2013 has been a pretty great year in music and if you have been keeping up with any of the other B.G.M. year-end lists up to this point, it is pretty evident that we have all been listening to and enjoying a very broad spectrum of releases. This year, co-founder Jon and I decided that because our tastes are so very similar and we are constantly sharing music with one another, that we would combine our ‘Best Of’ lists in order to try and avoid any redundancy. So before we get to the list itself, let me just give you a breakdown of how we decided to rank our Top 50 Releases of 2013. We individually picked our favorite 30 releases which could include any and all releases, LP’s, EP’s, Mixtapes, etc. We then ranked them and assigned a point value to each release and upon combining them to equal 50 total picks with 10 “magically” shared choices.

What made this ranking process so awesome was that some of our individual top choices became edged out by picks that ended on both of our lists, giving the mutual picks a higher point value and changing where our picks wound up. We did end up tweaking a couple of our choices, but Jon and I were both pleasantly surprised where our mutual choices fell and ultimately with the the end result, we couldn’t be happier with the final rankings. We are proud to  offer you this list where you will see a few releases that have been featured on our other writers lists, but there are also number of choices here that are unique to our tastes. There are plenty of great tunes here and hopefully we might be able to help enlighten you to some you may have missed this year.This list along with our favorite songs of 2013 list serves as sort of a B.G.M. time capsule for the year that was. So you will find a bunch of links to articles that we featured as well as some awesome live videos that we filmed at concerts that we went to.

So without further adieu, here is The Godfather’s Top 50 Releases of 2013!

*Picked mutually by both Jon and Isaac

50. Summer Twins – Forget Me EP

Summer Twins consist of the sister duo of Chelsea and Justine Brown (they’ve recently expanded to a four piece band). Summer Twins to me is an advanced and more consistent version of what Best Coast wants to be. These two sisters play the perfect version of beach infused 50’s garage dream pop that is so sweet and sad at all at the same time. The Forget Me EP was released this May and served as a perfect little sunny soundtrack to many Sunday afternoons spent in my back yard lounging around drunk in my kiddie pool. Such good times! – Jon

 

49. Marshall McLean Band – Glassolalia

In 2011, my roommate stumbled across a band called The Horse Thieves and their album,Valley Of Decision. Back in 2011 when Jon invited me to write a “Best Of’ list for his personal blog, I gave that record the #2 spot on my list. It was/is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt records I have ever listened to. It is my go to “rainy day” record. Marshall McLean was the singer and brains behind that band. He has just recently self-released his debut album, Glassolalia, with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. While this record may never resonate with me the way that Valley Of Decision did, it is definitely worth the listen as McLean is one hell of a singer/songwriter. -Isaac

Stream the album here.

48. Foxing – The Albatross

This is my last minute addition to this list. I stumbled across this amazing album while doing a little research for the album that it replaced. I have only been listening to this record for one day and I am pissed that I am just now finding out about it. This music speaks to me, it might be a little “emo”, but I don’t really care. It is beautiful, ambient, but brutal and noisy at the same time. Take Bear Vs. Shark (one of my all time favorites) and bands of the like, Crash Of Rhinos, (early) Cursive and throw in a touch more despair (hard for early Cursive, I know) and you have The Albatross. This album was made for my tastes I swear it, so damn good. – Isaac

 

47. White Denim- Corsicana Lemonade

This Austin based band are some of the most talented musicians out there right now. In fact the first time I saw them live I kinda got the feeling they were just showing off a little bit. That feeling soon faded away after I realized that they are really just having a ton of fun playing to the best of their abilities and not holding back for anyone. White Denim brings their unique blend of prog-jazz-psych-americana rock back to the table with their sixth studio album Corsicana Lemonade and it is great from end-to-end. B.G.M writer Tom Vickress wrote a full review of this album a few months back. Check it out! – Isaac

 

46. Daughn Gibson – Me Moan

I consider myself a fairly big Daughn Gibson fan. I really enjoyed his first album All Hell and it made my last years “Best of List”. So you think I would have been all over his second album Me Moan, but the truth is I only just recently discovered that it had come out. How pathetic is that?! Any way know that I am aware of its existence it is all up in my playlist. There’s some faster paced jams at the beginning that are stellar, but towards the middle / end of the album when he slows it all down Gibson absolutely kills. Dudes voice is so low and original sounding. – Jon

 

45. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – The Speed Of Things

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has a truly strange band name that secretly kind of bugs me. Do you know how weird it is when I am playing one of their songs and someone says “This is good, who is this?” and I have to say “It’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.”? It’s a super awkward interaction because every time I just get a confused look, but its totally worth the awkward exchange because this band’s chilled out indie pop is so good. I have loved this band ever since their first EP Horsepower and they continue to win more and more of my admiration with every new release.  The Aural Premonition also wrote a piece on the band earlier this year.  – Jon

