Top 10 Albums of 2013

The time of year has come again for me to make a list of the tunes that have dominated my speakers over the past year. Often my favorite albums correlate with the live shows I’ve seen, since I always try to intimately get to know a new album before I see a band perform it. Inevitably, there are two or three albums that dominate my waking hours and keep me from getting out there and listening to new stuff. This year, Rhye’s Woman, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories became the subjects of my obsession.

I’m getting ready to take a big, long vacation and it couldn’t come at a better time. For one, it’s freezing out and I’m escaping winter. Secondly, as my favorite sources of music news and reviews start to release their top 10 / 25 / 50 / 100 albums of the year, the list of albums I’ve somehow overlooked over the past year is growing and I get to refresh my iPod with tons of new music. So far on my list: Tennis, Grizzly Bear, Childish Gambino, M.I.A., Burial, Crystal Antlers, Volcano Choir and Juana Molina; these are the artists that will keep me company on planes, trains and beaches.

I was looking back on my favorite albums of 2012 and I realize that I’m still listening to those albums. My favorite albums of 2013 will no doubt remain on rotation, because a favorite album is one that you never tire of. Albums where after each play, you change your mind on which is your favorite track and each new listen has you noticing a different riff, new lyrics and new layers – these are worthy of being favorites.

Once again, in no particular order (because that is just a migraine waiting to happen), my top 10 albums of 2013:

2013 top 10

  1. Rhye – Woman
  2. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
  3. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
  4. Tegan & Sara – Hearthrob
  5. Arctic Monkeys – AM
  6. Haim – Days Are Gone
  7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
  8. Austra – Olympia
  9. Local Natives – Hummingbird
  10. Kid Cudi – Indicud
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Rhye & Coachella

Monday.

This time last year we had just spent the weekend watching the likes of Radiohead, Bon Iver, Calvin Harris, Black Keys, and of course, how could I forget: Tupac. Last year the sun was hardly bearable and the crowds were often obnoxious. This year I particularly loved the sets by Blur, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Infected Mushroom, the Lumineers, the DJ set by Moby, and Nick Cave. Sure, maybe I missed the heat and the crowd’s energy, but this year I could see the stage, hear the music, have a drink in my hand and catch sets by artists on different stages at the same time – all from the comfort of my couch.

For the entire weekend, Coachella streamed sets live on YouTube, and if you didn’t know, now you do and you can catch it all for the festival’s second weekend starting this Friday. Just remember the time difference between California and Toronto – I had some pretty late nights this weekend waiting for my favorite acts to hit the stage!

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