I recently compiled a list of my favorite albums from the last year or so. But rather than write about some of the more well-known artists who released albums this year (like Drake, Daft Punk, or Beyoncé), I thought it more fun to tell you about a few albums I just happened to stumble upon. These albums are not as popular as those mentioned above, but I assure you they are just as enjoyable. Here are a few albums to check out:
The title of Swedish pop trio Postiljonen’s (pronounced Post-ill-yo-nen) debut album is spot on. “Skyer” means “clouds” in Norwegian, and this is precisely what the album sounds like – Skyer is what Superman would listen to mid-flight. Undoubtedly some of the smoothest music of 2013, Skyer’s intense vocals, catchy beats, and passionate saxophone solos are uplifting. Whether you are walking down the street with a purpose or cruising along in your car with your sunroof down, these dreamy pop songs will make your day.
Favorite tracks: “We Raise Our Hearts,” “Supreme,” “Atlantis”
London Grammar: If You Wait
This British trio provided one of the most beautiful albums of recent memory. Sensational 23-year-old vocalist Hannah Reid (who sounds a little like Florence + the Machine) is a true talent. Yet, Reid appears to have little idea of just how good she is, as she belts her songs with seemingly little effort (if you don’t believe me, watch her perform “Wasting My Young Years” live on YouTube). Reid’s voice is simply mesmerizing. She is backed by guitarist Dan Rothman and keyboardist/drummer Dominic Major, both of whom provide mellow background instrumentals to produce some of the most powerful yet minimalist music out there. Just one thing: the album is a little sad, so try not to watch Titanic before listening.
Favorite tracks: “Wasting My Young Years,” “Strong,” “Nightcall” (Kavinsky cover)
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe
“Cupid Deluxe” is the second album by British musician Dev Hynes as Blood Orange. It came out last November, about a month before Hynes lost everything he owned when his New York apartment caught fire. The album is very expansive – some songs feature catchy beats, while others focus on soulful lyrics or groovy instrumentals. It is very pop at times, but the album strives for more – it is mysterious, desperate, and empathetic. It also features guest performances from David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, Clams Casino, and others.
Favorite tracks: “Uncle Ace,” “No Right Thing,” “Time Will Tell”