Posts tagged “Wavves

The best albums of 2013: The top 20

Arcade Fire made the best album of the year and Savages released the top debut I heard. Mikal Cronin recorded pure pop bliss, while the new Deerhunter album reminded me how lucky we are to have Bradford Cox churning out intriguing music. See the full list for the year’s top 10 albums below.

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor. The latest from Arcade Fire is far more diverse and imaginative than the Grammy-winning album The Suburbs. Produced by James Murphy, Reflektor mixes disco, Caribbean, dub and other styles. There is more than a nod to the Clash’s Sandinista!

2. Savages – Silence Yourself. This is an aggressive debut from a U.K. female quartet that pays homage to earlier post-punk bands. Think of Siouxsie and the Banshees only tougher.

3. Mikal Cronin – MCII. Cronin makes great music, but he really over achieved on this hook-laden record. Irresistible pop from Ty Segall’s collaborator.

4. Deerhunter – Monomania. Even by Deerhunter standards, this album is pretty edgy and raw. It’s one of the more overlooked albums this year.

5. The National – Trouble Will Find Me. The latest from the National doesn’t hit you in the face. But the depth of the songs will pay off after repeated listens.

6. Bill Callahan – Dream River. Callahan more often resembles a poet than a singer, speaking through his songs in his deep, impassive voice.

7. Kurt Vile –  Walkin on a Pretty Daze. As meditative as this album sounds at points, Vile lays down some serious guitar licks. An original musician with a distinctive sound, he sometimes reminds me of mid-70s Neil Young.

8. Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt. This is a personal-sounding album from Katie Crutchfield, who performs as Waxahatchee. The songs and music are reminiscent of the very best parts of Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville.

9. The Men – New Moon. While New Moon explores a hodgepodge of styles, the new love for country rock stands out. Maybe because the album was recorded in a cabin?

10. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin. Some day, I expect Thee Oh Sees will make the No. 1 album of the year (at least on my list). Frenetic, infectious rock ‘n’ roll. Sheer enjoyment.

Rounding out the top 20:

11. Superchunk – I Hate Music. Elder indie rock statesmen make a record to keep your head nodding and feet moving. A strong offering from a band who has been going for almost a quarter century.

12. Foxygen –  We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. This has to be one of the most fun albums of the year from guys who take a real tongue-in-cheek approach to ’60s and ’70s genres.

13. Cass McCombs – Big Wheel and Others. Here is an excellent collection of songs from a great singer-songwriter. If you pare it down to the very best tracks, this would be a top 10 album.

14. Polvo – Siberia. What a great comeback for these ’90s noise warriors. Essentially, they stick to the same formula but it sounds fresh today.

15. Ty Segall / Fuzz –  Sleeper / Fuzz. We again see the two sides of the prolific Bay-area rocker. With its slow to mid-tempo acoustic and electric numbers, Sleeper is similar to Segall’s 2011 release Goodbye Bread, while his new band Fuzz pays tribute to stoner rock from four decades ago.

16. King Khan & the Shrines – Idle No More. If you listen to just the upbeat, soulful music, you’ve got a great dance party. Underneath, Khan wants to make a statement about the wretched world we live in after battling his personal demons.

17. Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork. I really didn’t think Josh Homme had another good album in him (at least not as Queens), but Like Clockwork is a rollicking good time.

18. The Love Language – Ruby Red. Listening to the full sound of Ruby Red, you wouldn’t know the Love Language originally started as a guy making bedroom recordings. Stuart McLamb created a powerful pop album that’s also a blast.

19. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II. The second album from Unknown Mortal Orchestra is quirky, funky and sometimes breezy like its predecessor but I like the songs better on this one.

20. Wavves – Afraid of Heights. The latest album from Nathan Williams doesn’t stray far from King of the Beach (2011). Afraid of Heights is tighter and rocks harder.

Honorable mention. Here are some other albums you should check out: Majical Cloudz, Impersonator; Swearin’, Surfing Strange; Crocodiles, Crimes of Passion; Iceage, You’re Nothing; Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven; No Age, An Object; Yo La Tengo, Fade; Fidlar, Fidlar; Suuns, Images Du Futur; and Charles Bradley, Victim of Love.

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Wavves, King Tuff hit Chicago’s Park West

If you’re going to see Wavves at Park West Saturday, don’t you dare miss King Tuff. This is one of those shows where the opener excites me as much as the headliner. King Tuff is Kyle Thomas, a guy who has been rocking out for a number of years. (He used to be in the band Witch with J. Mascis.)

Last year, Sup Pop released King Tuff’s self-titled album and, this spring, Burger Records reissued one of the most fun, hook-laden albums I’ve heard all year, Was Dead.

Wavves also is promoting a good album, Afraid of Heights. Read my initial thoughts on that release here. As an added bonus, Jacuzzi Boys open.

Empty Bottle to sell Lolla after-show tix at door

Not only is Lollapalooza sold out but so are most of the official after shows. Empty Bottle says it will sell a limited number of tickets at the door for its shows. That means you could potentially still see Wavves Sunday night.

The Bottle also released a limited number of tickets online, though I expect these will go fast. Anyway, Wavves at Empty Bottle would be better than an entire day at Lolla.

New video: Wavves’ ‘That’s on Me’

Wavves released a new video this week for the song That’s on Me, which is on the fun new album Afraid of Heights.

Wavves pushes forward on ‘Afraid of Heights’

Wavves 2013Though his roots are in lo-fi, Nathan Williams’ latest album as Wavves, Afraid of Heights, is a well-polished, slickly produced offering. Stylistically, it doesn’t stray that far from 2010’s King of the Beach, though it is a step forward. I’m blown away by the first two songs on the album, Sail to the Sun and Demon to Lean On. If only Williams would have kept that momentum through the rest of the album, Afraid of Heights would be a contender for one of the best releases of the year. There are plenty of other fine moments on Afraid and overall it’s good.

Wavves plays a sold-out show at Subterranean Monday night. Fidlar opens.

Wavves puts out new song, video ‘Demon to Lean On’

Check out this new song and video from Wavves. Demon to Lean On will be on the upcoming Afraid of Heights. The new album is out March 26.

Wavves puts out ‘Sail to the Sun’ song, video

Sail to the Sun is the latest single from Wavves, which plans a new album in the spring. Check out the song and video below.