The 2013 Album of the Year

Paramore, Paramore Back in 2006 I volunteered to review that year’s Warped Tour compilation for PopMatters. Compilations like that were always fun, with loads of variety it was easy to put together 700+ words. Of all 51 tracks on the two disc comp was a song featuring a then-17 year-old mopped with red hair called “Emergency”, […]

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The 2013 Single of the Year

Paramore, “Still Into You” The lead single from Paramore’s fourth album, the dark “Now”, was an odd choice, one that left many wondering if that was the best the new record had to offer. All fears were tossed aside as soon as the follow-up debuted in the weeks prior to the album’s release. Giddy, bouncy, […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #2

Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe Glasgow trio Chvrches was the one band that got in my head, burrowed in and didn’t leave, for the entirety of 2013. I first learned about them when the BBC announced their Sound of 2013 nominees late last year, and starting with “The Mother We Share” right before […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #2

Chvrches, “Recover” I could have easily chosen any of Chvrches’ four 2013 singles for this spot on my list – they were all that good – but in the end I decided to go with the second song I ever heard them do, one that’s hung around and hung around all year long to the […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #3

In Solitude, Sister As strong as In Solitude’s critically acclaimed 2011 album The World. The Flesh. The Devil was, one thing people had to remember was this Swedish band is still a work in progress. Their devotion to classic heavy metal aesthetic was endearing on their first two records, but there was still plenty of […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #3

Katy B, “5 A.M.” The debut album by British singer-songwriter Kathleen Anne Brien remains one of my favourite pop albums of the last couple years, and judging by the several tracks that have surfaced in anticipation of her 2014 follow-up Little Red, the new record just might be even better. “5 A.M.” is the best […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #4

The Knife, Shaking the Habitual Every year it seems there’s one album so dark, weird, and impenetrable that it sticks with me throughout the entire year, where I might not even yet have a grasp on the music yet, but the way it reveals more of itself with every listen compels me to place it […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #4

Haim, “The Wire” It’s been so much fun seeing sisters Alana, Este, and Danielle Haim evolve from intriguing upstarts to a heavily-hyped band over the course of the last couple years. As good as their early songs were, “The Wire” saw the trio stepping up their game in a big way. Featuring a snappy little […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #5

Carcass, Surgical Steel I listened to somewhere between 500 and 600 metal albums in 2013, and for someone who hungers for diversity in a music collection, listening to nothing but extreme metal can get very monotonous, especially when the genre hasn’t experienced a decided sea change in the last 15 years or so. You start […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #5

Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” How cool was it to see a song by Daft Punk blow up and “go viral” this past summer? Usually viral success is centred around novelty, some weird blend of self-aware humour and total ridiculousness that people immediately share the hell out of on social media. In the case of “Get […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #6

Shining, One One One For an extreme band so wildly creative that the possibilities for invention seem limitless, sometimes the most extreme thing they can do is to set limits for themselves. I have never seen nor heard a more mind-blowingly creative metal band in the last decade as Norwegian band Shining, who blend metal, […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #6

Louise Burns, “Emeralds Shatter” I was a great admirer of Louise Burns’ solo debut Mellow Drama a couple years ago, but her follow-up The Midnight Mass knocked my socks off thanks to a much stronger vision and consistent tone. This time around she’s closed the shutters and embraced the darkness, and the end result is […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #7

Goldfrapp, Tales of Us Following the career of the duo of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a music fan. Here’s a project that has so consistently surprised listeners time and again with a sound so amorphous, but for all the variety the vision […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #7

Sky Ferreira, “You’re Not the One” Of all the eclectic songs on Sky Ferreira’s surprisingly triumphant debut album, “You’re Not the One” stuck with me the most. So much of it is so striking. It has a strange ‘70s feel with its pure lushness, it has a post-punk feel thanks to its clattery production and […]

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The Best Albums of 2013, #8

SubRosa, More Constant Than the Gods When I first heard Salt Lake City band SubRosa a couple years ago when they put out their second album No Help For the Mighty Ones, I loved its original approach to doom metal. After all, how many bands put not one, but two violinists front and centre where […]

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