Graham's five favorite Duluth albums of 2013

It would be too hard to narrow down a list of all the local records that came out this year while using terms like "best," or any other phrase that attempts to add a value judgement one way or another. Let's not do that. Let us, instead, take a look back at some of my favorite releases to come out of 2013. It's been a hell of a good year for music in Duluth. Here are some of the sounds that made that happen. 5. Southwire - Southwire

This album was something unexpected for me. By that, I mean I didn't expect to like it as much as I do. Spiritual gospel-folk is not the kind of music I generally listen to, but I still find myself putting it on and playing it the whole way through.The album came out on Chaperone Records earlier this spring. Here is a song from the album, performed live for The Current:


4. Fever Dream - '83

Here is another one I didn't expect to get so much joy out of. Marc Gartman's Fever Dream is an awesome throwback to simple 1980s groovy synth sound. It's another Chaperone Records release from earlier in the year. The album was pressed on some pretty epic Pepto-Bismol colored pink vinyl. Here is a video for the song, Hold On:


3. Low - The Invisible Way

Now proud owners of a key to the city, given to them by Mayor Don Ness, one could say it has been a pretty interesting year for Low and their fans. They're currently rounding out their 20th year as a band. They continue to tour the world, and the albums just keep coming out. The Invisible Way was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and was released on Sub Pop in March. Here is a video for the song, Just Make it Stop:


2. Trampled by Turtles - Live at First Avenue

I love live albums, I love First Avenue in Minneapolis, and I love Trampled by Turtles. Now if you combine all of those elements together, toss in a DVD of the performance, well I'll be damned if it's not an awesome thing to behold. Here's a video from the album/DVD combo, Wait So Long:


1. Retribution Gospel Choir - 3

This one was easily my favorite album of the year. Retribution Gospel Choir has been high on my lists of all-time favorite bands for quite some time, and this album totally sealed them in there. The whole album consists of only two songs, each 20+ minute jams, one per side on the vinyl. It is yet another on this list to come from the folks at Chaperone Records. It's also another on the list to include a Wilco reference. Wilco's Nels Cline is a guest guitarist on this epic song - Seven:


That's my list. Let me know what records you dug the most this year - tweet me @grahamhakala


Graham Hakala is the current editor in chief of Lake Voice News. He writes about Duluth music and arts. Follow him on twitter @grahamhakala

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