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AotY, List, Review

DJ’s Top 100 Albums of 2013

The new year is fianlly among us. This past year has been especially insane for me personally. Throughout all of the drama, music has played more of an important role to me than ever before. 2013 was a big year of musical growth for me. I concentrated on broadening my taste greatly and have found it very rewarding. Here are the releases of 2013 that I found the most enjoyable.


100) The Drones- I See Seaweed
(punk/indie)
listen to “I See Seaweed”


99) Kurt Vile- Wakin On A Pretty Daze
(indie folk/psychedelic)
listen to “Never Run Away”


98) Maeth- Oceans Into Ashes
(psychedelic/progressive metal/post-rock)
listen to “Troodon”


97) NK- Nothing To Be Gained Here
(experimental/alternative/post-hardcore)
Interesting and energetic release from members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Envy on the Coast, and The Rivalry.
listen to “Confessional”


96) Gillian Carter- Lost Ships Sinking With The Sunset
(screamo/post-rock)
listen to “Sinking With the Sunset”
This was put out on Dog Knights Productions, of course it’s a good listen.


95) Shai Hulud- Reach Beyond The Sun
(metalcore)
listen to “Reach Beyond the Sun”
It took 10 years, but this is a great addition to their discography. If you liked their late 90s/early 00s material you should like this.


94) Vuurwerk- Me + One
(ambient/idm/experimental)
listen to “Silicon Hope”


93) Nai Harvest- Whatever
(emo/indie)
listen to “Sitcom Fade-In”


92) Crash of Rhinos- Knots
(emo)
listen to “Sum of All Parts”


91) Terra Tenebrosa- The Purging
(post-metal/drone)
listen to “The Purging”


90) Friendzone- DX
(instrumental hip-hop)
listen to “Poly”


89) Oranssi Pazuzu- Valonielu
(black metal/psychedelic)
listen to “Vino Verso”


88) Soupcans- Parasite Brain
(noise punk)
listen to “Parasite Brain”
Energetic, crazy, and wild EP. Looking forward to hearing more from these folks.


87) Deco- Timescales
(deep dubstep/drum and bass)
listen to “Aural Hygiene”


86) Walton- Beyond
(garage)
listen to “Frisbee”


85) Sadsic- St. Dracones
(experimental hip hop)
listen/download for free


84) Night Verses- Lift your Existence
(post hardcore)
listen to “Antidepressants”


83) Kvelertak- Meir
(hardcore/black metal)
listen to “Bruane Brenn”
Although I was not as fond of this album as I was with their self-titled album in 2010, this thing still completely rips and stays true to their sound. They remain one of the most original active bands on the scene today in my opinion.


82) Nails- Abandon All Life
(grindcore/hardcore)
listen to “Suum Cuique”
Another release I found that did not quite hold up to previous material, but is still an awesome, hard hitting album. The closer (linked above) is easily my favorite track.


81) E.M.M.A.- Blue Gardens
(future garage)
listen to “At Sea”


80) Meek Is Murder- Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters
(mathcore/hardcore)
listen to “In The Ground”
Converge worship-y band formed by former The Red Chord guitarist Mike Keller.


79) Nosound- Afterthoughts
(progressive rock/post-rock)
listen to “Wherever You Are”


78) Jex Thoth- Blood Moon Rise
(doom/psychedelic)
listen to “Psyar”


77) Anciients- Heart of Oak
(progressive metal/sludge/post-metal)
listen to “Giants”


76) Jackals- Dronepunk
(hardcore/punk)
listen/download for free


75) Bonobo- The North Borders
(trip hop/downtempo)
listen to “First Fires”


74) Rhian Sheehan- Stories From Elsewhere
(ambient/downtempo)
listen here


73) Future Binds- Future Binds
(punk/hardcore)
listen and download for free
This little EP completely caught me off guard. It is a punk EP, so of course it’s short and leaves you wanting more, but in the 7 minutes that it lasts, it packs a nice punch.


72) Burial- Rival Dealer
listen to “Rival Dealer”
To be completely honest, after only 2 listens, I do not feel like I can rank this properly. It is a bit of a direction change for Burial and while it may not be may favorite work of his, it’s still a compelling couple of tracks.


71) Mariam the Believer- Blood Donation
(indie/dream pop)
listen to “Invisible Giving”


70) FKA Twigs- EP2
(trip-hop/experimental)
listen to “Water Me”
One of my favorite artists on the rise right now.


