2013 | Ryan D's Top Albums of the Year


1. The Lone Bellow – Self-Titled

[T]he Brooklyn trio nailed it with their debut album and their growing popularity shows no signs of stopping. From openers to headliners in less than a year, and on one release, is a testament to their hard work and amazing showmanship. If you haven’t seen this band live yet you need to make it your New Year’s resolution. Same with buying this album!


2. Typhoon – White Lighter

[O]regon’s Typhoon created an album with enough catchy hooks and sing-a-long choruses to keep you bopping around the house for days on end. The eleven-piece band put their hearts into every song on White Lighter and the album plays solidly from start to finish…and back again. I was fortunate to see them when they came through town this year and it was quite an experience. You think this album is great? Just wait ’till you hear these songs live.


3. Caitlin Rose – The Stand-In

[M]uscians from Nashville don’t mess around when it comes to songwriting and Caitlin Rose is no exception. Her sophomore solo album, The Stand-In, is as sharp as a switchblade and as smooth as a glass of fine whiskey. Rose is a young artist with an old soul and has an ability to write music that feels timeless, which means she’s either a time traveler or just very talented. Could be both…either way you should own this album.


4. Larcenist – Eager City, Patient Country

[A]n honest album about regular people trying to make the best with what they have while understanding that life is a blessing despite the hardships. That’s what I took away from the spectacular album, Eager City, Patient Country, from Boston’s other band of bearded brothers Larcenist. The songs are roadmaps to redemption, bound together by beautiful harmonies and swirling strings. Simply wonderful.


5. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Untamed Beast

[O]regon bands for the win in 2013! Another Portland music scene stand out, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, found the way to our Music Savage hearts this year with their release, Untamed Beast, a collection of hip-shaking, good old-fashioned rock n’ roll. The album is James Dean with a pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve while leaning back on a Porsche Spyder…. super cool!


6. Kingsley Flood – Battles 

[B]oston bands for the win in 2013! Kingsley Flood released their second full-length album Battles back in February and it has found a permanent home in my regular rotation. It’s the perfect sitting at your desk album, it’s the perfect driving album… hell it’s pretty much a perfect album, hence why I have it on this here list. They have made many new fans with this release, and their live show has become legendary, so get on board the Boston band’s wagon while there’s still room.


7. Fossil Collective – Tell Where I Lie

[T]his debut album from Leeds duo Fossil Collective is a gorgeous medley of melodies layered over a generous helping of horns and strings. The duo started in 2004 as part of a band called Vib Gyor, releasing two EP’s and a full-length. With those past releases, the  EP’s David Fendick and Johnny Hooker created under the moniker Fossil Collective, and this year’s Tell Where I Lie, there is plenty of music to keep you warm this winter.


8. J Roddy Walston and the Business – Essential Tremors

[H]oly hell I must play this album again! That was the first thought I had after the ringing in my ears had quieted for a moment and I had gained my composure. Essential Tremors is what rock n’ roll listens to when rock n’ roll needs a pep-talk. Trying to kick your caffeine habit? Well then start listening to this album in the morning instead. Soon you won’t need coffee to get you going, only J Roddy Walston and the Business.


9. Lorde – Pure Heroine

[N]ew Zealand native Ella Yelich-O’Connor (aka Lorde) exploded on to the scene with her debut, Pure Heroine, in September and has since become, for lack of better words, a superstar. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has listened to this fantastic album. Recorded when she was only 16, Pure Heroine, proves once again that age is never a factor when talent makes an entrance. Her songs about being a disenfranchised youth resonate with us all and that electro-pop beat reminds us that everything is better with the speakers on.


10. Poliça – Shulamith

[M]inneapolis, Minnesota band Poliça put their city on the synth-pop map back in 2011, and their 2013 sophomore album, Shulamith, has brought even more attention to the music scene located within the Twin CitiesFilled with dark, edgy beats and feminist-driven lyrics, the record plays like a dance manifesto for the indie-rock crowd. I could listen to Poliça all day, and I have on many occasions.