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Oh, how I do love when music punctuates a mood better than words can. Not that I need an assassin right now or anything – possibly a timely example of how sucky words can be, sometimes!

Anyway, this is some more Junip, and we all know what that means: heavenly sounding alternative folk, the kind that might bring a tear of joy or sadness to your eye. It is a wide-open choice! And since I’m in charge of my eyes, I’m going to go with a combination of both.

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It’s safe to say that I’ve just become a big fan of Junip. There is not one dud track on the two albums worth of music that I’ve heard from them so far: it just boils down to choosing one to pimp here on either/or.

Here is one of their latest, self-titled release. Like yesterday’s, it’s slick and undeniably cool, but it’s all graced with González’s serene vocals. Heavenly!

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It’s pretty much assured that I’m going to like whatever endeavour José González lends his considerable talents to. Case in point: this band, which he fronts with Tobias Winterkorn. Not that I know who that is, or expect you to. Just saying that it’s not just him!

My rambling aside, it’s actually a rather important distinction to make. While anyone who knows González’s music would immediately latch onto the fact that it’s his vocals and guitar in this song, it’s a far more uptempo and slicker presentation than his usual modus operandi would gift us. It is quite fantastic!

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! It is once again time for either/or to delve into the big box of posts from the previous year to pick out our favourites: welcome to Something We Heard In 2013!

Like 2012’s best of post, we are taking a look at anything we posted in 2013, not just the stuff that came out that year. Mainly because most of what I’ve posted came out in any year but 2013. In addition to this post, don’t forget to check out the big theme weeks we published in 2013: Beatles Week and Elliott Smith Week. Tally-ho friends, and onto 2014!

AJ’s favourites for 2013, in no particular order

Daughter - Winter

Daughter – Winter
I love this song. Oh, how I love it. It is haunting and melancholy and beautiful and tender and so gosh danged wonderful. The singing! The melody! The lyrics!

Junip - Your Life, Your Call

Junip – Your Life, Your Call
Like 2012, 2013 had a late entry into the best of the year consideration group. I’ve now become a big fan of Junip and certainly hope they keep knocking out more stuff. If not, I’ll just listen to this song and the rest of their back catalogue until my ears dissolve into dust!

You Are Plural - The Best Is Yet To Come

You Are Plural – The Best Is Yet to Come
Yeah, as if You Are Plural weren’t going to make it into my best of list. I am this close to adding a You Are Plural tag to the database, just to make it easier for everyone to find their stuff. As I mentioned in my post, this is a far peppier song than their usual fare, but it’s equally as beautiful as any of their other stuff. The best is yet to come, indeed.

Serena Jost - Sweet Mystery

Serena Jost – Sweet Mystery
I do love when artists come out of nowhere and knock you down for six. Serena did just that thing, with her bittersweet, country-flavoured Sweet Mystery, which made my heart swooooooon.

Mock Orange - End of the World

Mock Orange – End of the World
If I had to actually face the end of the world and this song were playing, I’d think that things weren’t so bad. I’d probably walk around with a smile on my face, despite the impending flood/fire/asteroid/Godzilla invasion. It is quite charming and just too catchy for its own good!

Sharron Kraus - Evergreen Sisters

Sharron Kraus – Evergreen Sisters
I love this song because it’s so bizarre. It’s dark and kind of unsettling all throughout, but then it resolves right at the end with a turn towards optimism. It is quite the transformation, and it’s all done with a single chord change.

Kingsley Flood - Sun Gonna Lemme Shine

Kingsley Flood – Sun Gonna Lemme Shine
It feels good to end my list on this song, particularly as we are at the start of 2014. It’s the best kind of song to have in your head when you want to say “screw you, world! I’m doing things my way!”. Also, the video for the song is as endearingly cute as it ever was, so there’s that!

Hugh’s favourites for 2013, in no particular order

Texture Jam - Borax Factory

Neighborhood Texture Jam – Borax Factory
There is nothing to say about this song, other than that it is a shining (from all that Borax, no doubt) example of what rock music could, nay, SHOULD have been. The lyrics are still silly, but the music gives me the motivation to punch through brick walls!

Moriarty - Jimmy

Moriarty – Jimmy
I have still not divined the true identity of this “Jimmy” character, but it’s probably not too important. The important thing is this a damn fine, damn classy folk song. A modern classic.

Coconut Records - The Summer

Coconut Records – The Summer
What musical list would be complete without Jason Schwartzman? Probably lots of them, but not this one! I don’t care that I’m posting a song called “The Summer” when it is the wintertime here in America. Maybe it will help warm up the whiners, though!

Ezra Furman - Are You Gonna Break My Heart

Ezra Furman – Are You Gonna Break My Heart?
I try to be hip and with it, which means I have to like Ezra Furman, who sounds like Bob Dylan if he went easy on the folk and sprinkled a little pop into his music. All of his songs are gold-plated gold to my wise ears, and I hope you feel the same way!

Penny & the Quarters - You and Me

Penny & The Quarters – You And Me
I was thinking about posting another dang pop-rock song, but my list had enough of that blather already. So here is an excellent soul song from 1970 instead! None of that oversinging crap that drives the kids wild these days, I reckon! Boy howdy!