2013 Year In Review

2013 marked a turning point in the indie music scene and was a legendary year for indie pop and rock. So many notable bands released killer albums. Some album highlights include Miracle Mile by STRFKR, Evil Friends by Portugal. The Man, Turn Blue by The Black Keys, AM by Arctic Monkeys, and Heza by Generationals.

Going in order of release date I’ll begin with Miracle Mile. This album is crafted to perfection and beings with a bang with the opening track “While I’m Alive”. The guitars combined with STRFKR’s signature electric synths throughout the album carry the tracks along with their infectious grooves. One of my favorite guitar riffs on the project has to be the breakout guitar on “Fortune’s Fool”. When it’s met with the infectious bass line, that’s how I knew this song would be a bop. This song also drops the name of the album in its chorus. Several songs including “Malmo” and “Leave It All Behind” feature punchy and creative synth work. The bass lines on this project are not to be overlooked either especially on tracks like “Nite Rite” and “YAYAYA”.

Heza by Generationals marked a transition in their sound from jangly, raw sounding tracks featured on their previous projects to the introduction of synths and more creative rhythms and guitar tones on each song. Heza features their second most popular song, “Put a Light On” that is certainly is deserving of the hype.

The Blacks Keys haven’t released an album since 2013’s Turn Blue, but it’s certainly not a bad album to “end” on. Until the release of “Lo/High” that dropped in February, fans weren’t sure if the legendary duo would ever get back together. This album tunes in to more psychedelic influenced sounds and many of the tracks feature crazy guitar solos including the opening track, “Weight of Love” and “In Our Prime”. It also features “Fever”, one of the more popular Black Keys songs. My personal favorite is “10 Lovers” for the funky and infectious bass line.

There’s Gourley’s signature right on the shirt!

Evil Friends is my favorite album of all time hands down. To be honest, I don’t think Portugal the Man will ever be able to top this one. I love the story that is told through each song and the lyrics have an overall rebellious feel to them without being too outright about it– well maybe with the exception of “All the hip hop kids think we give a shit, well we don’t, we don’t, we don’t” on “Hip Hop Kids” and “You don’t get it, I’m just a creep in a t-shirt, jeans, I don’t fucking care,” on “Creep in a T-Shirt”. Quick backstory to this song– so I drew the lyrics to this song for my phone case and I actually met all the dudes of PTM after a show in Dallas back in 2017. Long story short, frontman John Gourley signed my drawing and he loved it. It was magical. After a few faster paced tracks, “Sea of Air” serves as a ballad for the album and “Waves” picks it right back up. This video of PTM performing “All Your Light” (from their 2011 album In the Mountain in the Cloud) and “Waves” at Red Rocks changed my life for the better.

AM by the Arctic Monkeys was an inescapable album from 2013. “Knees Socks”, “Do I Wanna Know”, and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High”, were everywhere from commercials to several live performances including on Letterman and the Brit Awards. An honorable mention has to go The Comedown Machine by the Strokes. This is the last album that they have released to date (with exception of an EP in 2016). This album served as the last project that were contractually obligated the make with RCA. Some critics feel that the Strokes didn’t put much effort into this project and their hearts weren’t really into it. I would agree the album as whole isn’t too special. However it does feature one of my favorite Strokes songs, “Tap Out”.

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