The Artists Pick the Best of 2013, Part 2

[31 December 2013]

By PopMatters Staff

To round out PopMatters’ coverage of the best music of 2013, we hand things over to the artists and give them a turn at playing critic. The lists and thoughts that follow reveal some of the artists that other artists revere the most, as well as some unsung pros’ pros and heretofore unknown up-and-comers worth your time and attention, now and in the future.

 
Ghost Wave’s Matthew Paul

My top songs of the year:
1. Brian Jonestown Masssacre, “Illuminomi”: I love everything about this song, probably my favourite of the year.
2. Primal Scream, “2013”: The song that made the most sense to me this year in a political way.
3. Deerhunter, “Neon Junkyard”: Favourite rhythm of the year.
4. Magic Castles, “10 100”: Favourite melody and made most sense to me in a political way after Primal Scream.
5. Foxygen, “No Destruction”: Favourite smoking pot in the subway song of the year.
6. My Bloody Valentine, “Who Sees You”: Favourite record to listen to once the pot was finished.
7. Surf City, “NYC”: Favourite use of tremolo this year.
8. Ariel Pink, “Baby”: Favourite ‘70s cover of the year.

NZ garage rockers Ghost Wave came out with their debut LP Ages on Flying Nun in August 2013.

 
Daughn Gibson

1. My beautiful best wife opened a killer vintage/new/badass store in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where we live and it rules!
2. Carlisle also elected its first African American mayor, Mr. Tim Scott. Pro-gear, pro-attitude, pro-gressive
3. Thursday country/western swing night at the Empty Bottle Chicago
4. Open mic country night at Franklintown Firehall, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
5. Karaoke at BBQ on the pike, Carlisle
6. Super-heavy pour at the G-Man, Carlisle
7. The Heart, She Holler, Adult Swim
8. Haim, Days Are Gone
9. Ableton Push
10. Triangle Piece, cool group/man from Columbus, Ohio

Daughn Gibson released Me Moan on Sub Pop in July 2013.

 
Gliss’ Martin Klingman

● Babyshambles, Sequel to the Prequel
● Fionn Regan, The Bunkhouse, Vol. 1: Anchor Black Tattoo
● Iceage, You’re Nothing
● Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
● Gliss, Langsom Dans
● Ron Sexsmith, Forever Endevour
● The Knife, “A Tooth for an Eye”
● Phoenix, Bankrupt!
● Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
● Arcade Fire, Reflektor

Gliss - The Sea Tonight (official music video) from Modern Outsider on Vimeo.

Shoegaze-inspired L.A.-based Danish/American outfit Gliss released Langsom Dans this year on Modern Outsider.

 
Ryan Graveface (Graveface Records, The Casket Girls, Black Moth Super Rainbow)

As the “pusher” of all things Graveface, I tend to listen to A LOT of Graveface stuff throughout the year. This year had a jam-packed release schedule with LPs from the Appleseed Cast, Serengeti, Xiu Xiu, Stargazer Lilies, Dosh, Whirr, Hospital Ships and many more. It was crazy. So my list is certainly biased, but I tried to throw in a few non-Graveface-related tracks so it doesn’t seem like a sales pitch. There’s no order to anything. Some stuff isn’t new, but that doesn’t matter to me. Additionally, I threw in some food/drink/fun that impacted me in a positive way.

These meant something to me in 2013:
● Serengeti, “Karate”
● WNUF Halloween Special VHS
● The Appleseed Cast, “Cathedral Rings” + live at the Fireside Bowl
● The Haitian Sunrise cocktail at Gin Joint in Charleston, SC
● The Stargazer Lilies, “How We Lost”
● Raven’s Grin Inn haunted house
● Hospital Ships, “Lost Folk Song"HOSPITAL SHIPS - LOST FOLK SONG
● The Sword Burger at Kumas Chicago
● Whirr, “Sandy”
● Buying the prom photo of Bradley Scott Pauley at the Mission in SAV
● Young Prisms, “Four Hours”
● Buying my first human skull (engraved “odd fellows skull from 1888”)
● Purity Ring, “Lofticries”
● Swans live in Chicago
● Monster cereals coming back (“Fruity Yummy Mummy”, etc.)
● Thee Oh Sees, “Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster”
● The Merchant in Madison, WI
● Nina Simone, “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”

Ryan Graveface is the owner of Graveface Records, guitarist of Black Moth Super Rainbow, and a member of Casket Girls, which releases True Love Kills the Fairy Tale via Graveface on 11 February 2014.

 
Colleen Green

Top ten things from the year:
● Gnar boys
● Diarrhea Planet
● Waffle House
● Nobunny music video
● Burgerama caravan to SXSW and back
● Quitting weed
● My friend Kelly
● Europe
● Miami
● Hardly Art

L.A. garage rocker Colleen Green released her full-length Sock It to Me in 2013 on Hardly Art.

 
Grooms

● Julia Holter - Loud City Song
● Forest Swords - Engravings
● Yvette - Process
● Matana Roberts - Coin Coin 2 Chapter 2: Mississippi Moonchile
● Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest
● Clinic: Free Reign II
● Laurel Halo - Chance of Rain
● Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
● Dirty Beaches - Drifters/Love Is the Devil
● Ty Segall - Sleeper (tied with) of Montreal - Lousy with Sylvianbriar

Brooklyn noise-rock act Grooms put out Infinity Callerin September 2013 through Western Vinyl.

 
Gross Ghost’s Mike Dillon

Top ten things I loved in 2013:
1. Moving into my new house, Chateau Moby Dick. Bands traveling through NC, get up with us if you need a show.

2. Getting a dog. It’s like having a friend that can never really disagree with you, because they rely on you for food.

3. The massage stand at the mall…So cheap. So good. So necessary.

4. Hopscotch Music Fest: Particularly dropping in right in time to catch Merzbow melt my face at KINGS.

5. Putting out our second record with Odessa. I feel like most musicians know the process from writing, recording, and releasing a record can feel like forever. Finally glad it’s out in the world!

6. Getting back into skateboarding…slowly but surely…thanks Geezer Ward!!

7. Sanjay and Craig: An awesomely warped Nickolodeon cartoon. Particularly the “Maximum Dennis” episode.

8. Thee Oh Sees on Halloween at Krankies, in Winston Salem. Great bill, small room, double drums…so awesome.

9. Season 4 of Eastbound and Down. “The FIXXXXINNNNS!!!”

10. KRATOM. SAVED. MY. LIFE.

North Carolina indie duo Gross Ghost released Public Housing via Odessa in October 2013.