 

44. John Vanderslice – Dagger Beach

One of the coolest things that has come from starting B.G.M. is our Twitter account. One of my favorite things to do on there is interact with all the people that we follow and every once in a while I like to ask everybody what kind of tunes they are digging on. Well I asked that very question about three weeks ago to see if I could get some late last minute recommendations for great albums that had been released this year and our good Twitter friend Zack Williams (@treesareoaks) recommended John Vanderlsice’s Dagger Beach. I hadn’t heard of Vanderslice up until that point, but now I am a big fan. Dagger Beach  is what experimental indie rock should be. His voice is great, the compositions are varied, well layered and original.  So big shout out to Zack for this one, this album rules! -Jon

 

43. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap

Chance The Rapper was all over everyone’s year-end lists this year and for good reason, Acid Rap is a solid release. I personally went back and forth on this mixtape when I first heard it. I could tell that Chance The Rapper had some serious talent, but wasn’t quite sure how I felt about Chance’s voice. Was he trying to be a Weezy/Mos Def hybrid? As soon as I got over my preconceived notions and just listened to the record for what it was and the story he was trying to tell, I was hooked and this album has been playing non-stop on my phone since. Be sure to catch the track “Smoke Again” I cant get enough of it. – Isaac

 

42. Old Baby – Love Hangover

It had been awhile since I had heard from one of my favorite bands, Young Widows. So earlier this year I did a little research as to what the various band members were up to and was pleasantly surprised to discover that all three  had become involved with other bands during the YW downtime. Well one of the bands is Old Baby and features Young Widows frontman  Evan Petterson. Old Baby’s first LP Love Hangover kinda picks up where the YW’s latest release In and Out of Youth and Lightness left off, but this time around there is a lot more emphasis on the blues and R&B elements. This whole album feels like it would be a perfect replacement soundtrack to one my favorite all time movies From Dusk Till Dawn. I wonder if Patterson and Co. would be cool with being vampires and playing a guitar made out of a dead body. – Jon

 

41. Bosnian Rainbows – Bosnian Rainbows 

This Sargent House super-group consists of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (guitar) and Deantoni Parks (drums)  both of The Mars Volta (R.I.P.), Teri Gender Bender (vocals) of Le Butcherettes  and Nicci Kasper on keyboards. Bosnian Rainbows put out this haunting self-titled album which sees Rodriguez-Lopez really focus in on shorter, more concise alternative/indie songs. Which with the exception of the first Mars Volta record is where I personally believe his best work is produced (ahem… At The Drive-In). The beautiful and enigmatic Teri Gender Bender’s voice is flawless and once it gets a hold of your earbuds you are done for, you will be left wondering where the hell you were for the last 50 minutes. In retrospect, this is probably an album that should have been higher on my list, sorry. – Isaac

 

40. Danny Brown – Old

Danny Brown is nuts… Or is he? Old is fucking outstanding and to be completely honest this album would and should have been a lot higher on this list. But I drug my feet and was a little late to the game in finally getting around to listening to it. Tired of all the shitty radio-rap out there? Give this album a shot, you wont regret it. Here is the a link to the always entertaining Danny Vesper’s full review for this record. -Isaac

 

39. Yamantanka // Sonic Titan – UZU 

UZU was recently ranked at number 1 on  B.G.M writer, Mark Milner’s Top 20 of 2013! This album is so unique and there are some serious moments on this record that absolutely blow me away. UZU is filled with  loud thunderous, crashing rythms, and war cry vocals. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is unlike anything else out there right now. This album is a must listen! Be sure to also check out Marks full review of this album if you missed it earlier this year. – Isaac

 

38. La Verkin – Judge the Judger

La Verkin is a Salt Lake City local band featuring members of the legendary, Form of Rocket and Cop and A Criminal. Basically this band just straight up likes to kick people right in the taters with their brand of straight forward unrelenting post punk noise rock. If you took everything that was awesome about The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, and Unsane and mixed it up into a into an unstoppable power trio than you would get the soul crushing La Verkin. So if kicking people in the taters and crushing souls is your thing, then I highly recommend reading my full write up on the band. – Jon

37. Little Lights – Little Lights Demo

I discovered this band randomly one day on the internet. When I have spare time I like to go to bands Facebook pages and see what bands they “like” or recommend and I can’t quite remember what band lead me to Little Lights Facebook page, but I am sure glad that I stumbled across them. Their sound is so dreamy and smooth that it almost makes you want to cry tears of joy. They are the kind of band that just puts the listener in their happy place. I became so enthralled with their demo that I decided to do a write up on them in hope of gaining them some more exposure. They have a full length album hopefully coming out next year, which I am really excited for. – Jon

36. CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What We Believe

Here is the truth… I am in love with CHVRCHES singer, Lauren Mayberry.

