Best Alternative Music of 2013

December 31, 2013

These songs are some of my personal favorites from 2013. In no particular order:

images1) “It Wants What It Wants” by Andrew Belle
It’s always great to find an artist that you’ve never heard of before in a genre of music that is relatively foreign to you. Andrew Belle was that artist for me in 2013. Listening to this track from his August release Black Bear never fails to calm me down and put me in a good mood. The atmosphere of the song is ethereal.

2) “Keepsake” by Balance and Composure
There’s always a sort of tension behind waiting to hear a band’s sophomore record after a dauntingly successful debut, and on their follow-up record, Balance and Composure were able to impress with a plethora of tracks with guitar-heavy, lyrically deep, and dark moods, best exemplified by this track “Keepsake.”

Unknown3) “Pompeii” by Bastille
Rarely do I hear a song on the radio that I thoroughly enjoy, but Bastille has created an exception. This track is both commercially accessible and universally enjoyable. The chorus is catchy yet not too reminiscent of any other top 40 single, and the lyrics for this song aren’t unnecessarily explicit garbage. “Pompeii” is just a feel-good jam.

4) “The Summer” by Citizen
This record has shot Citizen into the alternative music scene with full force, and this single from their 2013 release Youth is the perfect example as to why the band has gained so much popularity. The song’s pensive lyrics, swaying vibes, and dark atmosphere make for a captivating listen.

TCAS PROMO5) “Graves” by The Color and Sound
This song is an absolute party, and not to mention one of the unique songs I’ve heard in a long time. This track combines elements of folk, indie, alternative, all wrapped up with a wonderfully catchy poppy chorus. And there’s a banjo. What’s not to love?

6) “To the Sun” by Grandview
Even from a biased perspective, this song is just impressive. “To the Sun” captures the overall lyrical depth and stylistic complexity of Grandview’s new record and highlights just how much they have grown as a band.

images7) “Ways to Go” by Grouplove
I recommended this as a ‘Dig It, Devils!’ post a few weeks back, and this song is still as a bumpin’ and fun as it was then. This song is perfect for one of those mediocre days when you just need to be cheered up.

8) “In On It” by Daylight
From the perspective of an avid listener of 90s music like myself, this song and this record hits close to home. This song is brooding as it is wonderfully grungy.

9) “Hands” by Moving Mountains
I am a fan of songs with dreamscape-esque repetitive sections that build, build, and build some more throughout, and this song delivers on just that. I am also a fan of post-rock influence alternative music, and this song by Moving Mountains satisfies on all fronts creating an easy and enjoyable listen.

Unknown10) “There, There” by The Wonder Years
Watching a band that you were once not really a fan of prove you wrong with a new song or album is always an interesting situation, especially in the case of the Wonder Years. While I was not a huge fan of much of their past material, this track from their new album undeniably shines through, regardless of my preconceived notions with its haunting lyrics and impressive instrumentation.

11) “Shame” by The Dear Hunter
The Dear Hunter, a captivatingly genre-bending artist, drew me into his new album with this outstandingly unique track with its amazing compositional complexity and musicality.

12) “Skyline” by Gates
With a song that has a title to perfectly describe the atmosphere of the track, Gates have created a masterpiece of compositional skill that evokes an awe-inspiring melodic atmosphere characterized by carefully-crafted guitar work and amazing cohesion that will leave listeners with a sense of existential perplextion.

13) “Let’s Talk About Your Hair” by Have Mercy
Rising local band Have Mercy truly impressed me with this stand out track from their debut album The Earth Pushed Back not only with the heart-wrenching lyrics and vocals but also with its well done loud-to-soft sections and absolutely huge grooves.

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