Long story short, in 2012 my friend from New Zealand showed me this small artist’s EP entitled The Love Club on SoundCloud and I was immediately intrigued by her and her song “Royals”. After listening non-stop for about two weeks I left it behind while listening to other music, and forward a year later, it’s now the track of the year for 2013. The album as a whole is phenomenal, with Lorde herself co-producing/writing the entire album alongside fellow New Zealand native, Joel Little. With our generation of celebrity/image obsessed teens, Lorde stands out in showcasing music that fights those stereotypes as well as truly defines the issues that our media consuming generation is facing, which she says best in track “A World Alone”, “Maybe the internet raised us, or maybe people are jerks.” Well said Lorde, well said.
My faith in country music was restored by Ms. Kayleigh Goldsworthy album Burrower. I can’t remember the last time a collection of songs brought back so many memories of the things I wish I said, and the things I wish I hadn’t said in my life. I laughed, I cried, ate some ice cream, and I even called up a few old friends I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. The production of the album is Grammy worthy and Goldsworthy vocals told her stories as if they were yours. If haven’t taken a listen to this album this year, be sure to look out for it and more music coming from Goldsworthy.
Though not new to the music scene, these Denmark natives hit it big with their second effort. The trio is filled with so much energy and enthusiasm for their music, it is hard not to hear it through their songs on the album. Most began to know them by their radio hit “Harlem”, a punch in your face, party song that can bring out that tiny dancer in all of us. When you start listening to the album, your heart races to each shouty, high-energy tracks. The album kind of reminds me of a modern Beastie Boys, with a punk/dance twist. A great collection of music for any teen getting into their angsty stage.
When my ears get tired of screamo, I do have a tendency to give them a break with the latest rap music. There is no question in my mind that MCHG deserves a spot on my top tens albums, especially over Kanye West’s Yeezus. Like Yeesus Yhist, that album belongs as evidence for West to revaluate himself through therapy. On the other hand, MCHG is some of Jay-Z’s best and most intimate work yet, with a duet with Sasha Fierce herself and reference to his daughter, Blue Ivy. I love how he took the extra time to have live instruments instead of the majority of tracks holding loops for the music, it gives it such a classy approach while Jay-Z tells it like it is through his lyrics.
If you need a song to ring in the New Year with, I’d highly suggest “Ain’t It Fun” off Paramore’s newest self-titled album. That and “Stuck On You” are probably the most reputable off the album, but hidden gems like “Now” and “Grow Up” are what make this album into my top ten. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this album, though it wasn’t these dancy-rock, Michael Jackson-esque tracks within the album. It was weird to take in from their previous style, and it took a lot of listening, but I ended up loving it. Like an early No Doubt style that I forgot I loved and thanks to Paramore, my appreciation is back.
Buzzfeed notes TGSM as, “The Pop Band You Want and Need,” which is incredibly accurate! TGSM is the butter to toast, the whipped cream to a sundae, and most importantly, the best to pop music. Coming out of Brooklyn, this group is basically all those cheesy 80s movies you want your life to be. You have to dance to tracks like “Summer Skin” and “New Age”, exemplifying the bands ability to layer their instruments enough to not take away form the word play through their lyrics. Each track is perfectly polished while featuring bright vocals and a pristine drum track that can get any heart racing.
Probably one of the biggest break out indie bands of 2013, Bastille’s Dan Smith has created an album that holds no single influence as it is truly a collection of music all his own. With an overwhelming 5/5 stars on the iTunes reviews, the US has been taken by a British invasion once again. I thought the album was going to hold very similar to “Pompeii”, the biggest track off the album, but each track was entirely different from the other, and yet fell together as a whole album. There is something to say about the use of percussion within the album, as it gave it the arena style that really complimented Smith’s clear vocals.
Okay, so, I do NOT watch American Idol. At all. Just to state that fact. I think the show cheats out essential self-development of up and coming artists and/or leaves little room for any originality for any vocalist coming out of the show. Anyways, I was surprised to find Phillip Phillips, season 11 winner of American Idol, an exception to this. The album reminds me of an early Dave Matthews, with that same acoustic picking technique and vocal play that can have anyone bobbing their head along. Tracks like “Home” and “Can’t Go Wrong” off this record remind restless hearts to embrace the world around us with the love in front of us all.
I know it’s technically an EP, but let’s all ignore that for a moment. After Andrew McMahon (ex. Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin) dropped Warner Brothers Records to pursue his own no strings attached solo work, he went to the studio and recorded The Pop Underground. When most of his past work reflected certain moments in his personal life, I really felt like this album brought to life the mind Andrew McMahon. In “Synethesia” he notes the things that has been on his heart in his current life, and in “Learn To Dance” he talks about what he images the faces of his future children. It seems like those days of getting drunk in Something Corporate are fading away and Mr. McMahon has come into his own.
I must say, I really missed The National. With their last release of High Violet back in 2010, fans were overjoyed to hear about the release of Trouble Will Find Me this past year, featuring lead singer’s Matt Berninger retro baritone voice. The album reflects themes of questionable love, personal battles, and the chaos of our hearts, all encompassed by an overall dark musical tone. This album isn’t meant for the light hearted, but gives us all a way to look into ourselves to see the pieces we are missing from our own hearts. Berninger’s low vocals are incredibly haunting while accompanying the light guitar work and drum patterns. Such a great collection of music to remember this
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That’s a wrap for this year! The SB Noise staff wishes you all a Happy New Year!