Best of 2013 Playlist and Reviews

Listen to my Best of 2013 playlist on rdio.

  • Washed Out, A.K.A, Ernest Greene's third album, Paracosm, didn't venture too far astray from what he does best, super mellow chill wave ambiance. The whole album is cohesive and combines multiple layers of clapping, chirping birds, crowds of chattering people mixed with chimes and lyrics that are self-conscious and showcase his vulnerability and honesty.
  • Darkside is another band that jumped onto my radar in 2013. This Brooklyn duo is a collaboration between Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington. Their album Psychic combines lo-fi distortion and sustained loops that are both suspenseful and dramatic. I would love to see ERAAS perform with Darkside. That would be an amazing show. The nondescript vocals create tension and anxiety. Overall, this album could be the soundtrack to a new David Lynch movie. I'm looking forward to seeing them on tour this year. Here's their tour schedule. I'm excited to see them in Austin, Texas on Jan. 31st at Emo's.
  • Deafheaven's Sunbather was quiet a revelation for me. Having rarely listened to black metal before, the sheer energy of the drums and the harmonies of the guitars gripped me and kept me completely engaged the full length of the album. The vocals add an extra layer of intensity. This was the album quiet literally made me interested in black metal. I find the combination of chill wave and metal to be a thrilling combination and I can't wait to hear more from this band. What they've done with Sunbather was quiet extraordinary. My favorite songs on Sunbather are Dream House (of course) and Vertigo.
  • Fuck Button's, Slow Focus is a study in masterful and eerie beats combined with a knack for knowing when to trim the fat and lead the listener slowly into a more elaborate web of textures. If you are not familiar with Fuck Buttons I recommend listening to Tarot Sport first. The song, Surf Solar, happens to be one of my favorite songs of all time. I think it will give you a little taste of how much FB's musicality has expanded over the years if you listen to it back to back with Slow Focus.
  • The Knife's, Shaking the Habitual takes this Swedish electronic band's high strung antics up a notch with their 2013 album. The song Full of Fire is intense, in-your-face with dissonant strings and fast-paced frantic beats. This is their fourth album and it seems like they are not losing their focus.
  • Small Black's Limits of Desire has been on repeat on since my first listen. The band's uncanny ability to write anthems about cliches and heart ache that don't come off as trite or over thought makes them a winner for me.
  • Widowspeak's Almanac and The Swamps was a tie for me. I love them both equally. There's a wonderful whimsical retro vibe about them that I initially fell for but they continue to amaze with their delicate folksy indie rock. I'm hooked on Molly Hamilton's voice and it doesn't hurt this duo is from New York. They have a refreshing sound that keeps me coming back for multiple listens.
  • Chelsea Wolfe, Pain Is Beauty. This album is pure black magic. I mean that in the best way possible. There's a hypnotic poetry to her lyrics that I liken to being in a seductive trance of a lover. I would love to see Chelsea Wolfe play with Esben and the Witch.
  • Gauntlet Hair, Stills was quiet a departure from their debut album. Gauntlet Hair has since broken up, much to my dismay. I'm sad that I didn't get to see them perform last summer in New York. The song Human Nature on Stills continues to shine off their last album. Record Label: Mexican Summer
  • Beach Fossils, Clash The Truth is probably the only band that I have included on my list that is shoe-gazer indie rock. I'm not sure why others didn't make it onto the list. My favorite songs are Birthday, In Vertigo, and Burn You Down.
MusicJuanita Fralin