Top 50 Albums of 2013 Part 1: Pop/Electronic

It’s that time of year again. Time to take a look back on all the amazing music that has come out this year. Like the last couple of years we’ll put all our favorites by category and alphabetize them first, then do a top 25 ranking. So here is all our favorite pop/electronic albums of the year, alphabetically.

Akron/Family – Sub Verses

Beacon – The Ways We Seperate

The Besnard Lakes – Until Excess, Imperceptible UFO

Boats – A Fairway Full of Miners

Camp Counselors – Huntress

Chrome Sparks – Sparks EP

Gold Panda – Half of Where You Live

Helado Negro – Invisible Life

Indians – Somewhere Else

Jamaican Queens – Wormfood

Javelin – Hi Beams

Lorde – Pure Heroine

Majical Cloudz – Impersonator

Odesza – My Friends Never Die

Pacific Air – Stop Talking

Pure Bathing Culture – Moon Tides

Radiation City – Animals in the Median

Saint Rich – Beyond the Drone

Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now

Still Corners – Strange Pleasure

Teen Daze – Glacier

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – We the Common

Typhoon – White Lighter

Washed Out – Paracosm

Wild Nothing – Empty Estate

Wild Ones – Keep It Safe

Young Galaxy – Ultramarine

Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse

Live at Holocene: Boats

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Last night Holocene hosted Winnipeg powerhouse Boats, with the fresh sounds of Portland folks WL and Great Wilderness. The Holocene is responsible for some awesome shows with fun, intimate atmospheres on random nights of the week, like Sundays, when everyone else is at home watching Walking Dead.

First up, Great Wilderness sounds like Joanna Newsom’s voice on Sam Beam’s fingers, hauntingly beautiful and with a deep empathy for nature. The growing and cascading harmonies of two female vocals are accompanied by organic folky guitars and rhythmn. Their debut, Rest EP was just released in 2011, which makes it seem less ridiculous that Great Wilderness isn’t gigantic, yet. Check out a track from their new album The Enemy, out soon.

Next up on the bill was Houndstooth, one of Portland’s extremely talented songcrafters, but there was a last minute change to feature their side project WL (pronounced “Well well”) instead. The guys rock super hard too. Live, they sound like a female-led Joy Division, and on record like a My Bloody Valentine clone. These elements of overstated fuzzy droning new wave compositions and classic 3-piece rock and roll dynamism make WL a great listen.

Killing Sasquatch recently caught wind of what Boats is accomplishing with their new album, a Fairway Full of Miners, and we like it immensely. From the snowswept Northern plains of Manitoba, which has produced such other deeply sincere and well-written acts such as The Weakerthans, Boats represents the absurdist’s solution to realistic crises. Their music is dense with abstraction and whimsy, but strangely compassionate and focused too. Suggested on long introspective walks through your inner sub-conscious, and at dance parties between the capacity of 4 and 40, Boats is chicken chili for the modern soul.

Boats

Here is a brand new album from Winnipeg band Boats. A Fairway Full Of Miners is unbelievably poppy and very well written. Their sound is made up of synth lines that sound like they’re coming from an ’80s arcade and a lead singer’s vocals that are on the soprano side of the scale. But there’s also extremely catchy bass lines and jangly guitar riffs throughout the album. A Fairway Full Of Miners starts off with “Animated GIFs,” that have background vocals singing “And all your friends will turn to shit.” So there are themes that have to do with growing up and becoming more responsible. It’s a great album so be sure to listen to “Great Skulls,” “We Got Tables And Chairs,” and “Getting Worse.jpeg.” Boats will be playing Holocene on March 3rd.

Another new release this week is Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s We The Common. This local Portland band has such a cool folky pop-rock feel to them. Not to mention Thao’s voice is sultry and poppy and great to listen to. The album is a great listen, almost like a soundtrack to an indie romantic comedy movie. My favorite songs are the opening “We The Common” and “City.”