The 20 Best Albums of 2013

12/18/2013 4:00 AM |

==== 16 ====
Various Artists
After Dark 2


The best record of retro-modern disco fusion released this year, despite a glut of commissioned video content suggesting otherwise. Producer Johnny Jewel has gradually accumulated a deep league of un-famous weirdos who only materialize on his records and might not even exist otherwise. They all perfectly fit his perpetual pilled-out chug. Zero hype, so many hits. Key Track: “The Possessed”  — JK

==== 15 ====


Even as a new wave of art-metal has elbowed space for itself in the wider pop conversation, it’s remained sort of insular in sound, playing to devotees over dilettantes. A true crossover demands movement from one place toward another. San Francisco’s Deafheaven graciously open the sound up, lighting fuses of pretty post-rock guitar that barely suggest the howling catharses about to explode. Key Track: “Vertigo”  — JK

==== 14 ====
We Are the 21st Century
Ambassadors of Peace & Magic


Imagine for a moment that the SXSW meltdowns, canceled tours, accounts of horribly inept live shows, airing of intra-band hate on Tumblr, and breakup rumors were sealed in a vacuum. What would be left? How about nine time-warped tracks of seesawing Village Green Preservation Society grooves and guitar-driven Sgt. Pepper turbulence that simultaneously make you feel like you’re at a tent revival and a revival of Hair. No one would’ve cared about all that other stuff if the album didn’t start off being great. Key Track: “San Francisco”  — LB

==== 13 ====


The best new band in Brooklyn is this fiercely noisy duo, who cycle through terrifying guitar sounds in strange, beautiful ways while drumming with uniformly insane intensity. The record works because it doesn’t demand that you walk over broken metal to enjoy it. There’s an eye of eerie calm at the center of the storm, a perch to observe everything flying to bits around it. Key Track: “Attrition”  — JK

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