December 31, 2013

Records of the Year: 2013

Here are my top 5 in reverse order, followed by another dozen or so.

FIVE. HAIM: Days Are Gone. If you follow me anywhere, it's no secret I think this song is one of the best musical moments of the year:

FOUR. Sleeping At Last: Atlas. Ryan is always pushing the envelope. I never get tired of hearing the creative string arrangements, or extremely thoughtful melodies. But what I mostly appreciate about Ryan's music is that it just makes me feel.

THREE. Local Natives: Hummingbird. These guys are just good musicians and good songwriters.

TWO. The National: Trouble Will Find Me. I wasn't sure if "High Violet" could be topped, but these are great songs.

ONE. Volcano Choir: Repave. These songs pull on my heart strings really heavily. The line "Can't believe your father left his land" from "Alaskans" gets me choked up almost every time.

And in no particular order:

  • Phoenix: Bankrupt. Although it's not nearly as strong as Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, it's a really strong effort. And their Blogotheque videos were pretty special. Buy it here.

  • Gregory Alan Isakov: The Weatherman. When this record released, I wore it out. Wore it out! It has a calming effect. Buy it here. (And I am excited to show you our SerialBox session coming with him soon.)

  • Phil Wickham: The Ascension. Phil and Pete put so much thought into these songs and how they are presented to you. It's really a work of art. Buy it here.

  • Washed Out: Paracosm. In the early fall, this record was a productivity go-to. I love the ethereal nature of it. Buy it here.

  • The Lone Bellow: The Lone Bellow. "Brooklyn Country" is a fitting genre description for The Lone Bellow. For me, they also fall in the genre of people that you simply want to win. And the lyric, "A tree I'll grow to let you know my love is older than my soul" ... are you kidding me?! GOLD! Buy it here. And check out the SerialBox session here.

  • Gungor: I Am Mountain. I listened to this record for a month straight. A totally fresh batch of songs. Totally eclectic and totally perfect. Buy it here.

  • Active Child: Rapor EP. Consistent. This EP he released this year is a staple in our home. Buy it here.

  • Hillsong United: Zion. Seeing the live version of these songs in April was special. Buy it here.

  • Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City. Hard not to give props to these guys for a great collection. Buy it here.

  • Junip: Junip. Subtle tension & melancholy. Crossed off the list of bands I wanted to see live. José did not disappoint. Buy it here.

  • Daughter: If You Leave. One of the clearest and most hauntingly beautiful female voices in music. Buy it here.

  • Trent Dabbs: The Way We Look at Horses. One of Nashville's finest. Just enough twang. Just enough folk. Love it. Buy it here.

  • CHVRCHES: The Bones of What You Believe. I was a latecomer to the CHVRCHES party, but their show sealed the deal as a fan. Buy it here.

  • Night Beds: Country Sleep. A certain "wallowing" sound that strikes a chord in me. Excited to release our SerialBox session with them too. Buy it here.

For a Spotify playlist / compilation of my favorites from records throughout this list, go here.

Some great EPs from the year:

(If you're interested in last year's list, go here. Additionally, this is my public apology to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for not including The Heist last year. Buy it here!)

September 3, 2013 – San Diego, California

Links: September 3, 2013

Hope you all had an awesome Labor Day weekend!

  • SerialBox Presents: Season 2 released last week and we are so excited to have it out. All of the sessions turned out really great, and here is a peak of Noah Gundersen's:

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  • My friend Mike Foster released his newest project, Freeway, this past week! I hope you get a chance to check it out.

  • Last but not least, thanks to everyone who "liked" the photo I posted on Facebook over the last week for the Hughes Marino contest. We won and will be sitting in the front section at the Padres game tonight. Look for me on TV!

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