- Abe Abraham- West of West. This Denver local was my alarm for the better part of the year, I would set my alarm 30 minutes early, with the option of just staying in bed listening to this. Love it.
- Michael Kiwanuka- Home Again. This English soul singer brought it all back with this album and I listened to its soothing orchestration and soft melodies for the week my wisdom teeth were removed.
- Generationals- Heza. So surprised this New Orleans band didn't blow up. There's still time. Such a fun album though.
- Dr. Dog- B-Room. The album's single "Broken Heart" insists on finding a way into your head any moment there is blank space. It's a great new album from these guys, and still poppy and weird.
- Akron / Family- S/T. Ok, I know this didn't come out this year, but it came back to me as a reminiscent storm. I was terrified to walk down that path again, with such an eclectic dark album, but as always it breaks through as a wave on a beach and it still feels like my summer of 2006 when I packed up and moved to Seattle for love. Ha?
- Nick Jaina- Primary Perception. I spent a lot of my year with Nick in different parts of the world and I did the same thing with this record. Both change drastically depending on where you are...
- Sam Amidon- Bright Sunny South. This album came out this year, and once again did not cease to amaze. I want to put the rest of his albums on too, All is Well, and This Chicken Proved False-Hearted. Is that cheating? I listened to him so much. God I love this guy. I almost flew to Denmark cause it was the only place I could see him play. Ugh. I am putting it on now.
- Magnolia Electric Company- Hard to Love a Man. He's right you know. Jason Molina's death this year affected me more than maybe any other musician. It's amazing there is so much truth in so much pain.
- Juana Molina- Wed 21. Isn't it crazy that this Argentina-based songsmith played in Denver a few years ago with Laura Goldhamer with only a handful of attendees? If given the choice of seeing her or Radiohead live, I would see Juana Molina again. She is a 50-some temptress witch of electronics, and that trumps Yorke's warlock sorcery at Red Rocks any day. I saw her play in the belly of a boat on the Seine in Paris, and was my top live concert of the year.
- Spirits of the Red City- Jula. This album is really incredible. Maybe the most incredible. It's the perfect walk on a tightrope over a snarling pit of emotions. Violent despair, and hissing loneliness, with clawing hopefulness, determination baring it's teeth, and slithering heartbreak. All the while with balance and precision you can safely glide above with full awareness of it all, and coming out a stronger human just for listening. My favorite album this year. Seriously.
Best of 2013 Colorado VIPs: Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers
The ten albums that best surrounded me in 2013.