Lauren, if you read this, will you marry me? – Isaac

Check out Jason’s full review of this album here!

 

35. Ghostface Killah – 12 Reasons To Die 

The Wu!! This is by far and away the most solid and complete hip-hop album released in 2013. 12 Reasons To Die is basically a concept album based on the comic book of the same name where Mr. Ghostface Killah a.k.a. Tony Starks works for the Italian Mafia, but leaves the family and starts his own crew while hooking up with the the Mafia Don’s daughter. After all that happens, the Mafia kills Tony Starks and his remains are melted down into to 12 vinyl LP’s and when these records are played, Starks is resurrected as Ghostface Killah who basically drops the spiritual hammer on the foolish Mafia members who were whack enough to kill him. Seriously this album is so good! The production from 70’s psychedelic soul expert Adrian Younge is top notch and as always Ghostface’s rhymes are intense and relentless. As time goes on its becoming pretty clear to me that Ghostface is emerging as the most talented, experimental, and consistent member of the Wu-Tang Clan. No disrespect to the other members, but Ghostface seems to release a really dope album every couple years. Now that I’m thinking about it I probably should have voted this album higher up on my list. Sorry Mr. Killah! – Jon

 

34. Caveman – Caveman

I found Caveman while cruising around on YouTube  and upon seeing their video for “In the City” which stars actress JuliaStyles (10 Things I Hate About YouSave The Last DanceBourne film series, and Silver Linings Playbook). The video has a creepy concept of two love birds visiting New York City, but when strange things begin to happen to the woman at night while she is sleeping she begins to fall out of love. The entire album and the rest of the songs are just as superb as the video. Great keys and mid tempo songs that almost invoke an 80’s Tears for Fears vibe. – Jon

 

33. TTNG – 13.0.0.0.0

This record was easily my most anticipated record of 2013. I have been following TTNG (formerly, This Town Needs Guns) for quite some time and I was so stoked when the band released a couple incredible singles in 2011. “Adventure, Stamina & Anger” is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Shortly after the band learned that they would lose both their singer/guitarist and their bass player, which for such in an intricate math-rock band could have had some repercussions. I was skeptical to say the least. In stepped Henry Tremain to take over responsibilities of both singer and filling out the rhythm section and it’s as if TTNG had never missed a beat. 13.0.0.0.0 is a crazy-good record that is worth every cent you spend on it. Here is a link to an interview where I was able to ask drummer Chris Collis a few questions about the new record. – Isaac

 

32. Foals – Holy Fire

This wicked talented band from Oxford blew me away with their previous release Total Life Forever, which was easily one of my favorite albums released in 2010. It was was the perfect blend of funk-y-math-y-prog-y goodness with a charming, British accent atop. A one-two punch straight to the jaw of any independent-radio-listening-sap (like myself), tell me you couldn’t stop listening to “Blue Blood” when you first heard it. That’s right. Holy Fire was another album that I wasn’t completely sold on at first, I just couldn’t let go of how much I loved Foals last record. However, it wasn’t long until I just stopped fighting the inevitable and let the infectious grooves that make up Holy Fire take over my soul. – Isaac

 

31. Whirr – Around EP

So everyone seems to be hooting and hollering about how good Deafheaven’s Sunbather is because it’s combining elements of black metal and shoegaze. Now I’m not hating on Deafheaven by any means they’re just not my cup of musical tea, for my taste I would rather just take some heavier shoegaze and leave out all that black metal business. Whirr is a band featuring former Deafheaven guitarist Nick Bassit and their latest EP Around gives me that slow heavy dream-pop droning shoegaze that I need. Around may only be four tracks, but each song clocks in at well over five minutes and is as beautiful and damaging as possible. The pounding drums and angelic vocals paired with the slightly distorted reverbed guitars and droned out song compositions are honestly breath taking and meditative all at the same time. So go out on limb here and get past the more popular 2013 releases from Deafheaven and My Bloody Valentine and combine what you love most about those two bands into the heavenly-hell that is Whirr. I promise you will thank me for it. – Jon

 

