Laura’s 2013 Top Albums List

Guest Post By: Laura

Laura’s Top 20 Albums of 2013:

20. Prism :: Katy Perry

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19. Magpie & the Dandelion :: The Avett Brothers

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18. Shangri La :: Jake Bugg

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17. Artpop :: Lady Gaga

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16. Wise Up Ghost & Other Songs :: Elvis Costello & The Roots

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15. Sistrionix :: Deap Vally

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14. New :: Paul McCartney

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13. The 1975 :: The 1975

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12. Long Way Down :: Tom Odell

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11. Like Clockwork… :: Queens of the Stoneage

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10. The Olms :: The Olms

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9. Roaring 20’s :: Rizzle Kicks

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8. Days Are Gone :: Haim

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7. 180 :: Palma Violets

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6. Bad Blood :: Bastille

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5. Innocents :: Moby

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4. Pure Heroine :: Lorde

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3. Seasons of Your Day :: Mazzy Star

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2. Tape Deck Heart :: Frank Turner

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1. The Next Day :: David Bowie

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Read more of Laura’s reviews at her music blog, Lyrique Discorde

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps

Laura’s 2013 Top Songs List

Guest Post By: Laura

Laura’s Top 20 Songs of 2013:

20. Follow Your Arrow :: Kasey Musgraves

19. Young & Beautiful :: Lana Del Rey

18. Laura Palmer :: Bastille

17. Skip to the Good Bit :: Rizzle Kicks

16. Sex :: The 1975

15. California :: Mazzy Star

14. Wrecking Ball :: Miley Cyrus

13. The Perfect Life :: Moby & Wayne Coyne

12. Resolution :: Matt Corby

11. Shot At the Night :: The Killers

10. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? :: Arctic Monkeys

9. Royals :: Lorde

8. Long Way Down :: Tom Odell

7. The Wire :: Haim

6. Bad Girls :: M.I.A.

5. Say Something :: A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

4. City of Angels :: Thirty Seconds to Mars

3. Let Her Go :: Passenger

2. Plain Sailing Weather :: Frank Turner

1. My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up) :: Fall Out Boy

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Read more of Laura’s reviews at her music blog, Lyrique Discorde

Laura’s Top 5 EPs of 2013

Guest Post By: Laura

Laura’s Top 5 EPs of 2013:

5. London :: Banks

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4. Fade Away :: Best Coast

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3. With the Whole World Watching :: Tony Lucca

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2. Resolution :: Matt Corby

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1. The Artful Dodger :: London Shover

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Read more of Laura’s reviews at her music blog, Lyrique Discorde

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps

Bat For Lashes: The Haunted Man

Bat For Lashes‘ third album, The Haunted Man, is quite different from her previous releases. The tribal drums and dark drama that first brought our attention to Natasha Khan’s alter ego have been replaced with atmospheric electronics and somber melodies. Even Natasha’s voice sounds different, at times straining to reach an angelic soprano level when we know her natural tone is a smokey alto. And yet somehow…it works, it gets under your skin. My feelings about the album are strongly mixed between my initial, unavoidable disappointment when comparing it to her past and unshakable, irresistable respect for her extraordinary creativity.

The Haunted Man opens with the expansive, cinematic “Lilies.” The song seemed overly long the first time around, but I like it more with each listen. It has an almost hypnotic effect. One of the most capitivating moments on the album comes when Natasha breathes “Thank God I’m alive” just before the song’s horn-driven orchestral finale.

The darkly quirky electro-pop numbers “All Your Gold” and “Marilyn” hark back to 1980s-era Kate Bush and/or Peter Gabriel.

Sadly, it seems no amount of repeated listens will make “Horses of the Sun” anything but irksome to me.

“Oh Yeah,” however, is rhythmic and interesting. I do wish the piano flourish at the end was audible throughout, but better late than never.

The stunningly pure and beautiful ballad “Laura,” which I first posted back in July, is by far the standout track and outshines the rest of the album. Brimming with all the emotions of a lifetime of regret and a heart full of love, “Laura” remains one of the most exquisite songs of the year.

The sparse, string-accented “Winter Fields” in particular conjures the ethereal spectar of Kate Bush. Winter Fields may have been a more apt title for this cool and spacious piece of art.

Inspired by the Irish “troubles,” the title track features a chilling interlude of militant drums and male vocals which were shouted and recorded over a canyon.

The rest of the album blurs and blends together, sometimes gorgeously, sometimes unremarkably. Had Bat For Lashes not been by a favorite artist of mine, I wouldn’t have tried so hard to like the album and must admit I wanted to like it more than I actually did at first. However, it’s turned out to be a grower like Kate Bush’s 50 Words for Snow and Fiona Applie’s The Idler Wheel. The Haunted Man is a very pretty and innovative collection.

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Bat For Lashes Official Site

Bat For Lashes: New Album & Song!

She’s back! The exquisitely talented Bat For Lashes (a.k.a. Natasha Khan) will return with her new album, The Haunted Man, on October 23rd. As we wait with bated breath, you can listen to and watch the video for the first single, “Laura,” below. The piano ballad is surprisingly simple given Bat For Lashes’ eccentric past, but it is also very, very beautiful.

Buy @ Amazon (Available October 23, 2012)

Muruch Bat For Lashes Reviews

Bat For Lashes Official Site