2013 Top Ten List Spotlight: Sean

2013 Countdown
photos by Bebe Labree Besch (view set)

For the rest of the year, we'll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2013, leading up to our 2013 90.3 Top Album Countdown! Tune in on Thursday, December 19th for KEXP's One-Day Radio Rally as we countdown the top albums of the year, as voted on by KEXP listeners.

A quick note before we dive into the self-indulgent madness that is this list: the methodology for these selections was simply A) did I find myself returning and listening to these albums over and over, B) did I think I would be revisiting and really treasure these albums years from now, C) did something in the music correspond strongly to a significant moment in my personal life, or vice versa, and instead of careful introspection I listened to the album instead to avoid any reflective self-analysis.

OK, maybe not so much the last one... Anyway, it was a great year for music so let's get started with:

Sean's 2013 Top Ten Albums

1. Pure X - Crawling Up the Stairs (Acéphale)Bleak and bittersweet punctuated with moments of, er, pure ecstasy that will floor you.

2. Fear of Men - Early Fragments (Kanine)Really good indie pop is hard to do and the Brighton, UK group have nailed it on their debut.

3. Merchandise - Totale Nite (Night-People)My favourite rock "rawk" album of the year. The lead single "Anxiety's Door" is seven perfect minutes of loud, dreamy, shredding energy.

4. Algebra Suicide - Feminine Squared (Dark Entries)Fantastic reissue compilation showcasing the Chicago duo's effortlessly kewl, skeletal New Wave about sex and undertakers and stuff. Basically right up my alley.

5. Chastity Belt - No Regerts (Help Yourself)I played one of the songs off the Seattle band's debut early one morning entitled "Giant Vagina" and a concerned listener e-mailed in saying "Really on the air for my kids to hear? Seems a little much." Don't fret, concerned parent! Your child will be a better person down the road having heard this song at an impressionable age.

6. Ducktails - The Flower Lane (Domino)A great collection of feel-good tunes from the Real Estate guitarist, including an ace cover of The Clean's Peter Gutteridge, so, duh.

7. Dean Blunt - The Redeemer (Hippos In Tanks)A superb album from one of music's most baffling and intriguing characters. A true original.

8. Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat (Kranky)A forty-seven minute personal séance for the soul.

9. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven (Warp)Daniel Lopatin is sound-tracking our weird digital lives right, and it's kind of freaking me out.

10. The Courtneys - The Courtneys (Hockey Dad)Yah! Super fun house party, slacker pop vibes from the Vancouver trio. Basically a band to have a big crush on, plus they sing about Keanu Reeves a lot. Love it.

Other HighlightsBurial - Rival DealerMaria Minerva - Bless

My Bloody Valentine - m b vSpace Dimension Controller - Welcome to Mikrosector-50White Fence - Cyclops ReapRuby Pins - Ruby PinsCoyote Clean Up - 2 Hot 2 WaitLust for Youth - Perfect View

Dirty Beaches - Drifters / Love Is the DevilDeerhunter - MonomaniaRP Boo - Legacy!Some Ember - Asleep in the Ice PalaceColleen - The Weighing of the HeartRome Fortune - Beautiful Pimp

Jon Brooks - ShapwickThundercat - ApocalypseNeo Boys - Sooner Or LaterHailu Mergia - Hailu Mergia & His Classical InstrumentCFCF - Music for ObjectsJulia Holter - Loud City SongHuerco S. - Colonial Patterns

Forest Swords - EngravingsKing Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the MoonViet Cong - Viet CongLonnie Holley - Keeping a Record of It

Stellar Om Source - Joy One MileTim Hecker - VirginsDream Boys - Dream BoysExpress Rising - Express RisingJohn Foxx & Jori Hulkkonen - European Splendour

Laurel Halo - Chance of RainSteve Arrington & Dam-Funk - HigherThe House in the Woods - BucolicaWoo - Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going WrongNmesh - Nu.wav HallucinationsU.S. Girls - Free Advice ColumnRaum - Event of Your Leaving

Gorgeous Children - IceDanny Brown - OldMajical Cloudz - ImpersonatorCough Cool - 29Logos - Cold Mission18+ - Mixtap3Noveller - No DreamsMachinedrum - Vapor CityFKA Twigs - EP2Earl Sweatshirt - DorisRoger Robinson - Novella EP

Braids - Flourish // PerishWavves - Afraid of HeightsDJ Rashad - Rollin’Andrew Pekler - Cover VersionsThe Knife - Shaking the HabitualMatmos - The Marriage of True Minds

William Tyler - Impossible TruthColleen Green - Sock It To MeDiana - Perpetual SurrenderAshrae Fax - Static CrashSamps - Macrochips & MicrodipsV/A - Eglo Records Vol. 1Local Releases I Really EnjoyedPanabrite - Cortex Meridian

Pony Time - Go Find Your OwnCock & Swan - Secret AnglesKey Nyata - The Shadowed Diamond

Half-Breed - Practice Makes SomethingPure Bathing Culture - Moon TidesNacho Picasso & Avatar Darko - VampsterdamBraxton / Palmer - CreeperLusine - The Waiting RoomBig Eyes - Almost FamousJay Arner - Jay Arner

Hausu - TotalPorter Ray - BLK GLDSoft Metals - LensesCam the Mac - 2HUNNIDx6Youryoungbody - KurokabiLa Luz - It’s Alive Shy Girls - Timeshare

Rafael Anton Irisarri - The Unintentional SeaEat Skull - IIIWeed - DeserveHanssen - ProgrammeWhite Poppy - Drifter’s Gold

Parenthetical Girls - PrivilegeILLFIGHTYOU - ILLFIGHTYOUwzrdryAV - Pacific GreyscaleJusMoni & WD4D - Queen Feel DeluxeHeatwarmer - Dessert MenuThe Shivas - WhiteoutHibou - DunesAshley Eriksson - ColoursWishbeard - It’s All Gonna BreakBlue Sky Black Death - GlaciersV/A - Twitch & Gloam: Dark Sounds from the Pacific Northwest

Worst Album

Elvis Costello & The Roots - Wise Up Ghost (And Other Songs 2013)OK, it's not all peace and love on this end of year wrap up. This selection partly has to do with my historical aversion to Elvis Costello, true, but the grating and insipid vocals certainly don't help matters. Take your hat and sunglasses off inside, d00d! Four thumbs down.

Worst Song

Daughter - Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover)Yes, really. They've taken the outrageously fun, sexy vibe of the original, one of 2013's best songs, and replaced it with a glum, sexless, I-want-to-take-a-quiet-nap-fully-dressed-in-the-middle-of-the-afternoon vibe.

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Sean is on the air every Thursday morning from 1AM -6AM. You can follow his musings on Twitter [@seanmorroww] and check out old and new music he posts on Tumblr.

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