30. Rosetta – The Anaesthete

I have always been aware of Rosetta, but never took the time to listen to their version of post-metal hardcore until their release of The Anaesthete this summer. Well, I guess I suck because this album is amazing and I should have been listening to Rosetta a long time ago. The compositions on this album go from heavy and tight to light and melancholic, all the while containing some of the best drumming I have heard this year. The albums songs are titled in Japanese with the English translation included and are based on concepts from the the book Sword and Brush. I guess singer / screamer / bassist Dave Grossman just started teaching Jiu Jitsu and was inspired by the book. I would definitely not want to mess with a dude who plays bass like that and screams so brutally, while at the same time possessing some serous martial arts skills. That dude has the ability to  just basically wreck you both mentally and physically… terrifying! The  band has described the album as functioning like a hurricane, which totally makes sense because it destroys everything in its path, but in the center of it all there is a calm introspection. Definitely the best hurricane hardcore of the year. – Jon

 

29. Childish Gambino – Because The Internet

Look, when Donald Glover dropped Camp in 2011 it took me a little by surprise and to be completely honest, I went through a couple month phase where I didn’t stop listening to it. I wasn’t even aware at the time of all the bad hype that it had been stockpiling. But through all the bad press it was one of my favorite records of that year. It was  Childish Gambino’s first real attempt at figuring out who he wanted to be as a rapper and it was a journey you got to take with him. That journey continues with artists latest effort Because The Internet, which in my opinion is definitely a contender for some of the top hip-hop spots of the year. Childish Gambino is different, he’s not  a thug, he’s intelligent and he’s a successful comedian who has some serious rapping skills who is struggling to find out where he wants to fit in in the rap game. People just figure that he shouldn’t be credible for these reason and he proves them wrong with every song on this record. This album succeeds in a lot of areas where Camp fell just a hair flat and is most definitely worth the listen. So to all the haters: I love this album! I don’t care what you think. (Check out our writer Kevin’s review of Because The Internet that ran earlier this month). – Isaac

 

28. YEW – Too EP

A few years back when Jon first started hanging out, he introduced me to an EP by Jacobi Witchita called Lambsey.Divey. These guys were legit and this EP packed a punch. A perfect blend of Glassjaw-esque thrash, infused with Latin and Caribbean flare, some hip-hop attitude and turn-table action. I thought these guys were destined for big things. Well, as it turned out a few of the key members decided to focus on their side project called YEW and after a couple of years of putting some material together they dropped Too. This EP takes all the great components of what Lambsey.Divey offered and brings to the table a slightly more electronic vibe and some killer sampling. Be sure to check out my full review of this EP.- Isaac

27. And So I  Watch You From Afar – All Hail Bright Futures

One of my biggest regrets this year is missing out on the TTNG, Mylets, and ASIWYFA concert that happened this fall at Kilby Court, All three of theses bands absolutely rule and I really wanted to witness ASIWYFA perform the tracks of off All Hail Bright Futures live. All Hail Bright Futures is easily one of the most epic albums of the year, but it’s epic in a really inspiring and positive way. It’s like ass-kicking sunshine all the way though and it uses gang vocals / shouts in some of the most creative ways I have ever heard. So my apologies to ASIWYFA and Co. for missing out on their live awesomeness, but at least Isaac was there to experience it and brag about it later.  Another shout out to our bearded brethren ASIWFA’s bassist Johnny Adger. Your beard and band absolutely rule! – Jon

 

26. Night Verses – Lift Your Existence

Jon and I first heard Night Verses earlier this year as they opened for the very awesome Junius. If I remember correctly the band wasn’t even originally slated to play that night but was added to the bill last minute. All I know is that they walked in, played one of the most dynamic sets I have seen recently. Luckily the other bands playing that night were able to keep up with their momentum because Night Verses left almost no margin for error. During that set I leaned over to Jon and mentioned that the singer sounded just like the singer from the post-hardcore The Sleeping, which later turned out to be exactly the case as singer Doug Robinson had joined with the band. I honestly didn’t realize until recently, just how much I actually liked this album. It is solid, aggressive, tight and relentless and features one of the most talented and entertaining drummers I have ever seen in Aric Improta. Homeboy is a beast behind the kit. I was able to interview guitarist Nick DePirro shortly after the release of Lift Your Existence, read it! – Isaac

 

25. Cult Of Luna – Vertikal

Post metal gods, Cult Of Luna, return again with another amazing album. This time around the band has created an album based on a post-apocalyptic, futuristic, man vs. machine concept. The album is cold, electronic, and insanely heavy. The 19 minute third track from Vertikal “Vicarious Redemption” is probably one of the coolest things I have heard all year and easily my favorite song of 2013. Another cool thing that happened in 2013 was my interview with Cult of Luna drummer Thomas Hedlund  – Jon

I also had to include this acoustic video from the band where they play in a blizzard. So beautiful!

