For the rest of the year, we'll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2013, leading up to our 2013 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Tune in on Thursday, December 19th for KEXP's One-Day Radio Rally as we countdown the top albums of the year, as voted on by KEXP listeners.
A quick note before we dive into the self-indulgent madness that is this list: the methodology for these selections was simply A) did I find myself returning and listening to these albums over and over, B) did I think I would be revisiting and really treasure these albums years from now, C) did something in the music correspond strongly to a significant moment in my personal life, or vice versa, and instead of careful introspection I listened to the album instead to avoid any reflective self-analysis.
OK, maybe not so much the last one... Anyway, it was a great year for music so let's get started with:
Sean's 2013 Top Ten Albums
1. Pure X - Crawling Up the Stairs (Acéphale)Bleak and bittersweet punctuated with moments of, er, pure ecstasy that will floor you.
3. Merchandise - Totale Nite (Night-People)My favourite rock "rawk" album of the year. The lead single "Anxiety's Door" is seven perfect minutes of loud, dreamy, shredding energy.
4. Algebra Suicide - Feminine Squared (Dark Entries)Fantastic reissue compilation showcasing the Chicago duo's effortlessly kewl, skeletal New Wave about sex and undertakers and stuff. Basically right up my alley.
5. Chastity Belt - No Regerts (Help Yourself)I played one of the songs off the Seattle band's debut early one morning entitled "Giant Vagina" and a concerned listener e-mailed in saying "Really on the air for my kids to hear? Seems a little much." Don't fret, concerned parent! Your child will be a better person down the road having heard this song at an impressionable age.
6. Ducktails - The Flower Lane (Domino)A great collection of feel-good tunes from the Real Estate guitarist, including an ace cover of The Clean's Peter Gutteridge, so, duh.
7. Dean Blunt - The Redeemer (Hippos In Tanks)A superb album from one of music's most baffling and intriguing characters. A true original.
8. Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat (Kranky)A forty-seven minute personal séance for the soul.
9. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven (Warp)Daniel Lopatin is sound-tracking our weird digital lives right, and it's kind of freaking me out.
10. The Courtneys - The Courtneys (Hockey Dad)Yah! Super fun house party, slacker pop vibes from the Vancouver trio. Basically a band to have a big crush on, plus they sing about Keanu Reeves a lot. Love it.
Other HighlightsBurial - Rival DealerMaria Minerva - Bless
My Bloody Valentine - m b vSpace Dimension Controller - Welcome to Mikrosector-50White Fence - Cyclops ReapRuby Pins - Ruby PinsCoyote Clean Up - 2 Hot 2 WaitLust for Youth - Perfect View
Dirty Beaches - Drifters / Love Is the DevilDeerhunter - MonomaniaRP Boo - Legacy!Some Ember - Asleep in the Ice PalaceColleen - The Weighing of the HeartRome Fortune - Beautiful Pimp
Jon Brooks - ShapwickThundercat - ApocalypseNeo Boys - Sooner Or LaterHailu Mergia - Hailu Mergia & His Classical InstrumentCFCF - Music for ObjectsJulia Holter - Loud City SongHuerco S. - Colonial Patterns
Forest Swords - EngravingsKing Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the MoonViet Cong - Viet CongLonnie Holley - Keeping a Record of It
Stellar Om Source - Joy One MileTim Hecker - VirginsDream Boys - Dream BoysExpress Rising - Express RisingJohn Foxx & Jori Hulkkonen - European Splendour
Laurel Halo - Chance of RainSteve Arrington & Dam-Funk - HigherThe House in the Woods - BucolicaWoo - Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going WrongNmesh - Nu.wav HallucinationsU.S. Girls - Free Advice ColumnRaum - Event of Your Leaving
Gorgeous Children - IceDanny Brown - OldMajical Cloudz - ImpersonatorCough Cool - 29Logos - Cold Mission18+ - Mixtap3Noveller - No DreamsMachinedrum - Vapor CityFKA Twigs - EP2Earl Sweatshirt - DorisRoger Robinson - Novella EP
Braids - Flourish // PerishWavves - Afraid of HeightsDJ Rashad - Rollin’Andrew Pekler - Cover VersionsThe Knife - Shaking the HabitualMatmos - The Marriage of True Minds
William Tyler - Impossible TruthColleen Green - Sock It To MeDiana - Perpetual SurrenderAshrae Fax - Static CrashSamps - Macrochips & MicrodipsV/A - Eglo Records Vol. 1Local Releases I Really EnjoyedPanabrite - Cortex Meridian
Pony Time - Go Find Your OwnCock & Swan - Secret AnglesKey Nyata - The Shadowed Diamond
Half-Breed - Practice Makes SomethingPure Bathing Culture - Moon TidesNacho Picasso & Avatar Darko - VampsterdamBraxton / Palmer - CreeperLusine - The Waiting RoomBig Eyes - Almost FamousJay Arner - Jay Arner
Hausu - TotalPorter Ray - BLK GLDSoft Metals - LensesCam the Mac - 2HUNNIDx6Youryoungbody - KurokabiLa Luz - It’s Alive Shy Girls - Timeshare
Rafael Anton Irisarri - The Unintentional SeaEat Skull - IIIWeed - DeserveHanssen - ProgrammeWhite Poppy - Drifter’s Gold
Parenthetical Girls - PrivilegeILLFIGHTYOU - ILLFIGHTYOUwzrdryAV - Pacific GreyscaleJusMoni & WD4D - Queen Feel DeluxeHeatwarmer - Dessert MenuThe Shivas - WhiteoutHibou - DunesAshley Eriksson - ColoursWishbeard - It’s All Gonna BreakBlue Sky Black Death - GlaciersV/A - Twitch & Gloam: Dark Sounds from the Pacific Northwest
Elvis Costello & The Roots - Wise Up Ghost (And Other Songs 2013)OK, it's not all peace and love on this end of year wrap up. This selection partly has to do with my historical aversion to Elvis Costello, true, but the grating and insipid vocals certainly don't help matters. Take your hat and sunglasses off inside, d00d! Four thumbs down.
Daughter - Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover)Yes, really. They've taken the outrageously fun, sexy vibe of the original, one of 2013's best songs, and replaced it with a glum, sexless, I-want-to-take-a-quiet-nap-fully-dressed-in-the-middle-of-the-afternoon vibe.
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For the rest of the year, we'll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2013, leading up to our 2013 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Tune in from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM today for KEXP's One-Day Radio Rally as we countdown the top albums of the year, as voted on by KEXP listeners.