Why I Put a Band Called Chumped Ahead of Yeezus for the Best Album of 2013
If you have a lot of music critic buddies, you've probably noticed that they're just now getting back to their usual neurotic selves. That's because they're finally done with year-end lists. Going from genre to genre can be especially difficult -- how does an up-and-coming pop punk band that wrote a nearly perfect EP stack up against the behemoth that is Yeezus?
Who are you guys and what have you done to Kanye West?
My submission to Pazz & Jop (the long-running year-end Village Voice survey of thousands of music critics nationwide) is the result of rolling my eyes every time Miley Cyrus' shenanigans were mentioned. The female musicians who kicked ass this year didn't twerk with a teddy bear -- though Janelle Monáe gets a pass for mentioning twerking in "Q.U.E.E.N." -- these gals wrote albums full of emotion and soul.
My number one pick is a little strange. My year-end list is full of critically acclaimed albums -- Modern Vampires of the City, Yeezus, M B V, etc. -- but chances are the majority of you are sitting there scratching your heads wondering who the fuck Chumped is.
Giving an EP the number one slot is ballsy -- even more so since the accolade went to a band from a city I've never been to (Brooklyn) with fewer than 1,000 likes on Facebook. This is all the more reason to check out Chumped.
Chumped is simply a female-fronted pop punk band that wrote a very catchy and honest record about relationships gone awry. Twenty-thirteen was a fantastic year for female-fronted punk bands -- excluding Worriers, Swearin', and Waxahatchee from my top 10 list was a tough call. As much as I loved those records, Chumped captured these sentiments perfectly in 22 minutes. They didn't need to release a full-length record; these six songs full of pop punk splendor were enough to catch our attention and leave us eager to see what Chumpted does next.
Writing year-end lists puts critics in an interesting position of juggling their favorite releases of the year and what was the "best," which is why Chumped and Vampire Weekend are ranked separately but are tied for first place.