Kriston McConnell’s ‘Best Of 2013’ In Music


When you’re listening to an album in February you may say to yourself, “THIS is my favorite album this year, definitely.” After that June comes around and you say, “No, THIS is my favorite album, hands down.” November rolls on by and you say, “Fuck all of those other albums, this is THE album of the year!” You think you have it all sorted out, then your editor asks you to put together a list of your favorite albums for the year. Well, shit.

2013 has been such a great year for music, and deciding which albums are “the best of the best” has been a challenge. If I could list all of the albums that I felt should be checked out this would easily have 50 albums on it. Luckily though I have thought long and hard about my list and have come up with my absolute favorites for 2013.


Top Albums

1. Dance Gavin Dance | Acceptance Speech

After giving this album a perfect score on my review, it only makes sense to make these guys my #1 for the year. I’ll tell you though, it wasn’t easy. There have been some other great albums out this year, and I lost at least an hour of sleep being torn up between this and the #2 album.

2. Bleach Blonde | Starving Artist

If you were in middle/jr high/high school around 2006-2009 then you will understand why this album has so much nostalgia to it. Danny Stillman might not be in a metalcore band anymore, but his voice is quickly recognizable. Starving Artist is catchy as hell, and you are missing out if you haven’t given these guys a chance yet.

3. The Devil Wears Prada | 8:18

This is the album that I was afraid would be this band’s “one too many,” and subsequently suck. Lucky for me, it did not. I really like the direction they’ve taken, especially with the more “raw” sound of their unclean vocals. I know some people don’t like the new style, but I believe Dead Throne and 8:18 are two of the best albums the band has ever released.

4. Bring Me The Horizon | Sempiternal

At first, I was upset that this band started lightening up their sound. I felt that Suicide Season was where the band should stay at. They’ve continued to outdo themselves though, and now it’s hard to imagine they’ll be able to top what they’ve created with Sempiternal. Some of my favorite songs this band has ever released are on this album.

5. Dayshell | Dayshell

This album came out of nowhere. I only picked it up because I liked one of the singles, and the vocalist used to be in Of Mice & Men. I had no expectations, but this has been one of my favorite albums to listen to. Shayley Bourget has such a great singing voice.

6. A Lot Like Birds | No Place

Whoever thought of these guys getting together to make up this group was a genius. Their last album was fabulous, and this one is even better. They’ve done an awesome job up until this point and I hope they keep writing music together for a long time.

7. The Ocean Between Us | Savoir Faire

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: It’s a real shame these guys broke up right around the time this album came out. I know it’s expensive to be in a touring band, but this album kicked ass. Financial trouble is a terrible way to have to give up on something you love.

8. Iwrestledabearonce | Late For Nothing

Even with the new frontwoman, this band still has it. They sound slightly different because Courtney’s vocals aren’t the same as Krysta’s, but otherwise this album feels like it was meant to be the follow up to Ruining It For Everybody all along. They also kill it live. Can’t go wrong with that.

9. I See Stars | New Demons

This is the most mature album the band has released. I liked Digital Renegade, but they stepped up their game with this album. They might not be the only electronic hardcore out there, but they are easily one of the best.

10. Tegan And Sara | Heartthrob

I was torn between a couple of albums for this last spot. Cutting the last couple of albums out of the top 10 is a little bit harder than it may look. However, with that being said, this is easily the best album the two sisters have released. They’ve gotten better with each album, and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us.

Top EPs

To be completely honest I did not listen to very many EPs this year. My New Year’s resolution is to listen to more EPs.

1. Glass Cloud | Perfect War Forever

I thoroughly enjoyed the direction the band went with this EP. Royal Thousand was an awesome album, but I really hope they stick with this grungier sound.

2. Our Last Night | Oak Island

Can this band release any bad music? I was tempted to include their Summer Of Covers release but I’m not sure if that actually counts as an EP or not…

3. Ghost Atlas | Gold Soul Coma: Vol 1

Who is this, you ask? This is the side project of the clean vocalist of Erra. If you like his singing voice, I recommend checking out this four track EP.

4. Oceans Red | Hold Your Breath

Kicking out Denis and changing their name from Make Me Famous was the smartest move this band has made to date. Even though they were dropped from their record label, they’re still pushing forward with new music.

5. Beartooth | Sick

Caleb Shomo was in Attack Attack! as the keyboardist for a little while before he took the helm as vocalist. Being the frontman of the band though set him up to be a hugely popular musician the last couple years. He departed from the group and started Beartooth, and released some of his best songs to date.

Here are some honorable mentions for the bands who didn’t quite make the cut. It hurt me more than it hurt them.

Mansions | Doom Loop (highly recommend)
Dresses | Sun Shy
Sigur Ros | Kveikur
Fit For A King | Creation/Destruction
Greeley Estates | Devil Son EP

Kriston occasionally uses Twitter to stalk Emma Watson. You can watch her embarrass herself daily by following her.

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