I gave some serious thought to not doing one of these this year. Back when I started this, keeping up with new music was a much bigger part of my life. I would listen to, or at least sample, 100+ albums in a given year, and I always felt like my year-end list was relatively well-informed. This has always been an illusion, of course, but it used to be an illusion that was easy enough to maintain. Not so any more. This year, I may have listened to 20-30 albums, and most of those just kind of washed over me, getting swept out of my brain as soon as they ended. The list of albums — or songs even — that managed to get a foothold in my grey matter and set up residence there was very short indeed. I’m not sure if this is because my brain is already over-crowded with tunes and there isn’t room for any more, or if it’s just life and having a baby and becoming the oldest of the old, but, for whatever reason, I found less music that really grabbed me than in any year I can remember.

But, a few concerned citizens have asked where the list is (thank you, friends). And, after looking into it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were easily 30 to 40 songs I really enjoyed from this year, and I still had a hard time paring my list down to the final 22. So, here are some songs . . . in a list. It is not the best list, but it is hopefully also not the worst. Whatever it is, it is my list, and these are the songs that I enjoyed from 2013.

But, first, here is Geoffrey’s playlist from 2013:

  1. “What Does The Fox Say?”
  2. “What Does The Farmer Say?”
  3. “What Does Mama Say?”
  4. “Mama? . . . Baba?”
  5. “Trrrrrruck! Trrrractor!”
  6. “Da da da da da da da” (This one was my favorite.)
  7. “Mmmmmmmmmmm” (Said while bouncing up and down. Not to be confused with “Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm” by Crash Test Dummies)
  8. “Deck the Halls” by Mannheim Steamroller. This kid is seriously crazy for some Mannheim Steamroller.

Favorite albums in no particular order:

  1. Lucius – Wildewoman
  2. Tame Impala – Lonerism Yes, this is a 2012 album, but, just, be cool for once.
  3. Telekinesis – Dormarion
  4. Josh Ritter – The Beast in Its Tracks
  5. The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars
  6. Ivan & Alyosha – All the Times We Had
  7. Over the Rhine – Meet Me at the Edge of the World. I know I said in no particular order, but this is number two for me, but it’s not quite . . .

Album of the Year:

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Just a very satisfying album, musically at least. It’s always nice to see a really talented person or group of people deliver on their potential. This is the album we’ve always hoped Vampire Weekend were capable of, full of gorgeous melodies, tight harmonies, excellent musicianship, and challenging lyrics. I doubt Ezra Koenig and I would agree on very much if we ever met, but there’s no questioning his songwriting skills.

Here is the playlist. I usually spend some time organizing the songs to flow together like, you know, a playlist, but I’m lazy and it’s already January 13, so feel free to reshuffle these songs on your spotify playlist or whatever as you see fit. Here you go:

  1. Lucius – “Wildewoman” A big shout-out to Jon and Shannon for tuning me in to these guys (and girls).
  2. Vampire Weekend – “Step”
  3. Daft Punk – “Get Lucky” I was not as crazy about this album as some people, but I did like this song. You should also check out the San Cisco cover; mighty nice.
  4. Cold War Kids – “Miracle Mile”
  5. Phoenix – “The Real Thing”
  6. Jake Bugg – “Lightning Bolt” Yes, this song was in a Nike commercial. So, I watch a lot of sports.
  7. Tame Impala – ”Apocalypse Dreams” Song of the Year. I could listen to this song on repeat forever and ever. And shut up again about the 2012 thing.
  8. The National – “This Is the Last Time”
  9. Ponderosa – “Navajo” Or is it “Ponderosa” by Navajo?
  10. Over the Rhine – “All Over Ohio” Has my favorite lyric of 2013, “And I still get shivers when I hear you singing down the hall.” I, too, still get shivers when I hear my sweetie singing.
  11. Telekinesis – “Ghosts and Creatures”
  12. The Civil Wars – “Dust to Dust”
  13. Josh Ritter – “New Lover”
  14. Hollow & Akimbo – “Singularity”
  15. Matt Pond – “Love to Get Used”
  16. Pyyramids – “Do You Think You’re Enough?” Not sure what’s going on with the spelling. Maybe Cheops the Great threatened to sue them for trademark infringement.
  17. Ivan & Alyosha – “Running for Cover”
  18. Charles Bradley – “Strictly Reserved for You” Bradley is a great story. He did odd jobs for years before signing with Dunham Records in 2002 at age 53. Also, he records for Dunham Records! How cool is that?
  19. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – “Timekeeper”
  20. Pickwick – “Lady Luck”
  21. He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister – “Same Old Ground”
  22. The Silver Lake Chorus – “From the Snow-Tipped Hills”

What music did you guys love in 2013? What are you looking forward to this year?

I hope you all have a blessed 2014 that is full of beauty and wonder. Love you guys!