Staff Year End List: Traffic/Events Director Makenzie McNeill’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

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10 Bravebird – Maybe You, No One Else Worth It
I had to show Michigan some love on my list. Bravebird is a band from Ann Arbor that has consistently held my attention since I first heard this album. Their songs are relatable and fun to sing along to. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next!
Favorite track: Whittle Down The Days

9 Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister
I stumbled upon this gem through music review at the Impact. After I heard the first track I had a “yup, this is my new favorite band” moment. They’re a fuzzy garage-pop band from Wales with an awesome female lead. Every song on the album is incredibly catchy with a ton of tweet-worthy lyrics.
Favorite track: Secret Surprise

8 Mansions – Doom Loop
I saw Mansions for the first time when they opened for Taking Back Sunday in the fall of 2012. I was instantly hooked on their album Dig Up The Dead and was very impatient while waiting for their next release. Doom Loop is the kind of album that will grow on you with each listen. It hasn’t left the CD player in my car since I bought it.
Favorite track: Climbers

7 Local Natives – Hummingbird
This album is just really really freakin’ pretty. Each song is so light and airy but they all give you feelings at the same time. I don’t know how they do it.
Favorite track: Ceilings

6 The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Whenever, If Ever
I had been waiting for a full-length from these guys for a while. They’re a super talented bunch of people and I love all of the pretty and spacey melodies in each emotionally charged track. They’ve been getting a ton of well-deserved attention this year and I know the new year will be big for them, too.
Favorite Track: Fightboat

5 Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
This album came out in March of this year – I hadn’t heard of it until December, but it crept onto my list anyway. Katie’s voice is so gut-wrenchingly honest and raw. Every single track seems so effortless, and her NPR Tiny Desk Session performance was super cool to watch.
Favorite track: Peace and Quiet

4 Arctic Monkeys – AM
I’ve never been super into the Arctic Monkeys until I heard AM. This album is flat out sexy. Every song has the same calm and groovy feel without being monotonous.
Favorite Track: One For The Road

3 Lorde – Pure Heroine
I never thought I’d idolize a 17 year old, but here I am. Lorde is just great – she’s making really simplistic pop music that idealizes friendships and experiences rather than partying and money. She also has killer hair and dance moves.
Favorite track: Ribs

2 The 1975 – The 1975
I don’t know how anybody can listen to a song off of this album without dancing. The 1975 creates catchy and upbeat pop music with dark and cynical lyrics – the perfect combination! Their show in Columbus, Ohio this year was one of the coolest nights of my life.
Favorite track: She Way Out

1 Balance and Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing
These guys have grown a lot since their last full length – TTWTWM brings a loud and full sound that’s incredibly haunting. They’re by far my favorite band of 2013 and I’m looking forward to see what the new year will bring for them!
Favorite track: Reflection

Honorable Mentions:
Touche Amore – Is Survived By
Sainthood Reps – Headswell
Citizen – Youth
Have Mercy – The Earth Pushed Back

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