69) Om Unit- Threads
(drum and bass/hip hop)
listen to “The Silence”


68) HRVRD- From the Bird’s Cage
(indie/progressive/emo)
listen to “Kids With Fake Guns”
I am more of a fan of their sound on “The Inevitable and I”, but this change in sound does not do the band injustice by any means.


67) Deerhunter- Monomania
(indie rock)
listen to “Monomania”


66) Secret Smoker- Terminal Architecture
(screamo/hardcore)
listen to “Part-Time Retail”
This album first came to my attention after scrolling through recent releases on Adagio830. I found it a very enjoyable release reminiscent of 1990s/early 2000s styled emotional hardcore/screamo. Soon after listening I found out that these guys were based about an hours drive from me in Louisiana, so naturally I was ecstatic to hear that a local band had received some sort of notification. Do not be fooled into thinking that I am just praising this release due to the fact that they are from my area. This album is really great and will hold your attention the whole way through without becoming bleak or uninteresting. If you are a fan of Hoover, Shotmaker, Life At These Speeds, or bands with an overall great playing style please check this out.


65) True Widow- Circumambulation
(shoegaze/stoner rock/psychedelic)
listen to “S:H:S”


64) Banks- London
(indie pop/downtempo)
listen to “This Is What It Feels Like”


63) I Am Waiting For You Last Summer- Edge Party
(post-rock/electronic)
listen/download for free


62) Stone Titan- Scratch N Sniff
(sludge/stoner-metal/punk)
listen to “Alaskan Thunderfuck”


61) Beastmilk- Climax
(post-punk/goth punk)
listen to “Death Reflects Us”


60) KEN Mode- Entrench
(metalcore/noise rock)
listen to “Counter Culture Complex”


59) Everything In Slow Motion- Phoenix
(post-metal/post-hardcore)
listen to “Get Out”
This band originally caught my attention with their 2 song 7″ they put out last year. They were immediately on my radar afterwards. Formed from the ashes of similar post-hardcore act Hands, this is their first full length album. Overall, I find this to be a pretty solid release. My only gripe is that there is not much variation in dynamics that I feel would keep the album better at holding one’s attention. These guys still know how to write attention grabbing music though. This a very passionate album and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.


58) Baths- Obsidian
(electronic/downtempo/glitch)
listen to “Miasma Sky”


57) Dominic- Persona
(screamo/hardcore/post-hardcore)
listen to “To Live For”
I am genuinely surprised at how overlooked this album has gone. These guys are continually forming their own sound.


56) Meraki/Toska- Bluejay
(screamo/emo)
listen/download for free
Another drastically overlooked album.


55) Radical Face- The Family Tree: The Branches
(indie/folk)
listen to “Letters Home”
Ben Cooper does it again. “Letters Home” is one the best songs this year.


54) Lazer Kitty- Moons
(experimental/psychedelic/post-rock)
listen here


53) State Faults- Resonate/Desperate
(screamo/post-hardcore)
listen to “Meteor”


52) Presque Maudit- Presque Maudit
(math rock)
listen/download for free here


51) Klute- The Draft
(drum and bass)
listen to “Turnaround”


50) Sainthood Reps- Headswell
(post-hardcore/alternative)
listen to “Shelter”
These guys have improved greatly with a more distinct and solidified sound. This is a hard hitting album.


49) Lorde- Pure Heroine
(pop/indie pop)
listen to “Buzzcut Season”
I’m sure that I’ll catch some flack for putting this on here, but the truth is I am completely impressed with this young artist.


48) Machina Genova- Weathered Heart
(chaotic hardcore)
listen here


47) Machinedrum- Vapor City
(idm)
listen to “Gunshotta”


46) Foxing- The Albatross
(emo)
listen to “Rory”


45) Owel- Owel
(post-rock/indie)
listen to “Snowglobe”


44) High Tension- Death Beat
(hardcore/d-beat)
listen to “Mountain of Dead”


43) Revocation- Revocation
(thrash/death-metal)
listen to “Invidious”


42) Carcass- Surgical Steel
(death metal)
listen to “Captive Bolt Pistol”


41) Russian Circles- Memorial
(post-rock/post-metal)
listen to “Ethel”


40) Touche Amore- Is Survived By
(melodic hardcore/post-hardcore/screamo)
listen to “Harbor”


39) This Routine Is Hell- Howl
(hardcore)
listen to “Nostalgia”


38) Gorguts- Colored Sands
(death metal/progressive)
listen to “Forgotten Arrows”


37) Trade- SHEWORKS005
(techno/minimal/industrial techno)
listen to “Half Nelson”
Great collaborative work with well known producers Surgeon and Blawan.


