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Music, Year in Review 2013

Year in Review: The Best Albums of 2013

From Kanye West’s minimalist, experimental new album with Yeezus, Nine Inch Nails’ triumphant comeback album with Hesitation Marks, Disclosure’s dance music domination with Settle, to more local flavours like Shad’s breakthrough album, Flying Colours and Hilotrons’  perfect slice of dance rock with At Least There’s a Commotion, the music world once again proved that while the way we consume music has changed, the magic of an LP remains, and below are our picks for the best albums of 2013.

Click each name to view their picks or scroll down to view more:

Kayla Baker
Adam Harrison

Sasha Kalra
Dianna Lee
Stephen McGill
Sarah Rix
Mehek Seyid
Calum Slingerland
Patrick Topping

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Kayla Baker
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Album: Self Titled
Artist: Paramore
Label: Fueled by Ramen
Released: April 9, 2013

I have grown up with this band, and I was nervous to see what would happen after two of their members quit in 2010. But the wait for new music was worth it, and they seem to be stronger than ever.  I especially enjoy the three musical interludes throughout the record which highlight an instrument never before used on a Paramore record; the beloved ukulele. There are new sounds and risks on this record, and Hayley Williams’ vocals are stronger than ever. I can’t get enough.

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Album: Pure Heroine
Artist: Lorde
Label: Republic Records
Released: September 30, 2013

I think it’s safe to say Lorde is one of the most talented 17 year-old songwriters in the world. That fact is obvious with her fast rise to fame this year. “Royals” took over the radio charts and suddenly it was everyone’s favorite song.  However, she is no one hit wonder.  I fell in love the moment I heard “Team” and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.  By the looks of things, this New Zealand singer-songwriter won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

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Album: Self-Titled
Artist: The Civil Wars
Label: Columbia
Released: August 2, 2013

The blended voices of Joy Williams and John Paul White are so magical that it is heart breaking that these two have broken up.  It’s easy to get caught up trying to hear the reasons behind the bands’ break up within their music. While passion and emotion envelops songs like “Same Old Same Old” and “Dust to Dust”, I am holding on to the hope they will make up and continue making music, but if they were to finish strong then they succeeded.

 

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Album: The Hurry and the Harm
Artist: City and Colour
Label: Dine Alone Records
Released: June 4, 2013

Dallas Green is a songwriting genius. His voice is so smooth and wonderful that he could probably sing random words from my high school biology textbook and I would still enjoy it; however he goes the extra length of writing heart-breakingly beautiful music. This is not a feel good album, but do you ever expect that from City and Colour? He delivers the exact amount of melancholy darkness that I was hoping for!

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Album: Hawaiii
Artist: Said the Whale
Label: Hidden Pony Records
Released: September 17, 2013

This is their fourth studio album release, and one of their strongest. I have a special place in my heart for beautiful British Columbia, and this Vancouver based indie-rock band takes me back there when I listen to their music. This album branches into the pop world a bit more than their previous albums with upbeat tracks like “I Love You” and “Mother” but still holds that unique, laid back, Said the Whale sound.

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