Jaci’s Top 13 Albums of 2013

Music is interpreted differently by everyone and is dependent upon how a listener connects to each song. At least, that is how it is for me. It would take me a long while to break down each and everyone of these albums to give a thorough explanation of my love and reasons they made it into my top 13 of 2013. And sometimes my feelings can’t be conveyed into words—it’s an emotional ride for me. However, I challenge you to give each one of these bands a listen; perhaps something within one of these albums will speak to you as they did to me this year.

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13 | Parachute | Overnight
This album definitely gives a nostalgic boy-band feel, even if William Anderson is the only vocalist within the group. They do give off a Maroon5 feel, but who doesn’t love a good punchy rock/electro-pop group? I found myself returning to this album for another listen multiple times. It’s very clean and Will’s harmonies are spot on!

When you fly off
Yes you get so high
You never want to come back down
And you never really had to try
Baby all I know
And that I’ve come to find
You can the touch the sun
But you’re never gonna kiss the sky
Oh I know that it haunts you
Wishing you could be there
Fly away if you want to
It’s a new view babe
But it’s the same air
“Meant To Be”

Leagues--You-Belong-Here-album-cover

12 | Leagues | You Belong Here
Leagues carries out catchy melodies, guitar riffs, and raw lyrics about love, desire and affection. This album is an example of pop and rock exploding together. Definitely an album I had on repeat, which kept me highly entertained on the road. Who doesn’t love to car dance?!

Romantic love is the least of these
It comes and goes
It comes and goes
So easily
Romantic love is a fickle friend
You wanna know what love is about
Give it when you feel nothing
“Spotlight”

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11 | Matt Pond | The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand
I was late in the game when it came to discovering this album (thank you Pandora). The fast paced guitar, crashing drums, and buoyant vocals of “Love To Get Used” sold me immediately. After I gave the album a listen, it became one of those albums I kept coming back to throughout the last few months of the year.

Let’s hang on to abandon
Let’s hope we lose control
To be out in the open, baby
And let go of the ropes
Nothing into nothing
“Love To Get Used”

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10 | The Cave Singers | Naomi
Another recommendation from an acquaintance that I am entirely grateful for. The Cave Singers added Morgan Henderson (a bassist/flutist) to the group, which added a lovely layer to this album. It’s unquestionably a catchy folk-rock album with musical depth that easily satisfies its listeners.

Canopy, burning gold
I’ll make peace, on my own
Canopy, what is foretold
Up in the sky, exploding roll
“Canopy”

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9 | Ra Ra Riot | Beta Love
The title of this album, Beta Love, says it all: it has a very robotic, electro-pop, 8bit gaming feel to it; however, Rebecca Zeller’s added violin makes their invigorating sound unique. Wes Miles’ distinctive vocals is a perfect addition to make this album one of my favorites of 2013.

Why, tell me, why?
I wanna reach you with this binary mind
Cause if I do I’m sure that we’ll be complete
That’s why I need this binary mind
So I can forget how lonely feels
“Binary Mind”

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8 | Born Ruffians | Birthmarks
This indie-rock Canadian quartet has managed to perfect a fabulously textured album with their rich vocals, joyous harmonies, and immaculate electric guitar production. Oddly enough, “Permanent Hesitation” was the first song I heard—and was quite fond of—when they had originally released “Needle” as the album’s single. However, “Needle” is probably my favorite and has grown on me considerably.

I belong to no one, a song without an album
Long forgotten maxim spoken to the sea
I belong with no one, I belong with no one
I belong with no one, you belong with me
“Needle”

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7 | Capital Cities | In A Tidal Wave of Mystery
Los Angeles duo Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian drop their debut album which has an upbeat edge the band so brilliantly captivates. They take synthpop and electronica to the next level by adding guitars and jazzy trumpet solos. If you aren’t tapping your feet along with this album, you’re doing it wrong. I regretfully missed them live this year, but I luckily caught KROQ stream their concert live. Definitely a band I will be waiting to see in 2014.

