Best of 2013 – Part 3

Pop and Chamber Pop. The Best albums of 2013 Part 3

Local Natives – Hummingbird

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Wonderfully vivacious, Local Natives were this year’s surprise package. Hummable hooks. Memorable melodies. What more could you ask? Perhaps some more reflective themes. Well, Local Natives had them too.

Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record

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Eleanor Friedberger would be well qualified to do guided tours of New York City. But you’d have to move pretty fast to keep up with her. This was an album that veritably scampered along. And this time she got help with the lyrics from Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding).

Mutual Benefit – Love’s Crushing Diamond

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When a band calls a song ‘Advanced Falconry’, you know they’re not trying to appeal to the death metal demographic. Full of liquid sounds, this  was an album bursting with beautiful songs. And so fragile that a puff of wind would blow them away.

San Fermin

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If Mutual Benefit was the sensitive child hiding at the back of the class, San Fermin was the confident one at the front. Not such much math pop, as a PhD in astrophysics pop. Oh the contrapuntal elegance of it all. All of which makes the cuss word in the utterly magnificent ‘Sonsick’ all the more shocking.

Young Man – Beyond Was All Around Me

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So precocious. So full of tunes. Colin Caulfield demonstrated a maturity beyond his years and produced an album that had the best Pink Floyd pastiche of the year. And then the band split up.

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