 

24. Junip – Junip 

Haven’t heard of Junip? Shame on you! You must have been one of the 3 people on earth who wasn’t watching Breaking Bad this last year. The Band’s single “Line Of Fire” was the featured song in the seasons finale trailer that aired for the better part of the year. Junip is  a Swedish band composed of singer José González and childhood friend Tobias Winterkorn. This psychedelic-folk band’s 2010 debut album, Fields, still gets played through my music rotation on a consistent basis and I am sure that Junip’s self-titled will be for the next few years as well. – Isaac

23. The Dillinger Escape Plan – One Of Us Is The Killer

The only way I can truly describe The Dillinger Escape Plan is that they are straight up bananas. In case you have been living under a rock in the middle of nowhere these guys are the dudes credited for creating the mind scrambling genre of math-core metal. Listening to TDEP is like taking a trigonometry test, it straight up exhausts your brain with their super technical instrumentation and crazy vocals on top. Well the band toned it down a bit with their fifth full length album One of us Is the Killer, a heavy and shredding album that also pauses from time to to time to let you catch your breath. I was able to do a phone interview with founding member and guitarist Ben Weinman earlier this year to talk to him about his bands stylistic change. – Jon

 

22. Tera Melos – X’ed Out

I know there’s a lot of people out there that will disagree with what I am about to say, but to me, Tera Melos are like as futuristic version of the Pixies. It’s just that singer/guitarist Nick Reinhart’s vocals totally reminds me of Frank Black. The thing about Tera Melos though, is that they are way more talented, plus they roll with Hot Dog Man and you’ve got to be crazy to cool to be friends with that dude. Maybe Tera Melos are actually a robotic invention made by some mad scientist in the future and they were implanted into the past to scramble our brains with their awesome musicianship and song structures, so in the future said scientist can manipulate and control the worlds  population to do his will. – Jon

 

21. Son Lux- Lanterns

I had never even heard of Son Lux until our writer Jason Davis reviewed songsmith Ryan Lott’s new album, but with one listen to Lanterns I was hooked. Listening to this album was some what spiritual for me, I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but it managed to fill me with a feeling of joy and hope like no other album this year. It is beautiful and courageous, mixing elements similar to those found in bands like Menomena, Fanfarlo, M83, and Baths all wrapped into one package. Be sure to check out Jason’s full review of Laterns here. – Isaac

 

20. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

There are and have been so many great things to say about Arcade Fire. One would be very hard pressed to come up with anything original to say about them. So I am not even going to try. Reflektor is another outstanding album from the Indie-rock titans, taking their standout sound blending it with Haitian influences and amping up the electronic vibes with help from co-producer James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. This album is a grower, as explained by B.G.M writer Jason Ricciardi in a compete review of this record. – Isaac

19. Akimbo – Live To Crush

Live to Crush is Akimbo’s posthumus death rattle, but since it was made by Akimbo it is more like a death earthquake. Akimbo have always been a band that just straight up attacks you and Live to Crush does just that, but more precisely and efficiently. This album is like an old grizzled assassin that knows how to confidently get you hyped up and kill your ear drums at the same time. There is some seriously great guitar shredding, drum tone, bass pulse, and vocal work throughout the entirety of this nine track album. While I’m glad that Jon Weisnewski  and Nat Damm are continuing on with their new band Sandrider, there is still a part of me that is going to miss the chaos of Akimbo, R.I.P. – Jon

 

18. Intronaut – Habitual Levitation *

This album will melt your face off! Jazz-infused, prog-metal for fans of bands like Tool, Kowloon Walled City, Mastodon, Mudvayne, Animals As Leaders and the like. There was a point I listened to this record so much that I was certain it came out in 2012. If you find yourself in need of a heavy-prog music fix this would be the record I would suggest. Jon was able to get in touch with guitarist and vocalist Dave Timnick for an interview earlier this year. Check it out! – Isaac

Yep! Everything that Isaac stated is true. Intronaut rules my life! – Jon

 

17. Russian Circles – Memorial 

I try to be really careful in using the word “Epic” to describe things, it is overused and its meaning has been beaten and left bleeding in a dark alley to die. However, I would not hesitate for to describe Russian Circles’ tunes as epic. This three piece, instrumental, post-metal band is able to flawlessly grow their sound to what could easily take a five or six person band to execute. Memorial is the band’s fifth full length album and see’s the band accompanied by guest vocals from wonderful siren, Chelsea Wolfe on the album’t title track. Our writer Phil Maye was able to to ask bassist Brian Cook some questions in what turned out to be easily my favorite interview conducted for B.G.M. to date. -Isaac

 

16. Native – Orthodox

Yet again another Sargent House band kills it. Native’s latest Orthodox hits all the notes that I look for in in rock music. It is melodic and heavy, intricate yet noisy, all instruments anchored by singer/bassist’s Bobby Markos’ vocals and the intense percussion provided by drummer Nick Glassen which in my opinion acts as the lead instrument in the band’s sound. Think Fugazi meets Bear Vs. Shark spiked with a slight touch of Cursive circa Domestica. This album is a solid listen from beginning-to-end and listening to these guys play these songs live was definitely one of my concert highlights this year. Be sure to check out Quinten’s full review of this record if you missed it earlier this year. – Isaac

