
Thanks for including me in the publishing industry’s most prestigious music awards :)

Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest
Lorde, Pure Heroine

Miley Cyrus, We Can’t Stop
Sara Bareilles, Brave
Avicii, Wake Me Up
Lourde, Team
Chvrches, The Mother We Share
Daft Punk, Get Lucky
Ylvis, The Fox

Rob Simonsen, Red (Instrumental)
Various, The Great Gatsby

Kevin K Makes His Case


  1. The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You - Neko Case
  2. The Electric Lady - Janelle Monae
  3. Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
  4. AM - Arctic Monkeys
  5. You Were Right - Brendan Benson
  6. Let It Rock - The Connection
  7. Dormarion - Telekinesis
  8. Talon of the Hawk - The Front Bottoms
  9. Wise Up Ghost - Elvis Costello & The Roots
  10. The Beast In Its Tracks - Josh Ritter
  11. Modern Vampires of the City - Vampire Weekend
  12. Beta Love - Ra Ra Riot
  13. Shruggy Ji - Red Baraat
  14. Novel and Profane - Wyatt Funderburk
  15. Self-Titled - Wesley Stace
  16. Gone Away Backward - Robbie Fulks
  17. MCII - Mikal Cronin
  18. The Silver Gymnasium - Okkervil River
  19. The Muse - The Wood Brothers
  20. Electric Pet Shop Boys
  21. No Blues - Los Campesinos!
  22. Muchacho - Phosphorescent
  23. Matangi - M.I.A.
  24. I Hate Music - Superchunk
  25. Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves
  26. American Kid - Patty Griffin
  27. White Lighter - Typhoon
  28. 13 In My Head - Nick Piunti
  29. Where Does This Door Go - Mayer Hawthorne
  30. Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action - Franz Ferdinand

Top 7 tracks of 2013:

  1.  Arabella by Arctic Monkeys
  2.  Twin Size Mattress by The Front Bottoms
  3.  Avocado, baby by Los Campesinos!
  4.  Weight by Mikal Cronin
  5.  Breakfast Can Wait by Prince
  6.  Me & You & Jackie Mittoo by Superchunk
  7.  Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves

Here is a link to a Spotify list of my complete favorite tracks of 2013!

Andrew H won’t go post- Modern

Most Essential Albums:
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob
Lorde, Pure Heroine

That Said, The Top Seven Singles:
The Joy Formidable, “Silent Treatment”
The National, “I Need My Girl”
Vampire Weekend, “Step”
Lorde, “A World Alone”
Keaton Henson, “Corpse Roads”
Tom Odell, “Another Love”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Sacrilege”

Daniel L’s Brave choices

Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest is my top pick

Top Songs: 

1. Sara Bareilles, Brave
2. Walk off the Earth, Gang of Rhythm (R.E.V.O.) 
3. Lorde, Royals
4. Vampire Weekend, Obvious Bicycle
5. Katy Perry, Roar
6. Sara Bareilles, Hercules
7. Lucy Wainwright Roche, Call Your Girlfriend (Robyn cover - not sure if that counts, but it's lovely)  

Bianca T parties with the Vampires

Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires in the City
HAIM, Days Are Gone
Lorde, Pure Heronie
Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
The Strokes, Comedown Machine
The National, Trouble Will Find Me
Jake Bugg, Jake Bugg
Purity Ring, Shrines
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
The Weeknd, Kiss Land

Tara A loves Mark Mulcahy

Mark Mulcahy, Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You
Best Coast, Fade Away
Arcade Fire, Reflektor
The Joy Formidable, Wolf's Law
Ms Mr, Secondhand Rapture
Jake Bugg, Jake Bugg

Lindsay R copies Carbon

I'd apologize for the bulk of my lists being taken up by Carbon Leaf, but... I don't want to. I mean, how often do you get a year in which your favorite-ever band releases not one, but TWO full-length albums?

1. Carbon Leaf - Constellation Prize
2. Alpha Rev - Bloom
3. Butch Walker - Peachtree Battle (EP)
4. Carbon Leaf - Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle
5. Panic! at the Disco - Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!
6. The Colourist - Lido (EP)
7. Lucius - Wildewoman
8. Matt Nathanson - Last of the Great Pretenders
9. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

1. Alpha Rev - "Highways"
2. Carbon Leaf - "Oi"
3. Butch Walker - "I've Been Waiting For This"
4. The Colourist - "Little Games"
5. Carbon Leaf - "All of My Love"
6. Butch Walker - "Coming Home"
7. Carbon Leaf - "Pierce My Heart"
8. Panic! at the Disco - "Collar Full"
9. The Mariner's Children - "In My Bed"
10. Alpha Rev - "Lexington"

David G praises Yeezus

1. Kanye West, Yeezus (YES)

2. Lorde, Pure Heroine
3. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
4. Sky Ferraira, Night Time, My Time
5. The Great Gatsby Soundtrack... 

Sara F’s Rey of light

Top seven songs of 2013. 

