in this segment, i present my annual list of albums that were pretty great, but that i couldn’t be bothered to rank. 2013 was an enormously great year for music, and i’m still reveling in that fact during the early hours of 2014. the following handful of albums are presented in alphabetical order to save any clamoring; check them out.
keep shelly in athens – at home: the most striking aspect of at home was how dark and desolate the album was able to be. front-loaded with infectious grooves like “oostende” and “flyway,” at home slows down with tracks like “madmen love” and “sails,” creating a truly polarizing album. keep shelly in athens brought their a-game in 2013, and will continue to do so over the next year.
london grammar – if you wait: a super-arresting body of work from a trio of brits, if you wait is a sleeper album that has london grammar poised to break out in 2014. hannah reid’s voice is nothing short of lush, and the instrumentation behind tracks like “stay awake” and “strong” recalls the winning downtempo formulas of the xx. seriously, a band to watch.
radiator hospital – something wild: sam cook-parrott writes music befitting for fans of waxahatchee and swearin’, understandable since he hangs out with the crutchfield sisters on the regular. radiator hospital’s newest album is chock-full of lo-fi garage pop songs that are often insanely catchy and always incredibly well-written; “our song” will make you dance the first time you hear it and listen intently on subsequent spins.
washed out – paracosm: ernest greene’s second album as washed out is a lush exploration of organic sound. after largely using electronic elements to create his 2011 debut within & without, greene stuck with a bevy of vintage keyboards and synthesizers on paracosm, resulting in a much more psychedelic texture.