Following yesterday’s first half of my Top 20 Albums of 2013, I proudly present the best music I listened to this year. Hopefully, you find something you’ll like. Enjoy the second half of my Top 20 Album list.
10: Drag the River: S/T
This is the first of two albums I never expected to make it in my top ten this year. Drag the River is an amazing alt-country band fronted by my new musical crush, Jon Snodgrass.
9: Streetlight Manifesto: The Hand That Thieves
With how tense the relationship is between this band and their record label, I expected Streetlight to phone it in on this album. Not so though. I preferred the acoustic version they put out as well, but unfortunately, they had to take that one off the market. Curses Victory Records!
8: Off With Their Heads: Home
I learned about this band over the summer when they opened for Frank Turner and I’ve been addicted ever since. Based on what Epitaph releases these days, I’m surprised they’re on the label, but this is a lot of fun. If you like bands like Hot Water Music, you’ll appreciate Off With Their Heads.
7: Alkaline Trio: My Shame is True
An Alkaline Trio album produced by Bill Stevenson? What’s not to love?
6: Capital Cities: In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Here’s the second unexpected album on my list this year. I first heard “Safe and Sound” while at the gym at 1:00 in the morning. I was hooked and bought the album the next week. This album is infectious, poppy, and just makes me happy. The perfect summer album.
5: Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP2
Eminem is just as vicious as ever on this album, but he also shows moments of vulnerability, introspection, and heart throughout.
Sadly, I don’t have an album stream for Hillyard’s California, but please click the name above to get access to a copy. This is one of the best ska/reggae/rocksteady albums I’ve heard in years. I’ve been listening to Hillyard’s music since his days in Hepcat, and this is him at his most personal.
3: Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart
Even though Tape Deck Heart finds Frank Turner on a major label, he still hasn’t lost the personal edge to his songwriting. This might actually be his most personal offering to date. English folk with a punk flavor. If this were my wife’s list, Tape Deck Heart would probably skyrocket to number one, but two albums came by to knock Frank out of my top spot.
2: Various Artists: The Songs of Tony Sly – A Tribute
My Top 20 lists are typically reserved for original work, meaning cover albums, soundtracks, or compilations are a no-no, but no matter what, I just couldn’t get away from the Tony Sly comp this year. It’s absolutely amazing and absolutely heartbreaking all in one. Fat Wreck Chords put the comp together after Tony died as a way to support his family. None of the artists involved phoned it in and you can tell while listening to each song.
1: Ben Marwood: Back Down
Frank Turner can be blamed for me learning about Ben Marwood as well. He also opened for Frank over the summer, and with just an acoustic guitar and quirky folk songs, he won the crowd over. Ben Marwood was plastered all over my Spotify year in review report, and it’s because of his voice and excellent song writing. He’s not very well known in America, so do yourself a favor and take a listen.