KingWart’s Best of 2013

Hey everyone! Here’s my best of list!

bestof

  1. Joel Sarakula - The Golden Age
    This is good stuff, mixing soul, piano-pop, power pop, very creative and enjoyable.
  2. Attic Lights - Super De Luxe
    This is one where I can’t decide what’s the best song, they are all so great. If you like brit-pop you will love this record.
  3. Fortunetellers - Get Them Good
    I was upset about the breakup of Gold Motel, but this group (on the recommendation of Greta) definitely carries on that spirit, but does their own thing.
  4. Kelly Jones - Alta Loma
    Although it’s a slight departure from her last album, it is great in other ways. Her voice is beautiful and the singer-songwriter feel works great.
  5. Eric Barao - Eric Barao
    Fantastic power-pop that is big and brash and wonderful.
  6. Saves The Day - Saves The Day
    Finally another great Saves the Day album, they got a little dark in the past few years, but this is a more accessible album with great songs.
  7. Valley Lodge - Use Your Weapons
    Fun bubble-gummy pop. As soon as you think the album is going to let up, it hits you from another angle.
  8. The Yum Yums - …Play Good Music
    Always great to hear from them, this is another perfect bubblegum pop album
  9. Hot Nun - Hot Nun
    From the Well Wishers’ Jeff Shelton, this is a fun record, kind of glam, lots of rock and a short and enjoyable listen.
  10. Ex Norwegian - Crack
    Great bouncy stuff from this band, a bright and engaging record.
  11. Kaliyo - Trapeze
    This is a treasure from Andrea Perry and Sarah Sharp. Andrea Perry also had a solo album come out this year, which was great, but I love this one for its blend of the two voices and interesting songs.
  12. Bob Evans - Familiar Stranger
    Loved to hear a new album from him, and this one showed a lot of growth as an artist. There is a cool atmosphere to this one, listen to it a couple times.
  13. Leagues - You Belong Here
    This one is a great pulsating record a lot of power and feeling, kind of this style that is popular now, I think I heard a song on a Bose headphones commercial.
  14. Liar’s Club - Come And Go
    Another great power-pop record with fun, colorful songs. This is the first I had ever heard of this band, so I checked the back catalog…great stuff.
  15. Secret Friend - Time Machine
    Great pure-pop stuff from this album produced by Linus of Hollywood and featuring Willie Wisely and Kelly Jones on vocals. This came out the first week of this year and kept me entertained the whole year through!
  16. The Grapes Of Wrath - High Road
    A great one from this band who play just great pop well, another group returning after a long hiatus… it was well worth the wait!
  17. The Sun Sawed In 1/2 - Elephants Into Swans
    This one from has some great catchy tunes. Took some time to really get into it, but once I did, I was hooked. Another return from a hiatus.
  18. Prefab Sprout - Crimson/Red
    A fantastic record, this band, who I only recently got into, makes such great pop albums, and this is no exception.
  19. The Joy Of Painting - Tender Age
    A cool band with a great sound and rocking tunes, another in this kind of driving, echoey sound that has taken over this year.
  20. Wyatt Funderburk - Novel And Profane
    Great to have a new album from the Second Saturday front man. This is a lot of good stuff. Poppy, and maybe a bit more mature than the band stuff.
  21. Yuna - Nocturnal
    Another new artist, really good stuff, enjoyable songs, catchy. Great voice and style.
  22. The Duckworth Lewis Method - Sticky Wickets
    Another fun cricket-based album. This time explores a few more song styles and is a little bit sillier and fun than the first.
  23. The Electric Soft Parade - Idiots
    Another great return from this band. This album feels a bit more mature as well, and explores some new territory.
  24. Robbie Fulks - Gone Away Backward
    If you’re not on board with Robbie Fulks, then who do you think you are? This is a great album with great songs, in a bit more stripped down sound.
  25. Of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar
    I had almost given up on this group, but when I heard this I was pleasantly surprised to hear a great psychedelic record with shades of the Dukes of Stratosphear and classic 60’s sounds.

Other great stuff:

Bonus: Here’s my compilation of some of the best songs from these albums!

Review: Our Postmortem By And The Professors

Holy Cow!  I love this album so much I just don’t know where to start.

Firstly you need to go and listen to it over at Bandcamp. Just come back here when you’re done. Take your time. I’m happy to wait.

(waits)

It’s great, right? What did I tell you. Well it’s a collaborative effort with (amongst others) members of The Honeydogs of whom i’m a big fan. I guess if you really insist of categorising music you’d put it in the Baroque Pop / Chamber Pop hole, but lets not do that. I’m struggling to think of a similar band but the best I can do at the time of writing is The Leisure Society.

