[Samantha Barrett is a staff interviewer for Punknews.org.]
First of all, 2013 has been a whirlwind of great things: a new job, new friends, new records to listen to and another year raging to the bands I love the most. Music-wise I feel like a lot of great material has come out, which made selecting 10 so hard. So here is my Top 10 of 2013. You can also check out my Best of 2013 Mixtape.
Nightmares For A Week wrote a very heartfelt album this year. Working off of their 2010 release Don't Die, Nightmares For A Week really gave a new dimension to their music with the inclusion of keys to the mix and lyrically, this album can be relatable to anyone. "Bloodshot Mondays" is the perfect jam for every weekend.
Off With Their Heads' third album Home maintains a perfect balance carried by Ryan Young's improved vocals. The lyrics in "Always Alone" portray an especially hateful set of feelings, which encompasses most of the lyrical catalogue of Off With Their Heads.
Iron Chic have really outdone themselves. Having put out their 2010 album Not Like This, which was one of the catchiest albums for me that year, I couldn't imagine what they would be able to conjure up this time. The Constant One is almost completely infectious; you can find yourself singing along to songs like the "Bogus Journey" after a few listens.
In Heartthrob, Tegan and Sara took a great leap forward to poppy, dancey heartbreak/reflection songs. These two have broken their way into the dance pop world without abandoning the roots of their indie background. This album makes me want to dance around my apartment.
Working off the framework of their first LP, Top Button, Bottom Shelf, Banquets' self-titled second LP is very honest and true to their form. Banquets have continued to show that they have perfected a balance of easygoing punk with a new set of super catchy tunes. You can really tell that this band really put in the time with this album.
The Things We Think We're Missing is a perfect second LP following their first LP entitled Separations. This release is a perfect head-banger. Jon Simmons' use of lyrics paints a great picture of time and feelings that can harken back certain time periods in one's life. "Tiny Raindrop" is my favorite song on this record.
This is a real throwback reminiscent of the alt-rock of the â90s. It's another real head-banger. Daylight switch it up with a change of pace in its vocals, but maintain the same melancholy lyrical progressions they've always had.
Following their 2011 self-titled LP, Restorations have really come into their own with LP2. Jon Loudon's great howl creates a unique edge to their deep guitar and bass driven music. Restorations have created a great combination of musical sounds amongst this album; no two songs are alike and that's what makes this album so great.
This album has blown me away this year. Internal Eyes features awesome songwriting collaborations between Ben Murray and Trey Derbes. Heartsounds have brought a new level of melodic punk awesomeness to the table with this LP. From Laura Nichols and Murray's vocal harmonies to their perfect guitar riffs, songs like "Cycles" and "Afterthoughts" will stick in your head for days.
I anticipated this release for too long and boy, am I glad it came out. A Wilhelm Scream did not disappoint with Partycrasher. Everything about this album is perfect. This batch of songs seems more effective due to the howling gritty nature of Nuno Pereira's vocals. Mike Supina and Trevor Reilly have outdone themselves this time by with all of the amazing shredding and dueling riffs in this album.