BEST OF 2013: Madelyn's Picks

BEST OF 2013: Madelyn's Picks

10. Rhye - Woman

Here's hoping Rhye's Woman is what everyone buys their significant other for Valentine's Day next year because, man, does it hit you right in the feels. Milosh releasing a solo album in the latter half of this year could unfortunately signal that Rhye has already come and gone. If that is the case, at least the enigmatic duo left the music world with an instantly classic album of heartfelt, honest love songs.

Best Of 2013 So Far: Madelyn's Picks

10. Cayucas - Bigfoot

Still searching for the best soundtrack to your summer? Bigfoot is it. From happy-go-lucky opening track “Cayucos” to eponymous album closer “Bigfoot,” Cayucas present eight catchy, summery tunes sure to make your next vacation playlist. And hey, they might put you in such a good mood that you’ll forget about the sweltering heat!

9. Rhye - Woman

Three months after its release, Woman's sensual, eargasm-inducing first track "Open" still blows me away upon each listen. "Open," along with about four other tracks, including "The Fall" and "3 Days," serve as the album's highlights while the remainder are forgettable. Yet, Woman is such a short album that it is easy to listen to on repeat before realizing you have been doing so for hours. With the seductiveness of Woman and their mysteriousness, Rhye have made an impression on the music world, but only time will tell if they stick around long enough to do it again with a second release.

8. Savages - Silence Yourself

This is not yet an album to which I can sing along word-for-word (as tends to be the case with my favorites), but Savages’ debut is almost too in-your-face and harsh for that. Savages are more about the statement they are making through their music and live performances. Between writing manifestos and mandating no phone usage at shows, the ladies of Savages are sure to calculate the band’s each and every move. One thing’s for certain – their abrasiveness has taken the music world by storm and provided a necessary, refreshing realness.

TRACKING: Ducktails - "Under Cover"

SOUNDS LIKE: A dreamy, nostalgic tribute to 70s roller rinks, disco ball and all. 

When not recording or touring with New Jersey indie rockers Real Estate, guitarist Matt Mondanile takes on his Ducktails monkier. Mondanile has been quite prolific under his solo side project, releasing numerous EPs and full-length albums, the most recent being this year's The Flower Lane

On the third track of Flower Lane, "Under Cover," Mondanile wastes no time making his intention known. "Under, do you want to go under the covers?" he suavely asks with a delicate layer of synth, guitar, drum, and saxophone in the background to help woo the addressee into his bed. Mondanile flirtatiously repeats the question multiple times, abstractly adding "When you're alone in the middle of the night, what do the streetlights say to your eyes?" for good measure. A little more than halfway through the six-minute song, the underlying instrumentals crescendo, announcing the forthcoming groovy, powerful sax solo that sends the song off into its finishing seconds. Undoubtedly, by the track's finish, that special someone has been won over by Mondanile's advances.

TRACKING: Ducktails - "The Flower Lane"

SOUNDS LIKE: Real Estate, Prefab Sprout, Beck
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: This Real Estate side project is cleaning up its sound for its 2013 album

Man those Real Estate guys like to stay busy. They've spent the last year touring non-stop, playing all over the world and have been in the DC area almost every other month it seems.  On their last run through the states this summer, they debuted a brand new 10 MINUTE JAM. Bassist Alex Bleeker is getting ready to hit the road with his side project Alex & The Freaks, and now comes word of a brand new album from Matt Mondanile's Ducktails project.

The upcoming album, The Flower Lane, finds Mondanile stepping out of the bedroom and into a real studio. And he's no longer alone in his late night dwellings, as his friends from Big Troubles and Cults, even his Real Estate mates pop up on the album.  From the sounds of the title track, this album goes logically with his full-time band's jump in a hi-fi direction: silky guitars, keyboards that sounds like Billy Preston's in the room, all setting a mood that isn't far off from Beck's Sea Change.  With a sound that yearns for crisp leaves to fall from the trees, this will be a perfect choice for your autumn mix tape.