ALARM's 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

ALARM’s 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

Saving the best for last, we’ve chosen our 51 favorite albums of 2013, pulled from the acclaimed and the unsung — some of the best as well as most boundary-pushing releases from rock and beyond.

Trent Reznor & David Lynch

Watch David Lynch’s new NIN video (epileptics, be warned)

Though it’s not an Earth-shattering collaboration, David Lynch’s new Nine Inch Nails video is very…well, Lynchian…with high-contrast stills, flashing red squares, and frenetic, blurred-vision closeups of Trent Reznor’s beloved face.

Legendary producer Nile Rodgers on working with Daft Punk

In the third part of Daft Punk’s “The Collaborators” video series about the making of upcoming album Random Access Memories (Columbia, 5/21/13), legendary producer and disco guitarist Nile Rodgers talks about his reciprocal experience working with the French duo and plays a lick or two of new material.

Wild Belle

Q&A: Wild Belle on familial dynamics, schmoozing, and using loss as inspiration

Wild Belle: IslesWild Belle: Isles (Columbia, 3/12/13)

“Keep You”

Wild Belle: “Keep You”

Though eight years apart in age, siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman have a long musical history. Whether playing together in church in their youth, hearing James Brown and Neil Young records from their parents, or soaking up influences on trips abroad, the two have a shared musical heritage that has manifested itself in Wild Belle, a multi-cultural pop project that was born from Natalie’s demos and rounded by Elliot’s professional experience in Nomo.

Isles, the group’s debut full-length, is a blend of pre-1980s reggae and rocksteady, dub, R&B, rock, and African influences, all held together by Natalie’s airy vocals and lovelorn lyrics. Here she speaks about familial dynamics, quickly signing to a major, and using loss as inspiration.

David Bowie’s “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” starring Tilda Swinton in NSFW video

David Bowie: The Next DayDavid Bowie: The Next Day (Columbia, 3/12/13)

Though the words David Bowie and Tilda Swinton should be enough to get you to click that little “read more” button, the new video for Bowie’s “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” directed by Floria Sigismondi, is a pleasure to watch. Starring the strikingly similar entertainers as a suburban married couple, a bit of David Lynch-esque intrigue is injected when a celebrity pairing shows up in town.

Depeche Mode shares a disturbing vision of “Heaven”

Depeche Mode: Delta MachineDepeche Mode: Delta Machine (Columbia, 3/26/13)

With Depeche Mode’s new album dropping at the end of next month, the band has offered a look and listen at Delta Machine with the video for “Heaven.” A disturbing montage of Silent Hill-style imagery remixed by way of Dalí, Goya, and Bosch plays as Dave Gahan sadly croons. Check it out below, as well as a video of the band working in the studio.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.