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Class of 2013: A Look Back

When I first announced the artists that would be part of my Class of 2013, I basically promised that it would be even better than my Class of 2012. You could say that I had high hopes for all of these ten artists, and much to my chagrin, they actually delivered this year. There was plenty of action to be found, and plenty of profiles raised to new heights of popularity and stardom. It’s amazing to think that not only did virtually everyone improve their stature in the music world, but about half of them released full lengths that made my Top 50 Albums of 2013 list, not to mention many others’. In short, I’m exceptionally proud of the work all of these artists did over the last year, and invite you to join me now for a quick recap of what they did across 2013.

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#10-1]

And just like that, we’ve reached the end of our Top 50 Albums countdown journey. It’s been interesting and a whole lot of fun to put together, and I sincerely hope that you’ve enjoyed this and the other Listmas entries that have helped to wrap up 2013 and start 2014. This has extended far later than I wanted it to go, and all the delays are due to a variety of factors that I don’t care to get into, but at this point I’m just glad we made it. Thank you for bearing with me, and I hope we can still be friends after this. In case you missed anything from this year’s Listmas, let me give you a quick rundown and direct links to the many posts that took over the site in December and this early part of January.

Previously on the Top 50 Albums of 2013:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]
Part IV [#20-11]

The Top 50 Songs of 2013:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]
Part IV [#20-11]
Part V [#10-1]

So here they are, my Top 10 Albums of 2013. I genuinely love each and every one of the records listed below, and strongly recommend that you give them a listen or buy copies of them should you have the chance. These albums also make up a great snapshot of 2013, featuring a wide variety of music styles and genres that I don’t want to hint at. Just take it all in after the jump, and by all means enjoy to the fullest extent allowed. Thanks! Drumroll please…

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#20-11]

We’ve hit the home stretch, my friends. Time to count your blessings and prepare for the end…of this countdown, which will be coming soon. In the meantime though, here’s the next set of ten albums in this Top 50 Albums of 2013 countdown. In case you missed the first few entries, let me help you out with links to those:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]

It’s been a lot of fun so far, and there’s a lot more fun still on the way. In today’s set, you’ll find a few psychedelic and experimental pop records, along with small touches of electronica and hip hop. Join me after the jump for #20-11. I hope you enjoy them!

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#30-21]

We’ve now reached the halfway point of this Top 50 Albums of 2013 countdown. In case you missed them, here are links to Part I [#50-41] and Part II [#40-31]. Let me just say that this third part may be the most interesting section of the entire list. I don’t mean to put any other of the sets of ten to shame, but there are just so many oddities and flight of fancy records here that I suspect you may have missed at least a couple of them this year. There’s a lot more obvious stuff as we get towards the finish line, and some relatively popular indie records came before this, so this is the gooey middle where anything goes. We’re talking weird electronica, neo-classical post-rock and gothic drones among the fare you’ll find below. It wasn’t planned this way, I just wrote the Top 50 list and it worked out like this. So please enjoy this bit of strange after the jump, as we continue to forge onward chronicling the year’s best records!

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#40-31]

My life is a comedy or errors sometimes. You set aside 10 hours to write most of your Top 50 Albums entries, and then somehow come down with food poisoning, which eliminates that window entirely. What are the chances, right? Well, excuses aside, I’m pleased to bring you this second installment in my Top 50 Albums of 2013 series. In case you missed Part 1, which covered #50-41, you absolutely should check that out here. Today’s set of ten albums covers a pretty good variety of genres, from garage rock to folk to electronica to funk, pop and post-rock. The main thing I’d say about these records? Almost all of them are really fun to listen to. So let’s get right on it, and join me after the jump for #40-31!

