We all have that friend who talks incessantly about how they relate to Twenty One Pilots on a spiritual level, then ask you if you’ve heard “that new one from Suicide Squad.” They appear to listen to “Chocolate” by The 1975 on a loop on Spotify, with a brief intermission of Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” They drone on about how they are literally obsessed with Imagine Dragons and can’t wait for fall just so they can play “Sweater Weather” on their new record player as they down their third Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL if you’re edgy).
A summer album released in the middle of winter, the bright tones and short song constructions present the band’s most accessible album to date. Animal Collective’s tenth studio album, Painting With, is the ‘punchy’ pop album my girlfriend still wouldn’t listen to.
If you were to travel back in time to the year 1968 and cryogenically freeze the guys of The Band, only to wake them up in the year 2015, you’d probably find them hanging out with the members of Houndmouth. Both groups are harmony heavy, folk-funk powerhouses. While The Band spent a whole bunch of years touring with legends like Bob Dylan, and recording a massive repertoire of legendary jams, Houndmouth is just now coming up out of Indiana with their second album, Little Neon Limelight, dropping on Rough Trade earlier this week.
2013 has been a year of marvelous releases. A few personal favorites have been Kanye’s Yeezus, James Blake’s Overgrown, Streetlight Manifesto’s The Hands That Thieve, and Daft Punk’s triumphant return with Random Access Memories, but these don’t even begin to comprise a complete highlight list. Coming up with my list of Top Albums for the year is going to be an intensive process and I’m looking forward to it; in between debating the merits of different albums, I get to listen to all of them again. It’s going to be something truly magical. A much easier list to make, though, is my favorite albums of the semester. While a lot of the heavy hitters for the year were released outside of that time period, there’s a great amount of quality for just these ~3 months. In my opinion, these were the cream of the crop (presented in alphabetical order by artist). [Read more…]