Favorite albums of 2013

These are the albums that I found myself listening to the most this year. A couple of them received strong consideration based my having a small involvement in the process. They both would have probably made the list anyway, but I wanted to give full disclosure. This list is in no particular order.

Jenny and Tyler: For Freedom

I was privileged enough to be on the launch team for this album. I signed up not only because I”m a huge fan of Jenny and Tyler, but I”m also a huge fun of the cause. The proceeds from the album go to help fight human trafficking. This cover album features some of my all time favorite songs. It”s not easy to do; but they managed to take songs from U2, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cranberries, The Postal Service, Coldplay, Simon & Garfunkle, and Louis Armstrong and made them their own.


Jason Scott: Brighter Shining Still

He”s not on the list because he”s my brother, he”s on the list because he out did himself with this album. From the start of “New Day” to the end of “The Lord Reigns” this album takes the listener deeper into worship and seeking the things and very person of God. Every time I”ve listened a different song has been my favorite and spoken something more deeply into me. If I had to pick one though, it would be “Your Word Remains.” It reminds the listener in a beautiful way that no matter the chaos all around, He is the One thing that remains with His abundant love.


Avett Brothers: Magpie & the Dandelion

I came to the party late as an Avett fan. I just was introduced to their music at the beginning of 2012. The plus side was that they already had a vast catalog of music that I could digest, but it still left me wanting more. Last year they released “The Carpenter” which ended up being one of my favorites. This year “Magpie & the Dandelion” was a surprise release to me so soon after the previous release, and it does not disappoint. The standout here would be the opening track “Open Ended Life.”


Dawes: Stories Don”t End

If you haven”t heard of Dawes, please do yourself a favor and go find their music and take a listen. These guys write some of the most lyrically deep stuff out there. Their 2011 release “North Hills” is amazing and still gets regular play in my rotation. This album isn”t quite on that same level, but it is still an incredibly enjoyable album. My favorite song is “Something in Common.” If I could”ve written a song about how I feel about how I portray myself against how I really tend to be, this song would nail it. I had the privilege of catching them live in OKC. One of the best shows I”ve ever been to.


Judah & the Lion: Sweet Tennessee

These guys have a sound and an energy to their music that is refreshing and contagious. This is the band that I want to see in concert. Due to some miscommunication, I was unlucky and missed out when they were in Stillwater recently; but it will be soon that I make it happen. My favorite song would be “Seasons Colors.” It”s one of those songs that just keeps building and building toward perfection.


Handsome and Gretyl: Miles and Miles

I”ll be honest; I was drawn to this band simply because of their awesome name. I stayed onboard because of the quality of their music.
It is both infectious and deep, which are qualities that are hard to combine. The vocal range is incredible, and the musical arrangements are beautifully done. My favorite song would be “After All.” No matter what trouble comes our way, after all of it mercy comes with the dawn to show we”re still here.


Venna: Third Generation Hymnal

This album dominated my summer. The best way to describe it is both beautiful and haunting. This is what I wrote in June about it. The first track that stood out to me was “Twelve Shades to the Wind.” It incorporates the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” into a beautifully emotional song. “I’m sorry to say I pokies online did not keep the faith, and I fell down a well of my own apathy” she laments; but then to end the song with hope. “But then I hear your chords and my heart is restored and I’m lifted in love into your welcome arms.” It gets me every time. Each song is beautiful in its simplicity and driven by powerful vocals. Sadly shortly after I discovered them, they put out a note that the band would not continue.


Bombadil: Metrics of Affection

Out of nowhere these guys burst into my life with their ridiculously fun and thought provoking music. Like Avett I was a little late to the party with these guys, but it gave me more to jump right into. I don”t remember exactly where I heard “A Question.” I suspect it was a Spotify recommendation; I”m so very glad I did. It led me to seek out more and then I was thrilled to find that they were releasing new music this year as well. There are several standouts from “Metrics of Affection,” but I would probably have to go with “What Does It Mean.” As someone who tends to have trouble reading situations with people, this song stands out to me.


The Lone Bellow: The Lone Bellow

I”ve been a fan of Zach Williams for a while. “Story Time” is one of my all time favorite albums. I was excited to learn that he joined a band and put our more amazing stuff. This is another one of those bands that I just missed seeing in concert, but I”ll be watching to change that. So many good songs to choose from, but “Teach Me to Know” remains my favorite.


Bryan and Katie Torwalt: Kingdom Come

Out of all the albums that I knew were set to release this year, this might have been the one I was looking forward to the most. Their album “Here on Earth” was my go to “worship” album for quite a long period of time. “I See Heaven” gets me every time I listen to it. This album didn”t disappoint and has a similarly moving song that gets me each time in “When You Walk into the Room.”


This list goes to 11, because I couldn”t leave off Johnnyswim. They released the “Heartbeats” EP and reminded me why I love their music all over again. I was lucky enough to meet them when I went down to SXSW in Austin. They were incredible people and very down to earth and I appreciated the few moments I got to spend talking with them. The song “Make” for this EP became one of my immediate favorites. The truth is, that no matter what we are, the love of God transforms us into new beautiful creations. That”s always am unstoppable promise.


What are some of your favorites from 2013?

4 Responses to “Favorite albums of 2013”

  1. Jason Scott says:

    You are awesome, Philip! What an honor to be included in this list. Thanks so much. 🙂
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  2. Definitely want to check out that Bryan & Katie Torwalt album! I like what I’ve heard of them so far. Also- great list. Jason’s album is great, and I also appreciate you pointing me to the Jenny & Tyler album. That one has been a ton of fun, & Brooke and I have even covered their version of The Scientist. It’s a stellar album.
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