When the 11th hour of 2013 approaches, I know where I'll be; sat, happy in the wake of the festive period, but preparing to draft up the annual, self-absorbed 'end of year list'. With the previous January feeling like several lifetimes ago, I normally struggle with the same question - 'What have I been listening to this year?'. As a help to my future self, and in an attempy to pass on a few of the tracks which have been soundtracking my year, this is My 2013 in Music..... Thus Far:
1. Phoria - Red
With the release of 'Red' in March the blogosphere exploded. Hitting number 2 on the Hype Machine, and receiving rave reviews from Noisey, DIY, Clash and everything in between, the track gained both national airplay and over 100,000 Soundcloud plays in just four weeks. Their EP 'Bloodworks' was released the following month, to rave reviews; and although it was a really great collection of ambient-electronica, this track still stands out as one of the finest of the year.
2. Volcano Choir - Byegone
Justin Vernon is a truly special man. His work as Bon Iver will always hold a special place in the deepest pits of my heart - and regardless of the clichés which go with it 'For Emma..' holds its place in my top 10 all time albums. When I watched his new/old project Volcano Choir's new album release video and heard this track soundtracking it I was blown away. Rousing, intricate musicianship and his usual beautiful but ambiguous lyrics. Roll on the new album on September 3rd.
3. Okkervil River - It Was Our Season
Yet another excellent band gracing us with an album in September 2013, ensuring that the latter half of the year does not dissapoint. I absolutely adore Okkervil River, and the fact that they're not better known by music lovers or lavished with the wealth of both accolaides and money which they deserve, is one of music's many injustices. Here we see Will Sheff return to the piano and craft a song about the all-encompasing, emothional rollercoaster that is childhood love. It's incredibly witty and emotive in all the right places, showing great promise for the upcoming 'The Silver Gymnasium' LP.
4. Night Beds - Tenn
Nashville-based Night Beds, led by the vocal and songwriting talents of Winston Yellen, released 'Country Sleep', and album detailing the lows and even-deeper lows of their frontman's struggles with love and addiction. To put it in simple terms, it is absolutely incredible. With airs of Ryan Adams' 'Heartbreaker', the country-dowsed closer 'Tenn' is luciously downbeat with Yellen dropping lyrics like 'sorrow stole my youth/ what's left I'll give to you' with effortless skill.
5. Seasfire - Falling
I first heard this track on John Kennedy's XFM Xposure show, and was absolutely blown away by their luciously laidback, dreamy sound. The four-piece are based in Bristol and their spacious, lo-fi sound is definitely reminicent of city-mates, Massive Attack. With their EP 'We Will Wake' released to widespread acclaim, they are band of huge promise, who's debut album I'll be awaiting with baited breath.