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Best Albums of 2013

December 11, 2013


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We thought of doing this video a few days ago. We posted an Instagram clip of me running around the apartment with Meemers chasing me, and Pharell’s “Happy” was playing in the background. Someone in the comments asked what song it was, and suggested that they like our taste in music. To which I thought, hell, we don’t really talk much about the music we listen to outside of Kpop, now, do we? Couple that with the fact that I had a day to kill while Martina was getting her tattoo done (almost done; just one more session to go!) and I figured that I’d spend the time to talk about my favourite albums, which is what you see in the video above.

I realize this video might shock some people, because my taste in music is rather unpredicted, no? Unless people follow us on Last.fm, I doubt they know what we listen to outside of Kpop. So, here it is! Yes, a lot of it is electronic. A lot of it serious. Not much of it is pump your fist high energy music. Why? Probably because we hear a lot of that in Kpop, anyways, and so I don’t feel like I can listen to the same kind of stuff all day long. Different times of day have different soundtracks to them, different moods.

A lot of this music is night-time music for me. That’s because we’re seriously seriously super night owls. We wake up at 1PM and don’t go to sleep till 5AM most days. Now that it’s winter, by the time we get out of bed and have breakfast and get ready to go to the studio, the sun has already set. Most of the music we listen to is in the dark. So this list is rather emolicious.

I said that I’d mention 10 more albums that didn’t make the list, so I’ll share those here as well:

Iron & Wine “Ghost on Ghost”

Now, this album isn’t really GREAT to me, like Iron & Wine’s “Our Endless Numbered Days,” which was almost perfect. God that album’s so great I crey. This album has a different vibe to it. A lot less folky, a lot more bluegrasssy, I think. Is that what it’s called? Bluegrass? I don’t know. But I imagine it being sung on the set of True Blood. It has a gospel feel to it, almost. See! I like diverse music! This falls under the Sunday home-cleaning category, though. Not really night-timey, IMO.

Nine Inch Nails “Hesitation Marks”

I was surprised to like this album. Seriously. I didn’t read good things about it, and I find Trent Reznor a bit too high school poetry-club-ish at times (I hate the line “why do you get all the love in the world.” Bleh), but I really love Industrial sounds. I love it when El-P does it in hip hop, and I love Fuck Buttons’ albums as well. And this album had a lot of great songs on it, so I’ll shamelessly share with the world that I like listening to it. THERE!

Jon Hopkins “Immunity”

OOH more moody mature music. You know how I described Bonobo’s album, as dimly lit adult bar music? I was actually at one of these adult bars recently. It was a Vinyl bar, where you can request songs from the DJ. I owned that playlist, for sure. And I played a lot of Bonobo. Afterwards I spoke with the DJ and he said he loved the requests, and asked me if I knew Jon Hopkins’ album, to which I shouted “I WAS GONNA REQUEST THAT BUT I WASN’T SURE IF IT WAS TOO DARK!” But he loved the album as well, and I was shocked and pleased. Hopefully you’ll like it, too.

Flying Lotus “Until the Quiet Comes”

I loved this album. Flying Lotus is one of our most played artists ever. All of his stuff is great. And this album was perfectly Night-Timey as well! Yay! You might remember Flying Lotus from our video a long time ago on Bucheon’s Sun and Clouds. Oh man FlyLo is great stuff. I love his “Fall in Love” remix, which isn’t on this album, but check out his video for Tiny Tortures, featuring Elijah Wood! Probably the best song on the album, IMO.

Lastly: I remember reading on his Twitter that he’s part Korean! So I’m not sure if that excludes him from the list :D

Jessy Lanza “Pull My Hair Back”

This was a total rough gem for me. I have no idea how I found this album, really, but I’m freaking ecstatic that I did. Why? Because supposedly her album was produced by one of the guys from Junior Boys, and Junior Boys are up there for our top artists of all time. They’re not the best artists of all time, but they have a very special place in our hearts, when we first started dating. And their last album kinda stank. But this…this is great! It’s got the same vibe as Junior Boys of yore, bedroom pop kinda stuff. SO NICE!

Mazzy Star “Seasons of Your Day”

Yes, this is kinda country-ish. So what! Country can be alright at times. Country’s just another kind of folk, except Mazzy Star has a kind of Dream-Pop vibe to her which I really like. And this is their first album in a really long time. “Fade Into You” is a freaking fantastic song from a long time ago, and this album is a lovely follow up to that. Yay!

Disclosure “Settle”

What’s this? Another uppity album? Something you can dance to? Ho ho! It’s true! I don’t just listen to night time stuff. Though this is dance music that feels a bit darker. Doesn’t matter. It’s still totally badass. It has kind of a micro-house feel to it. It almost reminds me of Herbert a bit. Anyhoodledoodle, shake your ass to this album right here. Especially the first full track. SO GOOD!

The Lonely Island “The Wack Album”

TAKE ME SERIOUSLY! This album is hilarious. It’s really well done. Really well done. The fart song made us pee with laughter. Spring Break is a brilliant commentary on society. The compliments song is hilarious as well. It’s good fun. Really. Listen to it and laugh. There’s nothing wrong with laughing when you listen to music. Admit it: Kpop makes you laugh sometimes, too :D

Purity Ring “Shrines”

You know our friend Ryan? I wonder if he’s reading this blog post now. Hi Ryan: this section is about you. Now, Ryan suggests a lot of music to us, the majority of which I don’t have the time to look into. Seriously I see his messages and think “yeah I’ll check it out” and then pfffft forget because I have a lot of things to do. Nothing against Ryan. I’m just scatterbrained. The point is, this band Ryan forced me to listen to by coming into the studio and just playing it. I could’t avoid it. And I liked it! A lot. To the point that I played it a lot on my own afterwards. Again, this is dark nighttime music but that’s the sexiest kind of music anyways. Listen to it!

Bibio “Silver Wilkinson”

Ok I don’t know what’s up with this album. Most of it is serious, slower music, which I like and think is great on its own, but then “A tout a l’heure” comes out of nowhere and is a gloriously uplifting. It’s lovely. Really lovely. Skipping through the park as the sun streaks through clouds lovely. Be happy when you listen to this song and it’ll make you happier.

As for songs I’ve listened to but couldn’t get through the rest of the album:

RJD2 “More Than it Isn’t” – Track 2 “Temperamental”

Damn I love this song! It’s perfect for the gym, perfect pacing. Great singing, and has that RJD2 doo-wop feel that I freaking love from Deadringer that he abandoned for some freaking reason to do other stuff. This song has that vibe that I like. The rest of the album is a steaming turd, but man this song is great! Side note: do you like Mad Men? RJD2 made the opening credit song to it :D

Pharell “Happy”

We just got into this song over the past couple of weeks. Holy smokes this is a lovely song. It has that Cee Lo Green chantable feel to it. It’s got a great message and I’m not ashamed to say that I like it. And the website for the song is lovely as well. We actually wanted to do something like that for Seoul as well. I don’t know. Just listen to this in the morning. You’ll fell better about life.

Yeah! That’s it for this list. Yes this video’s got little to do with Korea, but I felt like doing it. I hope I introduced you to some new stuff and you like some of it. Let me know what albums you recommend, because I always like checking out new stuff, or – if you like any of these albums I talked about – let’s squeal about them together in the comments! You can be interested in Korea and like non Korean music as well, right? RIGHT!

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