2013 in review : Top 20 releases – Staff picks

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 20.49.59.To be honest, this year has been quite rich musically speaking, so it’s been hard for us to pick up only 20 releases (even though we thought it was too much in the beginning). However, we do not claim naming impartially the best releases of the year (how would you even do that anyway?). The three of us teamed up to list our highlights of the year and also those who – for us -deserve some more visibility (in no particular order). 

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Citizen – “Youth”
I had barely heard of Citizen when I first listened to Sleep from Youth and I totally fell in love with this song. I had to give this album a listen, and this isn’t only one my favorite releases of the year, but one of my favorite releases of all time. If you’re into this kind of melo pop punk with great lyrics, this album is for you.

The Wonder Years – “The Greatest Generation”
I think i don’t have to introduce The Wonder Years. With ‘The Greatest Generation’, they reach a whole new level and manage to still be themselves. There’s no weak track on ‘The Greatest Generation’. I love the connections within the tracks in this album and the others. Very well done!

Gatherer – “Caught Between A Rock And A Sad Place”
One day, I was just like digging up the whole internet to find some cool bands. I didn’t had in mind i could randomly find this kind of really great band. Gatherer is everything I love. Their modern hardcore is so emotional, the voice is perfect. To me, this band deserve way more than what they have. I believe in this album and in this band’s future. 

The Dangerous Summer – “The Golden Record”
We hadn’t heard of The Dangerous Summer for a while, and after the album came out, I understood why it took such a long time. Every track is well thought and very emotional. AJ Perdomo’s voice is perfect. We can say they put everything they had into ‘The Golden Record’.

Bring Me The Horizon – “Sempiternal”
When everyone was a bit skeptical about ‘Sempiternal’ I never stopped to believe in Bring Me The Horizon’s potential. We all knew Oliver Sykes couldn’t scream like he used to, his voice is getting weaker, it’s understandable. But the band didn’t give up, they did something great with ‘Sempiternal’, with Oli’s voice and Jordan Fish’s music skills, they did something new. Some great tracks are on this release, I think of Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake or Can You Feel My Heart?, these tracks are very different from what they used to do, but it suits them perfectly.

Worthwhile – “Carry On Kid”
I didn’t know Worthwhile before listening to ‘Carry On Kid’. They’re what we call melodic hardcore. They impressed me. This is typically the kind of release I can still listen to years after it comes without ever being tired of it. Good job kids!

Balance And Composure – “The Things We Think We’re Missing” 
The real question is : Who doesn’t love Balance And Composure?

– SweetNSour – @DirtyMarly

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Now, Voyager – “Tell-Tale Hearts” (EP)
Even though it was only released during the last third of the year, this EP has quickly jumped into one of my favorites this year. I love the way it sounds both atmospheric and ferocious, brutal and twinkling. Most of all, I love the fact that Now, Voyager have dared pushing boundaries, exploring new and different grounds of metal.  I believe ‘Tell-Tale Hearts’ only foresees great things for Now, Voyager in the near future. Oh and please do yourself a favor and go listen to To The Heart!

The Charm The Fury – “A Shade Of My Former Self
After a promising debut EP released over a year ago, the Dutch outfit is back with their a quality first full-length. That’s a big step forward for The Charm The Fury and the Dutch metal core ‘scene’ as well. The Charm The Fury has gained maturity and expertise in what they do, which helped them create this great piece of work, of which success if absolutely well-deserved!

The Devil Wears Prada – “8:18”
No need for an introduction, The Devil Wears Prada surpassed themselves one more time, which I found (positively) surprising in a way after listening ‘8:18’ for the first time, because every time they reach a level, they leave you wondering wether or not they can do better the next time. So one more time, the answer is yes. This angry, powerful album is another display of the band’s abilities and it’s simply a sweet aggression that makes you want more.

Young lions – “Burn”
Absolutely a precious record! It’s fresh, young and touching. With a wonderful voice and beautiful melodies, ‘Burn’ is also fairly well-produced and it’s hard to believe that this is only Young Lions‘ debut album. Be careful, it gets quickly addictive!

Hellions – “Die young”
Partly born from the ashes of The Bride, Hellions are a newcomer that quickly established themselves on the Australian hardcore scene. ‘Die Young’ is vigorous and showcases kind of a will to succeed and make a mark and this album has made it to one of my favorites of the genre in a long time.

The Catharsis – “Romance”
This album is absolutely brilliant, there are a couple of standout tracks, such as the anthem(ish) Heart Burner which is for me a masterpiece. Musicality is extremely interesting on that record, as you can hear and feel creativity and research. There is a real effort and substantial work behind this record that deserves recognition, I particularly think of Styx, which is one of the greatest songs I’ve heard in a long time.  

Tom Odell – “Long Way Down”
In another range of music, here’s another record that’s been making my everyday life soundtrack for a few months now. With his piano chords and pained vocals, there’s something really emotional and enjoyable at the same time in Odell‘s music that’s just relaxing and lovely. If you’re looking for something calm to hear, then maybe ‘Long Way Down’ is the pop album that you need.

– Mary – @MaryPxtn

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Dream on, Dreamer – “Loveless”
With Dream On, Dreamer, it’s always ‘love at first listen’. It happened with Ambitions and now it’s happening again. ‘Loveless’ is a passionate record and you can feel the commitment and honesty of the band in each song. This record marks also the arrival of the new singer, Zachary Britt, who’s such a perfect fit for Dream On, Dreamer, adding a personal touch to Loveless (have a listen to Hear Me Out  to fully appreciate his abilities).

Biffy Clyro – “Opposites”
Biffy Clyro just reached a whole new level with this record. No one can argue with this golden product.  With this double album, you will go through all the possible emotions and states of mind. You could forget to breathe from time to time. You will feel yourself living and you’ll understand why you care so much about music. ‘Opposites’ is powerful and brilliant!

Defeater – “Letters Home”
This band never disappoints! Defeater is one of the best band of melodic hardcore of this generation. And with ‘Letters Home’, they’re proving it once again and they’re reminding us how we first fell in love with them while listening to Cowardice or Prophet in Plain Clothes. You’ll be overwhelmed by so much talent!

Bastille – “Bad Blood”
Bastille is a rising star of the indie rock scene. They’re getting big and I completely get why. I personally feel like Bastille can bring joy to your darkest day. And ‘Bad Blood’ is such a refreshing record that will get your head out of your daily routine.

A Day To Remember – “Common Courtesy “
Since the bar was set so high with ‘What Separates Me From You’, I was wondering how ADTR were gonna manage to outdo themselves, but, well, it’s A Day To Remember. They are one of the few bands that know how to mix pop-punk with metalcore in such a perfect way. This record is a delight for the ears and as soon as you’re done listening to it the 1st time, you’ll go for a second round, and probably a third…

Pure Love – “Anthems”
Well, When Frank decided to leave Gallows, my world turned upside down, my heart melted and I felt like I could never get in touch with the new music he’ll make. But it took me one listen of Bury My Bones to be completely sold. Sold? I mean in love! This band is pure magic, or we could say that they are Pure Love 🙂

– Kakai – @99punxtone

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Mary
I have a tendency to seek for new sounds and humbly contribute to its living. I'm a dreamer, I live for today and take the time to appreciate every single thing that life has to offer.

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