Year Candy: The 10 best local albums of 2013

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Pickwick performing at Columbia City Theater. Photo by Alex Crick

There’s no denying that 2013 was a great year for local music lovers. So many quality albums were released by so many great bands, which made 2013 an embarrassment of riches in the awesome albums from Seattle musicians department.

I really don’t want to keep blogging about 2014 before recognizing some of last year’s greatness, so I’m going to share this list I put together a few weeks back of 10 must-own local records from 2013.  This isn’t a ranked list of the best local albums of the year, as I try to avoid doing those sorts of things, rather this a list of local albums that provided the soundtrack to my 2013 and I feel these albums represent some of the best Seattle’s music scene offered. in 2013

Hobosexual  “Hobosexual II”

A dirty, fuzzy, loud and flat-out fun concept record set in a distant future that features tales of rival BMX gangs, robots and rocket ships. Plus, it has a song titled “A Motherf#%ckin’ Song About Robots.” Enough said.

Mudhoney “Vanishing Point”

Mudhoney has been a band for what seems like forever and in 2013 they released what is arguably their best album since 1988’s “Superfuzz Big Muff.” If you don’t have any Mudhoney albums in your collection, “Vanishing Point” is a good place to start.

Rose Windows “The Sun Dogs”

Rose Windows are a dreamy psychedelic rock band that fit perfectly on Sub Pop’s roster, continuing to uphold the label’s reputation for featuring excellent Northwest musicians who often live outside of typical genre boundaries. As an added bonus, they have a great flutist and her notes often make for some of the most compelling left turns on “The Sun Dogs.”

Brothers From Another “Tacos on Broadway”

Brothers From Another continue to shine on this follow-up to 2012’s “Taco Tuesday” EP which features guest spots from rising star Sol, and somewhat surprisingly, Asher Roth.

The Flavr Blue “Bright Vices”

At the end of 2012 I named The Flavr Blue’s “Pisces”  a sleeper album. In 2013 I called them “Seattle’s best kept pop secret” and that was before they released “Bright Vices.” The six-song EP is one part EDM, one part pop and all parts awesome. Oh, and if that voice sounds familiar, it’s Hollis Wong-Wear. You probably know her from singing a song with this guy.

Moondoggies “Adios I’m A Ghost”

The Moondoggies cranked up the amplifiers for this album, which is their third full-length offering. It’s great to see one of the city’s more critically acclaimed bands not only continue to surprise, but also continue to get better with each album.

Sol “Eyes Open”

It was a big year for Sol. Not only did he sell out the Showbox and perform perhaps the biggest local set of his career during Bumbershoot, he also released his “Eyes Open” EP, most of which was influenced by his globe-trotting experiences as a Bonderman Fellowship winner. This is a stellar album from one of the city’s most promising young rappers.

RA Scion- Constant (Official Music Video) from Casey Sjogren on Vimeo.

RA Scion “The Sickle and the Sword”

Speaking of rappers, RA Scion also released a killer album last year. It’s unlike anything that’s currently being made in Seattle (ambient beats with smart, sharp and spiritual hip-hop lyrics? Yes, please.). Not only is this one of the best local hip-hop albums of 2013 it’s also free. So what are you waiting for? Go download the album now.

Pony Time “Go Find Your Own”

There’s always room in Seattle for punky garage rock with a cheeky sense of humor. If you want to listen to something that’s loud, fun and spunky then Pony Time is the band for you. “Go Find Your Own” is by far my favorite local debut album of 2013.

Pickwick “Can’t Talk Medicine”

I can’t say enough good things about “Can’t Talk Medicine.” Really, it is an album that needs to be in your record collection.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.