Ha Ha Tonka, Inter Arma, and more

 
Ha Ha Tonka

Lucius, Wildewoman: This might just be my absolute favorite album of the year. They probably have the best two-part harmonies since the Everly Brothers, and Dan Molad is a musical genius. Disclaimer: Dan produced our new album, so I’m biased, but trust me…this band is outrageously good. Favorite track: “Don’t Just Sit There”

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin, Fly by Wire: We started our bands together in Springfield, MO and have known these guys forever. They write the catchiest melodies and have the best the band name in the world. They also made the best video of the year for “Nightwater Girlfriend”. 1luv. Favorite track: “Bright Leaves”

J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Essential Tremors: If you like rock ‘n’ roll, you will love this band. Rod has the best rock voice in the biz and this is the rock record of the year. Favorite track: “Black Light”

Arcade Fire, Reflektor: I love everything about this album. Even though it’s sonically different, it reminds me somewhat of U2’s Achtung Baby in some of the themes they’re playing with and how they appear to be trying to reset the table for themselves…it’s probably just the kind of thing that only the biggest band in the world would do. Favorite track: “Awful Sound”

Phoenix, Bankrupt!: On our European Tour this Spring, we listened to this album to death. It sounds like all the tunnels in Norway to me…and it’s amazing. Favorite track (of the year): “Bourgeois”

In September 2013, Ha Ha Tonka released Lessons (Bloodshot), which ranked #12 on our list of the Best Americana Albums of 2013.

 
The Hairs’ Kevin Alvir

● Sonny & the Sunsets, Antenna to the Afterworld
● Cate Le Bon, Mug Museum
● Colleen Green, Sock It to Me
● Revisiting the entire catalogue of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
● WTF Podcast
● Yo La Tengo, Fade
Enough Said movie
The Demonologist, the book about famed demon hunters Ed & Lorraine Warren
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me movie
● Robert Pollard, Honey Locust Honkytonk
● Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

Brooklyn indie-pop act the Hairs recently put out the Call Me Mista EP.

 
Hausu’s Ben Funkhouser

● Weed, Deserve
● Alberich, Machine Gun Nest: Cassette Works, Vol. 0
● Freddie Gibbs, ESGN
● Denzel Curry, Nostalgia 64
● GAG, This Punk Shit Is Cool I Hope I’m Rob Zombie When I’m 28
● Satan Wriders, Black Eyed Kids
● Peter’s Window, Peter’s Window cassette
● Lil Ugly Mane, Three Sided Tape Vol. 1
● So Pitted, 3 Songs
● The Numbs, People cassette
● Kevin Drumm, Tannenbaum
● Earring, Nunn Ones cassette

Portland post-punk quartet Hausu put out Total in June 2013 on Hardly Art.

 
The Helio Sequence’s Benjamin Weikel

My favorite records of 2013:
1. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
2. Kurt Vile, Walking On A Pretty Daze
3. Wild Ones, Keep It Safe
4. Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven
5. The Field, Cupid’s Head
6. Atoms for Peace, Amok
7. My Bloody Valentine, m b v
8. Dirty Beaches, Drifters/Love Is the Devil
9. Juliana Barwick, Nepenthe
10. Holden, The Inheritors

The Helio Sequence released Negotiations (Sub Pop) in 2012.

 
Hierophant

● Nails, Abandon All Life
● Coffins, The Fleshland
● Autopsy, The Headless Ritual
● Power Trip, Manifest Decimation
● Harm’s Way, Blinded

Italian black metal band Hierophant put out Great Mother: Holy Monster (Bridge Nine) in March 2013.

 
His Clancyness

● Kurt Vile, Waking On a Pretty Daze
● Kevin Morby, Harlem River
● Dirty Beaches, Drifters / Love Is the Devil
● Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven
● Mazes, Ores & Minerals
● Kanye West, Yeezus
● Chelsea Light Moving, Chelsea Light Moving
● Factory Floor, Factory Floor
● Not Waving, Umwelt

In 2013, His Clancyness released Vicious via FatCat.

 
His Electro Blue Voice’s Francesco Mariani

Good things, food, and music in 2013:
● Valtellina Casera cheese
● Bitto cheese
● Chili
● Menabrea beer, 66 cl
● Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Cowgirl in the Sand”
● St. Christopher “The Kind Of Girl”
● Sonic’s Rendezvous Band “City Slang”
● Harold Budd “The Pavilion of Dreams”
● Oblivians “Kick Your Ass”
● HEBV finally playing live

Italy’s His Electro Blue Voice put out its first album for Sub Pop, Ruthless Sperm, in August 2013.

 
The History of Colour TV

In no particular order, five albums that have punctuated the year, each in
their own distinctive way…

● Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest
● lovesliescrushing, Ghost Colored Halo
● Colin Stetson, New History Warfare Vol. 3
● Bjami Þór Gunnarsson, Processes & Potentials
● Sister Iodine, Blame

Berlin’s the History of Colour TV have just recently completed work on the follow-up to their debut album, Emerald Cures Chic Ills (Saint Marie), released in January 2013.

 
Drew Holcomb

2013 has been great year in music in my adopted hometown of Nashville. Here are five of my favorite records that have come out of Nashville this year.

1. K.S Rhoads, The Wilderness: Groove. Sonic landscape. Earnest. Incredible Lyrics. Favorite tracks: “Harvest” and “The River of Suffering”

2. Holly Williams, The Highway: Holly is Hank Williams’ granddaughter and his blood runs deep. “A Good Man” is my song of the year so far. I hope it is how Ellie would feel about me. Favorite track: “A Good Man”

3. Jason Isbell, Southeastern: The kind of songs every songwriter wishes they could write. Favorite track, “Elephant” and “Cover Me Up”

4. Guy Clark, My Favorite Picture of You: His songs take the smallest mundane particularities of life and make them important, poignant, nostalgic and even tragic. Favorite track: “Cornmeal Waltz”

5. The Wild Feathers, The Wild Feathers: This record could have come out in the ‘70s and that is a great thing. Favorite track: “Tall Boots”

Drew Holcomb’s latest album Good Light (Good Time) came out in February 2013.

 
Holy Fever’s Neeraj Kane

● Suede, Bloodsports
● Johnny Marr, The Messenger
● Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Specter at the Feast
● Bass Drum of Death, Bass Drum of Death
● Coliseum, Sister Faith
● My Bloody Valentine, m b v
● Neko Case -The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
● Weekend, Jinx
● Youth Code, demo and 7-inch
● Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt

Holy Fever is an L.A.-based punk act.