36) Destruction Unit- Deep Trip
(noise rock/punk/psychedelic)
listen to “The World On Drugs”


35) Entropia- Vesper
(post-metal/black metal)
listen to “Vesper”


34) EF- Ceremonies
(post-rock)
listen to “Bells Bleed & Bloom”


33) James Blake- Overgrown
(electronic/soul/experimental)
listen to “Retrograde”


32) The National- Trouble Will Find Me
(indie/post-punk)
listen to “Don’t Swallow the Cap”


31) Totem Skin- Still Water Runs Deep
(crust/dark hardcore)
listen to “Atrophy of the Heart”


30) Felix K- Flowers of Destruction
(drum and bass/ambient)
listen to “Flower of Destruction #4”


29) Livity Sound- Livity Sound
(dubstep/techno/minimal)
listen to Asusu’s “Velez”
This is really a compilation containing 17 tracks from Kowton, Asusu, and most notable Peverelist. While technically a compilation of tracks over about a 3 year time span, the tracks mesh so well together that it feels like an album. I feel like I’m describing brostep here but, these tracks for the most part are crushing. Turn the subs up high and enjoy.


28) SubRosa- More Constant Than the Gods
(doom metal/sudge)
listen to “The Usher”


27) Volcano Choir- Repave
(indie/folk/post-rock)
listen to “Bygone”


26) Jon Hopkins- Immunity
(downtempo/ambient/electronic)
listen to “Open Eye Signal”


25) Rika- How To Draw A River, Step By Step
(emo/post-rock)
listen to “Mute”


24) Flatbush Zombies- BetterOffDEAD
(hip-hop)
listen to “Palm Trees”


23) Altar of Plagues- Teethed Glory and Injury
(black metal/post-metal)
listen to “God Alone”


22) Disclosure- Settle
(future garage/house)
listen to “When A Fire Starts to Burn”


21) Hammock- Oblivion Hymns
(post-rock/neoclassical/ambient)
listen to “In the Middle of this Nowhere”


20) Blue Sky Black Death- Glaciers
(instrumental hip-hop/experimental)
listen to “II” (feat. Child Actor)


19) Hookworms- Pearl Mystic
(psychedelic rock/noise rock)
listen to “Away/Towards”


18) The Appleseed Cast- Illumination Ritual
(post-rock/emo/indie)
listen to “Great Lake Derelict”


17) Steak Number Eight- The Hutch
(post-metal/post-hardcore)
listen to “Black Eyed”


16) Postmadonna- Postmadonna
(math rock/post-hardcore/progressive)
listen here


15) Au4- …And Down Goes the Sky
(post-rock/experimental/shoegaze)
listen to “Everyone is Everyone (and Everything is Everything)”


14) Kayo Dot- Hubardo
(avant-garde/black metal/post-rock)
listen to “Thief”


13) Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels
(hip-hop)
listen to “A Christmas F*cking Miracle”


12) Chelsea Wolfe- Pain is Beauty
(folk/industrial/experimental)
listen to “Feral Love”


11) Deafheaven- Sunbather
(post-rock/black metal)
listen to “Dream House”


10) The Dillinger Escape Plan- One of Us Is the Killer
(mathcore/metalcore/hardcore)
listen to “When I Lost My Bet”


9) Julia Holter- Loud City Song
(ambient/art pop/experimental)
listen to “Hello Stranger”


8) Ishome- Confession
(ambient/dubstep/future garage)
listen to “Ken Tavr”
Ishome is the pseudonym for Russian electronic artist, Mirabella Karianova. After a few EP’s and a few appearances on compilations, “Confession” is Karianova’s first LP. After being initially drawn to her after hearing a song that appeared on an earlier EP, Eva, a song that still gets stuck in my head regularly, I was highly looking forward to this album. For such a small discography, Karianova has a unique and fine tuned sound among artists of similar styles. Her sound roots in more laid back dubstep and garage, but has a dark but lively style. One of the most impressive features about this album is the use of vocal samples. They are used through every track, but not much, if any (there is an audible excerpt in Sad Family that is either reversed or in Russian) is understandable. Instead they are meticulously arranged and layered as more of a part of the instrumentation, and while this may not be anything new, they are executed to perfection here. While this release as a whole has a consistent sound, it ranges through more upbeat and danceable moments to darker and more ambient pieces. Ishome has a very promising start and it will be interesting to see how her sound will grow in the future.