I want it all and nothing less
I want it all, I want the best for you
I’m telling you the truth
You are the one that makes it real
Even the sunlight doesn’t feel this good
Whoever said it could?
“Patiences Gets Us Nowhere Fast”

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6 | Biffy Clyro | Opposites
I’ve loved these guys since a friend of mine recommended Only Revolutions in 2012. I was looking forward to Opposites, but knew they had big shoes to fill since their last album was so favorable. This Scottish trio released a double album, twenty songs total, and each with their own titles: The Sand at the Core of Our Bones (addressing their personal life struggles) and The Land at the End of Our Toes (showing off their positivity towards the future). Biffy Clyro is undeniably one of the bands I’d love to see in 2014. Besides, Simon Neil is a babe!

I wanna change, I wanna listen
My selfish ways have reached their limit
Are we alive or are we finished?
Let’s move along and not diminish
“Woo Woo”

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5 | Fitz & The Tantrums | More Than Just A Dream
I honestly love how soulful this album is; Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs are a great vocal duo. I’ve heard many people say that this album translates best in concert. I regretfully missed them when they toured with Capital Cities, but I was lucky enough to catch them live via KROQ’s stream online—definitely not the same, but just enough to make me envious.

Oh, maybe I just wasn’t good enough
To blow your mind, you know I’ve tried.
Them silver lines they cut like blades of glass
Not worth the blood we’ve shed for love.
“Fools Gold”

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4 | Robert DeLong | Just Movement
Robert’s hybrid electro-dubstep beats are beautifully pieced together. Add lyrics that everyone is capable of relating to and you get a flawless, high energy album. This is exactly what I look for in an EDM album- not only are you able to get up and dance to each and every song, Robert clearly wants you to feel his lyrics as well.

And I saw nothing in the dark
and found that the absence was perfect.
I climbed outside of God’s house
and found that the absence was perfect.
I took too much all at once
and found that the absence was perfect.
Saw nothing perfect in love
and found that the absence was perfect.

Don’t hurry through it.
“Perfect”

Bastille Bad Blood

3 | Bastille | Bad Blood
I love the fact that I can clearly hear Dan Smith’s British accent throughout this album. Its diversified sound reaches beyond the usual guitar, bass, and drums with a more worldly feel. For a debut album, they knocked it out of the park! Their show sold out entirely way too fast in December, but I’m extremely pumped to see these guys live in January.

If we’re only ever looking back
We will drive ourselves insane
As the friendship goes resentment grows
We will walk our different ways
“Bad Blood”

Pacific Air Stop Talking

2 | Pacific Air | Stop Talking
Southern California brothers Ryan and Taylor Lawhon are creative lyrically and they bring a refreshing dream-pop motif to the indie genre. This album is infectious and you’ll catch yourself whistling and clapping right along with these guys. Stop Talking makes me miss the California summer sun, palm trees, and sandy beaches. It’s a real treat to see these guys live as well; the passion just pours from Taylor.

I have listened so well
When they told me to be
What I think I should be
Lost in sight of vision
Wore a darkened brace
Of my mental laced
“Moves”

AG Cover

1 | Atlas Genius | When It Was Now
I wore out the replay button on their website for “Backseat,” “Trojans,” and “Symptoms” before the release of When It Was Now. After counting down for months, the album did not disappoint. I love their quirky electronic, rock sound. You’ll listen to it once and always return hungry for more. While I am not an avid radio listener, these guys need to be broadcasted ASAP; it’s a band you can easily fall in love with and they’re not getting the amount of support they deserve in the US. I was lucky enough to meet Keith, which was a wonderful way to end a fantastic performance by these guys halfway through the year.

I know the past is a lonely place
And given time you could find what you couldn’t replace
Don’t pretend like you’re up in a tree
The future’s not where it used to be
“Electric”

Honorable Mentions:
Chvrches | The Bones Of What You Believe
Abandoned Pools | Somnambulist
Foals | Holy Fire
Gold Fields | Black Sun
Goldhouse | Back to Life
Kisses | Kids in LA
Moon Taxi | Mountains Beaches Cities
The Mowgli’s | Waiting for the Dawn
A Rocket To The Moon | Wild & Free
Walk Off The Earth | R.E.V.O.
The 1975 | The 1975

EP’s:
American AuthorsAmerican Authors
Coasts | Paradise
Dan CrollFrom Nowhere
Flint EastwoodLate Night In Bolo Ties
Mansions on the Moon | Full Moon
Smallpools | Smallpools
Sons of the Sea | Compass
Telegraph | Rewind