Hunx, Inter Arma, and more

 
Hunx

1. La Luz, It’s Alive
2. Sky Ferriera, Night Time, My Time
3. Kim Deal solo singles series
4. Veronica Falls, Waiting for Something to Happen
5. Cherry Glazerr live
6. The Julie Ruin live and “Run Fast”
7. Cold Beat single
8. Crazy Band live and “Live from Prison”
9. Miley Cyrus, “Bangerz”
10. CSS, “Hangover” single

Hunx and His Punx released Street Punk on Hardly Art in July 2013.

 
Imaginary People’s Dylan Von Wagner

Mutual Benefit, Love’s Crushing Diamond: Sometimes, artists have to ask how far down the rabbit hole they wanna go or they must ask themselves are they prepared to do what the other guy won’t. I think when you go reaching emotionally and melodically, if you’re lucky, you might end up with some strong songcraft and, if the talent is there, you end up with magic. Every band tries, but like the line in Humphrey Bogart’s Casablanca, “We all try, you succeed.” So bravo!

Self-described “dance Americana” band Imaginary People released their self-titled EP in 2013.

 
Ings’ Inge Chiles

Marnie Stern, The Chronicles of Marnia: Do you ever have days when you can’t drag yourself to the coffee shop to send those stupid emails? This album is for you. I blast it into my headphones when I’m having trouble accomplishing my tasks. Marnie is solid, always and forever. Weirdness and janky time sigs abound, and her finger-tapping style is never too esoteric to be fun.

Also, she loves her dog, Fig, and makes tons of cute YouTube videos to prove it—this year Marnie Stern gave a concert for dogs! DOOOOOGE!

Springfield, Missouri’s Ings released the Dog Physics EP in October 2013.

 
Inter Arma’s Trey Dalton

Before I get started, I’d like to preface this. Last year kind of bummed me out on the heavy music front. There were some good things released, but not a lot stood out to me as game changing or even game improving. It was all very static. Don’t get me wrong, I thought hip-hop had a good year with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Channel Orange, but outside of a couple heavy records, I was left unsatisfied. I feel this way, I think, because I tend to lean towards more oddball music. And precisely because of that, I think 2013 has been a GREAT year for heavy music. Two giants in the industry—Carcass and Gorguts—managed to release comeback albums that surpassed almost everyone’s expectations. A lot of good bands that were relatively unknown before this year are starting to make a leap into the public view, and that can only be a good thing. To further this, almost all of my favorite records of the year are not incredibly straightforward.

My album of the year is undoubtedly Gorguts’ Colored Sands. Gorguts has been one of my favorite bands for the past ten or so years. (I was a late convert, sue me.) Even in times where I found myself listening to less heavy music, I’d still find a way to integrate “From Wisdom to Hate” or “Obscura” into my listening rotation. That being said, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of a new record from one of my favorite bands, which had been dormant since I was a sophomore in high school. That’s a lot of time out of the game, and most bands’ “comeback” records fall well short of the band’s and their respective audiences’ expectations. Regardless, I still held out high hope that Luc Lemay would be able to conjure up something palatable at the very least. He managed to do that and then some. He recruited the best possible lineup for the band with the additions of Kevin and Colin from Dysrythmia, and John Longstreth far exceeded my expectations for him with an incredibly tasteful, creative, and wondrous performance on drums. This record is mind blowing. Layers upon layers of aural decadence mixed with truly engaging Tibetan symbolism form just the surface of what might be my favorite heavy record of the past five years. Nothing else comes close to this.

Another heavy record that I will give a ton of credit is Oranssi Pazuzu’s Valonielu. Again, I’ve been following this band for a while, ever since our singer Mike introduced me to them shortly after the release of their first album Muukalainen Puhuu. This Finnish quintet manages to merge psychedelia and black metal-influenced soundscapes into something that isn’t as cheesy as it sounds, and Valonielu is their most cohesive effort to date. I’ve always been partial to music that is simple and isn’t afraid to repeat itself. Most of the songs on this album consist of only two or three parts, and if you play your cards right, which they do, that’s all you need. The final two songs are pretty brilliant, and the subtlety therein seems to be flying right over a lot of people’s heads.

Also, and you can hate all you want, but The 20/20 Experience Part One is pretty amazing. Justin Timberlake is basically Michael Jackson, if he could act and not be as creepy as the brothers from KEN Mode, and The 20/20 Experience is his Bad. Sure, Jay-Z’s part in “Suit & Tie” is wack, and I wouldn’t mind if he left off a couple of the filler tracks (I’m looking at you “Let the Groove Get In” and “Don’t Hold the Wall”) and replaced them with the singles from the second, and inferior, part of the Experience, but that doesn’t take away from how wonderfully produced and masterfully executed a pop record this is. I also appreciate that he foregoes the standard four-minute pop song in favor of adding additional layers and minutes to songs. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but when it does it’s awesome. I always respect risk takers. Hear, hear, JT.

Castevet’s Obsian is another record that I like immensely. Sometimes I feel as if guitarist Andrew Hock and I are kindred spirits, though his spirit is much more eccentric than mine own—or he might say that I’m just boring. His sense for incorporating melody, albeit subtle, into a pretty dismal sonic landscape is uncanny. Further, because a lot of this music is understated in its intricacy, Ian (drums) does not get nearly enough credit for how good of a drummer he is. Nick McMaster (of Krallice) is also an important addition that will go sorely undernoticed. He provides a more creative presence in the low end, adding a boost to the spectrum of sound they can now traverse. Obsian represents a singularly focused effort that is simultaneously mesmerizing and punishing.

Queens of the Stone Age also released one of my favorite “rock” records of the past several years with 2013’s ...Like Clockwork. Though I’m still partial to Songs for the Deaf, this is probably the most well-rounded release they’ve ever done and doesn’t have a weak song on it. I’m also a huge sucker for synthesizers (of which this album has a ton) and weird musical details that you don’t notice until you sit down and actively look for them, which ...Like Clockwork also has in abundance. It ranges sonically from proto-glam jams like “I Sat by the Ocean” and “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” à la T. Rex or early Bowie, to the Talking Heads-esque “If I Had a Tail”. The final two tracks, “I Appear Missing” and the title track, are my favorites and by far the moodiest numbers on the record. I’ve become very familiar with the album as it is one of the more popular traveling selections in our van. It is really good, though, so no complaints from me.

Finally, I’m choosing Bölzer’s Aura EP. This is some really cool death metal. It’s simultaneously very straightforward and creatively constructed. I think “Entranced by the Wolfshook” might be my song of the year. Though only three songs long, this EP has generated enough interest to get the Swiss duo invited to both Roadburn and Maryland Deathfest. I can’t wait to see what these dudes manage to throw at me with a full length. Stoked.