Knowing that a mere review can never do justice to this album i’m going to sign off and just spend the afternoon listening to it on loop.

I’d be pretty surprised if this didn’t end up as my #1 number for the Audities Best of 2013 list.

Listen. Enjoy. Buy.

Review: Lightning Through My Soul (ep) by Brian Howell

Brian HowellThe first release (I think) from New Yorker Brian Howell.  An EP full of original compositions.  Citing influences such as “’50s rock, ’60s garage, ’70s power-pop/New Wave, classic rock and modern indie rock influences” i’m hearing, and certainly on the vocal for the first track, Buddy Holly.

On the whole it’s old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll like your mom would have made if she’d been hanging around in garages in the fifties.

Track Listing

1. Why oh why
2. Dry my tears
3. East Coast girls
4. Cold little heartbreaker

Hear the album over at Bandcamp

Review: Problems by Hector and The Leaves

I got an email from Tom Hector of Hector and The Leaves saying he’d written an EP over the Summer and amongst this influences was Elliot Smith. Now, i’m a big Elliott Smith fan and those are some mighty big feet to fill. There are many artists that people cite as influences and you can only assume they’re referencing a style of working, work ethic, or somesuch because musically they’re not really hitting it but with Tom he’s bang on the money.

Fans of Elliott (especially his later work) should absolutely seek this out and take a listen. I’m really excited to see what Hector does next.

Find him on Facebook or go and listen at Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

Music insanity!

I have been so slack in posting lately! Here’s a bunch of great releases you need to check out.

Travis – Where You Stand – I’m a lifetime fan of this band, they really can’t do much wrong in my eyes. This album was really a lot of fun.

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion – Wassaic Way – More of the fuller sound that brought them to my ears a couple years ago, this album is a good companion piece, but not as sticky as that other one.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Fly By Wire – A bit more flighty and sweet than previous albums, this one is a grower, and eventually came around to be pretty great.

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action – Another grower for me. At first, I thought it was a bit stuck in a rut, but as the songs repeated themselves in my head, I saw that the same power is there in the songwriting.

Robbie Fulks – Gone Away Backward – A bit more on the serious side, as the last few albums have been, this is still classic Robbie Fulks, and well worth the price of admission.

Saves The Day – Saves The Day – a wonderful return to form for this band which took a weird turn for a few years there, but this album is full of energy, brightness, yet still retaining that skewed perspective that makes them so unique.

Valley Lodge – Use Your Weapons – bubblegummy, poppy fun. It is wonderful and does not let up till the end. Highly recommended!

Alexander Von Mehren – Aéropop – Loungey, baroquey fun from this guy. It’s a great sound, done very well.

Adrian Bourgeois – Pop Art – epic in scope (and length) this album covers a lot of ground. Yet all of it is pretty good. Just some of the best pop music I have heard in a long time. Keep it up!

The Nines – The Nines – The return of this artist is well worth the wait, with what seems like an album of singles! So good!

Any Version of Me – We Are You – Great pop music! I like this a lot!

The Candle Thieves – All’s Well That Ends Well – Great piano pop!

Coke Belda - Coke Belda I – Good baroque-ish pop, just good stuff. Listen, OK?

The Starfolk - The Starfolk – Awesome, laid back, smooth pop!

The Polyphonic Spree – Yes It’s True – the return of this band is good, but the album hasn’t really hooked me like earlier ones did. The sound is still there, but its a bit stale.

International Pop Overthrow Vol. 16 – I always enjoy these compilations, there are a lot of good nuggets here. These days I listen to so much new music, that much of this goes in one ear out the other, if I had the time, I am sure I would find a lot to explore here.

The Mother Hips – Behind Beyond – Goodness from this band who always deliver solid tunes with a breeziness yet a powerful sense of a purpose of some sort.

A heads up… Thomas McConnell

Thomas McConnell came across my radar with his YouTube cover of McCartney’s new song “New”.

Off the back of that I ordered his EP which i’ve been enjoying in addition to this rather good ditty over at his SoundCloud page.

I’m expecting good things from McConnell. Definitely one to watch out for.

The Disbandables

Self promotion alert.

I’ve created a new site called http://www.disbandables.com where I interview great bands. The sites been up a few weeks with a new bunch of bands at the beginning of each month.

If you wondered what happened to

Brown Eyed Susans
Jackdaw4
Klaatu
Love Nut
The MerryMakers
Ooberman
The Pursuit Of Happiness
Second Saturday
Sugarbomb
Tiny Volcano

then http://www.disbandables.com is worth a visit.

Aaron from the great Powerpopaholic was kind enough to post a short interview with me about the site.

http://www.powerpopaholic.com/artist-interviews/matt-whitby-disbandablescom

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