Best Albums of 2013

Best Albums of 2013

This past year has seen an explosion of fantastic new music from nearly every corner imaginable. From freshly discovered artists, to sophomoric releases, to veterans of the industry, there has been no shortage in the flow of creativity. Some of the best albums of the year refuse to be type-cast as a single genre. They’re collaborative, defying the antiquated tradition of categorically confining artists and their respective albums. Ultimately, they are impeccably crafted gems from a wide array of influences. My list of the Best Albums of 2013 is as follows: #10 Haim- Days Are Gone This sister trio’s first full-length album debut is remarkable. The album is foremost rock inspired, interspersed with heavy influences of 90’s R&B sensuality and 80’s synth pop. Each track is packed with catchy drops and rhythm. It will be exciting to see what comes next from this already highly polished, sister trio. #9 James Blake- Overgrown This sophomore release firmly establishes Blake as a tremendous artist and creator with the promise of longevity. The album could best be described in its entirely as a hauntingly beautiful ballad of love and yearning. James Blake is the poster child to the genre-bending, mind warp of a journey that his listeners embark upon. Overgrown oozes with its obvious R&B sultriness and rings with undertones of Blake’s electronic, dubstep begininngs. It  sends chills down the spine with his poetic, gospel lyrics. #8 Blood Orange- Cupid Deluxe Devonté Hynes, the brilliant British singer and songwriter, operates under the moniker of Blood Orange and basks in the anonymity of writing for the likes of Florence + the Machine, Solange, and Sky Ferreira. Blood Orange...
Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad

This fresh and simple, cold pasta dish is a perfect summer side salad or main dish served alongside a veggie centric meal. For optimal flavor and nutritional value, be sure to take advantage of your local farmer’s market offerings to load up on the fresh veggies and herbs in this dish. Cherry tomatoes are seasonally most flavorful and abundant in late summer as these warm-weathered plants need some time to grow and mature. Prep Time: 40 Minutes Serves: 6-8 Ingredients 1 1/2 Cups Orzo Pasta, uncooked 2 Pints Red Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half 2 Cups Persian Cucumber, chopped 1 Red Onion, chopped 1 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled 1 Jar (2 ounce) Kalamata Olives, drained and roughly chopped 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped 1 Lemon, juiced 1/4 Cup Olive Oil 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste Dash of Red Chili Pepper Flake (optional) Preparation Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add orzo pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain and follow with a brief rinse of cold water to prevent the pasta from cooking further, maintaining an al dente texture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Toss the pasta with olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, and a bit of salt. Next, add the red onion, cucumber, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Coat with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on the feta cheese and fresh parsley, before seasoning with salt, pepper and red chili pepper flake to taste. Toss well and serve immediately or refrigerate for 1-2 hours to serve as as a crunchy, refreshing...