The first half of my top 50 tracks of 2013, here we go!
50. Arctic Monkeys – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
I was a bit disappointed with “AM” overall, but there were a few good tracks dotted on it, this being one.
49. Childish Gambino – Crawl
Holy shhhh… what can you say about an opening track that slams as hard as this? This is probably the craziest I’ve heard Childish Gambino, in terms of overall sound. I’m extremely late to “Because The Internet” and I already like it far better than “Royalty” with this track alone.
48. Billy Woods – One Thousand One Days
“Dour Candy” wasn’t as bloodthirsty as “History Will Absolve Me” but it still reigned supreme in most of the hip-hop I heard this year. Not as much aggression even in this track; but still pretty dark.
47. Health – High Pressure Dave [The Units cover]
The first of three songs done for the GTA V soundtrack on this list. Health just sound great all the time. I had no idea this was a cover until the band mentioned it on Twitter.
46. Black Sheep Wall – Ancient Fvck
Black Sheep Wall’s “No Matter Where It Ends” was one of my biggest disappointments of last year, just feeling bland, especially following the insanely heavy and monstrous debut “I Am God Songs”. Their 2013 EP “It Begins Again” feels exactly as the title says; as if the band took a step back, analysed themselves and sorta regained the darkness of the first album. They don’t sound anything like they did on that debut, but this track really revived my belief in them.
45. Iron Lung – Stress Test
Standard Iron Lung, great powerviolence.
44. Bossk – Pick Up Artist
Bossk are releasing this track on a 7″ with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross, which was stunning to hear live before they went into their usual pounding stuff. Pick Up Artist reminds me a lot of when I was getting into Rinoa (whom they did a split with before) and Palehorse, more active than their usual sound.
43. Chelsea Wolfe – Destruction Makes The World Burn Brighter
One of the more energetic (yes, Wolfe can be energetic) tracks from the album of the same title. It’s just catchy as hell.
42. Machinedrum – Eyesdontlie
41. Windhand – Woodbine
Such crushing yet haunting track, absolutely slays. Nice droney doom.
40. Bastard Noise – The Horizon on Lynx
Probably the easiest-on-the-listener track with a bit of drone to break up the power electronics. I’d totally forgotten how good Bastard Noise is until I heard this.
39. Chance The Rapper – Everybody’s Something
Inspiring words from hip-hop’s new eccentric. Chance raps some truth over a crooning instrumental, it’s hard not to feel some emotion about it.
38. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Prancer
While the new album didn’t blow me away, there were a good portion of stand-out tracks that would perfectly – in true TDEP fashion – soundtrack smashing a supermarket up. You need to experience this raw… y’know, live footage.
37. Dead In The Dirt – Strength Through Restraint
Pure aggression and disdain for the world spewing from this trio. A good balance of grind and sludge.
36. Forest Swords – Ljoss
The first track and the most impressionable from “Engravings” (personally, although most tracks on that album are great). Love the mixture of the far east vibe with dubby beats.
35. Lorn – FARR
Lorn released an album I loved last year that only just missed out on the AOTY list for 2012. This year he released “Self Confidence Vol.3” and it’s a 25-course beat feast! Obviously, I can’t include every single track in the list, but this is my favourite. It’s dark and addictive.
34. Nine Inch Nails – Everything
In almost every review I read or watched of “Hesitation Marks” this is the most hated track… but it is my highlight. Come on, don’t you know Reznor was in a couple of synth-pop bands before NIN? I just love how cheesy this is… and I usually hate cheese. “I surviiiiiiived… everything.”
33. OvO – A Dream Within A Dream (ft. Alan Dubin)
It’s at this point I think I should have made a bigger list because more OvO tracks would definitely be involved… however, seeing as this is probably the nearest to a new Khanate track you’ll get (featuring Alan Dubin of the band), it makes the top grade. Eerie and sadistic.
32. Fuck Buttons – The Red Wing
I preferred Brainfreeze when “Slow Focus” was released, but after a few weeks, The Red Wing just felt less work getting through (admittedly, a lot of “Slow Focus” now feels like work getting through). However, this is all fun, a pretty sleazy and catchy track from Fuck Buttons.
31. The Haxan Cloak – The Drop
Again, like OvO, I wish I’d extended this list so I could include more of The Haxan Cloak’s tracks. The Drop is the last and definitely one of the most haunting and emotionally engaging tracks on the album, the opening notes and drones never fail to give me goosebumps.
30. Wavves – Nine Is God
The second song for GTA V, just usual catchy Wavves. I think I prefer this track to anything from “Afraid Of Heights”, even though I enjoyed that album.
29. Nails – In Exodus
If you want to make a heavy as fuck album and want to make an impression on anyone who at least hears the first track on it: THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. Every time the track finishes I have to have a deep exhale. Insanity.
28. Ulver – As Syrians Pour In, Lebanon Grapples With Ghosts of a Bloody Past
Extremely haunting ambient music with an orchestra. Just listen to it, words will never do it justice.
27. Terra Tenebrosa – Terra Tenebrosa
This is a spoiler but I really loved “The Purging” and it was hard to choose a track, but this is basically the best elements of Terra Tenebrosa in one song. Creepy grooves and satanic vibes.
26. Pissed Jeans – Health Plan
“You wanna know my secret? I stay away from doctors […] No chance man, I’m not an idiot, I stay away from doctors”. Another track from Pissed Jeans that you never know whether its dripping in satire or the frustrating ramblings of an uncouth man… Most likely the former, but either way, a great noise punk track.