Honorable mention: Windhand, Soma; Domovoyd, Oh Sensibility; Ulcerate, Vermis; Carcass Surgical Steel; Danny Brown Old.

Inter Arma released Sky Burial (Relapse) in March 2013.

 
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s Brian Haas

Three incredible post rock albums from 2013!
1. Samuel Jackson Five, Samuel Jackson Five
2. Fuck Buttons, Slow Focus
3. All Hail Bright Futures, And So I Watch You from Afar

Jazz experimentalists Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey released Race Riot Suite in 2012.

 
Sarah Jaffe

1. Phantogram, “Black Out Days”
2. On an On, “Hunter”
3. On an On, “Ghosts”
4. FKA Twigs, “Papi Pacify”
5. Midlake, “The Old and the Young”

Denton, Texas singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe released the “Satire” single in 2013.

 
Jetman Jet Team

● The Flaming Lips, The Terror
● Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest
● Bibio, Silver Wilkinson
● Autechre, Exai
● David Bowie, The Next Day
● Lumerians, Thee High Frontier
● Julie’s Haircut, Ashram Equinox
● White Fence, Cyclops Reap
● My Bloody Valentine, m b v

Seattle neo-shoegazers Jetman Jet Team released its debut album We Will Live the Space Age this year on Saint Marie Records.

 
SL Jones

I listen to albums and mixtapes with the same ear. Aside from DJ drops, which can sometimes add or subtract from the overall vibe of a mixtape, they both showcase the same things—original music and ideas. At first iIwas gonna split them up into two separate categories, but I decided not to because I don’t separate them in my iTunes. I listen to so much music I couldn’t name everything I rode out to this year, but I can give you an honest list of the music that really grabbed and held my attention. So in no particular order, here are the projects that left a memorable stain on my brain.

Favorite Albums/Mixtapes:
● Drake, Nothing Was the Same
● Partynextdoor, Partynextdoor
● J.Cole, Born Sinner
● SL Jones, Way of Life No Hobby
● Metro Boomin, 19 & Boomin
● Future, Future Presents F.B.G.: The Movie
● Nipsey Hussle, Crenshaw
● Gucci Mane, Traphouse III
● Key!, No One Is Ready
● Scotty, FAITH
● Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap
● Lorde, Pure Heroine

Nothing compliments a dope song better than a dope video. There have been times where a video was so good it made me like the song even more. These are the videos that I couldn’t stop watching this year.

● 2 Chainz, “Feds Watching”
● French Montana, “Pop That”
● Partynextdoor, “Break from Toronto”
● Drake, “Started from the Bottom”
● A$AP Rocky, “Angels” and “Fashion Killa”
● G4SHI, “Laughing”
● Lana Del Rey, “Summertime Sadness”
● Gesaffelstein, “Hate or Glory” and “Pursuit”
● Pretty much everything that Fleur & Manu have shot. Their work is genius
● Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
● K. Roosevelt, “Do Me Now”

The dopest moment in music this year by far had to be Puffy starting Revolt TV: Music moguls are known for venturing out to do big business that expands beyond music—acting, sports, fashion, liquor, etc. What makes Revolt TV all the more unique is not only that it’s music-related, but it’s a platform that directly gives back to the art form. Diddy could’ve started any kind of network, but he chose to do a music channel. It’s like the ultimate “never forget where you came from” statement. He created an outlet for artists to be heard at the ground level. That’s special coming from a guy who came from where he started, the bottom.

Little Rock rapper SL Jones most recently dropped the Way of Life No Hobby mixtape in September 2013.

 
JJUUJJUU’s Phil Pirrone

● Lumerians, Horizon Structures: Purveyors of space & time. The future is now.
● Savages, Silence Yourself
● FUZZ, FUZZ: Best new live band / great record—Ty Segall will never let me down.
● Kurt Vile, Walkin on a Pretty Daze: Gold. Hit the nail on the head.
● Chelsea Wolfe, Pain Is Beauty: Great follow-up to the last one. My expectations were high, and she somehow exceeded them!
● Deap Vally, Sistrionix: Rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well. Bigger balls than most dudes. Especially in this day and age of whatever wave pop-synth crap-o-la…
● Queens of the Stone Age, ...Like Clockwork: Again, hail hail rock ‘n’ roll! No explanation needed here.
● White Fence, Cyclops Reap: He done did it again, I tell ya!
● Night Beats, Sonic Bloom: Sonic goddamn! These dudes keep getting better! This record sounds better than anything they’ve put out and the songs are great too!
● Dahga Bloom, No Curtains: Get ready to die & love it

L.A.-based experimentalists JJUUJJUU released the FRST EP (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond) in 2013.

The Kingsbury Manx, Leverage Models, and more

 
The Kingbury Manx’s Ryan Richardson

Kelley Stoltz, Double Exposure: Sub Pop’s best-kept secret over the course of three terrific albums is now Third Man’s best-kept secret.

Jacco Gardner, Cabinet of Curiosities: This cabinet is apparently haunted by the ghost of Syd Barrett.

The Holydrug Couple, Noctuary: Sounds like somebody’s trippin’ balls down in Chile!

Adrian Younge, Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics: Dark soul that’s sounds as fresh as it does classic.

Whatever Brains, Whatever Brains (2013): Third full-length from damaged art-punkers dives further down the weirdness wormhole.

Thee Oh Sees, Floating Coffin: One of the very few bands that can justify putting out a new record every six months. Keep ‘em coming!

Parquet Courts, Light Up Gold: Remember when it was totally cliché to compare everything to Pavement? In this case it’s not that far off the mark, and I mean that as high praise.

Foxygen, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic: With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.

Radar Bros., Eight: Underappreciated indie vets add some new colors to their palette.

Sonny & the Sunsets, Antenna to the Afterworld: Another great installment of understated tunes from the loveable loser of San Francisco.

In March 2013, indie vets the Kingsbury Manx released the well-received The Bronze Age, via Odessa.

 
Nick Krill (The Spinto Band and Teen Men)

Best musical event in Philadelphia: Opening of the Boot and Saddle
It is always refreshing when a classy small capacity venue opens up. Not only does this club have a fun atmosphere, but the main sound guy there actually pays attention and is fun to work with….which can be rare in any venue, but especially a small 150 capacity club.

Best thing for California: Cheers Elephant is moving to California
One of my favorite Philadelphia bands, Cheers Elephant is moving away…but Philadlephia’s loss is California’s gain. Yes, the whole state of California’s gain! I am confidant that the Cheers Elephant guys are gonna hit the whole left coast like a ton of bricks.

