Best Music of 2013

I have to admit that, in the midst of such a busy year (getting married, launching a new book, new home, etc.), I didn’t stay up on new music as much as I’d like to. I’ve realized in recent years that it’s probably a good thing to not care as much about “staying up” on every genre of media. It can be exhausting. (Side note: I’ve also fallen hopelessly behind on prestige television; it was all I could do to squeeze in Breaking Bad in 2013).

Movies are my biggest passion, so I’m content to focus my increasingly scant free time on “staying up” on those (watch for my “best films” list to post next week). That said, I did enjoy many songs and albums this year. For old time’s sake I’ll share my favorites here, in hopes that you’ll check out the music or share with me something great I haven’t discovered.

My Top 10 Albums:

  1. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
  2. Arcade Fire, Reflektor
  3. Over the Rhine, Meet Me At the Edge of the World
  4. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
  5. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience (Part One)
  6. James Blake, Overgrown
  7. Jessie Ware, Devotion
  8. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
  9. Pusha T, My Name is My Name
  10. Phosphorescent, Muchacho

Honorable Mention: Disclosure, Settle; Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe; Drake, Nothing Was the Same; Laura Veirs, Warp & Weft; The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars; Polyenso, One Big Particular Loop; Kanye West, Yeezus; Volcano Choir, Repave; Bifrost Arts, He Will Not Cry Out: Anthology of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, Vol. 2.

My Top 100 Songs of 2013: Spotify playlist here.

7 responses to “Best Music of 2013

  1. Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady

  2. Good list. I echo Vampire Weekend, The National, and Over the Rhine.

    Also great: albums by Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Phoenix, Mutual Benefit, Pretty & Nice.

  3. I completely agree with you on “Random Access Memories”, “Trouble Will Find Me” and “The 20/20 Experience”.

    I would recommend:

    1] Shad – “Flying Colours”
    2] Local Natives – “Hummingbird”
    3] Royal Canoe – “Today We’re Believers”


  4. Pingback: Sanctimonious, Over-Educated, White People’s Favorites Music of 2013 | angryid

  5. Brett,
    Great list! I await your “best albums” list every year since our tastes are very similar, plus, I love reading your blog (for the past 5-6 years), movie reviews and general thoughts. I hope that you continue to muster up a list every year – I know it’s tough. I’m still working on mine and will probably post it at the end of December. Somehow, I got threw the whole of 2012 without hearing “The Lion’s Roar” and “There’s No Leaving Now” until I saw your “best of” list last year. I always pick up a few great albums that I hadn’t heard before thanks to you. Just wanted to send out a thank you. I hope to reply to more of your comments in the future. Best of luck.
    Jeremy (from Columbus, Ohio)

  6. Pingback: Best Books of 2013 | The Search

  7. As promised, my top 20 list of 2013:

    20. Mazzy Star – “Seasons of Your Day”
    19. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle – “Perils from the Sea”
    18. Disclosure – “Settle”
    17. Gliss – “Langsome Dans”
    16. Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”
    15. Moby – “Innocents”
    14. Jessie Ware – “Devotion”
    13. Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City”
    12. Washed Out – “Paracosm”
    11. Sigur Ros – “Kveikur”
    10. My Bloody Valentine – “MBV” (Listen here:
    9. Alabama Shakes – “Boys & Girls”
    8. The National – “Trouble Will Find Me”
    7. Over The Rhine – “Meet Me At The Edge Of The World”
    6. First Aid Kit – “The Lion’s Roar”
    5. Daft Punk – “Random Access Memory”
    4. The Tallest Man On Earth – “There’s No Leaving Now”
    3. Postiljonen – “Skyer”
    2. James Blake – “Overgrown”
    1. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – “The Heist” (Clean Spotify Version)

    Spotify playlist:

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