My Favorite Albums of 2013


The albums are listed in order starting with my #1 and working down so that you can give up as soon as you want. I didn’t listen to every album released this year and I don’t listen to the radio so invariably there will be some albums you think should be on this list that are not. Sorry. To make up for that here’s a Spotify playlist with every song I liked in 2013 (214 tracks long at the time of this post).

Note: all song links go to Spotify.


1. Psychic Friend – My Rocks Are Dreams
Will Schwartz’s piano-pop departure from Imperial Teen is freaking amazing. As soon as I started listening to this album, I started sharing it with everyone. I knew before I started re-listening to whole albums to make this list that My Rocks Are Dreams was going to be #1. I’m also going to take the opportunity now to state that if you don’t get into an album because it’s a genre you don’t care for, try the selected tracks first, then the album as a whole.

Check out these tracks:
We Do Not Belong
Water Sign

portugal_1502. Portugal, The Man – Evil Friends

While I don’t listen to the radio with any regularity, I was surprised when I heard the track “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” getting radio play. So, hopefully, you’ve already checked this album out.

Check out these tracks:
Creep In A T-Shirt
Sea of Air

la_1503. L.A. – Dualize

This one was a surprise. I try and guess my list before listening to all the albums I’ve liked over the year, and this album landed as #9 on my guess list… only to end up as #3 after a full listen-through of the entire list. One thing you might notice if you check this artist out on Spotify is that all artists with the same name are lumped together. I’m not linking you to the hip-hop artist. And (sadly) indie rock band Beulah has not released a new album this year – that’s a lady by the same name.

Check out these tracks:
Oh, Why?

elsinore_1504. elsinore – PUSH/PULL

I’m worried that publicly liking this will be tantamount to publicly still liking Vertical Horizon, but I’m going to stick by it. Maybe in two years I won’t be able to stand it anymore, but right now it’s my #4.

Check out these tracks:
The Art of Pulling

bored_1505. Bored Nothing – Bored Nothing

I remember my first Pennywise album – after my fist listen I thought all the tracks sounded the same. If you don’t like shoe-gazing music then you will likely have a similar experience with this album.

Check out these tracks:
Charlie’s Creek

guards_1506. Guards – In Guards We Trust

I’m never good as saying “x” band sounds like “y” band, but Guards sounds like Go! Team. Kinda. I said “kinda” and I used a capital “k,” what more do you want from me?

Check out these tracks:
Heard the News
Can’t Repair

tennis_1507. Tennis – Small Sound

I think this is technically an EP. It only has 5 tracks but 4 of them are phenomenal and the last one is pleasant. I think that warrants making a top ten list.

Check out these tracks:
Mean Streets

foxygen_1508. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Centruy Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

Not many bands can get away with songs that change pace or include multiple movements. I’m not going to insist that Foxygen always gets it right, but there’s a lot of emotion in this album. It will start to feel like watching a musical as you get deeper into it.

Check out these tracks:
In the Darkness

lucius_1509. Lucius – Wildewoman

This album was at the bottom of my short-list. I’m glad I didn’t write it off before giving it another listen. If you like women singing in harmony, you will like Lucius.

Check out these tracks:
Turn It Around
Nothing Ordinary

smith_15010. Smith Westerns – Soft Will

If you didn’t like Bored Nothing above, then you probably won’t like Smith Westerns either. But maybe check out the below tracks anyway.

Check out these tracks:
Fool Proof

I’m including the next ten albums on my list so that people will realize that I listen to (and like) bands they’ve heard of. 

11. Ducktails – The Flower Lane
12. Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull
13. Death Valley Rally – The Stars Shine Brighter After Midnight
14. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
15. David Bowie – The Next Day
16. Palms – Palms
17. The Strokes – Comedown Machine
18. Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return
19. Foals – Holy Fire
20. The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law


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