Best thing for pop music: Ariel Rechtshaid
Between his work with Vampire Weekend, Haim, Sky Ferreira, and Charli XCX, dude man has been involved with some pretty cool sounding records this year.

Best musical milestone: Fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ first albums!!!
In 1963, the Beatles busted out loose with their first two LPs. Please Please Me came out in March and then eight months later With the Beatles sliced teenager’s ears off.

Best music video: Mike Quinn, “Hope It Goes Away”, directed by Ben Berman
Honestly, the best music video award probably has got to be the interactive Bob Dylan “Like Rolling Stone” video, but that guy doesn’t need to be on another list…so I gotta give it to Ben Berman and Mike Quinn (who’s actually the guy who gave me my first and only Bob Dylan mix tape).

Nick Krill’s new band Teen Men just released their first single and music video for the song “Hiding Records (So Dangerous)”. The Spinto Band released the full-length Cool Cocoon in 2013 (Spintonic).

 
LA Font’s Greg Katz

Top 13 L.A. band songs of 2K13:
1. Body Parts, “Helpless Child”
2. Wavves, “That’s on Me”
3. Heathers, “I Don’t Wanna Be Adored”
4. yOya, “I’ll Be the Fire”
5. Bleached, “Next Stop”
6. Young Hunting, “Ride On”
7. Spaceships, “Little”
8. Fever the Ghost, “Rounder”
9. No Age, “I Won’t Be Your Generator”
10. GRMLN, “Blue Lagoon”
11. Pageants, “Musings of the Tide”
12. Hands, “Videolove”
13. Jenny O, “Lazy Jane”

L.A.‘s LA Font just put out its new album Diving Man in November 2013.

 
League of Extraordinary Gz

The best of moment of 2013 for us personally was being able to complete and release our debut album #LEAGUESHIT. What began as a mixtape project in 2009 came full circle on 10/15/13 when we were able to share our story with the world.

In no particular order, our top 10 favorite music projects of 2013 were:
● Freddie Gibbs, ESGN
● Rittz, Life and Times of Johnny Valiant
● Jay-Z, Magna Carta
● Big K.R.I.T., Live from the Underground
● Killer Mike / El-P, Run the Jewels
● Max Frost, Low High Low
● Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady
● League of Extraordinary Gz, #LEAGUESHIT
●  A.Dd+, DiveHiFlyLo
● Sertified, FilthyFckingHumans

League of Extraordinary Gz released its first LP #LEAGUESHIT in October 2013.

 
Leverage Models

Pheno S., Kani: One of my drummers, Max, spent a month in Malawi helping to set up a music school. One of my favorite records he’s since introduced me to on tour is this Bandcamp self-release. Traditional Malian forms collide with hip-hop-influenced bedroom production; drum machines, Auto-Tune, rap in French patois, and a low-fi mixtape vibe. The whole record is minimal, free of production bombast, hypnotic in a matter-of-fact way.

Binary Cumbia Orchestra: I award this “Best Artist’s Soundcloud Feed That Lead Me Down a Serious Obsessive Compulsive Wormhole This Year”. I think this is mostly the work of a single producer from Argentina. This and a lot of the artists they sample have been really inspiring to me lately.

Rhye, Woman: We are all so fucking savvy and well armored against marketing these days. So the new marketing WMDs are usually cloaked in either irony or calculated mystery. Fuck a calculated mystery. I avoided this record for quite awhile for these reasons. Maurice Fulton’s very good remix of “The Fall” convinced me to listen. Then I bought the single. Then I bought the album. Then it became a staple post-show-driving-comedown record I really can’t find a misstep on this album. Everything is in good taste. Everything perfectly paced and placed. In my maladjusted head that’s usually the definition of a record I will never care about, but the songs are so good, so seductively sad, focused, and emotionally evocative that I can’t help but be taken in by it. And I don’t believe in guilty pleasure so I’m going to go ahead and own my pleasure here, for the record.

Pantha du Prince & the Bell Laboratory, Elements of Light: Studies for bells and winter melancholy disguised as a dance record. Also a dance record.

Julia Holter, Loud City Song: An excessively mannered record that wants to topple under its own theatrical weight and only topples in slow motion into the generosity and gorgeousness of its second half. A brave record of difficult and rewarding gestures. And some songs.

Son Lux, Lanterns: So good it makes me care about excessively earnest music with accomplished New Music orchestration again. So good it depresses me over my lack of skill and training as a composer. So good it comforts me when I’m sad about that. One of my favorites this year. It really is stunning and reaches me on every level.

Charles Waters Quartet, 13 Visions of the City: Charles is an outsider composer in the truest sense of the word. With very little support, he never stops making new ensembles, new works, and making connections between brilliant people with flashier moves who probably go on to more acclaim. He’s one of the most perpetually under-recognized musical talents I know and he’s due for a retrospective of his ridiculous number of records, cassettes, and fearless scores drafted on the backs of postcards and envelopes.

Helado Negro, Invisible Life: I am not objective here but Roberto’s intuitions are completely untouchable. And every record he’s made as Helado Negro has quantum leapfrogged the last. This one is gorgeous, slow-danceable, saline, lush, and one of the records we’ve listened to most on the road this year.

GOL & Ghédalia Tazartès, Alpes: Good luck finding this, but if you can’t, please dig into Ghédalia Tazartès’ back catalog. Preemptively shear your head from your shoulders. Towering.

Sam Amidon, Bright Sunny South: I’ve known and played with Sam for a long time so this is another lack-of-objectivity moment. I saw what I think was the first Samamidon solo show at the Bowery Poetry Club. He sang folk songs, drew “comics” on an overhead projector, recited passages from Melville at three times normal human speeds, and took unnaturally long sustained scream-drone solos with his voice in the middle of heartbreaking ballads. It was instant love, for me. Sam’s is a completely singular genius and his records are only ever half the story. But this one is pretty damned great.

Moonface, Julia with Blue Jeans On: I really like Spencer’s voice and his words. But everyone else will probably say enough about this.

Jensen Sportag, Counting Down Stealth of Days: Jensen Sportag’s years’ worth of smooth but often manic dance singles and EPs are monumental architectures. I idolize them as master craftsmen. This record is a change of pace to something more atmospheric and dreamy but no less masterfully crafted—I want to live inside it.

The Cleaners from Venus, In the Golden Autumn: Only reissued this year but out of print since the ‘80s, I believe. Everything Martin Newell touches is gold to me.

Tiny Hazard, self-titled EP: Self-released, made in 2012. Heard in 2013. One of the most exciting new bands in New York that nobody knows about.

Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap: Essential tour van listening. Everything I wanted Kendrick Lamar to be from a production standpoint. A great record end to end.

Syclops, A Blink of an Eye: Maurice Fulton is one of my favorite new producers. Gnarly, often ugly choices, mangled sounds, and an understanding of how a body like mine needs to move.

Celestial Shore, 10x: A record that radiates heart and enthusiasm with reckless abandon. Even when that heart is playing dress-up and dodging behind sofas and getting lost in its own brilliance, it’s too obvious to ignore. Also this is a record that can get lost in its own brilliance and thank god for that.

All of Slava’s mixes on Soundcloud this year: Because.

Ashley Paul’s “Soak the Ocean” & Pete Swanson’s remix of the same: Yes.

Leverage Models, founded by Stars Like Fleas’ Shannon Fields, released their self-titled debut in October 2013 on Hometapes.

 
Lewis & Clarke’s Lou Rogai

2013 has been a good year. Seriously, it made 2005 look like 1973. (Full Disclosure: For the sake of credible journalism I didn’t include some of my favorite releases, as they coincidentally happen to be released on my own imprint [La Société Expéditionnaire].)

Savages, Silence Yourself: This band reminds me of why I was attracted to Siouxsie Sioux as a young boy, and it’s something I needed to be reminded of.

Mazzy Star, Seasons of Your Day: Picking up where they left off, but better. Comeback of the decade, and they didn’t skip a beat.

Zachary Cale, Blue Rider: Old world-style songmanship, lyricism, and delivery with the finest contemporary twist. In an alternate authentic world where craft matters, Cale is the new Dylan.

Chains of Love, Misery Makers Vol. 1: This is super sexy rock ‘n’ roll music, like if the Ronnettes were doing their thing now, only better.

Hammock, Oblivion Hymns: This album is utilitarian. It prevents stress. Try it when trapped in frustrating traffic trying to enter NYC via the Holland Tunnel. Or the Lincoln Tunnel. Surprise guest vocals by Tim from Strand of Oaks.

The Stargazer Lilies, We Are the Dreamers: Big, dark, dreamy…bold.

Benoit Piolard, Hymnal: Impressionistic collage tones, Super-8 visions, nostalgia for a childhood in a past life. It’s basically perfect.

Miley Cyrus’ MTV Video Music Awards performance: I swear Marina Abramović was behind this. You’ll see, it will go down as one of the greatest all-time art pranks.

Lewis & Clarke are currently preparing a new full-length.

Locrian, Willy Mason, and more

 
Locrian’s Terence Hannum

Ulcerate, Vermis: This is probably the most intense metal album of 2013 for me. It never gets boring, and just always captures my interest with the tempo changes, melodicism, and sheer brutality. I almost forget it’s a metal album, it is a great complex record. Period.

Elaine Radigue, Adnos I-III: OK, so it’s a reissue from decades ago but it is so extreme and intense of a synthesizer album, three CDs, each an hour-long synthetic drone. Just put it on and zone, you’ll start hearing things as it gradually shifts. That was her intent when she made these, to focus you and make you listen between notes. And it does get accomplished.

Hair Police, Mercurial Rites: Noise should feel threatening, and there’s just something so uncompromising about this album. Harsh and haunted. Just necessary.

Thomas Dinger, Für Mich: In my endless search for German rock I obviously hold up La Dusseldorf as an excellent group. Well, one of the brother’s had to bail and he made this “For Me”, for himself. And it shows, spacey and ambient—rhythmic and strange, in other words, what it should be. A gem.

Pharmakon, Abandon: I knew the first time I saw Margaret play that what she was doing was special—bleak, in your face, and relentless, and it’s been exciting to see people respond to what she has crafted over the years. I honestly think this is the noise album of 2013 and Abandon comes across as a force of nature.

Senking, Capsize Recovery: I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for design, and [the label] Raster-Noton has some of my favorite record packaging and visual design out there. Minimal and austere, like it came from some sans-serif planet. Thankfully, the music lives up to the design. Senking’s recent is bleak, spectral, almost dubstep—when that meant more Burial atmospheres then brodowns – heaviness.

Okkyung Lee, Ghil: It’s just a cello, no effects. It scrapes your ears, it harmonizes with itself; this record is so surprising and dynamic as tracks slip into overtones and face shredding abrasion. Lovely.

Hive Mind, Beneath Triangle and Crescent: I’ve been following Hive Mind for a long time and to hear this outright melodicism right off of the bat is brilliant and beautiful, dusty and gnarled notes through veils of synthesizer noise. Elegies to some old world where the machines died.

Autre Ne Veux, Anxiety: I know this one is my weird addition, but it’s such an unexpected record, every turn, every sound and sample is just surprising and engaging. I think it is a weird and bold album that has had a ton of listens from me. I think of this video where Arthur plays two of the tracks on a piano by himself and you hear the core of it all stripped of the seemingly endless, piled-on, ADHD collage to assure you this is solid from the get-go. Though all the extras only enforce how creative and inventive the album is.

Vaura, The Missing: I did the artwork for this, but before I did the artwork, I had to listen to the album. This is seriously a great rock record with these interesting metal flourishes. Brooding and hook-laden, it is a solid record. Vaura were criminally ignored from many year-end lists last go around, so I want to remedy it now.

Black metal experimentalists Locrian returned in June 2013 with their album Return to Annihilation (Relapse).

 
Lightouts

Gavin Rhodes (guitar, songwriter):
Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Daze: The best guitar album of the year for me. I love that it starts with a nine-minute song—no one does that anymore. Major nods to Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young make this the perfect soundtrack for a long road trip.

Johnny Marr, The Messenger: Who knew that Johnny Marr is a great singer too? That’s just not fair now, Johnny—you’re already a guitar god. Another great guitar album that is full of immense tone and gigantic hooks. Surprisingly slept on too, considering he’s an absolute Britpop ICON.

Sad Baby Wolf, Electric Sounds: SBW are our friends from back in the day growing up in Albuquerque. Two of them used to be in the Shins, which should be reason enough to give this a listen. Put it on and get transfixed by glorious, shimmery, reverb-drenched shoegaze.

Dean Perry (bass):
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, M.A.A.D. city: From 2012, but really got into it this year. This record completely revitalized my love for hip-hop. That fateful day when a pal told me, smiling knowingly, that it was “like, real, REAL good”, my several-years-long boredom with popular rap vanished. There is clearly something potent in the combination of the young-yet-experimental stylings of Lamar, vintage Dr. Dre (and similar) production, and tried-and-true gang youth lyrics that just works. Lamar went from someone I didn’t care about because he was a rapper, to my FAVORITE rapper, in about three rotations.