1.Lana Del Rey, Young and Beautiful
2. Atlas Genius, Trojans
3. Zendaya, Replay (This one is embarrassing, but catchy)
4. J. Cole ft. Miguel, Power Trip
5. ASAP Rocky, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz F**king Problems
6. LIZ, Stop Me Cold
7.CHVRCHES, The Mother We Share

Honorable Mention: Britney Spears, Work Bitch

Bill K loves the Lady

Essential Album: 
Janelle Monae - Electric Lady

Other essential albums: 
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
P!nk - The Truth About Love
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Haim - Days Are Gone
Capital Cities - In a Title Wave of Mystery

Discoveries from Years Past:
Family of the Year - Loma Vista
Brandi Carlisle - Bear Creek

Definitive Top 7 Songs of 2013:
1. Q.U.E.E.N. - Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu
2. Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk feat. Nate Reuss
3. Royals - Lorde
4. Hero - Family of the Year
5. Safe and Sound - Capital Cities
6. Closer - Tegan and Sara
7. Love to Get Used - Matt Pond

Amy T’s on Fire

2013 most essential albums:

Arcade Fire Reflektor
My Bloody Valentine, mbv
Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time

Bands I discovered in 2013 that I wish I'd discovered before:
The xx
Dum Dum Girls
The Tallest Man on Earth

Corey W’s addicted to Heroine


1.) Lorde, Pure Heroine
2.) Haim, Days Are Gone
3.) Arctic Monkeys, AM
4.) Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
5.) CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe 

1.) Team, Lorde
2.) Tennis Court, Lorde
3.) Days Are Gone, Haim
4.) Number One Party Anthem, Arctic Monkeys
5.) Steps, Vampire Weekend 
6.) Recover, CHVRCHES
7.) Pompeii, Bastille 

(very) Guilty Pleasure Songs: 
1.) Wrecking Ball/We Can't Stop, Miley Cyrus
2.) Story of My Life, One Direction
3.) Roar, Katy Perry

Song that wasn't new but deserves a shout out for a beautiful cover: 
500 Miles, Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and Stark Sands (Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack) 

Rachel L faces some Demons

Imagine Dragons, Demons
One Republic, Native
Brett Dennan, Smoke and Mirrors
Macklemore, The Heist
Icona Pop, Icona Pop
Capital Cities, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines

Steven’s Southeasternly win

1.  Jason Isbell, Southeastern
2.  Mikal Cronin, MCII
3.  Primal Scream, More Light
4.  The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars
5.  Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
6.  Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
7.  The Strypes, Blue Collar Jane
8.  Smith Westerns, Soft Will
9.  Rhye, Woman
10. Midlake, Antiphon

In with the old for Josh L

I saw the Arcade Fire on Colbert and thought "eh," and I like the Waxahatchee, but since I'm kind of between music-acquisition systems I just haven't been listening to enough new stuff this year...  so I'll split my throwaway write-in vote on Neil Young Live at the Cellar Door and Bob Dylan Bootleg Series Volume Ten (Septuagenarian protest vote! Rock on old white guys!)

Amanda M’s National pride

Album: Trouble Will Find Me, The National
Singles: Royals, Lorde; Million Miles, TV On The Radio; The Wire, HAIM

Ted G’s Royals affair

My top sevens songs below, and no, that fucking what does the fox say isn’t on it.

1. Lorde, Royals
2. John Legend, All of Me 
3. Ciara, Body Parts
4. Vampyre Weekend, Hanna Hunt
5. TV on the Radio, Mercy
6. Disclosure, When a Fire Starts to Burn
7. Kanye West, Blood on the Leaves

Andy M has the band with the best band name

Deafheaven, Sunbather
Easily my favorite album of the year. A sprawling, oddly affecting wash of guitars and screams held together by some truly insane drumming. And the pretty pink album cover makes for an eye-catching shelf decoration.

Emelia Z hasn’t quite hurried up

I just realized my essential album of 2013 was two years old. Fail.

M83, Hurry Up We're Dreaming


"Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake
"Team" - Lorde
"Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga, R. Kelly
"Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
"Young and Beautiful" - Lana Del Ray
"Story of My Life" - One Direction
"The Monster" - Eminem, Rihanna

Beth R can’t stop

My most essential album would probably be: Miley Cyrus, Bangerz. So cliche, but it's the one I've listened to most. 

Elizabeth K picks her Kings

Kings of Leon, Mechanical Bull
JT, 20/20 Experience
Anna Calvi, One Breath

Jaci has found The National
These days I am always a long way behind in music.  I have been obsessed by Mumford & Sons this year, for example, especially 'Babel' and 'Sigh No More'.   Otherwise, my essential albums of the year have been the National's 'Trouble will Find Me', and Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi's, 'Rome'.   I just got Laura Marling's, 'Once I was an eagle' and it sounds great so far; same with the Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor'. 

Kevin W Hangs Tuff

Top 10 2013 Albums

1. King Tuff, Was Dead – Well, it’s a re-issue. But nobody got their hands on this the first time out. So this isn’t just the album of the year, but the best one I’ve picked up in a number of years—this is why he’s the King. I mean, “Sun Medallion” sounds like the best, lost track from Beggar’s Banquet and it’s not even the best cut on the album.

2. Shannon & the Clams, Dreams in the Rat House—It was great on the first spin and keeps getting better. The title track isn’t close to being the best, but its video does feature a gorilla drumming with fried chicken: “Rat House.”

3. Nobunny, Secret Songs: Reflections from the Ear Mirror—Good God, this man is a strange one. The bunny mask’s a bit tired these days, but the sound here isn’t. All over the map, but it’s his best work yet.

4. King Khan & the Shrines, Idle No More –He’s back! And in splendid form. The horns, the yelps, the swagger. A campy video. It’s all here.

5. The Dirtbombs, Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!—Bubble gum, baby! It gets a little “concept” toward the end, but Mick Collins does what he wants to do. And always does it well.

6. Mikal Cronin, MC II—This year, MC outdid his off-and-on bandmate, Ty Segall. No small feat.

7. Oblivians, Desperation—No way this album could live up to expectations. These guys are in their 40s now. No way they’re cranking out another “Pill Popper.” Then again, it would be kind of pathetic if they’d tried to.

8. John Paul Keith, Memphis Circa 3 a.m.—Not perfect, but JPK always has his moments. His best moment of the year came with Motel Mirrors, though.

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

10. Lucius, Wildewoman

Molly B takes a Pax

Tied for first place: 

Youngblood Brass Band, Pax Volumi -- New Orleans-style brass band plus hip hop plus electronica plus who knows what else. So great. 
Lorde, Pure Heroine -- because obviously. 

