Column by Annelise Tarnowski
I’ve given you ten of my Top-15 Albums of 2013 over the last two weeks, and this week, I give you the last five.
Also, if you’re interested in one of the small bands from the Midwest that will make it big, stop by Vaudeville Mews on Wednesday night to hear Caroline Smith.
“RandomAccess Memories,” Daft Punk
Daft Punk has been making music for 20 years, helping define the electronic music of the 21st century with recognizable tracks such as “One More Time” and “Harder Better Faster Stronger.”On this album, the duo pushed most of the singles to the second half of the album, and start out the album by bringing disco back. It was released bit-by-bit through TV and billboard ads and a web series.
You’ve probably already heard most of the singles, but listen to this full album while wearing platform shoes on a light-up floor.
“Tomorrow’s Harvest,” Boards of Canada
Similar to Daft Punk’s newest album, this record was released through a series of codes that, once combined, led to a website with information on this album.
It meant that all the fans needed to come together to get access to the website. Beware: This is ambient music. It’s not for everyone, but it’s the best of its genre. Check it out. Listen to this album with headphones.
“Trouble Will Find Me,” The National
The National makes pretty dark-sounding music overall, with hints of influence from The Smiths and a wardrobe made up of black skinny jeans and plaid shirts with jackets.
A story comes through in this album, and each track seems to have a real part in it, although not in order.
Being a part of the genre that some call Dad Rock, this is an extremely easy-listen album, musically, and a really tough one to really take in, lyrically. Listen closely to this album while you make yourself a nice dinner.
“Where Does This Door Go,” Mayer Hawthorne
Produced by legend Pharrell Williams (who, by the way, looks like he hasn’t aged in 20 years), this album sounds like Steely Dan decided to start adding some hip-hop elements to their music. It has a touch of the same disco-type music that Daft Punk likes to do, too.
The first song on the album is catchy and moves into the funky “The Innocent” and then into the reggae-inspired “Allie Jones.”
On paper, the pacing seems like it’s all over the map, but it actually works well, which helped bring this record to the Top-15. Listen to this album while you dust off your parent’s records from the ‘70s.
“The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You,” Neko Case
Neko Case (of The New Pornographers) has seen a lot of heartbreak—including a complicated, non-existent relationship with her parents from a young age.
She’s got a real talent for singing, and rather than selling out by writing simple songs, she’s written out all the darkness from within.
The album is less than 40 minutes long, total, so listen to this album as they used to be used: played aloud in the company of friends. With a few bottles of red wine.
Tarnowski is a junior radio/TV producing and sociology double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org