Greg Nelson (vox/guitar):
Jim James, Regions of Light and Sound of God
Local Natives, Hummingbird
Shows of the year were seeing Mavis Staples twice. Of course, I knew the Staple Singers classics, but seeing a 74-year-old woman with two bad knees perform as she did was amazing. Recently discovered her collaborations with Bob Dylan and Prince—the full catalog is incredible.

Brooklyn’s Lightouts released their debut full-length Want in 2013.

 
Lord Dying’s Erik Olson

Portal, Vexovoid: This album is so dark and fucked, and still sounds like a nightmare through a wind tunnel like their other albums, but there is actually so much more under the surface of this one. Upon repeated listens, you hear the technical wizardy and true musicianship that truly is Portal.

SubRosa, More Constant Than the Gods: They have moved forward. You already loved them if you had any taste.

Inter Arma, Sky Burial: This album is a genre bender, it is perfect and challenging in so many ways. They are even better live. If you haven’t seen them, you are fucking up.

Ramming Speed, Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die: This album fucking kills. It is unrelenting. I love these boys and you should too.

Red Fang, Whales and Leeches: Duh.

Skeletonwitch, Serpents Unlseashed: These guys have been punishing people from NOLA to Australia! They fucking rule and won’t stop.

Windhand, Soma: Haunting, beautiful, so good. You will see them soon.

Toxic Holocaust, Chemistry of Consciousness: A little more punk than the last one, but fucking flawless. Just like you’d expect from a Toxic album.

Portland’s Lord Dying came up with its debut album Summon the Faithless (Relapse) in July 2013.

 
Willy Mason

2013 in music was about picking up the pieces and carrying on. The rule book is gone, careers don’t have the same predictable arc, and genres are so fragmented they are becoming one again. So writers and musicians are doing the only thing that makes sense—to keep working and do the best work they can. And they are.

Great albums from MGMT and Arcade Fire despite the hype and backlash and noise. J. Cole knows he let Nas down, but he’s still training even in disgrace of the master.

Kanye West’s public persona has gotten so overblown that his records have broken off and become planets of their own with separate gravity fields, like his new album, which is dark and cohesive and moving.

New and exciting sounds from James Blake, Laura Marling, Haim, Jake Bugg, Tyler, the Creator, and Frightened Rabbit.

Apocalypse is big in the movies and also in music this year. Deltron 3030 have returned to save us from extinction at our own hands. Killah Priest is one step ahead preparing for the following metaphysical rebirth.

Rhythm is good in 2013—computers and synthesizers are being coaxed into ever newer and more exciting positions of stimulation, while Dr. Dog and their old school apparati are swinging like a bobble head on the dash of a Cadillac.

Miley Cyrus is trying some new things…in her “Wrecking Ball” video, she is America crying over it’s foreign policy failures. Very clever.

The Clash are treating us to an audio tour of their history and times in their own words, lest we forget what has become before this time in which we are now becoming.

Some of the best popular songwriters of all time put albums out this year: Willie Nelson, Elton John, and Paul McCartney.

Boards of Canada are back. Snoop Lion is born.

What else is there to do? “You do what you love—or you get arrested.”—Lou Reed, 1942-2013

Lo-fi singer-songwriter Willy Mason released Carry On on Communion in August 2013.

Medicine, the Notwist, and more

 
Medicine

Master Musicians of Bukakke, Far West: The true heirs to the Sun City Girls legacy, but so much more as well.

Allesandro Cortini, Forse 2: A bit more “out” than the first volume, but more of the same fabulous and melodic solo synth jams.

Mike Wexler, Dispossession: I think this may have come out in 2012, but it’s one of my favorites to listen to from the past year. Light and mysterious, great guitar picking. Reminds me of Eno’s Obscure Records series.

Mathématiques Modernes, Les Visiteurs Du Soir reissue: Incredible prog-new wave reissue from the best electronic reissue label around.

Gelbart, World War One Hamster Diorama: Weirdo Zappa-esque bedroom madness from Germany. Is good.

The Stargazer Lilies, We Are the Dreamers: What your so-called shoegaze is supposed to sound like. Indelible melodies and singing plus great guitar work.

Wild Nothing, Empty Estate EP: Best thing yet from our esteemed labelmates. Can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, performed live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic: This was a major mind-blower. So very well done, can’t wait for the recording to come out.

Marcos Valle, four LP reissues on Light in the Attic: Simply the best music ever made. I’ve turned everybody I know on to these records and they’ve all been changed forever.

Celestial Shore, 10x: Kids with terrifying skills tripping over their pop chops and we all win.

The original lineup of old school dream-rock favorites Medicine made an eagerly anticipated return after an 18-year hiatus with To the Happy Few (Captured Tracks). Medicine founder Brad Laner also released a solo album, Nearest Suns (Hometapes).

MINKS

My Bloody Valentine, “She Found Now”: It feels like a wave of slow water rushing over your head.

Bruno Mars, “Treasure”: Heard it on the radio and was hooked. It’s like Prince or MJ when they were still good. Sounds like New York to me.

King Krule, “Ocean Bed”: I like when Archy plays guitar. He’s got a bit of a Dickensian charm, doesn’t he? Food glorious food.

Funeral Advantage, “A Large Place”: Cool young band from Boston fronted by Tyler Kershaw. It reminds me of a Boston winter with a sprinkle of the Radio Dept.

Sugar Candy Mountain, “Caroline Mountain”: Shrooms bro meets John Lennon bro.

R. Kelly, “Sex Dolphin (Ango remix)”: Complete lovable crap.

Disclosure, “Apollo”: Sounds like a couple of dudes wearing adidas for fun and raving like it was the ‘90s

Green Eyes, “Dusk on the 5th”: This cat croons like Chet Baker, but plays guitar like he’s in Parliament. Wicked.

Pure Bathing Culture, “Pendulum”: Heard this song on somebody else’s top ten and agreed it was awesome.

MINKS, Tides End: Because I wrote it about raving at Burning Man

MINKS released their second album Tides End (Captured Tracks) in August 2013.

 
Tony Molina

1. Soul Search, “Nothing but a Nightmare” 7”
2. Turnstile, “Step 2 Rhythm” 7”
3. Milk Music, Cruise Your Illusion
4. Hounds of Hate, Hounds of Hate
5. Veronica Falls, Waiting for Something to Happen
6. Yadokai, “Final” 7”
7. Camera Obscura, Desire Lines
8. Violent Reaction, City Streets
9. Rival Mob, Mob Justice
10. King Nine, Scared to Death

SF power-pop vet Tony Molina released his solo debut Dissed and Dismissed (Melters) in February 2013, which will be reissued by Slumberland in March 2014; his Six Tracks EP was part of Matador’s Singles Going Home Alone series in October 2013.

