2013 Music Year in Review – Grant Owens’ Albums of the Year

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Here are my top 10 albums of 2013. I also have an accompanying 4-hour in-depth “best of” podcast, where we go deep into each release, which was co-hosted with music reviewer/writer Dan Loughry of Frontiers Music Magazine. You can listen to that here. Also, be sure to check out the We Found New Music 2013 Year in Review podcast for a great sampling of the hottest tracks featured on the show over the past 12 months!

1) ST LUCIA – When The Night

The perfect blend of every type of sound I am obsessed with. A little 80s, Modern Rock, Pop & Electronic heavy production. To top it off one hell of a front man in Jean Philip Grobler.

Please also check out our in depth interview from WE FOUND NEW MUSIC with St Lucia here

2) ATOMS FOR PEACE – AMOK

Thom York, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nigel Goodrich (Producer for Radiohead) and Joey Waronker (Percussionist for Beck) build an unforgettable super group with amazing world influenced textures, yet predominantly an Electronic Pop/Jam record. You really can’t go wrong when Thom Yorke’s at the wheel.

3) DISCLOSURE – Settle

Electronic Pop duo, Disclosure, from Surrey, UK put together a stellar debut full length with an all star UK cast of musicians that have since become artists to watch in their own right. Sam Smith, Ed Macfarlane, Aluna George, Aliza Doolittle and Jessie Ware have used this album as a launching pad to bigger and better things for their own solo careers. The most stunning track on the album is by London Grammar, with Help Me Loose My Mind.

4) THE 1975 – The 1975

Manchester England Four Piece, The 1975 made a huge mark in the alternative rock scene this year with a album full of perfect pop rock tracks, that were on repeat again and again for me. Matty Healy has a passion to succeed, with his endless world wide touring, it’s only a matter of time till they become the biggest band in the world. Their first US tour included opening band Linus Young, who is also a band to watch in 2014. We will be interviewing THE 1975 on January 3rd on We Found New Music.

5) CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

Glasgow Scottland Synthpop band Chvrches released their first few singles, and the internet fell in love with them in no time. It really only took a year as they went from unknown to everyone’s obsession. They stayed consistent with their full length, and became an instant favorite of mine. Check out key tracks Lungs, Unter The Time and The Mother We Share.

6) HAIM – Days Are Gone

This LA trio was on my Artists to Watch in 2013 list last December. Their debut EP Forever was full of intoxicating indie pop throwback jams. Forever gave me that instant Michael Jackson throwback vibe while still sounding current and full of catchy hooks that were stuck in my head days after. Also check out Falling, The Wire & the phenomenal If I Could Change Your Mind.

7) ON AN ON – Give In

This album is full of dreamy raw love pop. Minneapolis based group On An On has a lot going for them. Nate Eiesland has a phenomenal sense of melody, but doesn’t forget his heavy grunge influences. Give In is designed to mend your heart after a break up, but not in any obvious sense. Nate’s wrenchingly beautiful vocals just pull you out of that stooper while still letting you feel whatever it is you are going through. I know they had a blast at Iceland Airwaves this year and I am looking forward to following their journey. Check out my interview with On An On in our podcast archives.

8) MS MR – Secondhand Rapture

New York based duo MS MR released a phenomenal EP, added those tracks to this full length which includes several more upbeat indie pop tracks. It makes for a perfect listen from beginning to end!

9) JOHN GRANT – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant almost quit writing music a few years ago, but it’s a good thing he stuck with it, because what we have here is an absolute masterpiece. John Grant’s ability to be frank and to the point yet in a very poetic way recalls only the best singer songwriters of the last 50 years. Check out GMF – Greatest MotherFucker – which he is in the process of becoming.

10) BASTILLE– All This Bad Blood

A beautiful synth pop album with one catchy single after another. This band knows how to make a great single. Can’t wait to see just how much they blow up in 2014. They deserve it.

Author: Grant Owens

Grant Owens grew up in Laguna Beach, graduated from the USC Music Industry program and currently works at Universal Music Group. Send Grant an email