The Breakdown’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

Posted: January 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Each year, The Breakdown releases a list of the top 10 albums for that year. Bear in mind, it is not restricted to albums released in that year. Sometimes an album somehow escapes the attention of a watchful musical eye (or is that ear…?). Either way, truly good albums will not be dismissed because I missed their release! Here is the 2013 list, complete with a highlight track for each in the top 10, and the reasons why they made the list. All of these, including the ones in the Honourable Mentions list, are amazing collections of music that are highly recommended by myself. Music is one of the easiest ways to add happiness to your life, and without question, this music will achieve that. The only reason I do what I do is to make good music easier to access and less time consuming for you to find, and in turn, add happiness to your life. Now get around these albums!

10. Cloud Control – Dream Cave

This is a group that have gone from raw, rough edged little known band with talent to honed-to-perfection songwriters and performers. I’ve been following them since their EP days in 2008, and this, their latest album, marks their true coming of age. What makes a great album to me is one where every song is individually brilliant, yet combines to create a cohesive overall listen and maintains the band’s unique sound. This album achieves that in spades.

9. Wild Cub – Youth

This is an album of two stories. Half the songs I don’t go much on, and half I absolutely love. If they had have included a few more songs as strong as the good ones, this release would have been near number one in this list. Their angle is a very difficult one to nail, indie pop played with traditional instruments, yet sounding electro in nature. It hasn’t been pulled off by many bands, VHS Or Beta stick out in my mind as the last to do it well. But with songs like Thunder Clatter, Colour, Wishing Well and Jonti, Wild Cub have done a spectacular job.

8. The Lumineers – The Lumineers (2012)

I don’t know how but I missed this one as well. Its pretty well known so I needn’t rabbit on about it. I just love the way they have handled the risky business of playing folk music as indie pop. Its happy, its melancholy and its highly listenable.

7. Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe

This was a band that I’d heard a few songs from before their debut album dropped, and with each new single released I became more intrigued and excited. More often than not, the album ends up a dud and you have 2 or 3 solid songs among a pile of slop. Not with CHVRCHES though! Their album did not let down and was great throughout. They have really nailed the upbeat synthpop sound, and even have a few really awesome serious moments throughout as well. Fantastic debut, guys.

6. Foals – Holy Fire

I don’t think I really need to say anything about Foals. Anyone reading this will likely already know them and how incredibly brilliant they are at delivering tunes that are so musically technical yet catchy and hard hitting all at the same time. This album has a few moments that are lost on me, but it also has some moments that deliver the sound that Foals and Foals alone are capable of delivering. I will be loyal to them forever.

5. Black Light Dinner Party – Sons And Lovers

Little known new indie electro band from the Indie heartland of Brooklyn, New York. The strength of this album is that every song on it is awesome, and they are all different from one another, while maintaining the same overall sound. They’re not really doing anything new or groundbreaking, but to pen a debut album as strong as this one, is a real achievement.

4. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Arguably one of the best indie bands in history, American group The National returned with their sixth album this year, and in my eyes, it is their best. This is a big statement as they have a history of serving up consistently brilliant, heartfelt, beautiful tunes, time and time again. They are a band that write new music that never wavers from their unique sound that their fans have come to love, while always staying relevant. They are the ultimate reliable group, that you just know will not let you down. They also have a way of writing music that conveys emotional torment in such a direct and honest manner, that I still have not heard done as well by any other artist.

3. IntotheNorthSea – IntotheNorthSea (2011)

This one was released ages ago, so apologies for that, but it is worth putting in the list, simply for the fact that it is brilliant and was my 3rd favourite album for the year! They are so little known and underground that its nigh on impossible to find anything on them except for their Bandcamp page. Minimalist indie rock with genius songwriting. No amount of explaining in words will do it justice; it simply has to be heard.

2. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

Indie rock with a tinge of alt-country. A 2012 US release, but 2013 in UK, Europe and Australia. The vocalist has a country style twang to his voice. I will admit I am generally not a fan of country music, and this is as close as you will come to country on The Breakdown, but what a way to effectively use this often polarising and extremely-easy-to-pigeon-hole genre. It’s ground-breaking simply for the fact that it introduces non-country listeners to this type of sound, while remaining firmly within the realms of indie rock. Each song has its own personality but fits perfectly within this brilliantly crafted album.

1. Half Moon Run – Dark Eyes

When it came down to it, this album was fairly easily number one. While it was released in the band’s home country of Canada in 2012, it was released in the US, UK and Australia in 2013. The entire album has an ethereal atmospheric personality, swaying from brooding to joyous to sombre and back again numerous times over. The band seem to have a rare chemistry, all of them being amazingly talented individual musicians, and the songwriting is the best going around. The lyrics to many of the songs are very hard hitting , poignant and thought provoking as well. This is one you can listen to over and over again for months, and in my case, years.

Honourable Mentions

As always, there are amazing albums that miss out, owing to the fact that I simply cannot find a way to edge out the ones that made it into the top 10. The following is the Honourable Mentions list. Each of these well and truly deserve your time, and have been genuinely loved by myself. It is definitely worth getting to know all of them. This year, I have made them in order, meaning that On An On just missed the cut, coming in at 11.

On An On – Give In

London Grammar – If You Wait

Poliça – Shulamith

Rufus – Atlas

Jagwar Ma – Howlin

ODESZA – Summer’s Gone

Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun

Toro Y Moi – Anything in Return

The Mary Onettes – Hit The Waves

Snakadaktal – Sleep In The Water

July Talk – July Talk

Darkside – Psychic

When Saints Go Machine – Infinity Pool

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s