A Musical Review of 2013

review2014

Another year is almost over, with all its highs and lows. Lou Reed and Nelson Mandela died, there’s a new pope, in Turkey and Ukraine people go on the streets to protest against their governments and Russia does everything to reload the Cold War. But enough about politics.

This page almost has its first birthday, the blog went online on January 2nd 2013. In the last year the page almost got 20.000 views and has an average of 53 visitors per day, which is a great outcome. I want to thank the musicians, artists and writers, who helped me make this project real, and, of course, my friends and readers for their interest, inspiration and support. savetier.eu is a non-profit site (maybe once I will place ads/banners somewhere, but for now I don’t know where they would fit and they are mostly ugly).

This year again I prepared a list of 10 great songs that were released in 2013. As always in no particular order.

Escarlatina Obsessiva – Fakir

Post-punk/gothic

I mostly write about post-punk/new wave bands from Europe. But also the other continents have to offer a selection of great music. Most noteworthy is the huge scene in Southern America. Escarlatina Obsessiva from Brazil impressed me with their fifth album The Organ Grinder Songs. The track ‘Fakir’ features very nice female vocals and guitars riffs to remember.

Fakir – Escarlatina Obsessiva

 

Ascetic – I Burn

Post-rock

Post-rock is mostly instrumental music, but the Australian band Ascetic shows that vocals can perfectly fit to this style of music. I had the honour to see them live in Ljubljana. There were not so many visitors, yet the atmosphere was priceless. With the song ‘I Burn’ they made a post-rock song with facets of post-punk, which could easily become cult also beyond the genre border.

ASCETIC: – I Burn

 

This Cold – Torn Apart

Coldwave/zimna fala

I am very interested in Poland and its music, as readers of my page perhaps already know. Most of the Polish coldwave bands I know sing in Polish. This could be a reason that most of them are not much known outside the country. One of the newer ones, This Cold, however, decided to sing in English to also reach an audience abroad. ‘Torn Apart’ was a revelation, when I first listened to it. It is a powerful song, bass driven, with female vocals.

This Cold – Torn Apart (from "A Deeper Grey" EP)

 

She Past Away – İnsanlar

Darkwave

Within the scene the name of the Turkish darkwave project She Past Away already spread like wildfire and their music is celebrated as the dark sound of the 21st century. Driven by minimalistic sample loops and haunting guitar melodies, supported by deep vocals reminiscent of Andrew Eldritch’s, She Past Away create a catching atmosphere without being pathetic. Their album Belirdi Gece is a monolithic piece, on which every song is awesome. It was hard to pick just one song by them.

She Past Away – Insanlar

 

Schonwald – Mercurial

Minimal Wave/darkwave

The minimal wave hit of the year is definitely Schonwald‘s ‘Mercurial’. The duo from Italy make very danceable songs, which are not so easy to forget. ‘Mercurial’ is their new figurehead. I lack vocabulary for describing this anthem. It is perfectly dark, danceable, memorable. ‘Mercurial’ takes you in a love embrace and doesn’t let loose for the next few hours.

Schonwald 'Mercurial' official video

 

Lebanon Hanover – I Believe You Can Survive

Minimal Wave/darkwave

The minimal wave duo Lebanon Hanover seem to have the patent on sadness and melancholy. They are very busy producing lo-fi music, which is lost in a maelstrom of nostalgia and vanity. Their lyrics are critical towards a consume-only based lifestyle.

Lebanon Hanover – I Believe You Can Survive [official music video]

 

Splitter – Trabantenstadt

Ambient/acid jazz

Splitter is the project of a 20-year old musician from Bremen, Germany. The music of Splitter cannot be described in a few words, as it is very diverse. Actually, his music is an ingenious fusion of several known genres of electronic music, most audible ambient, acid jazz and film music. Splitter makes mostly instrumental music. His album Thea features 14 tracks, among which I recommend ‘Trabantenstadt’.

Splitter – Trabantenstadt

 

Skeleton Hands – Robot Hands

New wave/synthpop

Skeleton Hands are the second best New Order there ever was. Like their idols they are also big hit producers. They came up with their début Gone in 2013 with a bunch of great songs, among which I would suggest ‘Robot Hands’.

Skeleton Hands | Robot Hands

 

Masquerade – Cuts

Deathrock/post-punk

The Finnish band Masquerade attracts attention with the looks of their singer Suzi Sabotage and the serving of intriguing post-punk. The song ‘Cuts’ is a time travel to the late 70’s which, however, effortlessly manages to sound contemporary.

Masquerade – Cuts (demo version)

 

Rome – Hate Us And See If We Mind

Neofolk/chanson noir

Jérôme Reuter, the mastermind behind the project Rome, produces music like a factory worker. The busy musician from Luxembourg, who calls his own style chanson noir, continues the quality of the cult album Flowers from Exile with the recent EP Hate Us and See If We Mind. It’s like Death in June, but fresher and with seriously great vocals.

 

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena.
His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

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