Tim Hecker's 2013 release, Virgins

Another year and it’s time for another snapshot of my music favorites. Lists seem such an evil to me at times – they feed into the hype cycles and can direct and redirect attention in a way that may be harmful to smaller artists. Awards are distributed in some bizarre frenzy of groupthink (look at the film industry), and who is to say that we shouldn’t frame our reference window seasonally, or monthly, or decennialy? But in the same breath, I think documenting personal preferences can be valuable to mark growth, guide future investigations, and reflect on what has been meaningful in my world.

There are never “final” lists or finalized versions of anything in life. We can spend hours in the studio perfecting music or years thinking that a marriage will finally work once it gets over a certain hump. Like photographs, life is a series of snapshots or moments. Making a list is like taking a polaroid picture of a specific year of music and what it meant to me as it was ending.

After that far too off-topic ramble, it’s time for the list where everything’s made up and the rankings don’t matter.

1 The Appleseed Cast Illumination Ritual Graveface Records
2 Wooden Wand Blood Oaths of the New Blues Fire Records
3 My Bloody Valentine M B V self
4 Tim Hecker Virgins Kranky
5 Lumerians The High Frontier Partisan Records
6 Disappears Era Kranky
7 Kurt Vile Wakin On A Pretty Daze Matador Records
8 Wooden Wand and the World War IV Wooden Wand and the World War IV Three Lobed Recordings
9 The National Trouble Will Find Me 4AD
10 Lucrecia Dalt Syzygy Human Ear Music
11 Jenks Miller Spirit Signal Northern-Spy Records
12 Esmerine Dalmak Constellation
13 Julianna Barwick Nepenthe Dead Oceans
14 Aidan Baker Already Drowning Gizeh Records
15 Mountains Centralia Thrill Jockey
16 Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin Castle Face Records
17 Chelsea Light Moving Chelsea Light Moving Matador Records
18 Youth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse Fat Possum Records
19 Gnod Chaudelande Rocket Recordings
20
Gabriel Saloman Soldier’s Requiem Miasmah Recordings

What a wonderful year of music it was. See you in the new year,

Adam