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Back in 2013, I was into my second year of furiously writing about music on my old blog Music Insanity and I found myself, because of this new hobby, discovering all sorts of new music. Seriously, it was coming from all over the place, from unsolicited emails to reading other blogs, and just plain old-fashioned research. I became even more voracious in my musical appetites*. I felt like I was listening to new bands every other day, some of them stuck, some didn’t, and some were exciting at the time but quickly got lost in the excitement of the next big thing.
Guards and their debut album “In Guards we trust” is a prime example of this last.
I checked out the album when I first heard about it because I’d recognized the name of Guards’ frontman, Richie James Follin, and with a bit of digging, confirmed him as sibling to Madeline, who was one half of Cults. Of course, I had been a big fan of that band’s self-titled debut two years earlier, especially the wall of noise single “Go outside”, and that was enough of a link for me. I was rewarded with a twelve track, forty-seven-minute barrage of stadium ready anthems masquerading as indie pop. And I listened to it again and again and again. It became one of my favourite albums of the year and theirs were one of the sets I was really looking forward to catching at that year’s Osheaga. Perhaps the fact that I missed it due to a conflict might have foreshadowed their fading from the top of my music playlist pile, especially since I can’t recall at all now who it was I saw instead of them.
I had to actually go back and listen to the New York-based trio’s debut album** and its single “Ready to go” when I was putting together this list to make sure it belonged and then, again this week when I was writing this post. Each time I did, the answer was a resounding ,“Yes”! I instantly remembered how great it is, a bundle of revved up energy, retro pop hooks, and fun boy-girl vocal melodies. It’s psychedelic and fuzzy and positively joyous.
“We’re often ready to go
We’re often ready to go
We’re often ready to go
We’re often ready to go”
And now I’m ready to go listen to it again.
*And this would eventually become too much and too stressful keeping up with it all… but that’s another story.
**One of these days, I’ll also check out the sophomore album called “Modern hymns” they released in 2019.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 2013 list, click here.