7) Future of the Left- How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident
(noise rock/post-hardcore/punk)
listen to “Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow”


6) Son Lux- Lanterns
(trip hop/experimental/indie)
listen to “Easy”

5) r.roo- Innerheaven
(idm/ambient/neoclassical)
listen to “Innerheaven” (feat. Eyescream)
R.roo is a downtempo neoclassical/IDM/glitch producer from the Ukraine that has been putting out a large amount of releases over the last few years. Although he is putting releases out in a short amount of time, does not mean the quality of his work is seemingly effected. Every release has outshined previous ones. Since I first heard “mgnovenie” in 2012, I have been completely fascinated with this guy’s work and how no one seems to talk about him.

“Innerheaven” is his second full length of 2013, released only a month after “Exist”. This a very cold, dark album, with eerie atmospheres that are constantly coming in and out of play. On top of the mood set by the more atmospheric sounds are some well crafted beats that vary from more straight-forward styles to complex polyrythmic glitches. From start to finish this album remains as emotionally captivating and enthralling as it did in the begining. The feeling I get listening would be compared to listening to darker post-rock, which is definitely something I would have never expected from an electronic album until recently. This is a great album to have on repeat as the cold winter months arrive in the Fall.


4) Tim Hecker- Virgins
(electronic/ambient/drone)
listen to “Virginal II”
Tim Hecker is one of the most consistent electronic artists out there right now, and his seventh full length “Virgins” definitely proves this point. While still staying true to his drone and ambient soundscapes, “Virgins” has the most movement in comparison to his earlier work. Here he brings together odd timed immense droning and electronics with structured instrumental sounds. At times the layering and manipulating of sounds create immense and thick sounds while there are very subtle moments as well. The album sets a dark and ugly mood all the while remaining gorgeous. The compositions meld with one another making the album as a whole very stunning.


3) Sigur Ros- Kveikur
(post-rock/experimental/indie)
listen to “Isjaki”
Sigur Ros are a long time personal favorite of mine. Aside from being critically renowned, the band’s second full length, “Agaetis byrjun” struck an emotional chord for me that no other album has. Throughout the last fifteen years sin “Agaetis byrjun” was released Jonsi and team have changed their some on every release. After 2012’s disappointing “Valtari”, the band had me nervous for their seventh full length “Kveikur”. Needless to say, it is anything but a disappointment. The opening track “Brennisteinn” is easily the heaviest and darkest track in Sigur’s discography, a far cry from the very tame follow up album. The harshness in this song recurs throughout the album, all the while holding on to styles that the band have experimented with in their previous albums. It does me very well knowing that Sigur Ros have made a return to a darker sound.


2) Shigeto- No Better Time Than Now
(idm/glitch-hop/downtempo)
listen to “Ringleader”
Shigeto is a prucer based out of Detroit and this is his third full length release. “No Better Time Than Now” has a large focus on percussion like his previous works, but this time around everything seems to fit together better. Shigeto has really solidified his own sound and this album proves that he is now more comfortable with it than ever. Each track on this has standout qualities. They tend to end in a different spot from where they began as opposed to his usual looping. Like the cover art, this album is very colorful and whimsical but with enough dynamics to stay interesting and fun throught the entirety of the album.


1) Typhoon- White Lighter
(indie/folk/post-rock)
listen to “Young Fathers”
Typhoon are an 11 piece indie rock/folk band from Portland and “White Lighter” is the large group’s fourth full length album in their impressive discography. Lead vocalist, Kyle Morton delivers powerful messages and stories that usually involve death, which has been a common theme in the band’s previous work. The addition of the elegant and soft female vocals that seem carefully placed throughout the album compliment Morton’s vocals well. As powerful as the vocals and lyrical themes are, the instrumentation is top-notch. The careful layering of percussion, horns, and strings pull you in and push you along the emotional journey Morton sets up. “White Lighter” is a rare breed in music. It’s humbling qualities make it well deserving of the number one spot.

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