True Endeavors founder Tag Evers compiled a list of his 2013 favorites to share with our readers. Check out the albums that rocked his world this year:
1. PHOX – Confetti
Yes, I root for the home team, but no other release left me spellbound as much as the long-form video version of this beautiful EP.
2. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
A brilliant album from a band that continues to grow and expand. I loved them when they first came out with their danceable take on Afrobeat, despite the critiques of hipster appropriation. Now, they are beyond reproach.
3. Rhye – Woman
Like everyone else, I thought the lead vocalist was a woman with a voice uncannily similar to Tracy Thorn from Brit duo Everything But The Girl. And, like everyone else, I was flabbergasted to discover that the sexiest tracks of the year were laid down by a dude singing about his wife. Hot, hot, hot!
4. Jason Isbell – Southeastern
The talent was always there, but Isbell’s new release is all about his new lease on life, now on solid ground, no longer drowning in Jack, but clear-eyed and visionary.
5. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
Neko is an automatic in my book, and this album is no exception. Ever the epitome of the confident female artist, this album reveals a vulnerable side to Neko. The tiger and the tornado are still there, but so are the scars.
6. Caroline Smith – Half About Being A Woman
The transformation from friendly indie folk-rock to sultry, booty-shaking fun was a jaw-dropping revelation.
7. San Fermin – San Fermin
Chamber pop for the NPR set, this Brooklyn-based ensemble led by musical savant Ellis Ludwig-Leone hits all the right notes, colorful, deep and true.
8. Volcano Choir – Repave
Much, much more than a Bon Iver side-project, Justin Vernon’s unalloyed baritone soars along with his Wisco collaborators in Collections of Colonies of Bees and All Tiny Creatures.
9. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
The best rap in 2013 was not from Kanye, Jay Z, or Eminem, but from a Chicago kid barely out of his teens.
10. Lorde – Pure Heroine
I’m in complete agreement with NPR music critic Ann Powers that this album was revolutionary, that “Royals” impact on our cultural moment was profound, revealing an unsettled zeitgeist, a healthy reaction against empty consumerism.
Thanks to all of those who attended shows this past year and supported what we do at True Endeavors. It may seem like a cliché, but we really cannot do it without you. Here’s to a new year of music that will no doubt extend our palettes in a variety of directions.
R.I.P. Marques Bovre, Lou Reed, Richie Havens, and Nelson Mandela