Ken's Best Albums of 2013: #1: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripely Pine
Not only is this the best album of 2013, it might be the best album released in the past 15-20 years. The fact that Jeff only listed Ripely Pine at #9 has made me stop speaking to him. It's by far the most unique and wonderfully unexpected album of this century. I had high expectations based on Aly Sparrow's previous, self-released work (which you can check out on her Bandcamp page). While some songs on Ripely Pine were previously released, this album completely reimagines and rearranges them into fully realized, brilliant offerings. It's like if someone handed you acoustic demos, and then a year later they became Pet Sounds. Yes, that may seem like absurdly high praise, but it's truly warranted. I've been making a joke that this album inspired Neutral Milk Hotel to reform. My favorite part is how every song just shocks you with complete tempo and stylistic changes, and usually multiple times. Just as you get used to a song and start to categorize it, it will just take a bizarre twist into another direction. Even the few songs that stay the same throughout surprise you since you stop expecting the ordinary. My only complaint about this album is that she's only 23.
For more information, including tour dates which you absolutely must attend, head on over to Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's website. You can also stream Ripely Pine below.