This is a 2013 my top ten albums of 2013. Granted, I know that my top ten won’t mean much but maybe you will find something here that you like and haven’t heard before. I like pretty much anything with good lyrics and/or banjo. I think my dance background has made me appreciate music so much and has definitely allowed me to enjoy all genres of music and I am really grateful for that. I hope you find something here that you like, Enjoy!
10. The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles
Eureka, California, United States
Release Date: July 12, 2013
This Grammy nominee grabbed most with her biggest single “Love Song”. Sara Bareilles has a beautiful voice and her songs run in the vein of dance and pop.
I chose “Brave” from The Blessed Unrest because it’s an awesome song about being you and saying what you want to say. Not to mention the video for it is absolutely wonderful so I had to include it.
9. Native by OneRepublic
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Release Date: March 26, 2013
This alternative rock band from Colorado has had my heart for a while now. I did a contemporary solo to “Say” from their album Dreaming Out Loud a few years back. The band includes Ryan Tedder (vocals, guitar, piano and keyboard), Zach Filkins (guitar and viola), Drew Brown (guitar, keyboard and drums), Eddie Fisher (drums, guitar and glockenspiel), Brent Kutzle (bass guitar, cello, guitar, keyboard and piano).
I fell for “Counting Stars”, the first track on Native, the instant I heard it. It is a very catchy song and I absolutely love the vocals.
8. Fall of Romance by Imaginary Cities
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Release Date: May 28, 2013
An indie band from my hometown, am I bias? Maybe, but once you have a listen you will realize that Imaginary Cities is a talented group. Imaginary Cities is made up of Marti Sarbit (vocals), Rusty Matyas (multi-instrumentalist), Ryan Voth (drums) and David Landreth (bass). In 2013 they released their second album Fall of Romance. The vocals of Marti Sarbit are incredible, my jaw hit the floor the first time I heard her voice when they opened for The Weakerthans in Winnipeg a few years back.
“Bells of Cologne” is the third track on their second album Fall of Romance and the drums on the track are pretty wicked. You also get a good taste of Marti Sarbit’s soulful voice.
7. When It Was Now by Atlas Genius
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Release Date: February 19, 2013
The first time I heard Atlas Genius was when they opened for Imagine Dragons in Winnipeg earlier this year. I was taken with their charm, these guys can work a crowd. This Australian indie rock band consists of brothers Keith Jeffery (vocals and guitar) and Michael Jeffery (drums) as well as Darren Sell (keyboard).
When It Was Now is full of great music but “If So” grabbed me right away. The guitar and keyboards work really well together throughout this track creating a really great sound.
6. Halcyon Days by Ellie Goulding
London, Britain, United Kingdom
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Ellie Goulding, the beautiful songstress from London re-released her second album titled Halcyon Days. The BRIT Award winner is described as pop and dance. Her voice is very different, it’s soft yet powerful.
I fell in love with “Lights” the first time I heard it. The song I am sharing from Halcyon Days was on the bonus disc in the repackaged album called “Burn”. It really is a feel good track and it makes you want to dance.
5. Pure Heroine by Lorde
Mount Eden North, Auckland, New Zealand
Release Date: September 27, 2013
This young lady is just wonderful. I’ve got a some Aussies on this list but none as young as this one. At the age of 17 Lorde is wildly popular and incredibly mature, not only in voice but in lyrics as well. Her voice is very strong and she uses it to her advantage throughout the album. Her music is described as rock, alternative and electronic. Her voice has so much range and from the moment I heard “Royals” I knew she’d be big.
“Tennis Court” is the first track on Pure Heroine and it’s very catchy. I enjoy how she plays with her voice and the beat of the music. This song quickly became a favourite from the album.
4. Let’s Be Still by The Head and the Heart
Seattle, Washington, United States
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
The indie rock band The Head and the Heart consists of Charity Rose Thielen (violin and vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (piano), and Tyler Williams (drums). I haven’t been too familiar with this band but their new album Let’s Be Still is pretty great. It’s the kind of album you listen to on the dock at the lake, it has a very relaxed summer feel to it and at this time of year we are all looking for a bit of warmth.
I am a sucker for the lyrics in most songs but I really fell for the music in “Another Story”, the violin and vocals really make this song.
3. Hawaiii by Said the Whale
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Said the Whale is a JUNO award-winning alternative and indie rock band from Vancouver made up of Ben Worcester (guitar and vocals), Tyler Bancroft (guitar and vocals), Spencer Schoening (drums), Nathan Shaw (bass) and Jaycelyn Brown (keyboards). I was really lucky to see this group live in Winnipeg a few weeks ago. I hadn’t really listened to the new album very much but after going to the show it was all I listened to for 3 weeks. A song that stood out on Hawaiii for me was “Helpless Son” which is about Tyler’s mom and her battle with cancer.
The song I instantly fell for was “Mother”, when they played it at their show they just looked like they were having the greatest time and that really brought me into the song. It’s also really fun to sing at the top of your lungs in the car…
2. Heart of Nowhere by Noah and the Whale
London, Britain, United Kingdom
Release Date: May 6, 2013
This British band first graced my ears with “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” and I have been smitten ever since. The indie rock group is made up of Charlie Fink (vocals and guitar), Tom Hobden (Violin and keys), Matt Owens (bass guitar), Fred Abbott (guitar and keys), and Michael Petulla (drums). They released their new album Heart of Nowhere in May.
The violin in “Heart of Nowhere”, the title track on their third album, is UNREAL! I go crazy for it every time I hear this song.
1. Magpie and the Dandelion by The Avett Brothers
Concord, North Carolina, United States
Release Date: October 15, 2013
From Concord, North Carolina The Avett Brothers are described as bluegrass, folk, indie and roots. The band is made up of brothers Scott Avett (vocals, banjo and kick drum) and Seth Avett (vocals, guitar and high-hat) and to round out the band there is Bob Crawford (vocals and bass), Paul Defiglia (keyboard and organ), Joe Kwon (cello) and Mike Marsh (drums). They are very captivating live, and I think everyone enjoyed them at the Winnipeg Folk Festival this past summer.
The album is definitely more tame than the album artwork, but just as vibrant. They just use all of their instrumental talents so well throughout. The song I chose to share was “Bring Your Love to Me” from Magpie and the Dandelion because I am a sucker for the guitar in this song but what really makes the song for me, of course, is the banjo.
Share your 2013 songs in the comments I always love finding new music! So for now I leave you with my 2013 playlist that includes my top ten plus 10 other songs from 2013. Enjoy!