Runners up: 

Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
Haim, Days Are Gone
Birdy, Fire Within
The Baz Luhrmann Great Gatsby soundtrack 

Essential Songs: 

Robyn, Indestructible
Cee Lo Green, Bright Lights, Bigger City
M.I.A., Bad Girls
Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball
Usher, Numb
Vishal Dadlani & Shweta Pandit, Thug Le
Diplo feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex, Set It Off (The FatRat Remix)

Julian Hector is a little bit Daft, a little bit Punk

Top Albums:

Daft Punk, Random Access Memory
HAIM, Days are Gone
Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours
Portugal the Man, Evil Friends
Empire of the Sun, Ice on the Dune
Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob
San Cisco, San Cisco
Lady Gaga, ARTPOP
Fitz and the Tantrums, More than Just a Dream
Still Corners, Stranger Pleasures 

Top 7 Songs:

Tegan and Sarah, Closer
Haim, Don't Save Me
Cut Copy, Far Away
Portugal the Man, Creep in a T-Shirt
Fitz and the Tantrums, Break the Wall
Lady Gaga, Do What You Want
Chvrches, We Sink

Terra dives into the Rkives

Three most essential albums for me this year were Rkives by Rilo Kiley (cannot stop listening to it), Delta Machine by Depeche Mode and Cold Fact by Rodriguez (which I know didn't come out this year, but still it is AMAZING).

Dean Didn’t Start the Fire

If interested, here's a Spotify link to my favorite songs of 2013 (though some tracks were released before 2013): Dean's List 2013

1. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
2. The Flaming Lips - The Terror
3. Atoms For Peace - Amok
4. Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill
5. Moby - Innocents
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
7. Kanye West - Yeezus 
8. Nine Inch Nails - Hesistation Marks
9. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
10. Devendra Banhart - Mala
11. Junip - s/t
12. moskitoo - mitosis
13. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

1. The Flaming Lips - Look…The Sun Is Rising
2. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Driftin' Back
3. Arcade Fire - Porno
4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Wedding Song
5. Devendra Banhart - The Ballad of Keenan Milton
6. Divine Fits - Civilian Stripes
7. Bruce Springsteen - Dream Baby Dream

Jinny ocean of Pacifica

Most essential album of the year 2013:


Other essential albums:

Released: May 14, 2013




Lawrence U is up in the Air

My top ten albums for 2013 are as follows. 

Pacific Air, Stop Talking
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Katy Perry, Prism
Haim, Days Are Gone
Ben Rector, The Walking in Between
One Republic, Native
Icona Pop, This Is…Icona Pop
Sara Bareilles, The Bessed Unrest
One Direction, Midnight Memories
Lady Gaga, ARTPOP        
(Bonus Album) Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

You don’t know the Trouble that Bryant’s seen

Most Essential Album of 2013:
1. The National, Trouble Will Find Me

Other Essential Albums of 2013:
2. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the Weekend
3. Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob
4. Arcade Fire, Reflektor
5. Cold War Kids, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
6. HAIM, Days Are Gone
7. Beyoncé, Beyoncé

Top 7 Songs of the Year:
7. Okkervil River, "Pink-Slips"
6. Lorde, "Royals"
5. Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
4. Tegan & Sarah, "I Couldn't Be Your Friend"
3. CHVRCHES, "Gun"
2. Cold War Kids, "Miracle Mile"
1. The National, "Don't Swallow the Cap"

Tiffany embraces some Flaws

I spent far too much of 2013 listening to "Muffin Man," "Puff the Magic Dragon," & "What Does the Fox Say?" This was far harder than it should've been!

1) Bastille - "Flaws" 
2) Andrew McMahon - "Catching Cold"
3) Paul Otten - "Girl You're Alright"
4) Walk the Moon - "Anna Sun"
5)  Walk Off The Earth - "Red Hands" 
6) Explorers - "The Rocketeer"
7) A Great Big World - "Say Something" 

1) Bastille - Bad Blood
2) Andrew McMahon - The Pop Underground
3) Walk the Moon - Walk the Moon
4) twenty on pilots - Vessel
5) Florida Georgia Line - Here's to the Good Times
6) The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars

Kieran’s Days are here

My essential album this year was:

HAIM, Days Are Gone


1. American Author, Best Day of My Life
2. Lorde, Royals
3. OneRepublic, Counting Stars
4. Zedd, Stay the Night

Andrew F takes a walk in the Park

1. Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park

My most played album of the year.  Exemplifies what is currently wrong with country radio- this should have had four top ten hits.  Stunned but pleased that it's getting critical love.  

2. Lindi Ortega, Tin Star

Best album of the year.

3. Lori McKenna, Massachusetts

Best singer-songwriter out there when it comes to tunes about being married for a long time and having five kids.  This album allows  me to forgive her for co-writing 'I Want Crazy' with Hunter Hayes.  

Matt U Rings the Bell

Most essential album of the year:
Patty Griffin, Silver Bell (finally released this year, though recorded many years ago)

Other essential albums:
Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
Patty Griffin, American Kid

Discovery from prior year:
First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

Neko Case, I'm a Man

Jim D Gets Down

I feel like many of my discoveries that turned into LOVE this year were from 2012 and before!  Mostly I'm talking about Kishi Bashi!!!!  But also Vacationer, Shadows on Stars, Bear Hands, Lord Huron.  LOVE all of those!!!  And not that you asked this question, but the albums (that I'm aware of!) that I'm MOST excited for this year are the new Kishi Bashi and the new Tokyo Police Club.  Of course, if PJ Harvey puts something out, then 2014 will absolutely amAZing! :)

OK, here we go:


