K’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

Looking at this list, I clearly had a dark, introspective year. So, there’s that. –@kerryrm

Still Corners – Strange Pleasures
Continuing what they started on Creatures Of An Hour, Still Corners deliver more of the same ethereal dream pop that I can’t resist. Strange Pleasures is like the soundtrack to a long drive across a desolate plain reflecting on a cracked and abandoned life. RIYL: Beach House, Chromatics

Forest Swords – Engravings
On one of my favorite labels, Tri Angle, Forest Swords’ Engravings has a tinge of “witch house” and at times reminds me of a more mellow, less methodical oOoOO. These tracks are a hazy, introspective and meandering collection of samples, atmospherics, field recordings and minimal beats.

Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe
I knew nothing of Julianna Barwick until I heard Nepenthe and for weeks after I could listen to nothing but this album. It was like a drug. The songs build on her lushly layered vocals, creating a kind of vocal analog to Music for Airports. RIYL: Sheila Chandra’s The Zen Kiss, Sigur Rós, Cocteau Twins
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k’s Top Albums of 2012 (@kerryrm)

Wild Nothing – Nocturne
Like M83’s Saturdays = Youth, Wild Nothing’s Nocturne tugs at the heartstrings of my ’80s childhood and my ’90s twee indie pop infatuation.

Tennis – Young & Old
This album makes me want to lay in the grass on a sunny Summer day with nothing to do.

Marina & The Diamonds – Electra Heart
I am a sucker for a British chanteuse with a broken heart and a dark, wry wit backed by over-produced club-ready beats.

DIIV – Oshin
I hear elements of Ride, The Cure, and a slew of other “dream pop” bands I’ve loved for years.

Chromatics – Kill For Love
It is dark, seductive and preys on all my weaknesses like the perfect temptress.

Kaki King – Glow
Gorgeous guitar instrumentals that will break your heart over and over.

Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Raucous, unapologetic straight forward guitar-based indie rock with heart and soul.

Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Catchy power-pop with nods to early Emo as well as Jawbreaker, et al.

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
Over-produced, over-hyped vapid and trite pop exactly how it should be done.

Saint Etienne – Words and Music
A synth laden dance-floor album about being in love with music.

Top Singles*
Breaking the YearlingsShearwater
Lost in My BedroomSky Ferreira
Feels Like We Only Go BackwardsTame Impala
EmmylouFirst Aid Kit
Losing YouSolange
ThreadsNow Now
Silver SpringLykke Li
Atomic AgeParlour Tricks
I Wanna Go OutTeen Mom
OKAY CupidKitty Pryde
DreamersSavoir Adore
Disparate YouthSantigold
HeartbreakerThe Walkmen
212Azealia Banks

(*My personal rule is that my top singles can’t be on any of the albums in my top album list.)

Kerry’s previous lists: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

The Faint – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC (12.5.12)

I still remember the very first time I heard Blank Wave Arcade. It was in the Fall of 1999. We had received it as a promo for review. Eric knew right away that I would love it. And fall in love I did. 13 years later it is still one of my all-time favorite albums, combining my unabashed love of synths, drum machines, and 3 minute songs. How I managed to make it 13 years without seeing The Faint is a mystery. Tours never seemed to line up with my nomadic proclivities. But, I’m happy to say it was well worth the wait. In addition to blazing through Danse Macabre, the subject of reissue and remastering and the raison de tour, the band treated the packed club to classics such as Mote (a Sonic Youth cover), Call Call and the sing-along Worked Up So Sexual. Wrapping up the evening with crowd pleasers I Disappear, and Paranoiattack. The very appreciative crowd spanned several generations, linked by a love of this band from Omaha who alone have managed to blend the punk ethos with new wave sensibilities for over a decade now.

Savoir Adore

I have no idea how this slipped through the cracks this year, but I’m looking forward to listening to it on repeat until the end of the year.