Seafoam Couch’s Collaborative Collective Favorite Songs and Albums of 2013

It is a little late I know, but after the entire month of December we have compiled a great playlist of songs to reflect on 2013.  Missing a few days in December, there were some tunes or albums that may have fallen off the list, but these were the jams and cuts that stuck with us the most throughout beautiful 2013. We hope you enjoy our picks! 

Happy New Year from Seafoam Couch!

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Favorite Of 2013 – Foals – Holy Fire

Favorite Performance Of 2013// Foals//Neptune Theater//Seattle
Foals Neptune Theater june 1

Favorite Album Of 2013//Foals//Holy Fire

holy fire

Favorite Song Of 2013//Foals//Bad Habit

2013 is over.  Passing rapidly in a hurry, but also long and intense.  Thinking back I can break apart certain points of the year into segments according to what I was into and experiencing.  Seattle’s music scene offered up many choices for all moods.  The hip hop scene was exploding, alt country was leveling out, the warm surf rolled in, and electronic artists blew up dance filled venues.  So many choices.  So many shows.  I love my city’s scene and culture.

As I pulled up my sleeves for another gorgeous year in music I took on sort of an eclectic approach.  I wanted to learn the history of the artists that paved the way for what we hear and create today; diving deep into the records of rock’n roll, studying the roots of reggae and psychedelic architects.  This lead to many nights of joyful music documentaries and insightful listening sessions.

Sometimes when you listen to songs today you notice parts in songs that remind you of older artists.  Push rewind.  Listen.  Yes, that is the same riff as Fleetwood Mac.  These vocals remind me of Sting.  That reggae beat thrown into this jam takes me back to the soulful cuts of Lloyd Charmers.  The warm feeling I get from hearing a familiar part in a modern song being transformed from the format of a classic into something fresh is wonderful.

When a favorite band releases a single in anticipation of their upcoming release you can take it a few ways.  If the song rocks, then the suspense for the record increases.  If the single blows, you get scared.

On first listen of the Foals first single Inhaler off of the 2013 up and coming release Holy Fire I almost collapsed onto my living room floor.  No way.  These guys did not just do that.  Can you tell how I felt about the song?  Ha, it was a let down to say the least.  Another one bites the dust trying to go mainstream.  But wait, there is hope in the horizon.

February saw the release of the Foals third studio album “Holy Fire”.  Scratching my head I put on my headphones and hit play.  Drinking a sip of water I turned and looked at my dog Winston.  “Here we go Wanky”.  The first track Prelude opens up the album with shakers and thudding bass drums.  The iconic Foals style guitar crept in opening avenues for good things to come.  I’m not gonna lie, the next track is Inhaler which “accidentally” got skipped the first few spins.  I later got over the ugly chorus and accepted the other worthy portions of the song (The guitar is actually pretty sick during the verse and outro).

My Number followed ending up as the most user friendly track for the masses (who weren’t already fans of the Foals).  I can dig.  Many happy car rides last summer included this pop hit.  Bad Habit.  Boom.  Favorite track on Holy Fire.  Turns out favorite song of 2013.  The Foals do a great job of building the songs into roaring breath taking adventures; Bad Habit and all remaining songs on Holy Fire are such quality jams – at times delighting I Pod commercials invade my imagination to the habitual drums and guitars.  On Out Of The Woods violins accompany the killer drum flow and stellar vocal melodies easily becoming my second favorite track.  I would find  myself beat-boxing the drums from Out Of The Woods in the shower.  Mild & Black Spiders carries a chorus backed by booming kick and subliminally layered looping guitars.  “Cause I’ve been around two times and found that you’re the only thing I need!  Cause I’ve been around two times and found that you’re the only thing I need!
Cause I’ve been around two times and found that you’re the only thing I need!
Cause I’ve been around two times and found that you’re no friend in need!” builds and sprawls into a swarm of spiraling intensity.

Car karaoke.  That’s what the Foals should have titled this album.   >>Yannis Philippakis’s<< vocals are the strongest and charismatic to date.  Jimmy Smith’s mathy guitar intertwines alongside Yannis phenomenal tempo.  Jack Bevan hallelujah.  Makes the list of top drummers of all time.  These mates gel.  The compositions and pop artistry released on Holy Fire remind me of the Fleetwood Macs and Pink Floyds of yesteryear.