15. Tennis – Small Sounds EP *

Tennis is perfect, feel-good, summer-time music and their last LP, Young & Old, was easily the one of the most underrated releases of 2012.  It was on almost no ones year-end lists. The Denver, husband-and-wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley strike gold yet again with this sugary-sweet EP. – Isaac

I love Tennis and everything they do. I really wish I could somehow be a part of Moore and Riley’s marriage. I love you two and you can do no wrong. That is all. – Jon

 

14. Sandrider – Godhead *

Last year The Sword put out one of my favorite stoner/doom/heavy metal albums of the last few years with Apocryphon and quite honestly I didn’t feel like there was any match for it this year. That was until this November when Sandrider dropped Godhead on us. This is the kind of record that you could play on a pair of headphones and still feel like a fucking bad-ass if you were wearing a knit sweater, a tutu, and ruby-red slippers in 30 degree weather. Don’t miss out on this one! – Isaac

These dudes are heavy and they rule. I didn’t know that they had released a new album until the band made their infamous appearance on Monday Night Football during a Seattle Seahawks game. The band’s   loudness was compared to the Seahawks 12th man. Isaac and I have been to a Seahawks game and have been part of the 12th man, it was pretty loud. So now we need to see them live to actually hear if Sandrider can make us even more deaf than we already are. – Jon

 

13. Poliça – Shulamith

I can’t say enough good things about Poliça, I love this band and this record. I first caught wind of this Minneapolis-based group when they were just starting to tour in support of their debut LP, Give You The Ghost. Poliça was initially formed by singer Channy Leaneagh and producer Ryan Olsen as a primarily electronic-based project and quickly moved into a live band consisting of Leaneagh, a bass player and two drummers. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver has been quoted saying that “They are the best I’ve ever heard!” And for good reason, their latest album Shulamith is synthpop gold. – Isaac

 

12. Anacondas – Sub Contra Blues

On the surface Anaconda’s may sound like your typical hardcore band, but if you actually take sometime and listen to their debut album you’ll hear something magical. The way the trio of Timothy Newman (Drums/Vocals), James Hunter (Bass/Vocals), and brother Stuart Hunter (Guitars/Vocals) are able to create the sub woofer pounding jams is amazing. However, the thing that stands out the most about Anacondas is their smart and creative use of vocals. The majority of the time they are half barked screams, but every once while they bring in the some really cool three part clean harmonies. The heaviness of the music combined with these original sounding vocals is truly what make Anacondas a special band. For more on this band’s awesomeness here is Quinten’s interview with them. – Jon

 

11. True Widow – Circumambulation

I have never heard a band that sounds quite like the slow stoner sludge of True Widow. This band is truly unique in the way they are able to keep things so slow and haunting yet engaging. I fell in love with the band earlier this year when I heard the band’s 2011 release As High As the Highest Heavens…  and the band has endeared themselves to me even more with this years Circumambulation. The way bassist Nicole Estill’s vocals interact with guitarist D.H. Phillips mellow voice is killer. I caught up with their bands drummer Slim TX earlier this year to get the details on True Widows awesomeness. – Jon

 

10. Local Natives – Hummingbird

When this record initially dropped, it was probably the single record that I had the absolute hardest time getting into. There was a some sort of mental block in my brain and I just didn’t get it. It was seriously as if it was encrypted and I couldn’t process it. Which is funny, because when I discovered Local Native’s debut LP, Gorilla Manor, I was immediately enamored with it. One day, however, the encryption was just magically lifted from my brain and the flood gates burst wide open. Hummingbird is without a doubt one of the most beautiful albums end-to-end that was released in 2013 and I am honestly surprised it didn’t end up on more ‘Best Of’ lists. I hope to see these very talented gentlemen in concert in the near future. – Isaac

 

9. Light / Black – Light / Black

This is the first year ever that I have included any Salt Lake City bands in my favorite albums of the year list and I never thought that one of these SLC local bands albums would end up as my personal #2 favorite album of the year, but I absolutely had to include this release when I heard the ominous heaviness of Light/Black’s song “The Gift”. This band is everything that I like about female fronted noise rock from the 90’s, but with a more updated relevant sound. Every song on their debut self titled album is great. I love the way Carrie Wakefield’s off kilter vocals combine with the bands pile driving pummeling distortion. I wrote an extensive review earlier this year. – Jon

