I’m in the middle of getting ready to go to a New Year’s Eve Party but couldn’t resist stopping to write this post! Here are my favourite albums and mixtapes of 2013. Have fun tonight everyone! Don’t kiss anyone I wouldn’t kiss.
MCII – Mikal Cronin (May 7th 2013) Every time I listen to this album, I remember seeing them at The Silver Dollar Room in June for NXNE. Pure Californian fun, light and low-fat as froyo (or maybe whipped avocado?). Plus, their long hair is stoner-sexy, and I can imagine having a college fling with any of the band members. Stream the entire album as a Youtube Playlist below.
II – Unknown Mortal Orchestra (February 5th 2013) “Addicted” would be an accurate description for my emotions towards this band and this album. I played this constantly during my trip to BC (alongside their October EP Blue Record) and both will be forever associated with rolling mountain landscapes and beachside haunts. Here are my two favourite tracks:
Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark) – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic – Foxygen (January 22nd 2013) Trippy Californian psychedlic rock became my jam in November and December, and this album was on repeat all the time, perhaps because I’m a fan of escapism and winter in Toronto is unsavoury. Every song on this album is awesome. These two are particularly catchy!
Shuggie – Foxygen
San Francisco – Foxygen
Days Are Gone – HAIM (September 27th 2013) This trio of sassy sisters are pros at mixing R&B with classic rock. Plus, the video for The Wire is actually entertaining (but that’s probably because I’ve always had a thing for Jorma Taccone)
Falling – HAIM
The Electric Lady – Janelle Monae (September 6th 2013) Janelle Monae is a goddess. Her live show made me believe in the power of music appreciation again. If you ever get the chance to see her perform, jump out of a moving car to GET TO THAT CONCERT, because it will literally change your life. She is a pop icon on par with Michael Jackson. To summarize, this album is a prequel to her first, The Archandroid (2010). It tells the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android messiah who is sent back in time to save the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, an oppressive secret society. The album addresses issues of racism, homophobia, and classism, and although she has chosen to write under her alter-ego, the lyrics remain highly personal and intimate. She designed all of the songs around catchiness and danceability (see the video for Dance Apocalyptic for proof. During one recent concert, three couples proposed during her performance of Primetime. That’s some inspirational stuff!
Primetime feat. Miguel – Janelle Monáe
Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu – Janelle Monáe
Wondrous Bughouse – Youth Lagoon (March 5th 2013) This album is leaps-and-bounds more complex and layered than Trevor Powers’s first album The Year Of Hibernation (2011), which was already a pretty solid album. There must be some trippy heavy metals in the Boise water to produce these gems.
Dropla – Youth Lagoon
Mute – Youth Lagoon
BEST TORONTO MIXTAPES
Do you like it weird? Toronto DIY record label Healing Power Records (Petra Glynt, Bile Sister) might be the label for you. Founded in 2008 by Wolfgang Nessel and Victoria Cheong, they’ve put out two compilation albums this year: F R U I T S (all Toronto babes) and HEART OF TORONTO. This label’s roster oozes amorphousness, so the artists range from brutally experimental to WTF. Check out HEART OF TORONTO below (released September 10th 2013).
Unless you were living under a rock this year, you heard about Arts & Crafts massive 2-disc compilation album spanning 2003-2013 released in April. Featuring the cream of Canada’s mainstream indie acts (Zeus, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Stars, Timber Timbre, Snowblink) it’s available as a 2-disc CD or 4-vinyl LP, or lossless mp3s for you audio purists out there.