1.  Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, We the Common
2.  Lorde, Pure Heroine
     Sky Ferreira, Night Time My Time
3.  Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
     Goldfrapp, Tales of Us
4.  Gin Wigmore, Gravel & Wine
     The Knife, Shaking the Habitual
     Porcelain Raft, Permanent Signal
5.  Polica, Shulamith
     Phedre, Golden Age
     Foxygen, We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic


1.  Fools, by The Aikiu
2.  Royals, by Lorde
     Omanko, by Sky Ferreira
     Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!, by Kishi Bashi
3.  We the Common, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
     Black Skinhead, by Kanye West
     Diane Young, Vampire Weekend
4.  Work, Iggy Azalea
5.  Black Sheep, by Gin Wigmore

Preeti C’s battering Ram

My essential albums:
1. Ram-Leela (OST) - Aditya Narayan
2. Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
3. Raanjhanaa (OST) - A. R. Rahman, Jaswinder Singh, Shiraz Uppal 
4. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (OST) - Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade
5. Racine Carrée - Stromae

1. Lorde - Royals
2. Stromae - Tous Les Memes
3. Osman Mir & Shreya Ghoshal - Nagada Sang Dol
4. A. R. Rahman - Aise Na Dekho
5. Sara Bareilles - Brave
6. Beyonce - Pretty Hurts
7. M.I.A. - Lights

Cat T’s Rhye observations

Favorite album of the year (as well as fantastic new discovery): Rhye (artist): Woman (album). If Sade were Scandinavian, this is the album she would've made.

Favorite song of the year: Closer by Tegan and Sara

Joe M’s Finds

I'm predictably mellow in my music tastes, but also shamelessly so. After the first album listed, there's no particular order.

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
Jason Isbell - Southeastern
Lorde - Pure Heroine
Courtney Barnett - The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Haim - Days Are Gone

Some top songs of 2013: 
Royals by Lorde
Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Cover Me Up by Jason Isbell
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
San Francisco by Foxygen

Heather H’s Sound choices

Various artists, Sound City - Real to Reel (by far my favorite album this year)
Billy Joe  & Norah, Foreverly
Kayne West, Yeezus  (hate to put it on my list because he is such a Wanker but it is a really good album)
Avicii, True

"Brave" by Sara Bareilles
"Stoned and Starving" by Parquet Courts
"Counting Stars" by Onerepubic
"Norbat Okelo" by Owiny Sigoma Band
"Let it Go" (performed by Idina Menzel) - from the Frozen soundtrack

Simone E saves Rock and Roll

Top album of the year:
(Fall Out Boy) Save Rock and Roll

Top 7 songs:
My Songs know what you did in the dark (Fall Out Boy)
Unconditionally (Katy Perry)
Man I think I love her (Stereo Skyline)
Everything I ask for (The Maine)
Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)
Alone Together (Fall Out Boy)
True Love (Pink)

Scott T draws his Maps

Essential Album of 2013:
Maps, Vicissitude

Other Essentials in 2013:
Still Corners, Strange Pleasures
Marnie, Crystal World
Gold Fields, Black Sun
Disclosure, Settle
Austra, Olympia

Other Essentials Discovered in 2013:
Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe (2012)

Top Songs of 2013:
1.  White Lies, There Goes Our Love Again
2.  Cults, High Road
3.  Still Corners, The Trip
4.  Armin van Buuren, Beautiful Life
5.  Cayucas, High School Lover
6.  Marnie, The Hunter
7.  Maps, You Will Find a Way
8.  Disclosure, White Noise
9.  Gold Fields, Dark Again
10. CHVRCHES, Recover

Kathleen P’s Orange is the new black

Blood Orange, Cupid Deluxe
Mela Machinko, Hov Said it Best
Fitz and the Tantrums, More Than Just a Dream
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Jason Isbell, Southeastern
Charli XCX, True Romance
Sky Ferreira, Night Time, My Time
Haim, Days Are Gone
CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe
Kanye West, Yeezus

Cassandra P gives a big XO to Beyonce

Most Essential:
Beyonce, BEYONCE.
For so many reasons involving words like: secret delivery (“Wait, what? Beyonce just…she dropped an album?? Just now???); a great video for every song; the sexiest songs about marital sex ever; a feminist monologue for an audience who might not otherwise hear one; a celebration of women. If you’re not a Beyonce fan, this album is essential. If you listened/watched this album and didn’t like it, it is still essential that you listened to/watched it.

Other Essentials:
Andy Mineo, Heroes for Sale
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Drake, Nothing Was the Same
Fall Out Boy, Save Rock N Roll
J Cole, Born Sinner
Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady
Jarell Perry, Simple Things
Jay-Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail
Jhene Aiko, Sail Out
John Legend, Love in the Future
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience (only Part I, though)
Kimbra, Vows (2012 but rocked all of 2013)
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Paramore, Paramore
Solange, True
The Weeknd, Kiss Land

Michael T is among the Unbelievers


1. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
2. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
3. Mutual Benefit, Love’s Crushing Diamond
4. Disclosure, Settle
5. Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt


1. Young Galaxy, Pretty Boy"
2. Lorde, "Royals"
3. Chvches, “Gun”
4. Youth Lagoon, “Dropla"
5. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
6. Mikal Cronin, “Weight”
7. Rhye, “Open"

Frankie Sings to the Moon

Albums, essential:
Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon
James Blake, Overgrown
Lorde (of course), Pure Heroine
(all hail) Beyonce, Beyonce
Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
Baths, Obsidian
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City

Singles, essential:
James Blake, Retrograde
Chvrches, The Mother We Share
Baths, Miasma Sky
Foals, Out of the Woods
Beyonce, Flawless
Lorde, Glory and Gore
Vampire Weekend, Unbelievers
Beyonce, Pretty Hurts
Laura Mvula, Like the Morning Dew
Laura Mvula, Is There Anybody Out There?
(I could easily list Laura Mvula's entire album, but I'll stop there.)

