2013 Music

For me, this year was pretty much all about the piano.

Poppy Ackroyd – EscapementPoppy Ackroyd – Escapement

This is the album of the year, as far as I’m concerned.  Poppy Ackroyd won me over with her intimate miniature creations, built entirely from her own piano and violin performances.

Listen to Mechanism

Also, here’s a cool video that uses one of Ackroyd’s compositions as its soundtrack.

The best albums are listed below in order order of pianoness, followed by the best individual tracks.  The tracks have a link to an mp3 file that will be available for a while.

The Other 9 Albums

Loscil – IntervaloLoscil – Intervalo

Definitely quiet music for late night listening (or in my case, very early morning GO train rides).  Scott Morgan (aka Loscil) teams up with Kelly Wyse, on piano, to reinterpret some of Morgan’s electronic compositions.

The results are at least equal to the originals, and definitely bring a more human dimension to Morgan’s fairly intellectual tunes.

Listen to Endless Falls

Agnes Obel – AventineAgnes Obel – Aventine

More piano.  This time, paired with Obel’s crystalline vocals.  Nice, sharp, memorable.

Listen to Fuel to Fire

Lubomyr Melnyk – CorollariesLubomyr Melnyk – Corollaries

6 dreamy examples of Melnyk’s “continuous piano” style of music.   In the play “Amadeus”, Salieri complains that Mozart’s music has “too many notes”.   Melnyk takes the number of notes to “11”, and I liked the result.

Pretty much all piano, all the time.

Listen to Le Miroir D’Amour

Ólafur Arnalds – For Now I Am WinterÓlafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter

Last year, Arnalds’ collaboration with Nils Frahm (Stare) made by “best of” list.  This year he’s back with “For Now I Am Winter”.  Bleak, forlorn, desolate….and lovely.

Some piano.

Listen to For Now I Am Winter

Fat Freddy's Drop – BlackbirdFat Freddy’s Drop – Blackbird

New Zealand based Fat Freddy’s Drop know their groove.  This one doesn’t go anywhere new, but its super comfortable.

Piano here and there.

Listen to Bohannon

Julianna Barwick – NepentheJulianna Barwick – Nepenthe

Heavily layered and reverbed vocal stylings.  Very nice, but quite similar to Barwick previous release.  She needs to take her music somewhere different.

No piano to speak of.

Listen to Crystal Lake

Deepchord – Tonality Of NightDeepchord – Tonality Of Night

Just 2 tracks on this EP, but it has a very nice feel.

Piano? You must be kidding!

Listen to Spiral 1

Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit – Secret Rhythms 5Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit – Secret Rhythms 5

Pure percussion.  Pure awesome.  Explorations in all sorts of rythmns, so long as it isn’t 4:4.

Not a trace of piano, I’m afraid.

Listen to 124-09

Tracks

These are tracks that don’t come from the best albums; they stand on their own.  Some are pure pop (Lissie and Tristen), some are kind of funky (Mapei and Claptone), one is pretty deep house (Jonsson/Alter),  and one is a beautiful sprawling ode (Phosphorescent).

I really liked them all this year, and listened to them a lot.

Click on the name of the track to listen.

Very interested in what discoveries others made this year.  Feel free to agree/disagree/go on a tangent by adding a comment below.

Here’s my list from 2012

Trackbacks

  1. […] is last year’s list, and here’s my list from […]

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