Matthew Leimkuehler’s ‘Best of 2013’ In Music

Matthew Leimkuehler Album of the Year

2013 was a year full of insurmountable twists and turns with each new record release. One of the best years in recent memory, music fans world-wide rejoiced over incredible releases amongst all genres in the industry. As the year comes to an end, it has been overwhelmingly difficult to narrow down a list of simply 10 LPs and 5 EPs that made a lasting impact on my life; there were so many substantial and complete records delivered throughout the year.

I found myself latching to records I never thought I’d give two listens (Twenty One Pilots — Vessel), I found myself indulging in old favorites re-born with 21st century sounds (Paul McCartney — New), and most of all, I found myself embracing ideas within music outside of my comfort zone (letlive. — The Blackest Beautiful). 2013 was a year where so much was given to music fans that it is almost impossible to claim a set of handfuls as the most vital listens of the year. With that being said, let’s dive into what records I believe were the strongest, most sustainable releases of the year…

2013 LPs

10. Fall Out BoySave Rock and Roil 

Overall driven and fun; it was the little things — such as the Patrick Stump and Elton John duet — that made this record memorable.

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9. Allison WeissSay What You Mean 

Subscribing to the perfect amount of transparent emotion, Allison Weiss shows fans disparity can come with a light smile.

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8. Matt PryorWrist Slitter

A late 2013 release, Matt Pryor’s latest solo effort showed us being emotional can come in more than one form.

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7. The Dangerous SummerGolden Record 

The darkest release of TDS’ highly-acclaimed and still relatively young career, Golden Record gives listeners a spiteful angst, while still being one of the most aurally pleasing records of the year.


6. I Can Make A MessEnola 

Ace Enders’ solo project went places fans have never heard the singer/songwriter go before, providing a collection of tracks that are infectiously and uncontrollably catchy.


5 The Venetia FairEvery Sick, Disgusting Thought We’ve Got In Our Brain

TVF have perfected the craft of mind-numbing artistic insanity with the 2013 release.


4. The Dear HunterMigrant 

TDH remain the best at transporting listeners to a different world, which is exactly what is done throughout the duration of Migrant. 


3. Portugal. The ManEvil Friends

It appears the production from Danger Mouse gave PTM exactly what was needed for a residual resurrection of rock and roll.

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2. Twenty One PilotsVessel 

Melding the craft of musical melody and lyrical honesty, Twenty One Pilots created something utterly phenomenal with Vessel, a record flirting with songs worthy of historic cross-genre praise.

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1. letlive.The Blackest Beautiful 

The Blackest Beautiful is a record that has left the constructs of a mere collection of songs and has evolved into a concept far greater, but you don’t need me to tell you this. Read an excerpt from an exclusive interview with Jason Aalon Butler below:

It’s autonomous. It is much bigger than us on a stage and that was the whole essence to begin with. That’s the derivation and the genesis of this whole thing — it’s an idea. It will continue to be an idea that may evolve into a lifestyle, a frame of mind, a perspective. This whole thing, letlive., is exponentially larger than anything either one of us can do individually and as a band. It has a lot to do with the people who want to be a part of it, really.

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2013 EPs 

 5. You, Me, And Everyone We KnowI Wish More People Gave A Shit

I still give a shit, Ben.

4. Portugal. The ManSpotify Sessions 

The only artist to double-dip in this year’s list, PTM gave a fabulous and vibrant live performance for Spotify Sessions earlier in the year.

3. The ArchitectsBorder Wars Episode I 

Mixing direct blows of contemporary and nostalgic rock and roll, Border Wars Episode I is only the beginning of a sweet series of EPs from one of the Midwest’s finest.

2. We Make NoisePost-Party Depression

Loud, angry and beautifully well-spoken, Post-Party Depression is one of the most unique releases of the year.

1. Mime GameDo Your Work 

Beautifully bliss, Do Your Work is an EP so remarkably addictive that leaves fans extremely anxious for the next release. Singer Dillion DeVoe told us a bit about the reception he has had with the new release:

This year has signified a real coming of age for all of us personally, as well as our sound. We really appreciate all the love and support that has accompanied us on our journey and we’ll continue the hard work through 2014.

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Honorable Mentions:

Arctic Monkeys — AM
Paul McCartney — New
The Wonder Years — The Greatest Generation 
The World Is A Beautiful Place… — Whenever, If Ever 
Farewell Fighter — Challenges 

-Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor (@callinghomematt)

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