Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind. Free Your Mind.
Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colours quickly became one of my favorite records of all time. I played it over and over. The double vinyl edition was spun countless numbers of times in the Magnolia music listening station room. Dance parties on the wooden floor transformed into house parties replicating live shows with ground shaking bodies. Man I couldn’t get enough of that record. Every time I listened different sounds and imaginations would form rising in and out of interludes and heart beating pulses.
When word of Cut Copy’s latest record hit newsstands my thoughts raced with excitement. Stereogum had the full stream of Free Your Mind up first and all I could think about was how hopeful I was that this record would live up to In Ghost Colours.
The whole concept behind Free Your Mind rang out like a loud bell. It struck me. It moved me. I had an epiphany. This album was created to help. To help me to free my mind. From the stress and anxiety. From the thoughts that circled in my brain and some days consumed me.
Cut Copy didn’t intend to become my personal release. Their idea behind this new record was meant to reach the masses, to make them dance, to make them free from their demons. If I could spend five minutes with the band I would tell them thank you.
Like a hurricane of crashing cymbals, Sunbather rushes in and erupts a majestic piece of hardcore listening indulgence. Turning passionate screaming into beauty. Peaking and redlining emotion transitions into softer timbre.
Deafheaven brought back a genre of music to me that has been absent for a few years now. Somewhere between the sound of >>Appleseed Cast<< and >>Zao<<. Releasing raw feeling. Although I tend to listen to this album all the way through, the title track “Sunbather” is my jam. People that usually curl their lips and shy away from melodic screaming listen to this album and somehow hear the greatness.
Back in November of 2012 I went to see Russian Circles headline a show @ Neumos. The opening acts were Crypts (singer from These Arms Are Snakes), and Deafheaven. I knew nothing about Deafheaven at the time, but recall hearing the machine gun double kick drums echo across Pike St. as I entered late into the first song. A montage of bright colors and odd footage played on a screen behind them. It was loud. It was rad. The tour poster displayed above is from that show.
Watch a young teenage dude interview Deafheaven’s George Clarke and Kerry McCoy below.
Local Natives’ sophmore album was just as good if not better than their first go around, but it just couldn’t make the final cut this year. However, seeing as I missed the first week and a half with this you may see an honorable mentioned. “Heavy Feet” was heavy in sound! Even though it’s Local Natives the song makes you want to stomp your feet and rock your head back and forth like you are at a metal concert. It makes you clap and it makes you want to dance. The snare drum keeps you moving throughout the song even during the quieter parts and when the chorus hits you it feels so full of sound that you have a full choir and orchestra exploding in your face! It’s my favorite off the album and obviously of 2013 and you will enjoy it just as much!
Deer tick’s Negativity didn’t seem to turn too many heads this year. The album ventured into new territories and strayed from traveled paths. Although the album didn’t move me enough to claim it a best of 2013, there were a few tracks that were worth honorable mention. Most notably were the songs Mirror Walls & Hey doll.
John McCauley’s voice sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to that raspy yet pretty tune. Deer Tick’s performance @ Neumos right here in Seattle opened with John playing piano on “Hey doll” for the eager faces in the crowd. His orange suit shouted party time and that’s what became of Oct. 22nd.
2013 has been a wild one. After stumbling upon the Dampface EP while browsing Bandcamp I became immediately infected by the ghostly surf-pop sound of La Luz. Next came the DIY show @ The Heartland. A night that will never be forgotten. Monkey Pub to Dantes to janky pizza joint to La Luz to….
The few songs this radical Seattle band had to offer spread like wildfire throughout my friends and surrounding community. Soon enough, much more than just my local village knew about these charming yet mysterious girls. “Luzer” spread across my t-shirt proudly. Conversation would begin after strangers would examine my loser Lucha libre cartoon figure screen-printed across my chest.
Next came the performance at Neumos. The crowd was cut in half so that a soul train dance party became the main extravaganza. With La Luz revealing their vintage pop harmonies and surf nostalgia the home crowd grew anxious of their warm sound and buzzed off of their charm.
Soon this small local band became a smash hit. Touring and opening for acts such as Of Montreal. They released It’s Alive via Hardly Art Records in October.
I’m not sure whether it’s Diana Cleveland’s brilliant surf licks, or the vintage harmonies that pull me into dreams, but I hold this band close at heart. A film colorfully imagined documenting my life in 2013 including many vibrant moments and also awakening realizations would be scored appropriately with songs from It’s Alive and Dampface.
On first listen you’re distracted by trying to figure out which track is the best, how did the album compare to previous albums. At first when I listened to the album I though it failed on both accounts, no stand out tracks and not a great album. Every single track is a hit and I think this is why I was so confused by this album at first. Every song is great and it never skips a beat. While I’ve never really come across too many albums that do that it initially led me to believe that it was crap. Several re-listens later and I realize that every song is great and the album is great. I can’t pick out one or two songs and say that they were great and you should listen to them or that there were some that were bad. This entire album is worth a complete listen from start to finish, it really is the only way you will appreciate it. A culmination of the bands work and progress over the years, “Trouble Will Find Me” may leave you just as perplexed as I was originally or it may be one of your favorite albums of all time. Give it a test, but make sure if you aren’t convinced right away you give it a few listens…you won’t regret it!
Earlier this year I mentioned this song as a favorite of mine and it continued to be hence why it is being mentioned. The movie is a distant memory (Spring Breakers), but the song is so ever present. With “Scary Monsters and Sprites” being re-recorded on strings it does a perfect job of representing a generation that is all about getting wasted and the next big thing and the strings bring a melancholy to the song that was unheard before. It was a perfect tone setting piece of score and I suggest you see the movie Spring Breakers to hear what I’m talking about.
Borrowing similar themes of a classic 80’s song or 80’s movie soundtrack Chvrches successfully made one of the most compelling and listenable albums of 2013. The first track “The Mother We Share” kicks off the album with it’s only explicit song containing the lyrics “…because it’s all fucked up…” which clearly the situation is and the song is a ballad for those in any messed up situation or for those who ya know…want to dance! “Recover” a cry for help and support is nicely placed in the middle of the album for a nice pick me up and is easily one of the best songs of 2013 as well. I first listened to the album at work and wasn’t sure if I liked it and then realized that I was head bobbing and stomping my feet to the entirety of the album. As it made me lose some inhibitions considering I was at work, it was clearly a winner. It’s an album that makes you move and moves you.
Passion Pit subtly released an EP this fall with a cover, a couple of remixes, and a new song. “Ruin Your Day” was the new song. While it is not full of the synthesizer and drums that normally accommodate most of Passion Pit’s songs it relates closer to the EP it comes off of “Constant Conversations.” An anthem for those who stress a lot and are down on themselves Michael sings “Don’t let your worries, ruin your day!” And it tends to help you do just that. “Ruin Your Day” is a lullaby that could put any of your loved ones to rest with a simple, yet meaningful message and Angelakos’ voice behind it you might as well start counting your zzz’s.