2013 was a big year for me: I graduated high school in the spring, and by fall I’d been hired at the cool new record shop in town, Tonevendor Records! Since Tonevendor celebrates its tenth birthday in St. Augustine this year, we’re throwin’ it back to 2013 to check out some notable releases from one decade ago.
Not everything on this list would have qualified for my top 10 ten years ago; I like to think I have grown up a little in that time, and these are the records that have grown up with me. In no particular order, here are my top 10 albums from 10 years ago:
1. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City: It wouldn’t be a 2013 best of list without the inclusion of this legendary indie rock album. Every song on this — their third album and the culmination of the trilogy that defined their first era — is a masterpiece. Ezra, Rostam, and the crew crank out so many great tracks on here, a couple favorites being “Step” and “Worship You.” Am I biased because they use my name in a song? Yes. (Shoutout to my best friend, Sarah, who put this song on my birthday mixtape in 2019.) I’ve gotten lots of mileage out of this album in the past 10 years.
2. Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt: One of my first and most enduring discoveries in the stacks of Tonevendor stock was the music of the Crutchfield sisters. Katie and Allison are DIY indie pros, and Katie’s solo project, Waxahatchee, is all sparsity and sweetness. “Blue Pt. II” and “Coast To Coast” remain favorites, and my copy of the record has seen many a spin since 2013.
3. Dogbreth – Sentimental Health: I discovered this band when a group of friends and I went to go see AJJ back before they were called AJJ and not a whole lot of people cared. While Sean Bonnette and the gang were fantastic, the openers, a young Dogbreth, really hooked me. I still kick myself for not buying Sentimental Health on vinyl from their merch table, essentially condemning myself to jam to “Appetite for Distraction” digitally for years, though I was lucky enough to come across a used copy recently. I recommend anything and everything from Dogbreth’s discography.
4. Courtney Barnett - The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas: This album — and Courtney Barnett in general — were kind of a slow burn for me. When I initially heard her I was not at all impressed, which hopefully does not discredit my 2013 taste, because I admit I was terribly mistaken. Barnett is incredibly clever, the wordplay, rhymes, and references are really impressive. Musically, there’s some twang, fun riffs, and the musicality supports the lyrics super well. The standout track is without a doubt “Avant Gardener,” but “History Eraser” is a close second.
5. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace: This was a big part of the soundtrack to my early days packing up orders at Tonevendor, and though it hasn’t been in my constant listening rotation since then, I have often found tracks like “San Francisco” stuck in my head seemingly out of nowhere. I recently revisited it in full to find it was deeply nostalgic for me, and held up extremely well.
6. Colleen Green – Sock It To Me: This was one of the first records I bought at Tonevendor (and I have proof, as it still sports the original blue price sticker). Colleen’s super lo-fi style was extremely influential back when I was a youngin’ trying to make music of my own. This is one of those albums that is just extremely comforting to listen to, like that favorite TV show you’ve binged 10 million times. The lyrics are funny and super real, and the guitar is crunchy; what more can ya ask for?
7. Radiator Hospital – Something Wild: Busy, a little bit folky, this record is controlled chaos in the best way. It feels like hanging out with a bunch of friends you’ve known forever and you’ve all got a bunch to catch up on. The first time I heard Something Wild I was sold on Radiator Hospital and between this and the follow up Torch Song they were really on a roll. Shoutout to Alison Crutchfield who provides killer vocals on “Are You Feeling Me.” Put on “Our Song” and dance out your feelings, believe me, it is deeply cathartic.
8. Queens Of The Stone Age – ...Like Clockwork: A true holdover from my high school days when my friends and I would drive around and blast this album while driving around going nowhere in particular. “Smooth Sailing” is a real jam and hey, Elton John guested on “Fairweather Friends,” which if it does not solidify this as a notable album, at least qualifies it as a fun oddity.
9. Low – The Invisible Way: A gorgeous album through and through, which has taken on even more meaning since Mimi Parker’s 2022 passing. I logged many hours listening to The Invisible Way while doing homework. It was my go-to paper writing soundtrack in those waning days of high school and my early days of college. Now I listen to it while doing the grown-up version of homework: house work. You can catch me scrubbing the floor deeply immersed in “Amethyst.” Those aren’t tears — I have soap in my eyes!
10. Phoenix – Bankrupt!: Every single song on this album is danceable, and it deserves a spot on this list for that alone. However, it also epitomizes 2013 indie pop in a big way for me and I can’t help but feel happy when a Phoenix song comes on. I recently recommended Phoenix's latest release, Alpha Zulu, from 2022, to a friend, and though she’d not been a Phoenix fan back in the day, she said it still gave her late 2000s-2010s indie pop nostalgia. Check out or revisit “Don’t” and “Bourgeois” for a taste, or better yet, spin the whole darn record.
Happy 10th birthday Tonevendor! Here’s to another decade of great records in beautiful St. Augustine Florida.