Best of 2013: Kevin Devine
It may sound brash, but Kevin Devine spent 2013 kicking ass. His talents as a musician and lyricist, paired with his incessant work ethic, have made him simply unstoppable. Where many artists struggle to release one album in a calendar year, Devine released two… and toured with Bad Books… and toured as a solo artist (both in and outside of the US). It’s honestly a little surprising that Devine paused long enough to produce as detailed and thorough of list of favorites for 2013 as he did. The man truly puts 100% into everything he does. After the jump, Devine shares picks, from songs to albums to performances and back again.
Best of 2013 - The Get Togethers
With a back story as intriguing as their music, The Get Togethers rattled our souls with the release of their debut, Home as in Houston, which portrayed a year’s events in ways that were equal parts tragic and beautifully eloquent. Below, guitarist Daniel Frazier shares his favorite tunes of 2013:
- Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
- The National - Trouble Will Find Me
- Arcade Fire - Reflektor
- Lorde - Pure Heroine
- Atoms for Peace - Amok
- Sigur Rós - Kveikur
- Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull
- Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
- Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
- The Features - The Features
The Lonely Biscuits
12/6/13, 12th & Porter
Hip-hop and full-band jamming: It may not be the most familiar combination, but four gentlemen have perfected, or created, the rap jam-band sound. This lively mix of music kept 200 people warm on a chilly Nashville night, as they danced along with The Lonely Biscuits.
The four members of The Lonely Biscuits work incredibly well with each other. Each one brings their own unique style and compliments the next. John Paterini’s powerful vocals contrast beautifully with the funky flow of Gravy Wenrich. Sam Gidley keeps things tight on the drums while Nick Byrd slaps out dirty bass lines. But, a great show is not just musical, and The Lonely Biscuits had a great time jumping around on stage, making it even easier for the crowd to enjoy themselves. In addition, I was surprised to find out that they were already at the point in their careers where they could stop playing and let the crowd finish their lyrics. As Wenrich stepped away from the mic and let the crowd blurt out the end of a familiar line, I was impressed with the band’s maturity and ability to not just play, but perform their music.
Best of 2013: Rosco Bandana
Gulfport, Mississippi natives Rosco Bandana's southern flair-infused indie rock has a level of energy that I'm pretty sure can only be attained by groups containing at least seven members. Their dynamic is simply enthralling, regardless of if you're listening to them via recordings or live. After the jump, bandmates Jenny Flint, Emily Sholes, and Barry Pribyl, Jr. tell us about their favorite albums of the year.
Best of 2013 - SWIMM
Los Angeles duo SWIMM won our hearts over this year with the release of their psychedelic indie rock debut EP, Feel. Being one of our top picks for the year, we felt it was only right to find out their own. Below, the band shares their favorites of 2013.
SWIMM co-creator Adam Winn adds the following justification for their choices: "The reason we chose these bands is because we believe they stepped it up and released an album that was as good or better than any of their previous releases. The exceptions would be Arcade Fire and The Strokes; they both released incredible albums that we love, but it would be tough to argue that they’re as good as Neon Bible and First Impression of Earth.”
- Foals - Holy Fire
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
- Arcade Fire - Reflektor
- Tame Impala - Lonerism
- Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of The City
- Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
- Devedra Banhart - Mala
- The Strokes - Comedown Machine
- Atoms for Peace - AMOK
- White Fence - Cyclops Reap
For more information on SWIMM, click here. SWIMM’s debut EP, Feel, was released earlier this year
Best of 2013: Val Emmich
Val Emmich has always been a favorite of Suburban Roads, so it was only natural that we’d ask him to contribute his own favorites of 2013. After releasing Posthaste, a decade long collection of “extras” (b-sides, rarities, demos, etc) late last year, Emmich’s been keeping busy this winter with his own Song Shop, where fans can purchase a song written specifically for them. Speaking as someone who did this very thing last month, I could not praise the experience more - Emmich twirled my thoughts into perfectly silly and sweet lyrics, and crafted a melody around it that left me humming for days.
After the jump, Val shares his top songs of 2013. And yes, before you say it, we realize this is supposed to be top albums, but Val’s preference of the year was songs, so an exception was made to our (loosely-enforced) rules.
Best of 2013: Sol Cat
After having the chance to catch Sol Cat live last month, we at Suburban Roads felt there was no better way to kick off our Best of 2013 series than to feature the local sextet. These Nashville boys radiate chill vibes and good times, and below, they share their top 5 albums of 2013:
- Toro y Moi - Anything in Return: Chaz is the king of chillwave and probably one of the cutest little dudes ever. You could not deny that if you’ve seen the music video for “Say That”. Gnar on full display. One of the more solid records of the year, front to back. “So Many Details” is the the jam when you gettin smokey.
Watch it here kidzz
- The Growlers - Gilded Pleasures: This band is the shit. Their tunes keep getting better and better. Some of the most honest and DGAF songwriting I know, mucho respecto.
Interview - The Melodic
11/21/13 by Cathy Wagner
Cathy: Your new album, Effra Parade, was just released. What song (or songs) do you connect with the most on the album? Why?
Huw: The song of ours that resonates the most with me would be “Ode to Victor Jara,” which we wrote in tribute of the Chilean revolutionary whose music and political struggle inspired the band so much. He was brutally murdered by the Pinochet regime that overthrew a democratically elected government in a CIA orchestrated coup in 1973, and it has been important for us to tell his story through our music and introduce people to Victor’s story. As a band, we are influenced by South American music and all share an interest in the politics of the region, and this comes across particularly strongly in this song.
C: The album was self-recorded over the course of a few years. Why did you choose to go about recording the album in that way as opposed to a “more traditional” route of waiting until you had all the songs and then recording them in a professional studio?
H: Recording and writing had always occurred simultaneously with us, so we were just doing what felt natural. We often start with an idea, maybe just a few chords or a melody, and get stuck in to recording it straight away before it is a fully formed song and other ideas develop. The track takes shape with the help of the recording process itself. As for the home studio, this is where we could take our time to work without the pressure of worrying about mounting hourly studio fees and have full control over the sound and direction the album went in, which was priceless.
Eighteen months ago, a song called “Lies” premiered on the music blog Neon Gold. Today, that same band that wrote the song now boasts an impressive EP, an outstanding debut album, and has toured with both Passion Pit and Depeche Mode. Hailing from Glasgow, the electro-pop trio known as CHVRCHES is making a stop in the home of country music, Nashville, during their worldwide tour.
CHVRCHES is a band that’s not hard to like. Lauren Mayberry, lead singer and expert in law and journalism, writes both the lyrics and melodies that will actually make you glad to have a song stuck in your head. Martin Doherty and Iain Cook provide the synth driven music, creating irresistible grooves that just may put you in an awkward situation when your roommates find you dancing by yourself to these beats. Together, these three form a group that is sure to put on an unforgettable and energy-filled show.
CHVRCHES will be performing at Exit/In in Nashville on December 1st. For more information on the band, click here.