8. Palms – Palms 

This was my #1 album of the year! Never in my wildest fantasies did I think that two of my favorite bands (Deftones and Isis) would some day combine forces and make six tracks of tear jerking dream metal, but apparently the things that you think will never happen sometimes do. The miracle of Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno combined with former Isis band members Jeff Caxide (bass), Aaron Harris (drums), Clifford Meyer (guitar / electronics) has come in the form of the supergroup Palms. Moreno is hands down my favorite vocalist of all time and for the better part of a decade the “thinking man’s post-metal” of Isis has been on constant rotation on all of my stereos. I really truly do love this album very much! Our writer Phil Maye  got in touch with Harris via email to get more details on my favorite album of 2013. – Jon

 

7. ANTWON- In Dark Denim Mixtape *

In Dark Denim barley beat out Ghostface for my favorite hip-hop album of the year . Just because ANTWON’s Valentines Day release has some really great party jams on it. For me hip-hop is all about the beats, I love beats that are original sounding and hit  hard. I really don’t care if you are a good rapper just as a long as you are good enough not to annoy me, but with ANTWON it’s the best of both world’s – quality beats and entertaining well versed lyrics on almost every song on the album. ANTWON may be a bit of a pervert when it comes to describing his sexual adventures, but it’s kinda awesome and it fits with the majority of the futuristic R&B inspired beats. Another great release from one of my favorite hip-hop artists. – Jon

So I might be stepping out on alimb here.. But I can’t be the only person who thinks that ANTWON sounds like Biggie Smalls  reincarnated, right? I definitely mean that in the best way possible (The Notorious B.I.G. being my favorite all time rapper), this dude has got the chops to back up a claim like that. The rhymes are tight and precise and anytime a rapper is as into hardcore music as they are funk and hip-hop, the beats tend to be a little different than the average release. In Dark Denim is by far my favorite hip-hop release of the year! – Isaac

 

6. Coheed & Cambria – The Afterman: Descension *

I had been a casual fan of the prog-rock sounds of Coheed & Cambria since they have been a band, but ever since they released their fourth album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow I have been a huge fan of the band. This album, The Afterman: Descension is the second part of a two album series. Both this record and its predecessor The Afterman: Ascension are both really great and with the addition of new bassist Zach Cooper the band’s sound has become more solid then they ever have before. Isaac and myself were lucky enough to meet up with Cooper for an interview earlier this spring before a Coheed show in Salt Lake City. – Jon

Here is a fun fact about me you may not know… I have a Coheed & Cambria lyric tattooed on my body. It’s True and I love this band. I am one of the geeky dudes who has been completely enamored with Coheed and “The Story” since Second Stage Turbine Blade. I know that Coheed have never really been most critic’s favorite band, nor do they fall anywhere near their radar for year end lists most of the time. But that is what makes us here at B.G.M. unique, we are music fans before music critics. We enjoy music for how it makes us feel. It is not our philosophy to tell you how a record should make you feel, but rather, to invite you into our experience with something we either loved, liked or hated. I love this band and honestly, Coheed’s prior two records (including the first of The Afterman series) were actually kind of hit and miss for me. However, I love this record, Descension compared to its counterpart is darker, heavier and showcases the re-vamped rhythm section of the re-united original drummer Josh Eppard and new member Zach Cooper on bass.  – Isaac

 

5. Bad Rabbits – American Love * 

American Love was actually my #1 overall pick for album of the year. This album is so much fun! Bad Rabbits are a Boston-based band and are revivalists of the New Jack Swing, R&B, and Funk Fusion sound made famous by the likes of Teddy Riley, Morris Day and The Time, Prince, etc. But these guys aren’t one-trick ponies either, their influences range from Michael Jackson to Glassjaw and have toured with a slew of different acts including Kendrick Lamar, as a backing band for Slick Rick, and also got a ton of notice when they toured alongside punk and metal acts in the Van’s Warped Tour a few years back. American Love in my mind is what the soundtrack to the perfect party should sound like. It is fun, catchy, sexy, dance-y and at the end of the year this was the album that without question, I had by far, listened to the most. Did I mention that their headlining concert at Bar Deluxe in Salt Lake this year was easily the most fun I have had doing anything in the last few years? Buy this record! – Isaac

I don’t love this band as much as Isaac does, but I do still very much enjoy them and there is no denying the booty swinging action of Bad Rabbits. I really dug their first release Stick Up Kids and was pleasantly surprised to find that the band was able to kick up the funk even higher with this latest release. Another one of my biggest 2013 regrets was missing their live show that Isaac went to.  – Jon

 

