Every year so much new music is released and there are always a few things that slip through my fingers. Add in the fact that some albums are released so late in the year that I hardly have a chance to listen to them and every January I find myself thinking: hey this album is actually really good. Since I’m all for sharing good music, I simply cannot keep these 5 gems from you. I will provide links to one song per album so you can have a little taste. Here we go!
Jon Kenzie – Sing a Little Higher
This singer-songwriter hails from Manchester and happened to get on my radar via someone who sent me an email via my contact page. So thank you for sharing this with me! Jon Kenzie’s music focuses on mixing blues and folk. The catchier tunes definitely remind me of Paulo Nutini and the more sensitive ones of James Vincent McMorrow. Throw in a bit of mandolin and parallels with the nu folk trend are easily made. Oh and did I mention he has an absolutely amazing voice? You can listen to his entire album on his soundcloud page,.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Arcade Fire’s latest album made it into the top 10s of many end of year lists. I bought the album right when it came out, but I didn’t have the time to listen to it a lot yet. By now I have been able to give it a good listen and I can now properly claim to love this album. My fave song? Afterlife hands down and that was only emphasized when I found the above video. It simply sticks out and made me go: what’s that song time and time again. I also love: We Exist, Normal Person and Joan of Arc. But I like the overall vibe of the CD, because that what it gives off mostly in all: a pleasant vibe with catchy electro tunes that genuinely put a smile on my face.
Johnny Flynn – Country Mile
Sticking to folky vibes here: Johnny Flynn’s latest was one of my most anticipated albums of 2013. So how I failed to mention this before, don’t ask… I even (finally) managed to see him live after missing out on his last show in Holland. If you like folk music, you’ll like Johnny Flynn. Talented lad from London whose first two albums I have loved and cherished ever since purchasing them. Country Mile features some thoroughly enjoyable songs, from the slightly bombastic title tune, to the rhythmic Fol-de-Rol and melancholy Bottom of the Sea Blues, to the soothing Time Unremembered. Yes, I am happy with Johnny Flynn’s third album.
The Boxer Rebellion – Promises
Moving on to the ‘what rock have I been hiding under’ album of 2013. I can’t believe I skipped this album by Boxer Rebellion altogether and didn’t find it until a few weeks ago. I picked this up at my local record store because I vaguely remembered the name from somewhere. I give it a quick listen in the store and thought: hm this might be nice. So I took it home, listened to it in full and instantly fell in love with the first three songs on this album: Diamonds, Fragile and Always. The latter song in that list is a straight up earwurm and I love the drums/ rhythm of most of the songs. Plus it has a song called New York (if you know me a little you know that immediately sells anything to me). What else can I say? Oh yeah, you know you love a band when you are happy to travel to the other side of the country to see them play live and feel relieve that you managed to even find a ticket still. Nuff said.
Jake Bugg – Shangri-La
I saw this guy live at Rock Werchter over summer because I loved his first album. And BOOM there was a second. I like the more fast-paced rock vibe that is new to this album. There are even a few songs with a country feel to them and I like well made country. Plus this guy just has a great great voice, so even the slower songs work really well. And since I saw him live I can tell you that Jake Bugg is a master at playing the guitar. It even seemed at times that he was more at ease just playing his instrument than having any kind of audience interaction. If you like an old-school type sound reminiscent of the better music put out in the 60s and 70s than you’ll like Jake Bugg’s second album Shangri-La.
What music from 2013 did you like?