It has been a crazy year in the Virginia music scene, but we would not have it any other way. Every genre was on their game this year from metal to EDM to punk to country, and everything else in between. There were so many great albums put out from some of the best bands, DJs, rappers, and solo musicians this year, but we have narrowed down our picks for the top 10 albums of 2013. Here they are, in no particular order.

DOWN TO NOTHING Life on the James

Arguably one of the best hardcore records of the year nationwide, these Richmond boys are doing Virginia proud with this hometown inspired album. Specifically, songs such as “Dirty South” and the title track “Life on the James” are all about the Virginia hardcore scene, and life in RVA. What’s not to love about that?

THE LAST BISON Inheritance

In October of this year, THE LAST BISON released this record as their major label debut with Republic Records, and though it only has five songs, it is one of the most heartfelt records I have ever heard. The opening track “Switzerland” really sets the tone, and with over 70,000 plays on Soundcloud, it is easily the crowd favorite.


Virginia Beach’s biggest metalcore sensation HONOUR CREST also had a major label debut this year on Rise Records. The highly anticipated follow up to their previous album Metrics leaves listeners decimated, yet still craving more. Listen to “Glaciers” for a taste of the raw power that the band unleashed on this album.


One of the few female-fronted bands in Virginia, THE GREAT DISMAL have really captured something with their debut EP. Though the songs are mostly sad and angry, they express things that everyone deals with everyday, especially in their song “Vultures”, which deals with vocalist Sarah Camdens personal struggles feeling like an outsider as one of the few girls in the scene. However, this record shows that Camden is just as good as the boys.

IAN MARSH Self-titled EP

Though he is known by most people as pop punk founder of COWABUNGA!, singer/songwriter IAN MARSH also has a heart for writing country music that has dwelt inside him since he was a boy. In February, Marsh finally let his country side project out into the public with this four-song EP, which has recieved rave reviews. “It’s All Good” is my personal favorite song.

9/STRIKES TIGER Massive Roar

Though this is not technically an album, I would be remiss not to include this series started by the DJ phenom 9/STRIKES/TIGER, which began earlier this year. Currently on it’s 10th installment, Massive Roar is 9/STRIKES/TIGER’s most popular podcast. His unique mixes of electro house are tearing up clubs and bars in both Northern Virginia and Washington, DC in the best way possible.

LOGAN VATH Better Man or Ghost

Hailing originally from Nebraska, singer/songwriter LOGAN VATH was brought to Norfolk with the Navy, but it was here he found a home in the local music community, which helped him form a band with other local musicians to record this record. In my interview with him in early October, he told me that songs such as “This Far From Home” are very representative of this transition, and it touches on his desire to find his voice in the local music scene to help him follow his dreams.

RDGLDGRN Self-titled LP

Another debut record. 2013 was clearly a break out year for new Virginia artists, including RDGLDGRN from Reston. Their unique variety of indie go-go attracted rock legend Dave Grohl’s attention enough for him to play drums on the whole record. From there, the band played the full 2013 Vans Warped Tour, and have been attracting the attention of fans worldwide. The recorded is full of star power with Grohl’s drumming and even a collaboration with the legendary Virginia recording artist and producer Pharrell Williams on their track “Doing The Most”.

MAKESHIFT SHELTERS The Cautious End of Things

You guessed it, a debut record. Though this band is formed of musicians from the bands CAUST, LOUD?, and singer/songwriter ELLA SOPHIA, when they come together, they produce something magical. According to bassist Phil Edfors, the songs on this record are “cathartic songs about situations about to erupt,” which may be good or bad depending on which song you are tuning into. I recommend checking out “Overflowing”, which is the final song on this short but oh so sweet record.


Last but certainly not least is the sophomore album of this pop punk powerhouse whose members have recently relocated from Winchester to Richmond and Virginia Beach. The distance however only makes them stronger. This album is an emotional roller coaster with high energy anthems like “Heart Grows Colder” and soft acoustic ditties, such as “Walk Before You Run”. With both highs and lows, this album is a home run.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Falls Church, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with friends.

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