4. O’Brother – Disillusion *

O’Brother is a band that puts on an awe inspiring, spiritually-moving live show. We were able to catch one of their concerts this summer and it was down right spectacular. This band is like the Radiohead of alternative metal. The way O’Brother is able to create song structures that ebb and flow from meditative, slow passages to heavy heart-pounding destruction is truly fascinating. If you listen to the title track “Disillusion” and aren’t moved emotionally, then their might be something wrong with you. This band continues to become more and more creative with every album and being as Disillusion is only their second full length I am insanely excited for what O’Brother has in store for the future. – Jon

If I were hard pressed to describe O’Brother’s sound I am sure I would and have probably said something along these lines, “Well, they are sooo heavy! But, they are sooo melodic! And the vocals are soul-crushing, but they are really theatrical too! But in a good way! I promise… There isn’t anyone else that sound’s like em. They are in a class all their own!” Which is all true. The sonic, melodic, alt-metal force that is O’Brother ruined me for the next few foreseeable years because any heavy album released will be compared to Disillusion as well as the band’s previous work. On top of seeing this band a handful of times live, I also got the chance to ask singer/guitarist Tanner Merritt and Drummer Michael Martens a few questions earlier this year.  – Isaac

 

3. Cloakroom – Infinity EP *

Cloakroom is like a perfect summer day. You know those days that are hot, but not too hot and you spend the day relaxing on the back porch starring up at the clouds well that’s basically the best way I can describe Cloakroom. Their debut release is only five songs, but literally every one of the five songs is perfect. At the end of the summer I was so enamored with the band that I decided to review their album, which I think gives a really great description of how I feel about them and what I think they sound like. Quinten also got together with their bassist Bobby Markos to talk about Cloakroom and his other amazing band Native. – Jon

I was a little late to the game with Cloakroom’s Infinity EP and I am sad that was the case because I missed out on months worth of listening to this gem. Cloakroom’s ethereal 90’s hum and vocals paired with harsh, crashing sweeps evoke sounds ranging from Mogwai, Sponge, and Jesu. This five song EP is perfect in every sense of the word. It’s almost as if you took a Sonic Youth record, turned up the gain and played it back at half speed. Please, give me more of this guys. – Isaac

 

2. Chelsea Wolfe – Pain Is Beauty *

Seeing Chelsea Wolfe in concert is pretty much like going to church. Her voice is flawless live and the way her amazing backing band is able to convert her electronic, goth-type jams into something more organic on stage is something to behold. Listening to her latest album Pain is Beauty, is a total spiritual experience from start to finish. When I found out that Chelsea Wolfe was releasing a new album this year I pretty much new it was going to end up towards the top of our ‘Best of List’ before I even listened to it. – Jon

A little less than two years ago, Jon drug me out to see Chelsea Wolfe play a show here in SLC. I went into the show with no prior knowledge of her or her music and came out a true fan. Be sure to follow both Wolfe and Sargent House to find a tour date near you. Let me tell you this, Chelsea Wolfe is flawless live, her voice is hauntingly gorgeous and “talent” doesn’t even begin to describe what this women possesses. Pain Is Beauty is really incredible and extremely unique. – Isaac

 

1. Alpine – A Is For Alpine *

I think that it’s totally awesome that Alpine ended up as our #1 overall album of 2013 it makes me happy on the inside and out. A is for Alpine is easily my favorite electronic indie pop album of the year. I have to credit Isaac for the discovery of this band. Alpine is sextet from Melbourne Australia led by the dual female vocal action of Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The voices of these women are like two fairytale pixies crooning in your ear, the ways these two intertwine their voices and harmonies is straight uncut pixie dust to the brains. There is an overabundance of electro indie bands out right now, but Alpine is for sure on top of the heap as far as I am concerned. – Jon

As much as I would like to take all the credit for finding this band on my own, it would actually have to credit an ex-girlfriend who’s music choices I used to detest simply because she’d make me listen to them over and over until I wanted to rip my ears off and throw them out the window. However, with a lot of space between us I have found that it is surprisingly easy to listen to her recommendations on my grounds.  But, I digress… A Is For Alpine was the album that was a total sneak attack into both myself and Jon’s lists this year. Furthermore, it was even more surprising that when our lists were combined it rose to the number one spot. There was only about a half second of silence before Jon and I both nodded to one another in approval. This album is fun, the band plays very tight and boy howdy, do those ladies make you fall in love with their vocals. Not to mention that when they played an opening slot in Salt Lake City’s Twilight Concert Series this year they became one of my most memorable acts of this year’s series. Give this band a listen you won’t regret it. – Isaac

 

Wow you read all the way to the end! Impressive! We both want to thank everyone very much for being a part of B.G.M. this year. It means a lot to is that you visit our site, read our stuff, and support the bands that we love. Here’s to an amazing 2014 full of even better music! Peace! Jon & Isaac