What a year! In alphabetical order, here are The Vault’s Ten Favourite Albums of 2013. Tune into 8tracks for the accompanying playlist.
Bear Mountain – XO
Bear Mountain is 4 parts musician, 1 part creative director, the result of which is an engrossing and intriguing live show; a few of us Vaultures were able to catch this Vancouver based band this past fall at Clark Hall in Kingston. The euphoria of their live show is captured effortlessly on XO, an album brimming with only the grooviest electro-pop anthems. I will warn you this was one of the most addictive albums of 2013.
See You Through
Born Ruffians – Birthmarks
Every fucking song on this album is a hit. It has the same quirky, sort of spastic energy that made us fall in love with Born Ruffians on Red, Yellow And Blue but with a more mature and rounded out sound. The result is brilliant, and great fun to dance to!
With Her Shadow
Dancing On The Edge of Our Graves
Brendan Canning- You Gots 2 Chill
I feel like with this piece we all got to know Brendan Canning a little bit more. With this solo piece being technologically stripped down, we get to hear him come through his music in a way we haven’t heard before. (As a bonus, he also did his own album art). There’s a dynamicness in this album that creates a genuine closeness to his sound that allows us to feel like we are listing to him live… I could be daydreaming.
New Zealand Tap Dancing Finals
Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
Acid Rap is a killer mixtape, the second released by Chicago based Chance The Rapper, packed with collaborations from other big names in that rap game at the moment. Chance The Rapper bears a unique voice, that under anyone else’s control may border on annoying, however he masters it in way that safely lands his sound in amazing. Originally releasing this mixtape April as a free digital download, Chance The Rapper is rising fast.
Cocoa Butter Kisses (Feat. Vic Mensa and Twista)
Favorite Song (Feat. Childish Gambino)
Daniel Romano – Come Cry With Me
Daniel Romano’s third solo album refines the ideas developed in his past two, and while it may seem one-dimensional, it spans multiple genres that existed in the world of 1960’s AM Radio. His storytelling has improved, his vocals shine through, and the warmth of the instruments is tangible and nostalgic. Regardless of genre, this is a master storyteller at work, backed by a tight band and a world of experience to draw upon.
Just Between You And Me
A New Love (Can Be Found)
He Lets Her Memory Go (Wild)
Jane’s Party – Hot Noise
Easily Jane’s Party’s best release yet, Hot Noise is stocked with a variety of fun and upbeat songs, which, lucky for us, are impossible not to dance to. An up-and-coming Toronto based band, here are four of the hardest working guys on the Ontario circuit. Keep you ears peeled for more.
Dutch Blue Sky
Hot Noise Pt. 2
Royal Canoe – Today We’re Believers
As far as originality goes, the experimentation, ambition, and straight up creativity that produced Today We’re Believers earns Royal Canoe a spot on our Top 10. Not one of the 12 songs sound the same, but each is overflowing with enough tempo, bass, and melody twists to keep you hooked for the entire 56 minutes. But I guess that’s what you get when you have 6 pairs of hands and feet hanging out through Winnipeg winters with nothing else to do.
Show Me Your Eyes
If I Had A House
Suuns – Images Du Futur
This experimental album by Montreal based band Suuns is relentless, delivering moments that make you want to sway followed by moments overflowing with power and pulse that leaves no option but to headbang. Suuns visited Kingston this past fall to bless us all with an incredible set at The Grad Club, earning them an uncontested spot on our Top 10.
Volcano Choir – Repave
Repave is the second collaboration between Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin comrades Collections of Colonies of Bees. Although most of the time Vernon’s lyrics are unintelligible, this only pushes the listener to turn an intent ear to the feeling evoked from the sweeping grandeur expressed throughout. This album is soaring in scope and proportion, going where Bon Iver did not. The standout tracks include “Byegone,” “Alaskans,” and “Dancepack”.
Washed Out – Paracosm
Ernest Greene of Washed Out effectively demonstrates on Paracosm that the often wistful and contemplative soundscapes captured by the chillwave genre can encapsulate a rather positive and grounded “everything is going to be alright” attitude. Released this summer by Sub Pop Records, Paracosm invites listeners to step back from reality and to embark with Greene on a reflective exploration of the mundane and the novel, detour through the humble and the grandiose, and to embrace the perceived roadblock of uncertainty in our lives. Greene exhibits his singer/songwriter side more so on this album than on previous efforts, which serviced by his incredible production skills help to avoid redundancy by offering up something fresh and perhaps indicative of the future introduction of a band of some sort behind the creative front man. Described by Greene as “daytime psychedelia”, lend an ear, take a dose, and believe that everything is going to be alright.
It All Feels Right
Don’t Give Up
Thanks for tuning in, see you in 2014!
– Emma, Cam, Carly, Graham, Kate, Matt, Natali, and Paul