“I fled the country. I thought I’d leave this behind, but I built the same damn house on every acre I could find. And I tried to fake my own death, just to shake the devils from my mind.”
For myself, 2013, more than any other year that’s come to pass, was painstakingly challenging when it came to choosing favorites in music. Sometimes, having an immensely receptive and exploratory musical palate can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing — at least when it comes down to the year’s closing weeks and the obligatory “best of” lists are waiting to be made.
In a year plagued with fetid fads, #hashtags, Shark(eisha) Week, Miley memes and more, music prevailed through the bullshit as always, giving me something consistent and grounded to latch onto as I endured the Internet’s maelstrom of calamitous side-effects for well over 300 days.
As I attempted to consolidate my extensive list of most-enjoyed albums released in 2013 this week, I began to realize how much time I truly spent with music this year and how thankful I am to have had the pleasure of experiencing so many wonderful recordings from many irrefutably extraordinary talents.
Upon completing my list, to my surprise, I discovered that 70% of my top ten is comprised of artists that I only heard for the first time this year, which was very refreshing to say the least. I wish I would have had room for Poliça, Danny Brown, Kevin Devine, Lorde, The Burial, Counterparts, The Dear Hunter, TWIABP, Blue Sky Black Death and so many others, but alas, tradition has left me no choice but to consider them “honorable mentions” for 2013.
As torturous as I found the process to be, after hours of lying down with my eyes closed revisiting some of this year’s most notable efforts, I managed to not only name my 10 favorite albums of 2013, but my 5 favorite EPs as well. So without any further flurry, you can look below to discover my finalized choices accompanied by a playlist featuring one track from each of the 15 releases — and if you wish, you can discuss them with me in the comments section.
Here’s to music and another year in the books! R.I.P dubstep.
Brian Lion is a co-owner, editor, and Head of Staff at Under The Gun Review. Follow him on Twitter.