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AotY, List

Brandon’s Picks of 2013

2013 was the year of the emo revival. This list is littered with some of my favorite releases by some of emo’s new faces. Yeah, the new Eminem was pretty good. Yes, I remember Daft Punk released a killer album this year. But to me, these are the releases filled with heart and soul and the ones worth attention.

10. Have Mercy – The Earth Pushed Back
9. Deltron – Event 2
8. Caravels – Lacuna
7. This Routine is Hell – Howl
6. Coheed – Afterman: Descension

5. Old Gray – An Autobiography

When I first heard Old Gray, I didn’t know what to think. A mix of slam poetry intros and frantic vocal styles, they were a tough pill to swallow. But as I lent more time to their albums I grew to love them. The emotions definitely control where this one goes and it goes to all the most painfully honest places. Depression and thoughts of suicide are real things and the members of Old Gray are not afraid to talk about their own personal bouts with them.

4. I Kill Giants – S/T

Boston math rock punks I Kill Giants may be breaking up soon, but their catalog of music has been getting better with age. The slew of EPs that lead up to the self titled full length all show growth for each member. Fronted by a poet with the ability to paint beautiful word pictures, this motley crew of Berkeley students bring a special type of energy to the emo genre. This is the kind of music where you find yourself jumping around and crying simultaneously.

3. Defeater – Letters Home

Hardcore has never been a scene I enjoyed. Between the overdose of machismo and mostly sour attitudes some of the people involved in the scene seem to have, I really just tried to avoid it. But along comes Defeater, making albums with a story, my one weakness. Expertly crafted both musically and lyrically, Letters Home tells the story of a worn out war hero and his return home to a family he feels distant from. The listener is taken on a journey through the life of a bastard who has lost everything despite his fighting against it all. Anger and remorse are rarely two feelings that can exist at the same time, but they do in this release. Letters Home is a half hour tirade through your psyche that keeps you hitting the repeat button.

2. Foxing – The Albatross

It was tough to put this one in second, but it is what it is. Foxing came out of left field and hit me right in the feels with this record. An expansive opus with great musicianship and vocals that tug at your heart strings. You may just find yourself singing along after only a couple listens. I know I did. I am still trying to get “The Medic” out of my head.

1. The World is… – Whenever, If Ever

These tracks are laden with horn interludes and more emotions than a room full of teenagers. But this is not your run of the mill type of emo. A unique use of 9 band members brings an interesting live and recorded experience. The World is… have been hard at work delivering shows all over America this year and releasing more than a few new songs for us to listen to. This is the group to check out if you haven’t already.

Honorable Mentions

Tiny Moving Parts – This Couch is Long and Full of Friendship
Donovan  Wolfington – Stop Breathing

EPs/Splits

5. Touche/Pianos – Split
4. CityCop/LesDoux – Family Ties/Labor of Love
3. Their/They’re/There – S/T
2. Dads – Pretty Good
1. LVL UP – Extra worlds

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About Brandon Barber

Father/Writer/Music Enthusiast

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