5 Star – The Remix Anthology

Evening Hymns – Spectral Dusk

Goldfrapp – Tales of Us

Haim – Days are Gone

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob

Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady

Kelly Rowland – Talk a Good Game

Solange – True

Woodpigeon – Thumbtacks and Glue

I had difficulty narrowing down which albums released in 2013 would really be my top picks of the year. When it comes down to it, I had to mainly choose on the basis of what I listen to repeatedly. Although I’m getting into several songs on 'ArtPop' I can’t really say I’ll be listening to it as much as some of these other albums. Popular music still takes a prominent place with Kelly Rowland and her endearing confessional album where she lays out her feelings about “B” and pretty much everyone else who has ever pissed her off. Janelle Monae is someone I’ve been entranced with ever since seeing her perform a couple years back giving one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen. Her new album took a while to grow on me, but with some excellent collaborations and quirky lyrics she got my attention. I mean, who else would sing about Mia Farrow as a modern-day Joan of Arc? Still I think Monae could usefully learn from Solange’s example of releasing a mini-album of only quality music. She is another artist I got to see give an excellent concert earlier this year with lead song ‘Losing You’ being incredibly catchy and ‘Lovers in the Parking Lot’ heartbreakingly sad. My favourite blast from the past this year was 5 Star’s Remix Anthology which is irresistibly danceable especially ‘All Fall Down.’ My favourite new group would have to be Haim whose Fleetwood Mac sound make me want to clap along particularly with their track ‘Forever.’  Talented queer artists who’d already released a few albums but who I didn’t discover till their breakout albums this year include Tegan and Sara whose album is full of catchy angst-soaked songs and John Grant with his confessional, bitchy, wholly-original tunes. Another amazing new discovering for me is the Canadian group Woodpigeon with leading man Mark Andrew Hamilton giving a series of haunting powerful melodies. Goldfrapp mellows out even further than her last album with her newest Tales of Us filled with hushed songs that make a loud impact. Some singles like Martha Wainwright’s ‘Can You Believe It?’, Daft Punk’s ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’, Annie’s ‘Ralph Macchio’, Timberlake’s ‘Mirrors’ and Sparrow and the Workshop’s ‘Valley of Death’ got a lot of listens from me but their albums didn’t make as big of an impact.