Jenni H’s unorthodox jukebox choice

Bruno Mars!

Tyler G shows his Moonie tendencies

This is my top three:

1. Laura Mvula--Sing to the Moon
2. Chvrches--The Bones of What You Believe 
3. Bevonce--Bevonce

I went ahead and changed Beyonce's name to fit.

Will W’s sitting on the dock of the Bey

1. Beyonce, Beyonce 
2. Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend
3. Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

(the rest are in no particular order)

Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Paracosm, Washed Out
Rkives, Rilo Kiley
Heartthrob, Tegan and Sara
Mother, Natalie Maines
The Bones of What You Believe, CHVRCHES

Now I am scared because I fear that there are more.  Alas... 
Oh shit! Kacey Musgraves!

She's in there too: 

Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey Musgraves 

Gah, she might actually bump Daft Punk down a slot now that I think about it.


and i love it.

Elizabeth E attends fine chvrches

This was the year of new artists for me, as many of my tried and true underwhelmed (*cough Arcade Fire cough*).

CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe

Lorde, Pure Heroine
Haim, Days are Gone

Atlas Genius, When it Was Now
Fitz and the Tantrums, More than Just a Dream
John Newman, Tribute
Kelly Clarkson, Wrapped In Red (I love K. Clark, I love Christmas albums, so win-win)
Kodaline, In a Perfect World
Paul McCartney, New (while I realize I'd pretty much put anything he does down, this album was his best in decades. A few of the songs sounded like B-sides to Sgt. Pepper's)
St. Lucia, When the Night
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Walk Off the Earth, R.E.V.O.

Bruno Mars, Locked Out of Heaven
Grouplove, Ways to Go
John Newman, Love Me Again
Justin Timberlake, Mirrors
Kodaline, All Comes Down
The Naked and the Famous, Hearts Like Ours
Sara Bareilles, Brave

All is not lost when Ronnie A parses soundtracks

All Is Lost, Alexander Ebert
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Gatsby
How I Live Now, Jon Hopkins
Inside Llewyn Davis
Mud, David Wingo  
Only Lovers Left Alive, Josef van Wissem, Sqürl
The Returned, Mogwai
20 Feet From Stardom (If you don’t get chills from listening to Merry Clayton’s vocals on “Gimme Shelter” you might as well be dead)

Chris H’s Weekend getaway

Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Drake, Nothing Was the Same
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Kanye West, Yeezus
Arcade Fire, Reflektor
Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob
Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Beyoncé, Beyoncé

Passion Pit, "Carried Away"
Lorde, "Royals"
Avicii (featuring Aloe Blacc), "Wake Me Up"
Drake, "Hold On, We're Going Home"
Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
The Neighbourhood, "Sweater Weather"
Beyoncé, "Drunk in Love"

Melissa W finds no lows in Haim

Most Essential Album:
Haim, Days Are Gone

Essential Albums:
Beyonce, Beyonce 
Brandy Clark, 12 Stories
Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap
Jason Isbell, Southeastern
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park
Kanye West, Yeezus
Lorde, Pure Heroine (Side note: She was born after I graduated from high school. Ack.) [ed. Note: And don’t you love when she sings about how hard it is to get old?]

Most Essential Single:
Ylvis, What Does the Fox Say? (This video has calmed countless tantrums, so... essential.)

Margie’s 20/20 vision

My vote for best album is The 20/20 Experience

Here are my top songs:

1. Wake Me Up by Avicii
2. Counting Stars by One Republic
3. Gov. Christie Traffic Jam by Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon :-)
4. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus (yeah, yeah, I know people hate her, but I love this song. Blame GLEE as first heard it on the show and fell in love with it)
5. Pompeii by Bastille
6. Get Lucky by Daft Punk
7. Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

Joe H’s Jai society

Here's my 2013 list:

Jai Paul - Jai Paul
Beyoncé - Beyoncé
Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety 
Volcano Choir - Reprave
Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Disclosure - Settle
Deptford Goth - Life After Defo
Rhye - Woman
HAIM - Days Are Gone

Nick E’s heart throbs

I felt 2014 was a good year for music overall, but when it comes to naming essential albums, I’ve only got a few. New albums from perennial favorites Belle & Sebastian, Iron & Wine, Arcade Fire, and Future Bible Heroes feel too uneven to be essential. Or maybe we’re just growing apart? And while new songs by Arcade Fire, Bastille, and Vampire Weekend have won probably permanent spots on my iPod, these are the albums I enjoy from start to finish:

1. Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob

2. The National, Trouble Will Fine Me

3. my bloody valentine, mbv

Susan V turns it around

I am so honored be included, though I realize my music this year has been dominated by children's songs as I try to sing to the baby all the songs my mom used to sing to me. I don't think "Bushel and a Peck" or "John Brown's Baby" will rank very high in your poll!

Here are my top songs (though I think some might be 2012!)

1) That Wasn't Me, Brandi Carlile, Bear Creek
2) Into the Wild, LP, Into the Wild
3) QUEEN, Janelle Monae, Electric Lady
4) Royals, Lorde, Pure Heroine
5) Turn It Around, Lucius, Wildewoman
6) This Old Guitar, Lucinda Williams, The Music Is You
7) Song for Zula, Phosphorescent, Muchacho

I also loved Heart’s performance of "Stairway to Heaven" at the Kennedy Center Honors but that was 2012, too. Did I mention I had a baby? Looking forward to the results!

Teri Y’s a throbber

Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob - This was the only full album that I consistently listen to all year long.

I loved a lot of singles from Lorde, Icona Pop, Two Door Cinema Club and Eli Lieb, among others. For me, 2013 was a better year of singles although most of them wore out after a couple months of heavy rotation.

