T for Tom

2013 Midseason Review of Music

Posted in Uncategorized by johnsontoms on June 19, 2013

This is the time where I act like I know what’s up and tell you what’s good, based purely on my singular, biased perspective.  But how is that any different than anyone else?  The following list is all the stuff I’ve acquired and listened to, with a few anticipated releases I know are coming up, then I attempt to rank them.

2013 LPs

The 1975 – The 1975 [& EPs]

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “Lost Songs”

The Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

The Arctic Monkeys – “AM”

Atoms For Peace – “Amok”

Bad Suns – “Cardiac Arrest” [Single]

Devendra Banhart – “Mala”

Beady Eye – “Be”

Boards of Canada – “Tomorrow’s Harvest”

David Bowie – “The Next Day”

The Boxer Rebellion – Promises

Camera Obscura – “Desire Lines”

Capital Cities – “Tidal Waves of Mystery”

Neko Case – “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You” …editor’s note: I think Fiona Apple still wins the long title award with “The Idler Wheel…”

The Civil Wars – “The Civil Wars”

Cold War Kids – “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts”

Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”

Dr. Dog – “B-Room”

Eisley – “Currents”

Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Wise Up Ghost & Other Songs”

Empire of the Sun – “Ice On The Dune”

Fitz & The Tantrums – “More Than Just a Dream”

Fossil Collective – “Tell Me Where I Lie”

Franz Ferdinand – “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action”

John Frusciante – “Outsides” EP

Goo Goo Dolls – “Magnetic” – don’t judge me.

Grouplove – “Spreading Rumors”

Haim – “Days Are Gone”

Ben Harper – “Get Up!”

Hanson – “Anthem”

Heavenly Beat – “Complete”

Hurts – “Exile”

I Can Make a Mess… – “Enola”

Jay-Z – “Magna Carta Holy Grail” – what a disappoint.

Jimmy Eat World – “Damage”

Jack Johnson – “From Here To Now To You”

Junip – “Junip”

Iron+Wine – “Ghost On Ghost”

Jim James – “Regions of Light and Sound”

Kaskade – “Atmosphere”

Kings of Leon – “Mechanical Bull” …noteworthy: all KoL albums are 5 syllables.

The Knife – “Shaking The Habitual”

Little Green Cars – “Absolute Zero”

John Mayer – “Paradise Valley”

Nine Inch Nails – “Hesitation Marks”

The Olms – “The Olms”

Phoenix – “Bankrupt!”

The Preatures – “Is This How You Feel?” EP

Queens Of The Stone Age – “…Like Clockwork”

Rhye – “Woman”

Rodeo Queen – “Goodness Gracious”

Said The Whale – “hawaiii”

Sigur Ros – “Kveikur”

Snowden – “No One Is In Control”

Sound City – “Sound City” [Dave Grohl & Friends]

St. Lucia – “When In Night”

The Strokes – “Comedown Machine”

Justin Timberlake – “The 20/20 Experience”

Justin Timberlake – “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2”

Travis – “Where You Stand”

Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City”

Washed Out – “Paracosm”

The Weeknd – “Kiss Land”

Kanye West – “Yeezus”

Denison Witmer – “Denison Witmer”

YeahYeahYeahs – “Mosquito”

**as yet unreleased, confirmed for 2013

Albums, loosely ranked –

Sigur Ros – “Kveikur” – This is everything you’ve already loved about Sigur Ros put through a sinister, dark filter.  Sigur Ros continues to be the most sonically brilliant and creative group of our generation, coming up on all-time.

John Mayer – “Paradise Valley” – after trying to hard to assume a new identity with “Born & Raised,” Mayer translates that same Slowhand-country-smoothness into a set of songs that is uniquely, honestly, and purely his own.  A favorite.

Kanye West – “Yeezus” – I’m not sure how a man bordering on clinical issues (calls himself Yeezus) can continue to do this, but with every album Kanye Yeezy Yeezus paves the new path forward in hip-hop.  This is his Kid-A, listeners beware.

The National – “Trouble Will Find Me” – So I caved and listened to everyone say “The National is the best this year” and maybe they were right.

Rhye – “Woman

Rodeo Queen – “Goodness Gracious” – Debut release doesn’t disappoint.

Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City” – captures a mood so well.


“Me” by The 1975 – I don’t think this song will be dethroned.  Anthemic, nostalgic, elegiac, sweeping, aural, phenomenal.

“Is This How You Feel?” by The Preatures – it’s every decade of Rock’n’Roll rolled into one big, dancing garage-vibe good time.  Probably will overtake the 1975 for the crown.

“Helen Hunt” by Vampire Weekend – So fucking beautiful, prophetic, delicate.

“Farah Fawcett Hair” by Capital Cities – it’s a list of “good shit” that you’ll know when you see like “Farah Fawcett’s Hair” and Andre 3000 just lists awesome shit over some dope electronic dance beats.  I mean, c’mon.

“The Magpie” by Fossil Collective – This year’s feel good folk anthem.

“Give Life Back to Music” by Daft Punk – I’ve literally listened danced to this song over 1,000 times already.

“This Is The Last Time” by The National – For how to write a good song, see this one.

“The Fall” by Rhye – Still one of the best even for an early release in the year.

“Lost in Blue” – Rodeo Queen – the payoff at the end is the most delicate moment in music this year.