Hey guys, people always ask us what we listen to, and along with the compilations we put out frequently, I figured it would be in order to list my personal favorite albums of 2013….and what a great year for music it was.
10. Empire Of The Sun - Ice On The Dune
I first got turned onto this band at a festival in LA called HARD Summer. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the stage show was one of the most incredible productions i’ve seen in years. This album is the quintessential sound of 2013, its electronic, catchy, and retro with a healthy dose of hipster appeal. This album was on repeat constantly for all member of Fallujah on this last Black Dahlia tour.
Songs To Check Out:Celebrate, I’ll Be Around, Awakening
9. Best Coast - Fade Away
Best Coast has been one of those guilty pleasure bands for about a year. The songs are simple, the lyrics prosaic, but sometimes the musical equivalent of PBR can be refreshing. The songs channel a certain kind of 90’s alt pop revival, that speaks to every teenagers angst about relationships and life’s apathy inducing struggles. Fade away was on rotation a lot this fall.
Songs To Check Out:This Lonely Morning, I Wanna Know
8. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
Dark Ambient can be a tough genre to really adopt passionately, but when I heard Excavation for the first time, there was truly something interesting about it. The songs aren’t simply minimalistic dissonant synth pads as you may imagine; the songs are heavy, haunting, and sometimes complexly rhythmic. I truly have never heard an album quite like this, and It has become one of my most nostalgic records from our tour in Europe this summer, especially from my time spent in Prague after the tour.
Songs To Check Out:Excavation (Part 1), The Mirror Reflection (Part 2)
7. Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty
Chelsea Wolfe is (Along with Zola Jesus) is spearheading this new wave of gothic indie coming out of California these days. The whole album has this atmospheric aesthetic coming from its synth pop background. Dark synths, raw guitar lines, distorted beats, and orchestral progressions gave this album a pure mood of despair and pessimism. I think everyone in Fallujah would kill to do a collaboration with her on a future recording
Songs To Check Out: House of Metals, Reins, The Warden
6. Disclosure - Settle
Deep house is becoming the next unstoppable wave to take over electronic dance music, as Progressive and Electro house becomes stale and corporately exploited. These two brothers (both of whom are younger than myself) have blown up for creating a radio-friendly and undeniably catchy catalog that has launched them to a level beyond that of simple DJ-cred. When I saw them live they incorporated live bass, live drums, live vocals and on the fly sampling. Fans of 90’s R&B and underground house music I’m sure have already heard of Disclosure who are leading the new wave that is bringing Deep House out of the warehouses and into the mainstream.
Songs To Check Out: Latch, Defeated No More, Voices
5. Bonobo - The North Borders
Having been a fan of Bonobo for years now, Im happy to finally see such success come to a producer (Simon Green) that really has so much crossover appeal and tasteful utilization of jazz, soul and R&B into the modern realm of the UK Electronic scene. The sounds are organic and the melodies stuck with me after only the first listen. Simon Green performs live with a full band and live vocals, and having missed all opportunities to see him due to touring, I’ve heard its quite the riveting experience. This was another album played frequently on the bus in the early mornings on this last European tour, especially through Holland and the UK when the jet-lag hadn’t quite worn off yet.
Songs To Check Out: Transits, Emkay, Know You
4. Dusky - Stick By This
In the Underground house world, full length albums are a rare thing, as most producers opt to promote singles or EP’s for circulation in the DJ realm. This album was an unexpected hit with me, with orchestral pads, echoing vocals, heavy analog bass and Dusky’s undeniable taste for clever songwriting and emotional impact. At 14 tracks, one might say he went a bit overboard, but finding favorites on this album was harder than I anticipated. A good place to start for a less poppy take (ie. Disclosure listed above) on the UK house genre.
Songs To Check Out: Lost Highway, Stick By This, Plastique
3. Glasser - Interiors
Solo female vocalists have been a huge musical taste of mine recently. Glasser is a breakout performer in the underground, sometimes associated with Chelsea Wolfe, but with a much brighter and more organic execution. The melodies are glitchy and time signatures evolving. Cameron Mesirow’s vocals reminisce the chromatic spasticity of Imogen Heap (Frou Frou) which pairs well with the electronic bizarreness that lends itself to the likes of Bjork. A memorable album that I will have on rotation well into 2014
Songs To Check Out: Forge, Keam Theme, Dissect
2. Submotion Orchestra - 1968
I think its safe to say that Submotion Orchestra is the favorite band, and this EP is the perfect progression from the sound I came to love. The bands remix album last year made my #1 spot, for its Neo-noir jazz construction mixed with the UK’s prevalent Dub/Garage song structure. This album is a bit less dark, but just as emotional, It was a tough struggle for the number one spot. I also have a massive crush on their singer Ruby Wood, who has become one of my favorite singers in the game.
Songs To Check Out: Broken World, 1968, Breathe It In
1. Chvrches - The Bones Of What You Believe
I remember liking this group on facebook back when they had about 300 likes, and that was about a year ago, I believe they are now approaching 200,000, and I cant seem to escape their radio hit “The Mother We Share”, which in my opinion is the worst song on the album.This album is the catchiest and best executed album of the genre that I think i’ve ever heard. This band is the quintessence of 80’s reminiscent synth pop, with the characterizing vocals of Lauren Mayberry and the melodic and sometimes whimsical synths of Martin Doherty and Iian Cook. I played this once in the van, and was getting complaints all the way through, but this album was too good to turn off, this took my cake for the best album of 2013 after just a couple of days in rotation, this isn’t for everyone, but the future of this band is brighter than just about anyone else in the game right now.
Songs To Check Out: Science/Visions, By The Throat, Lies
in short, fuck tumblr’s attitudes about “grades don’t matter” and “i’m offended because someone is breathing” and “it’s cool to be apathetic and hate everything” because the world doesn’t fucking cater to you guys, you pretentious assholes who expect everything in life to be sugar coated to y’all and you’re gonna have to grow up sometime