The Brady Foray: Best Albums of 2013

By Jack Brady

I know what you’re thinking. An article on the best albums of any year and I’m not mentioning Flume (except now, obviously). We at the Brady Foray believe that Flume is a noisemaker and racket producer and barely a musician. Take that spray with a grain of salt.

However, these six albums are just pure brilliance. International bands have come out in 2013 punching and kicking in style, others have announced their return to the world of music with aplomb.

While Australian music was further embarrassed at the ARIA awards a couple of weeks ago (who the hell is Samantha Jade?) there have been some absolute gems to come out of Australia that were barely or not at all recognised in what is meant to be the showcasing the best Australian music. Any award ceremony that Tame Impala and Guy Sebastian win multiple awards is laughable.

But let’s not get tied down by our tyrant outrages. Here are the Brady Foray’s Best Albums of 2013.

Honourable Mentions:                                   

  • Lorde – Pure Heroin
  • Grouplove – Spreading Rumours
  • Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull
  • Bob Evans – Familiar Stranger
  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
  • Boy and Bear – Harlequin Dream

The Best Six Albums:

Eskimo Joe – Wastelands

As massive Eskimo Joe fans, we were a little taking aback by their latest crowd-sourced album, Wastelands. The Esky’s sixth album is phenomenal albeit vastly different to the expectations surrounding one of Australia’s best bands of the 2000s. Before releasing Wastelands, Kav Temperley and co. ambushed us with a two song attack – with ‘Running out of Needs’ and ‘Got What You Need’ rocking our ears and confusing us in the process, do they have needs or not? These songs were different but weren’t alarming. There was a whole album to be listened to first. Then the whole album dropped and the Esky’s had taken us on a whole new direction. A brilliant direction, may I add.

Arctic Monkeys – AM

This album is arguably the best album to come out of the year of music. AM made us at the Brady Foray go from “Oh yeah, they sing that you look good on the dance floor song” to “HOLY F$%# I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED OUT ON TICKETS TO THEIR SHOWS” such was the epic masterpiece that the Arctic Monkeys fifth studio album was. From what we can gather, Arctic Monkeys was an improvement on album’s past and with songs like ‘Arabella’ and ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ now existing in the world of music you cannot go wrong. We’re yet to find anyone to say a bad thing about this album.

HAIM – Days are Gone

HAIM makes us wish that polygamy was legal. Like, how can you pick one of the three sisters when they’re all 11/10 on the hotness scale? Now that the political-incorrectness is out of the way, these girls are amazing! For a debut record, HAIM have come out swinging and laid the platform for future albums. These young ladies have a severe case of musical talent demonstrated through EVERY song on this album. There are zero lowlights and my interest never veered on any one song. While the album is called Days Are Gone, we hope they aren’t too far gone past releasing more LP’s. Did I mention that they’re gorgeous and they’re sisters? Stop it, HAIM.

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

The mid-year Hottest 100 showcasing the best songs of the past twenty years demonstrated that Daft Punk was once great but had faded into obscurity. Random Access Memories, only a month old at this point however was gaining momentum. To borrow from Daft Punk themselves, they came back to the music world in 2013 Harder Better Faster Stronger. This album was hit producing machine. From the highly acclaimed ‘Get Lucky’ to the lesser known ‘Doin’ it Right’ and ‘Giorgio by Moroder’, Random Access Memories is 74 minutes of legendary disco and electronic funk produced by French producers Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Don’t believe me? Do yourself a favour and listen to the album linked above.

Big Scary – Not Art

Big Scary is one of the Australia’s most underrated bands over the last three or four years. Not recognised or giving the plaudits they much greatly deserved. While Tame Impala are getting Grammy Award nominations for no apparent reason, Big Scary is doing brilliantly behind the scenes. What is rarely mentioned is that Big Scary is a duo that are covering an instrumental range usually expected from a four or five-piece band – that in itself is phenomenal.  Not Art lead by its second single and song of the year contender ‘Luck Now’ is one of the best of 2013 and is a perfect follow up to their 2011 debut album, Vacation.

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City’

This is only speculation but I think Vampire Weekend has hit puberty. Their balls have dropped and their music has turned up the seriousness factor. While songs like ‘Diane Young’ and ‘Finger Back’ are obvious links to albums past, the majority of their third studio album – Modern Vampires of the City – is of a more mature nature. The brilliance of this album is highlighted in the fact that while Vampire Weekend have turned the corner on previous releases they still manage to pull off a believable record with songs like ‘Step’ highlighting the band’s variety and vast capabilities within their musical arsenal.

Matchbox Twenty- She’s So Mean

By Jack Brady

Last week, Matchbox Twenty released a new single, ‘She’s So Mean’ off their forthcoming album North. After listening to the song several times, I can’t help but think Rob Thomas and co. have sold out to musical hell i.e. mainstream.

Let’s get one thing straight, I don’t mind the song, and yet, undeniably, I think the band is trying to reach out to the most impressionable minds when it comes to mainstream music, teenagers.

Teenagers will be the ones requesting it, talking about it and buying the single because of its pop music linage, it will be continually played on mainstream radio stations (think LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It and Maroon 5’s Moves like Jagger), and more  importantly, from the bands’ point of view, they will be making money.

However, to that, I say fuck the teenagers.

How about the band’s loyal fans, like myself and millions of others?

We are the ones who have loved and listened to albums like Mad Season, Yourself or Someone Like You and More Than You Think You Are;  the ones who have loved and enjoyed songs like ‘Bent’, ‘Unwell’ and ‘Push.’

The song is nothing like their previous songs, in fact, in relation to their other songs, its rubbish. It sounds like it should belong on a Maroon 5 album.

If they stuck to their roots, and dare I say not sold out, they would’ve received the same if not a better reception from the fans of their past work.

Matchbox Twenty’s 2007 album, Exile on Mainstream, was a diversion from the bands’ previous work. It was a bold move for the band and it worked. Songs like “How Far We’ve Come” and “I Believe You When” were accompanied with a second disc of the bands’ Greatest Hits. It blurred the lines between old and new, with their new songs bringing loyal and younger fans together. The band pulled off a winner.

Fast-forward five years, and the band has gone to the dark side, and it isn’t good. In my opinion, this song is a slap in the face to the bands’ loyal fans.

Tell me what you think: