Staff Picks: Kait’s Top Albums of 2013

December 17th, 2013 by Kait Connaughton


unnamed-1Disclosure – Settle – 

Before 2013, electronic music was a rare find in my iTunes. This year, however, has been rather kind to the deteriorating genre (although I can’t say the same about EDM culture) with explosive releases from Daft Punk, James Blake, Pretty Lights, and my favorite of the year, Disclosure. Made up of two UK bloaks who just happen to be brothers, Disclosure debuted their first album Settle in June 2013 and needless to say, I have not stopped listening since. If you are not listening yet, you are doing yourself a disservice; that’s how strongly I feel about Disclosure.

Suggested Tracks: “Latch,” “Help Me Lose My Mind,” “Boiling,” & “What’s In Your Head”


unnamedVolcano Choir – Repave 

When Justin Vernon alluded to the indefinite nature of Bon Iver’s break from music, I thought the gaping hole in my heart where For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver resided would never quite be filled despite the frontman’s continued and expansive musical endeavors. Apparently, I thought wrong. Volcano Choir’s Repave picks up right about where Bon Iver left off with just a touch more obscurity and enough power ballads to satisfy any Bon Iver fan. Exquisite lyricism. Undeniable musicality. My heart is filled again, for now.

Suggested Tracks: “Comrade,” “Byegone,” & “Alaskans”


unnamedLorde – Pure Heroine – 

Some might say that Lorde is so “over” (see Portlandia reference here) and perhaps I’d have to agree that commercial radio has played “Royals” about ten thousand too many times. However, the undeniable talent that Pure Heroine brings, my personal music taste, and a few recent Grammy nominations beg to differ. Lorde, a New Zealand native of a ripe 17 years, released her debut full-length electropop album in late September 2013 and not a single track misses the mark. Lorde appears to have a long, fruitful career ahead of her and if she’s lucky, it should last just about as long as her birth name, Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor. Good choice with the stage name, Lorde.

Suggested Tracks: “Tennis Court,” “400 Lux,” “Ribs,” & “Team”


unnamed-3Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience – 

Much anticipated after the former *NSYNC and Mickey Mouse Club member’s 2006 award-winning FutureSex/LoveSounds, Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience far from disappoints. With 10 tracks and 70 minutes of music, many of Timberlake’s musical compositions read like 2 intertwined songs – And I do not hate it at all. The album breakdown following the radio-cut of “Mirrors” is one of my favorite jams of 2013 and it is just one of several on Timberlake’s part one of two experience. You can count me in as a JT fan-girl for life.

Suggested Tracks: “Pusher Love Girl,” “Tunnel Vision,” & “Mirrors”


unnamed-2Tame Impala – Lonerism 

Okay, so I’m cheating a bit with this last pick. Tame Impala’s Lonerism was technically released in Fall 2012, but (to be fair) many of its accolades came with the turn of the new year and I didn’t give the album a proper listen through until later in 2013. Justifications aside, Lonerism brings a modern twist to the original unconventional sounds of  ’60s and ’70s psychedelic rock with the aid modern technology, stacked vocals, and guitar harmonies galore that pair perfectly with the John Lennon-like voice of the band’s lead singer, Kevin Parker. Naturally, the inner-parisienne in me can’t help but admire the album artwork—a picturesque scene of a beautiful spring day from outside the gates of Jardin du Luxembourg—that embodies the lyrical message of blissful isolation that Lonerism presents.

Suggested Tracks: “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” “Mind Mischeif,” & “Endors Toi”





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