Jacqueline Q’s full Disclosure

Top Albums

1. Disclosure, Settle
2. Sleigh Bells, Bitter Rivals 
3. Cut Copy, Free Your Mind
4. Haim, Days are Gone
5. Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
6. Au Revoir Simone, Move In Spectrums
7. Foxygen, We are the  21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

Top Songs

1. Disclosure, White Noise
2.  Daft Punk, Get Lucky 
3. Sleigh Bells, Bitter Rivals  
4.Lorde, Royals
5. Haim, Falling
6. Lady Gaga, Applause
7. Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines

Jonas R’s Rkive fire

While 2013 was a fantastic year for music for me, I had a hard time getting to a top 10.  I have a solid top 8 and a handful of near-misses that I liked, but didn't quite love.

Rilo Kiley is one of those bands that I wake up almost daily hoping to find a new release from.  That they assembled their latest album from tracks that were left on the cutting room floor only underscores how great the music they released to date has been.  The album starts with a beautiful homage to LA, "Let Me Back In." But it's really about my own heart they are singing. And by the end of the first verse, there they were, squarely back in, and they've been there since the very fist play.

Here goes, then:

1.    Rilo Kiley, rkives
2.    Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Love Has Come For You
3.    Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder
I Fight, The More I Love You
4.    Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
5.    Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito
6.    Jim James, Regions of Light and Sound
7.    Jake Bugg, Shangri La
8.    Lorde, Pure Heroine

Honorable Mentions

1.    Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, We the Common
2.    Bad Religion, True North
3.    Kate Nash, Girl Talk
4.    Parquet Courts, Light Up Gold
5.    The Civil Wars & T Bone Burnett, A Place at the Table
6.    Devendra Banhart, Mala
7.    Iggy & the Stooges, Ready to Die

Emily M’s Lorde above

My top albums of 2013:
Lorde, Pure Heroine
John Mayer, Paradise Valley
Frank Turner,  Tape Deck Heart
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Arctic Monkeys, AM
The Great Gatsby soundtrack
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Haim, Days are Gone
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
The Avett Brothers, Magpie and the Dandelion

Trevor I doesn’t fuck with anyone’s dreams

The Smith Street Band, Don't Fuck With Our Dreams
Superchunck, I Hate Music
Restorations, LP2
Appleseed Cast, Illumination Ritual
Mikal Cronin, MCII
Radioactivity, Radioactivity 

Jon S’s list is anything but Common

10. The Knife, Shaking the Habitual

I had been looking forward to another album from The Knife ever since 2007's Silent Shout, which set the bar for goth pop. While Shaking the Habitual wasn't everything I hoped it would be, particularly some of the rather self-indulgent extra long jam session tracks in the middle, The Knife took bold chances and tried new things rather than resting on their laurels. Plus, "Without You My Life Would Be Boring" is an incredible track.

9. Chelsea Wolfe, Pain is Beauty

Another album I've been waiting on. I've picked up every Chelsea Wolfe album since 2010's The Grime and the Glow. She has such a haunting, distinctive voice. Similar to Zola Jesus, but more gritty and folk. Unfortunately, her music composition wasn't nearly as developed as Zola Jesus. At least, not until Pain is Beauty. With this album, we're finally hearing the promise that was hinted at but never owned until now.

8. Mutual Benefit, Love’s Crushing Diamond

The latest album from Mutual Benefit is a masterpiece of gentle, earthy reflection. Not a single song detracts from the feeling of sweet reverie.

7. my bloody valentine, m b v
Honestly, I had not been waiting for this album. At all. I mean, I loved 1991's Loveless just like every other emo grunge teenager, and probably for a few years after I would have wanted a follow up. But that was a long time ago. If anything, I was nervous that this new album might detract from the legacy, like some other come back early 90's bands. Boy was I wrong. Unlike The Knife, who blazed new ground, or Chelsea Wolfe, who grew into herself, my bloody valentine just did their thing. And it was just as good. In fact, it was possibly better. Deeper, more intricate, and just a hint at what might lie ahead.

6. Rhye, Woman
While I'm mostly an indie rock/folk with a decent helping of electronic kind of guy, I grew up in a house that had Sade more or less on endless repeat. I don't have a wide knowledge of R&B, other than my longstanding obsession with Erykah Badu. But I know when something is pretty much perfect. And if you are looking for an album that is one non-stop, slow smoldering, "take your pants off" song, this is it. Also, rather fascinatingly, despite the fact that there are moments I would swear I was listening to Sade, the lead singer is a man.

5. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
My eight year old son loves the previous Daft Punk albums. He discovered the band when they did the soundtrack to TRON: Legacy. He was highly disappointed with the new album, saying it was "kinda boring" and "slow". Maybe this means that both Daft Punk and I are getting old, but I love it. In fact, I think it's my favorite Daft Punk album to date. A perfect blend of classic electronica, dance, and pop.

5. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
These guys. I don't really know what to say. They keep trying stuff, it keeps being really good. Some things are pure carry over from the previous albums and some things are startlingly new. I wish there's been a bit more focus on percussion, which is my absolute favorite thing about the band, other than Ezra Koenig's voice. But still, it's a damn good album.

4. Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt
I loved the opening track of this album so much I put it in the video I made about my Man Made Boy tattoo. Katie Crutchfield adds some new layers and more instruments to the sound from her previous album, American Weekend, but loses none of the intimacy and heartache that made me swoon over that album, too. It's so nice to see some straight up folk rock with depth, nuance, and humor.

3. DARKSIDE, Psychic
Moody, dark, soulful, and with a solid beat, this album harkens back to the glory days (or glory box??) of classic trip-hop without ever feeling nostalgic or tired. With the de-emphasis on vocals, and a driving, dynamic album-length arc, this is the perfect music to write something creepy to.