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#50-41]

This is the big one. Welcome to Faronheit’s Top 50 Albums of 2013 countdown! Over the next few days, I’ll be revealing my unveiling the full list, 10 albums at a time. We do this every year, and it’s always an adventure. Things are running just a little bit behind schedule at the moment, as I’d hoped to have this up before Christmas, but I appreciate your patience and promise to have everything posted before the end of the year. Did you happen to catch my Top 50 Songs of 2013 list from earlier this month? In case you missed it, all of those posts can be found simply by clicking this link. While I’m always excited to share tracks with you, as evidenced by the daily Pick Your Poison posts, albums hold a special place in my heart. This site was started with the intention of writing long form album reviews, and unfortunately in 2013 strayed further away from that than ever. A combination of factors, from having a really busy schedule to endless amounts of writing and rewriting to bouts of writer’s block prevented me from cranking out more than a few album reviews each month. It’s something I have a strong desire to get back to however, so that’s going to be a primary goal for 2014. As things stand now, all 50 of the albums in this countdown have short paragraph mini reviews to go along with them, so in a sense I’m packing a year’s worth into just a few entries. I hope you enjoy them, and maybe even discover some great records that you missed from this past year. Let’s get started then, shall we? Follow me after the jump for the first set of ten albums, with #50-41!

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#10-1]

We’ve finally made it to the grand finale of this Top 50 Songs list for 2013. It’s been a wild and fun ride, and I hope you’ve had the chance to go through this full list and discover some songs you may not have heard before. A few shopkeeping notes I’d like to take care of as we wrap this list up. First, next week will mark the beginning of the Top 50 Albums of 2013 list, which is something I promise you won’t want to miss. Secondly, there will be an addendum post that will be up on the site sometime between Christmas and New Year’s which will be called “The Best of the Rest.” In a nutshell, that will contain 50 more songs that I loved from 2013 that failed to make this list, plus a few other small lists dealing with other music-related topics. So call that a Listmas bonus. Lastly, in case you missed any of the other parts of this Top 50 Songs countdown, let me point you in the right direction with some links:

Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]
Part IV [#20-11]

A couple of quick stats about the songs featured below. It’s a 50-50 split between male and female vocalists. There is one hip hop track, two tracks by electronica artists, three tracks featuring guest vocalists (if you count David Bowie), and a wbole lot of incredibly addictive hooks. Now if you’ll join me after the jump, here are my 10 favorite songs that appeared on records released in 2013.

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#20-11]

At this point in the Top 50 Songs countdown, we’re getting into the real meat and potatoes of 2013 music. Looking at the choices that were made below and really across the entirety of this list, what surprises me the most is how different it is compared to my Top 50 Albums list (coming next week!). In the past that’s typically not been the case, however those lists were largely drawn up from memory. This year, I decided to keep track of all the notable songs and singles I heard, and there are two Spotify playlists to help prove it. The first playlist covers the first six months of the year, while the second playlist covers the second six months. Most of the songs that appear on this list were also on those playlists. By being proactive and keeping up with the tracks I really loved, it was far easier to decide on my Top 50 Songs. So I sincerely hope you’re enjoying the countdown so far, and the eclectic mix of styles and genres that come along with it. In case you missed the earlier parts of this list, just go straight to these links:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]

And now let’s get into Part IV. This set of ten tracks features a handful of rock bands, a genuine pop superstar, and light brushes of R&B and synth pop. If you think that’s eclectic, just wait until the final ten songs, which will be up tomorrow! Until then, please enjoy #20-11.

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#30-21]

Day number three of this Top 50 Songs countdown, and you could say that we’re really starting to hit a stride. There’s a lot of really great songs that have been covered so far on this list, and a whole lot more still to come. I’m excited to reveal everything to you, even if it is at a rate of 10 songs at a time. For those that are just jumping into this list right now, let me make sure you’re aware of Part I and Part II. Stay tuned over the next couple days for the final two installments! In the meantime, please enjoy the official middle portion of this list, with songs 30-21!

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#40-31]

On the second day of Listmas, my true love gave to me…ten more songs from the Top 50 Songs of 2013 list! Yes, in case you missed Part I of this countdown, which featured songs 50-41, you can check that out by going here. In Part II after the jump, you’ll find a couple of relaxing yet beautiful synth pop songs, some small doses of electronica and dance tracks, a pair of wordy singer-songwriters, and just a pinch of R&B for good measure. As with every set of ten songs this week, you’ll find quite a bit of eclecticism. That’s about all I have to say in terms of an intro, so let’s get right to it with songs 40-31!

Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#50-41]

It’s here! It’s finally here! Welcome my friends to the beginning of that magical time of year known as Listmas. For the uninitiated, Listmas is the annual multi-week festival here on the site that celebrates everything list-worthy. Think of it as the year of music in review, wherein everything is ranked. So basically this is just like everybody else does, but with that snappy name of Listmas. In the past, Listmas has extended its reach outwards from the onset of December all the way through Christmas, with three full weeks of list-related programming that included ranking live shows, EPs, and other bric-a-brac. As much as I loved some of those smaller, less important lists, they always functioned as the appetizer to the main course, only more difficult to put together than most anyone realized. For example, I don’t listen to many EPs, so if I had to rank at the very least my Top 5 from this year, the entire list would likely be the only five or so EPs I’ve heard so far in 2013. So I’ve decided to do away with some of those less prominent lists and stick to what truly makes Listmas great: songs and albums. Starting today and running through Friday, I’ll be counting down my Top 50 Songs of 2013, 10 at a time. Next week we’ll do the same thing, but with albums. Some people like to throw full lists at you all at once but provide no context for their choices, nor ways in which you might be able to actually hear some of the music that’s mentioned. The reason the Top 50 Songs and Top 50 Albums lists take a week to fully unveil is because I want to write a little something about each entry, and provide proper links for you to look into the music further should you so desire. It’s a little classier than simply cutting and pasting my list onto the site.

Before we get started with this Top 50 Songs of 2013 list, I want to take a moment, as I do every year, to explain the criterion for what you will see across these entries this week. First and foremost, the reason this list is titled “Top Songs” and not “Top Singles” is because simply restricting the list to singles eliminates the many deep cuts that sometimes prove to be better than whatever choice an artist or their management decided to make to release to the general public for immediate consumption. Of course if you look over this year’s list you’ll find a lot of singles anyways. It was a great year for catchy tracks, to be sure. But allowing deep cuts creates some real curveballs, and I hope you’re surprised by some choices on this year’s list. Secondly, artists are restricted to one song apiece on this list. There were some great records this year, some of which have multiple tracks on them I might call part of this Top 50 list, however the one song restriction is in place solely to maximize the potential and number of artists given credit for their hard work. Lastly, only songs released on full length albums or EPs are allowed on this list. If an album released in late 2012 featured a single I didn’t hear until early 2013, I can’t in good conscience include it here. The same goes for new singles released by artists in advance of a 2014 album. These are the Top Songs of 2013, and I’m going to stick to that. And so, without further ado, let’s get this thing started with songs 50-41 on this countdown of the Top 50 Songs of the Year!

Lollapalooza 2013: Preview Guide

Welcome to the official Lollapalooza 2013 Preview Guide! In this post, you’ll find an hour-by-hour breakdown of all the bands you won’t want to miss during each of the three days at Lollapalooza this year. Whether you’re an experienced Lolla attendee or a newbie showing up in Grant Park for the first time this year, there’s probably no chance you’re familiar with every single artist that’s part of the lineup. This guide is intended to help. Maybe you’d just like to familiarize yourself with the artists by listening to them. I understand that logic as well. Find something that suits your tastes, and then go see that artist, even if you’re not necessarily very familiar with their catalogue. Allow me to provide some assistance in that aspect. Here are Spotify playlists for Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you can let your ears make some decisions. All of those three playlists are organized by musical genre, to help everything flow just a little smoother in case you want to give the whole thing a listen. Moving past the sonics and into the nuts and bolts of the lineup, after the jump are my thoughts on what you should see each hour during each day of Lollapalooza 2013. Please note that I’ve restricted myself to one and only one artist during each hour of each day. There are some tough conflicts I’ve been forced to make decisions on, and in some cases you might want to do split sets and see half of one and half of another. Have a look at the full schedule here for all of those details, and keep in mind that things are so spread out it takes at least 10-15 minutes to walk from one side of Grant Park to the other. Plan accordingly. I do think that if you follow the game plan that I’ve set out for you below, you’re guaranteed to have a great time at Lollapalooza this year. Without further ado, here’s my preview guide to Lollapalooza 2013!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Artist Guide