Their live performance is nothing short of amazing.  Yannis crowd surfs and climbs balconies all while thrashing his Travis Bean guitar.  Jack’s drums consume me.  Tribal off beat fills and super fast rhythms back their signature guitar tones and techniques.

As the Foals continue to put out solid records their fan base grows.  Endless touring and festival performances displaying their seductive rock and roll music builds followers of all genres of music.  Renown DJs remix song after song blasting their own spin on mixtapes echoing deep into night crawling clubs.– see >>Holy Fire Remixs and Bad Habit Ep//>>.  

My little secret isn’t a secret anymore.  But the Foals are still My Number 1.  Cheers mates.

>>>Watch<<<

Late Night

My Number

Out Of The Woods

Inhaler

Foals Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD Trailer

Thanks for sharing our best of 2013 moments with us here on Seafoamcouch

–Cameron

Favorite Albums Of 2013 – Cut Copy – Free Your Mind

admat FINAL vertical DI

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.

Watch Cut Copy perform on NPR’s live webcast

http://www.npr.org/event/music/243077320/cut-copy-live-in-concert

–Cameron

Favorite Albums Of 2013 – Deafheaven – Sunbather

Deafheaven Russian Circles tour poster

     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.

–Cameron

Favorite Albums Of 2013 – La Luz – It’s Alive

la luz

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.

I love this band.

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la luz haha

–Cameron

Favorite Albums of 2013 – “Trouble Will Find Me” – The National

The-National-Trouble-Will-Find-Me-608x608On 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!

SDT

Favorite Album of 2013 – “The Bones of What You Believe” – Chvrches

chvrches-the-bones-of-what-you-believeBorrowing 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.

SDT

 

Favorite Albums of 2013 – “Let’s Be Still” – The Head and The Heart

HeadAndTheHeart-byDylanPriest2Like of smooth drink or a breezy summer day, Let’s Be Still is peaceful and calming. It warms the soul and has you singing along within minutes. Some songs are ones revisited from being played solely at their live shows and others are original. The album needs to be listened as a whole to get the full idea of it as there aren’t many standout singles on it. That’s all for now….Merry Christmas folks!

SDT

 

Favorite Albums of 2013 – Native – Orthodox

Native

     Picking up where These Arms Are Snakes left off may seem like a terrible idea. Not because of their insane lead singer or genre of music that they demolished and ruled (math/post-hardcore/hardcore/who give’s a f). Not the mouth-dropping live performances that left permanent holes in my eardrums, or even the snaky guitar riffs that soared over the offbeat drums. Terrible is thy simple thought of a band who obviously grew up idolizing T.A.A.S. trying to replicate their technique. Studying for years under Pai Mei may make someone a master of Kung fu, but not quite as good as the master himself. After all, T.A.A.S. reside on a mountaintop. To reach them you must climb hundreds of crooked steps that rise above the clouds. At least in my opinion.

Native have developed a style many fans of math rock post hardcore will feel ripped off T.A.A.S. Dive deeper and discover a similar format that follows the same guidelines: snaky guitars, fast off-beat skins, Steve Snare vocals, etc.. The thing of it is though is that Native pulls it off. There was a refreshing sensation the first time I heard Orthodox. >>Riding the grape dragon<< cannot be matched and that is fine. The demons have been slayed.  No more comparing.  Just open-minded spectating.

Native’s raw energy thumps reverberating sensational rock music throughout Orthodox 28 minute thrill coaster.  Satisfying my longing for a fresh rock album that turns the nob clockwise.

>>>Audio Tree Live Session<<<

–Cameron

Favorite Albums of 2013 – “Country Sleep” – Night Beds

user561207_pic33332_1244274944Night Beds caught me by surprise. It was a case of not judging a book by its cover. I just didn’t expect a band called Night Beds to be anything I liked. Well when you hear Winston Yellen’s voice you’ll realize that I was more than wrong about them. “Ramona” is something I would listen to while walking down the beach, waves crashing at my feet. The whole album to me really feels like it would be the soundtrack to a grey sky day on the Oregon coast or Golden Gardens that is finished with a bon fire on the beach at night with some PBR and good friends. If you’re lucky maybe it will complete the entirety of your day as Yellen’s voice lull’s you to sleep. Enjoy the NPR TIny Desk Performance below!

SDT