2. Swearin’, Surfing Strange
I don't know what they fed those Crutchfield girls growing up, but I want it for my kids. Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield has a sister named Allison, who is in the band Swearin' and while somewhat less of a frontwoman, she is no less talented. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't discover Swearin' on my own. My little brother turned me on to them, suggesting that it sounded like my kind of thing. And boy is it. It's a little like early 90's alt-grunge when it wasn't being pretentious, and a little like late 00's indie when it wasn't been whiny, and a little like the inside of my brain all the time.

1. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, We the Common
Look, I'm not saying it's actually the best album of 2013. But it was unquestionably THE album for me. I had some trouble getting into Thao Nguyen's previous work, but this album is so generous, so accessible, that it's been like a bridge to all her previous offerings. It's an album for the outlaw in all of us. It's the rambler, free spirit, laugh out loud even when you know damn well you look like an asshole album. In my humble opinion, we could all use some of that.

Joel P ordinarily refuses to Settle.  But in this case…

Obviously, the big tussle was between Lorde, Vampire Weekend and Disclosure for the top album spot, but in the end, I had to pick the one I've listened to and loved the most. 

1. Disclosure, Settle
Start to finish techno bliss with no dreary dubstep nonsense to drag it down. Will be listening to this album forever. 
2. Lorde, Pure Heroine
It's not a perfect album, and there are definite holes and a few repetitions, but for a 17-year-old she came out of nowhere and proved she has the chops. This is her debut! And it's stunning. 
3. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
They rock and their sound really grew up with this album. It's brilliant start to finish. 
4. Beyonce, Beyonce
Because duh, the queen, etc. etc. 
5. CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe
It seems like everybody's trying to do this sound these days - the synth heavy creepy indie vibe with a squeaky high-voiced chick lead - but nobody does it better than Chvrches
6. Betty Who, The Movement
It's not even a full album, it's just an EP, and it was still one of the most exciting releases of the year. Mark my words she'll be everywhere in 2014. 
7. London Grammar, If You Wait
Demure and lovely and everything I adore. 
8. King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
This skinny little British boy has surprising depth that will carry your through a rainy afternoon. 
9. Angel Haze, Dirty Gold
She's the future of rap because she actually has something really big and honest to say. A genius debut album. 
Also rans: Jillette Johnson, Water in a Whale (because I sang along to the whole thing for months) Lady Gaga, ARTPOP (because I danced around to it for weeks until it came out and everybody else hated it and it disappeared) 

1. Tongues (feat. Kopps) by Joywave
Hands down my most-played song of the year
2. High Society, Betty Who
3. Lay Me Down, Sam Smith
I literally want to have sex with this man's voice
4. Gun, by CHVRCHES
Because you! 
5. Fool of Me, by Say Lou Lou and Chet Faker
6. Let Go, by RAC Kele and MNDR
7. Neptune Estate by King Krule

Marisa P yells Timber!

Like the Grammy Awards, I’ve decided that Beyoncé’s album came out too late in the game to be considered for 2013. If you don’t abide by these rules then EFF THIS LIST! BEYONCE FOR EVERYTHING!  [ed. Note:  She counts.  So we’ll add her to your tally.]

[Beyonce, Beyonce]
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Haim, Days are Gone
James Blake, Overgrown
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest
Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob
Drake, Nothing Was the Same

Daft Punk featuring Pharrell, Get Lucky
Justin Timberlake, Mirrors
Avicci, Wake Me Up
Rihanna, Stay
Lorde, Royals
Miley Cyrus, We Can’t Stop
Kanye West, Bound II

Siobhan V’s blue mama

1. BEYONCE, Beyonce
2. ARCADE FIRE, Reflektor
3. VAMPIRE WEEKEND, Modern Vampires of the City
4. CAMERA OBSCURA, Desire Lines
5. MAN MAN, On Oni Pond

Annie M’s radioactive choice of singles

Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Lorde, “Royals”
American Authors, “Best Day of My Life”
Katy Perry, “Roar”
Sara Bareilles, “Brave”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
One Republic, “Counting Stars”

Brant R finds it’s better to Fade

My Top Ten for 2013:
Yo La Tengo, Fade
Katy Perry, Prism
Mikal Cronin, MCII
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Palma Violets, 180
TV Girl, Lonely Women [EP]
Phosphorescent, Muchacho
Haim, Days Are Gone
My Bloody Valentine, m b v
Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Other 2013 Recordings I Enjoyed:
Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Eleanor Friedberger, Personal Record
Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
Kim Deal’s six 2013 singles
Courtney Barnett, How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose [EP]
Washed Out, Paracosm
Albert Hammond, Jr., AHJ [EP]
Rhye, Woman
Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt
Sky Ferreira, Night Time, My Time
Capital Cities, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Audio Push, Come as You Are
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Foxygen, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park
Blood Orange, Cupid Deluxe
Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap
Arcade Fire, Reflektor
Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady
Phoenix, Bankrupt!
Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse
Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
Kanye West, Yeezus
Empire of the Sun, Ice on the Dune

Some Pre-2013 Stuff I Got Around to:
Albert King, Born Under A Bad Sign [1966]
Chromatics, Kill For Love [2012]
Frankie Rose, Interstellar [2012]
I Break Horses, Hearts [2011]
Phosphorescent, Here's To Taking It Easy [2010]
Johnny Thunders, So Alone [1978]
Tame Impala, Innerspeaker [2010]
Sammy Davis, Jr., The Sounds Of '66 [1966]
Crosby, Stills & Nash, CSN [1977]
Jay Reatard, Watch Me Fall [2009]
Candi Staton, I'm Just A Prisoner [1970]
Mac DeMarco, 2 [2012]
Johnny Hartman, I Just Dropped By To Say Hello [1963]
Chairlift, Something [2012]
Now, Now, Threads [2012]
Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan [2012]
Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant [1967]
Goat, World Music [2012]
Faces, Long Player [1971]
Donny Hathaway, Everything Is Everything [1970]

Dan P gives the Kid a break

Last year wasn't a big music year for me... But I always have to say Patty Griffin is essential for me, so:

#1) Patty Griffin, American Kid

That's IT!

