top 10s of 2013

It’s been a while since my last musical listicle, but for posterity, here are the top ten artists, albums, and tracks of 2013, as measured by Not much to add for commentary, except that * indicates artists with new albums.

Top Artists

  1. Josh Ritter*
  2. Matt & Kim
  3. JJAMZ
  4. Beirut
  5. Matt Costa*
  6. Arcade Fire* — Though Reflektor is unbelievably tedious.
  7. The Walkmen
  8. Metric
  9. Tokyo Police Club
  10. She & Him*

Top Albums

  1. Josh Ritter • The Beast In Its Tracks* — A really earnest account of the demise of his marriage, and his recovery from the aftermath.
  2. JJAMZ • Suicide Pact — I’ve become a sucker for 80s-throwback pop with distorted synth. But I draw the line on 80s nostalgia at Haim, whom I just can’t get into.
  3. The Walkmen • Heaven — Weird that this appeared so low. I realized with this album that I basically grew up a step behind Hamilton Leithauser & Co., and that Heaven is my queue that I’m a grown-up, too.
  4. Matt & Kim • Lightning — A side effect of my working for a company in the music industry, they turned out to be really nice people, and this is a really fun album.
  5. Matt Costa • Matt Costa* — After years of being heckled by, I finally listened to his new, self-titled album. My wife refuses to believe that he is not a Nick Drake-influenced time traveler from 1970, and that’s pretty much why I enjoy this album.
  6. Metric • Synthetica — It’s an album that goes back to their darker electronica roots and has held up surprisingly well.
  7. She & Him • Volume 3* — Not sure if I’m tired of their sound, or if this album is naturally underwhelming. But it just didn’t get into my iTunes rotation as often as Volumes One or Two.
  8. Capital Cities • In A Tidal Wave of Mystery* — This is proof that I’ve drifted a long way from the days in college when I was pulled between the disparate influences of Eric and Kari. So much dance pop.
  9. Neon Indian • Era Extraña — Ditto. Thanks a lot, Nimisha.
  10. CHVRCHES • The Bones of What You Believe* — My new thing is pronouncing the “V” in CHVRCHES. They are possibly the first band to choose their name by search engine optimization.

Top Tracks

In the format {Track • Arist • Album}. Limited to one track per artist.

  1. Synthetica • Metric • Synthetica
  2. Heartbeat • JJAMZ • Suicide Pact — MySpace didn’t get me to use their service again with their reintroduction video/ad, but they did give me a new artist.
  3. We Can’t Be Beat • The Walkmen • Heaven
  4. Bushwick Blues • Delta Spirit • History From Below
  5. Jesus, Etc. • Wilco • Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  6. Mr. November • The National • Alligator
  7. Breakneck Speed • Tokyo Police Club • Champ
  8. MoneyGrabber • Fitz & The Tantrums • Pickin’ Up the Pieces
  9. Rox in the Box • The Decemberists • The King Is Dead
  10. Keep the Car Running • Arcade Fire • Neon Bible


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