Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Game of Lists 2013: Debuts, sophomores and comebacks

The last week of the year is here, which means it's time to officially declare the start of our Game of Lists for 2013!

As usual, one of our year-end lists is dedicated to the Debuts of the Year, but since we feel that 2013 was also notable for its strong sophomore efforts and its long-overdue, impressive comebacks, we decided to give props to these records as well by compiling separate lists for them. Let's start with the newcomers first:

Top 10 Debut Albums of 2013

You cannot really say that Factory Floor are newcomers as they have been releasing singles since 2008 and they even have a mini-LP under their belt, but this year's self-titled record on DFA was their first full-length release and as such it qualifies as a debut album. And what a debut album that was... 

Perhaps the fans of the band's early noise experiments didn't get exactly what they have been waiting for, but those who were turned on to Factory Floor by their more recent, relentless dance-floor adventures, namely the 2011 singles "(R E A L L O V E)" and "Two Different Ways", they certainly got their money's worth and then some. Repetition never sounded this good...

The other debut of 2013 that already deserves the term "classic" is "Silence Yourself" by Savages.

The London-based quartet's record is rightfully present on every list with a fondness for guitars this year as its urgency and passion was contagious, while its explosive music channeled the spirit of the era that birthed post-punk. A truly remarkable beginning from a band that convinces it is capable for much more.

Here are the Top 10 debuts of 2013:

1.   Factory Floor - FACTORY FLOOR

2.   Silence Yourself - SAVAGES

3.   Inform - Educate - Entertain - PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

4.   Light Up Gold - PARQUET COURTS

5.   Major Arcana - SPEEDY ORTIZ

6.   The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas - COURTNEY BARNETT

7.   Cruise Your Illusion - MILK MUSIC


9.   Girls Like Us - PINS


Top 10 Sophomore Albums of 2013

And here are the difficult, sophomore efforts that stood out this year for us, proving that those debuts we were going on about in previous years were no flukes. Some of them were overlooked in other lists as they were deemed too similar to the first efforts, but I feel it is rather unrealistic to expect leaps and bounds from one record to the next. Once in a long while it does happen, but bands like Nirvana don't come along too often. You shouldn't hold that against someone, especially when they are able to give you an album that has so many of the qualities you were admiring before.

Nevertheless, the album at the top of the sophomore list is certainly a great leap forward for the band that made it. Foxygen's "We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic" was certainly a magical album, one that was able to conjure so many musical memories from the past and recreate them in a totally unique and original manner. Amazingly talented musical thieves beyond any doubt...

Here are the Top 10 sophomore efforts of 2013:

1.   We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic - FOXYGEN
2.   Waiting For Something To Happen - VERONICA FALLS
3.   One Breath - ANNA CALVI
4.   Interiors - GLASSER
5.   Cerulean Salt - WAXAHATCHEE
6.   Static - CULTS
7.   Shulamith - POLIÇA
8.   Images Du Futur - SUUNS
9.   Strange Pleasures - STILL CORNERS
10. Almanac - WIDOWSPEAK

Top 5 Comebacks of 2013

And last, but no least, in a year full of remarkable comebacks, here are the five that pleased us the most, presented not in order of preference but by how many years it's been since their previous full-length effort:

1. M B V - MY BLOODY VALENTINE (22 years)
2. Seasons of your day - MAZZY STAR (17 years)
3. Defend yourself - SEBADOH (14 years)
4. Purgatory / Paradise - THROWING MUSES (10 years)
5. Shaking the habitual - THE KNIFE (7 years)

Three lists, 25 albums for the beginning of our Game of Lists 2013. Are all of these records going to be in our final Top 60? Who's going to make it in the prestigious Top 10? Find out the answers to these questions (and many more you didn't know you had) in our final posts of the year...

Merry Xmas!

Foxygen - No Destruction

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