Welcome to Pitchfork Music Festival Week! For the next seven days, you can count on more coverage of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival on this site than you can shake a stick at. What does “shake a stick at” mean and how does it apply in this context? It doesn’t matter! Just go with the flow. Anyways, as a grand introduction to this whole week’s worth of coverage, I wanted to help you get fully acquainted with all of the artists performing at this year’s festival. There’s somewhere around 45 or so (I’m too lazy to count), and depending on your tastes there’s a chance you might fall in love with all of them. Of course you’ll never know unless you listen to all of their music and judge for yourself. With that in mind, click past the jump to see a listing for every artist on the lineup, complete with links to their websites, songs you can stream on Soundcloud or Spotify (depending on your preference), and in some cases mp3s or full album/mixtape downloads. It’s quite comprehensive, and I hope you’ll discover something new and great as a result. The listings are ordered by day and (technically) set time, though I haven’t listed the set times here. Additionally, if you’d like to find almost every artist put together in a handy playlist that’s organized by genre (for flow purposes), look no further than this Spotify mix that I put together. Check back tomorrorw for the start of the day-by-day preview guide, where I’ll suggest what bands to see each hour of each day. And I promise that WILL include set times.

Class of 2013: 10 Artists to Watch

The way I see it, 2013 is going to be a fascinating year for music. The big boost that Frank Ocean gave to R&B last year is likely to continue through at least the first half of this year. Synth pop will be a big draw too, though not in the ways you might think. I suspect there will be a few really creative synth-based records that will create that forward momentum. It’s only appropriate that The Knife are putting out a new album and touring this year too, and a number of bands with similar influences are likely to get swept up in such an attractive darkness. Electronic producers with open minds are probably going to be hot in 2013 too as they take a mess of different genres and throw them all into some unique stew of their own creation. That blurring of lines between music styles will definitely take off even more than it already has. And while 2013 will be a year of innovation for many musicians, others will learn that certain tried and true techniques and sounds never really go out of style and that there’s always room to inject fresh blood into a genre that might otherwise have been left for dead. A great punk rock record doesn’t simply become bad just because it might not be “cool” anymore. It is with these thoughts in mind that I put together the Class of 2013. They’re certainly an eclectic selection of 10 artists, even if some of them sound relatively similar to one another. In some ways, that’s part of the fun. I’m tremendously excited that I’ll be following their every move for the next 12 months, and have every intention of doing even more than what I did with the Class of 2012. So strap yourselves in and click past the jump to learn all about the Class of 2013!

Listmas 2012: The Top 50 Albums of 2012 [#10-1]

This is it, friends! This long journey to my Top 10 albums of 2012 has finally come to an end. I’d like to thank you for taking this trip with me and for reading the site all year long (like I know you did). Above all, I’d like to thank the artists, because without them and the music they so lovingly create this site wouldn’t exist. I feel privileged to get to hear all sorts of music nearly 365 days a year, and being able to write about it too is just icing on the cake. The ten albums and artits I’ve featured below made some of the most brilliant records I’ve heard over the last 12 months, and I’m happy to say that at some point in time I spent months absorbing the excellence that radiates from these releases. I also like to think that the ten albums below do a great job of covering the scope of breadth of music overall in 2012. There’s something for everyone here, and I swear I didn’t plan it that way. I hope you enjoy what’s presented below, and if you’re so inclined please give each one of these albums a thorough listen through at least once. I hope that you’ll hear the positively amazing things I did in each one of them. If you’re still catching up on the previous entries in this Top 50 Albums series, please follow these links for more:

And now, without further ado, here are my Top 10 Albums of 2012!

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