Jonathan V’s rockin’ Caveman tunes

1. Caveman, CAVEMAN

An outstanding live band with a knack for hard-to-pin-down indie fugues and ghostly harmonies. The two-plus drummers in the mix only add to the hypnotics.  Everything you've heard is true.

2. Various Artists, AFTER DARK VOL. 2

A mixtape that seems to emanate from the sleek, unforgiving universe Nicholas Winding Refn's "Drive".  Nothing else captures deep city nighttime cool like this collection.  Synthy, vampy, and oh so indispensable.

3. On An On, GIVE IN

One of the biggest surprises of the year, this band (formed expeditiously from the ashes of Scattered Trees when they split just prior to some studio sessions) exudes a herky-jerky, dreamy vibe that transports you instantly, and leaves you stranded.

4. Moderat, II

Seductive, mellow, and urgent.  Sometimes simultaneously.  (You'll have to hear it to find out how.)

5. Phoenix, BANKRUPT!


Let's play Jeopardy!  A: "WHAT DID I TELL YOU?! They're effing BRILLIANT!"  Q: "What you say to VW haters when you shove MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY in their faces."


In a world where music tastes have divided into subfactions of subfactions, it was a joyful development to see this pair of robots from France achieve Michael Jackson levels of consensus.  And by reviving Disco?!  If I'm dreaming, may I never wake.  (Bonus points for including frequent Muppet collaborator Paul Williams on this record, I have no words.)


Chilling, stirring, etc. All the wonderful and terrible things for which we've taken Belle & Sebastian's evil twins for granted.


A cover record that outclasses most albums of original material.  See my below songlist for one recommendation from its tracklist, but please, DO NOT MISS their brilliant "I-CAN'T-BELIEVE-IT'S-THE-SAME-SONG" cover of Coldplay's "Hurts Like Heaven".

10. Arcade Fire, REFLEKTOR


1. Shearwater, F*CKED UP LIFE
2. Glass Candy, WARM IN THE WINTER
3. Kavinsky, ODD LOOK
4. Major Lazer, YOU'RE NO GOOD
6. The National, PINK RABBITS
7. Daft Punk, GET LUCKY

Cecil C gives a shoutout to a song from a musical based on a piece of War and Peace

My favorite song of the year was:
Sonya Alone from Natasha and Pierre.  

Kristin E washes that Paracosm right out

I never feel I have a proper grasp on full albums, but these have offered essential reflections at the very least:

Washed Out, Paracosm
Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
Haim, Days Are Gone
Replacements, Songs for Slim
Capital Cities, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Katy Perry, Prism
Phosphorescent, Muchacho
Arcade Fire, Reflektor

New discoveries, past years:
Chromatics, Kill for Love

There are always others, but there is more music than memory.

Giles G shocks the Monkeys

Hi David.  Just under the wire (I hope!) here are my fave albums of the past year, not including the guilty pleasure I took from Miley Cyrus' Bangerz.

1. Arctic Monkeys - AM
2. Atoms for Peace - AMOK
3. Eminem - The Marshall Mather LP 2
4. J. Cole - Born Sinner
5. Miley Cyrus - Bangerz (Fuck it! I enjoyed this album. Sue me!)

Chris P’s in Electric Lady-land

I bought less music this year than i have in past years but here it goes.

Janelle Monae "The Electric Lady"
Jessie Ware "Devotion"
Jamie Lidell "Jamie Lidell"
Kate Nash "Girl Talk"
Little Boots "Nocturnes"
Tegan & Sara "Heartthrob"
V.V. Brown "Samson & Delilah"
Patty Griffin "Silver Bell"
STRFKR "Miracle Mile"
Travis "Where You Stand"

Ay ... as far as 7 songs go...
Janelle Monae "Primetime (feat. Miguel)"
Jamie Lidell "I'm Selfish"
Jessie Ware "Wildest Moments"
Eels "On the Ropes"
STRFKR "While I'm Alive"
Little Boots "Beat Beat"
Tegan & Sara "Closer" 

Dash G goes for The Monster

Album of the Year:
1: Marshall Mathers LP 2- Eminem
2: Yeezus - Kanye West
3: AM - Arctic Monkeys
4: Wolf - Tyler the Creator
5: 6 feet beneath the moon - King Krule
6: Summer Knights - Joey Bada$$

Best new artists:
King Krule
Joey Bada$$

Alicia G wakes up to AM

Best Album: Arctic Monkeys "a.m."

2nd Best Album:  Vampire Weekend "Modern Vampires of the City."

3rd Best Album: Lorde "Pure Heroine" 

Best Song: "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink and the guy with the mediocre voice.
2nd Best Song - "Do I wanna know?" By Arctic Monkeys 

Billy M Keeps it Pure

Lorde - Pure Heroine
M.I.A. - Matangi
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack
Eisley - Currents

Runners Up
The Weeknd - Kiss Land
Ciara - Ciara
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
HAIM - Days Are Gone

Chris R’s Modern love

1. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
2. Haim, Days Are Gone
3. Johnny Flynn, Country Mile
4. Lorde, Pure Heroine
5. Wet, Wet EP

Iain S shows his Logic


1.     Daniel Avery, Drone Logic
2.     Arctic Monkeys, AM
3.     The Fall, Remainderer

Tracks (which are not on the above)

1.     Dizzee Rascal, Bassline Junkie
2.     Drenge, Bloodsports
3.     Dub Phizik and Skeptical, Marka

Karen A knows this much is True

Essential album:
Avicii, True

Old is new:
Boy and Bear, Moonfire (2011)
Angus and Julia Stone

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