 
Mt. Royal

1. The Flaming Lips, The Terror
2. Ghostface Killah, Twelve Reasons to Die
3. David Bowie, The Next Day
4. Yo La Tengo, Fade
5. Phosphorescent, Muchacho
6. A$AP Rocky, Long Live A$AP
7. Cass McCombs, Big Wheel And Others
8. King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
9. Bosnian Rainbows, Bosnian Rainbows
10. Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse

Dream-poppy Baltimore act Mt. Royal has its self-titled debut EP slated for release on 28 January 2014 on PIAS/Bell Union.

 
My Education’s Brian Purington

In alphabetical order:
● The Appleseed Cast, Illumination Ritual
● Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest
● Earthless, From the Ages
● Fires Were Shot, Pieces of the White Sun
● Human Pyramids, Planet Shhh!
● Landing, Wave Lair
● Medicine, “Long as the Sun”
● pacificUV, After the Dream You Are Awake
● thisquietarmy, Hex Mountains
● Whirr, Around

Some random personal highlights from 2013:
● Wandering into an Al-Qaeda bar after a show in Vienna, and not getting beheaded.
● Meeting Stitz.
● People watching before our performance at the Utah Arts Festival.
● Witnessing the Pee Mole’s greatness.
● Continuing my studies of wizardry under the Dark Sorcerer himself, Party Boy Telles.

My Education will be re-releasing its 5 Popes LP via Beat Imprint on 4 February 2014.

 
Willie Nile

● Richard Thompson, Electric
● James Maddock, Another Life
● Mike Scott, Appointment with Mr. Yeats
● Buddy & Jim, Buddy & Jim
● The Wallflowers, Glad All Over
● Garland Jeffreys, Truth Serum
● The Del-Lords, Elvis Club
● Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob
● Patricia Vonne, Rattle My Cage
● Israel Nash, Rain Plans
● Richard Barone, Cool Blue Halo reissue

Willie Nile released American Pride (Loud & Proud) in June 2013.

 
Nothing’s Domenic Palermo

● Bill Callahan, Dream River
● Julia Holter, Loud City Song
● Beach House, Bloom
● Whirr, Around
● Pusha T, My Name Is My Name
● My Bloody Valentine, m b v
● Joanna Gruesome, Weird Sister
● Windhand, Soma
● Savages, Silence Yourself
● Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Shoegazer metal act Nothing put out the “Dig” single in August 2013, in advance of an early 2014 full-length on Relapse.

 
The Notwist’s Markus Acher

The Pastels, Takako Minekawa, and Broadcast were back. And Matana Roberts turned everything upside down. A wonderful year in music. Here are some records and one book (not all from 2013):

● The Pastels, Slow Summits
● Takako Minekawa and Dustin Wong, Toropical Circle
● Matana Roberts, Coin Coin: Chapter 2
● Broadcast, Berberian Sound Studio
● Mount Eerie, Clear Moon
● Apollo Brown and Guilty Simpson, Dice Game
● Joakim Ahlund/Jockum Nordström, Paddan och Hunden
● Ela Orleans, Tumult in Clouds
● Tim Hecker, Virgins
● Don and Stevie, Don and Stevie
● Various Artists, Sorrow Come Pass Me Around
● Otis G. Jackson, Everything

And one book:
● Jockum Nordström, All That I Have Learned and Forgotten Again

Beloved electronic pop experimentalists the Notwist will be coming out with a new full-length, Close to the Glass, on 25 February 2014, the group’s first album on Sub Pop.

 
Obits

2013 Obits’ tour van highlights
Podcasts:
● Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
● Freakonomics Radio
● Fresh Air
● The History Hour
● Input Output
● Judge John Hodgman
● Selected Shorts

Music:
● Can
Dangerhouse, Vol. 1
● The Dicks
● Public Nuisance
● The Replacements
● T. Rex
● Neil Young

Obits came out with a new album Bed and Bugs in September 2013 in Sub Pop.

 
Ola Podrida’s David Wingo

● Mazzy Star, Seasons of Your Day
● Veronica Falls, Waiting for Something to Happen
● Mikal Cronin, MCII
● Califone, Stitches
● Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Daze
● Destruction Unit, Deep Trip
● Connections, Body Language
● Radar Brothers, Eight
● True Widow, Circumambulation
● Polvo, Siberia

Few artists were as busy as David Wingo in 2013: His band Ola Podrida put out the full-length Ghosts Go Blind with Western Vinyl, while he soundtracked the film Mud and collaborated with Explosions in the Sky on the Prince Avalanche soundtrack. Both soundtracks placed on PopMatters’ best film scores of 2013 list.

 
Painted Palms’ Reese Donohue

1. Jai Paul, Demos
2. Jagwar Ma, Howlin’
3. Adult Swim’s Hot Package
4. Factory Floor, Factory Floor
5. Mykki Blanco, “Haze.Boogie.Life” video
6. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap
7. Antwon, “Dying in the Pussy” video
8. Toro Y Moi, Anything in Return
9. Arca, &&&&&
10. Charli XCX, “What I Like” video

Painted Palms are prepping the release of their upcoming album on Polyvinyl, Forever, due out on 14 January 2014.

 
Panda Riot

Brian Cook:
Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest: We’ve always been big fans of Boards of Canada. Really great ‘80s dystopia kind of vibe

David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?”: Off The Next Day—such a devastatingly great song.

Voyager 1 leaving our Solar System with the golden record: Time to dust off your record players intelligent life. Pro Tip: Skip the Bach and listen to Johnny B. Good. P.S. there’s images on there too. xoxo

Frances Hunter Gordon, The Woldingham Folk Mass: New to us in 2013. The unsuspecting melodies and weird vocal changes are just so great.

José Rodriguez:
Black Moth Super Rainbow: When I heard news about BMSR dropping the album earlier this year, something told me this was going to comeback with a course refresher. It jarred me to hear a familiar vibe, something that was redecorated with a modern feel, nothing was purchased at IKEA though.

Neon Neon: Stepping into an alternate universe, we’re on a cruise ship, and, well, we’re heading somewhere, but in the moment, we forget about our destination. “Praxis Makes Perfect” sets the moods for a night filled with a four-course dance party. Nothing makes you feel like your riding through the night with your mind on pure nostalgia.

Noise poppers Panda Riot released Northern Riot Music on Saint Marie in 2013.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/177704-the-artists-pick-the-best-of-2013-part-2/