2013 has been a very good year in music so far, and although there has yet to be a definite standout, there have been many strong albums. A year for diverse music taste (disco, black metal, shoegaze, folk, electro and whatever one would describe Yeezus as), we will go ahead and list some of our favorite music from the past six months. Enjoy! (in alphabetical order, click on a song to hear it.)
Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap
Without any doubt, the strongest hip hop album/mixtape of the year so far. With Kanye, Jay and Drake releasing albums in 2013, the young newcomer definitely set the bar high when he released this early in the year. “Chain Smoker” is the strongest rap track of the year so far.
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories.
The new, highly anticipated record by the iconic duo was inspired by the 70’s and is gloriously occupied with disco and funk. Arguably at their best with this new effort, it even contained two of the years strongest tracks so far in “Get Lucky” and “Doin’ it Right“.
Deafheaven – Sunbather.
The black metal/shoegaze/post-rock album that is garnering universal acclaim. Simple question, is it really that good? Our lack of metal suggests we don’t listen to much of it, but this album is incredibly daring. It’s perfectly paced, and well worth a listen. “Dream House” is unreal.
Psychedelic pop/rock at its finest, there is so much to admire here. Although not as sure-footed as last year’s Tame Impala effort Lonerism, the two bands prove that this genre is still well and truly alive.
Hiss Golden Messenger – Haw
I must admit, an alternative country record was not one I was expecting to talk about when discussing the best of the year, but this sombre affair took me by surprise. Ever present and always gorgeous, this is one definitely worth trying.
Jai Paul – Jai Paul
I don’t know whether I should count this (I most likely will not come end of year), but the unofficial and un-refined album by the British singer/producer was easily one of the most impressive things I’ve heard all year. And let’s give credit where it is due, “Str8 Outta Mumbai” is one of the year’s definite best (albeit unreleased) tracks.
Kanye West – Yeezus
Laura Marling – Once I Was an Eagle
The year’s most cohesive album so far, it plays through seamlessly, ever so slightly nudging you along before occasionally catching you off guard with her wit and intelligence. Its length may unnerve, but there is no filler here. “Master Hunter” is her at her most fierce.
My Bloody Valentine – m b v
The long awaited follow-up to the classic Loveless saw them not only continue to show off their signature sound, but also move forward into the 21st century by incorporating more upbeat drum & bass influences.
The National – Trouble Will Find Me
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
Three albums in, the young group have taken a darker turn for their latest effort. Leaving behind the afro-world beats and incorporating many other styles instead, this album is unavoidable when discussing the topic of the best albums of 2013. “Step” is one of their best ever songs.
Other various tracks that deserve a mention are as follows:
James Blake – “Retrograde”
Absolutely captivating vocal and production.
A$AP Rocky – “1 Train”
The strongest posse-cut since Kanye on MBDTF.
Disclosure – “When a Fire Starts to Burn”
Quite possibly the best electronic/house track of the year already.
Drake – “5am in Toronto”
This is how Drake should always rap. “Drake featuring Drake”.
Autre Ne Veut – “Play by Play”
Layers upon layers building up to a climactic finish.