I'm pretty late on this one but I got some last minute suggestions from friends that I had to consider before making the final call. While last year was a little more on the electronic side, my favorite things swayed more toward rock and alternative in 2013. Be sure to click any of the favorite track links if you want to hear (and in some cases see the video) on Youtube. Without further ado:
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
This was the first Yea Yea Yeas album I ever actually gave a full listen to and I got into it. It's dark and heavy for the most part I can get down with that. The title track Mosquito was very close to being my favorite song of 2013 and you'll find some. Be sure to check the video for Mosquito as well; it's pretty freakin' weird.
9. David August - Times
I mostly liked this album because on some levels it is just kinda weird (in a good way). Electronic beats that might sound cheesy at first can blend into some really interesting vocals and/or harmonies. This is one of the more electronic albums on my list, which hasn't seen a ton of electronic lately.
8. Bonobo - The North Borders
Bonobo is one of my favorite artists and in my opinion owns his genre (trip hop/downtempo) at the moment. While The North Borders was a bit underwhelming to me compared to his other albums it still easily made my top ten and if you can you should do your best to see him when he plays with a live band.
7. Kiev - Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth
While I am not a huge fan of jam bands I really like this band. They aren't full on jam band but they have that kind of vibe and sound; just a hint. Maybe that is why I like it so much. A unique sound and a chill vibe that I can definitely get down with. I hope to get to see these guys live this year.
6. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
When I first heard that Trent Reznor was coming out with a new NiN album I was not really that excited. The most recent two or three albums were horrid in my opinion. When I first heard Hesitation marks I rejoiced because it finally got back to that original NiN sound I loved from albums like Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral. Certainly not the most uplifting music but I'll always have a place for it.
5. Tone of Arc - The Time Was Right
We saw a lot of artists that would be considered producers and DJ's venture and out do a lot more live stuff in 2013. There were more albums that included live instruments rather than just samples and mixes and i saw several great shows the incorporated live instruments at "DJ" clubs. I LOVE it. Tone of Arc to me falls into the category of artists that are no longer sticking to the computers and knobs but branching out into the live realm. It helps give electronic music which to me at times is too robotic, a more human feeling.
4. Jagwar Ma - Howlin
I totally crushed this album as soon as it came out. This 3 piece group out of Austria are described as a "psychedelic dance band" on wikipedia and I think that fits the bill. This is one of the more different albums I heard this year and I like different. It's got a modern vibe that is energetic at times but also so chill. I feel like you could put it on in many a social situation and people would dig it, or at least get a rise out of it.
3. Portugal the Man - Evil Friends
This band has been around for a while (8 albums!) but I only just discovered them due to this album. This one caught by ear because it was produced by Brian Burton (aka Dangermouse of the Grey Album and Gnarls Barkley fame). I knew it was Dangermouse as soon as I heard the first song. I really like his sound and this band is perfect for it. The jams on this album are so catchy. Semi-cheesy anthems that just fit with bobby beats and crunchy riffs with some great lyrics on top. Throw this one on and enjoy.
2 Arcade Fire - Reflektor
It not only has my favorite track of 2013 but it is one of those albums that you hear something new every time you listen to it. Also, I didn't even LIKE Arcade Fire before this album! This album is so good that their previous albums could be pure shit (they aren't) and I would still love it. I can bounce around each track listening for things I might not have heard the time before; oh and listen to Reflektor on repeat 8 times, that too. Also, Supersymmetry is a track that builds and descends better than anything I've heard in a while.
1. Savages - Silence Yourself
I listened to this album more than any other in 2013, and I only found out about it in late summer. At work, in the car, before yoga, at the supermarket, over, and over again. Just something about the energy of this band got me really good. I haven't heard punk vibes like this in a while. Bonus: I got to see them a few months ago.