Ok, so 2013 has just recently passed the halfway mark, and while pop music has exemplified just how “peak and valley” oriented it is, the rest of the music world has been on fire. There’s still a lot of music left to squeeze out of the year, with some huge, high profile releases already set for the remainder of the 3rd quarter, as well as the 4th, but if you were living on another planet and need to catch up, here’s a bakers dozen worth of albums to get you going. These are the 13 albums released so far this year that you absolutely need to hear!
ALUNAGEORGE BODY MUSIC
Part electronic, part soul, all mesmerizing. This is the way pop music should sound! AlunaGeorge’s debut long play, Body Music hits the nail right on the head.
SONG OF CHOICE: “You Know You Like It”
JAMES BLAKE OVERGROWN
For almost all of the same reasons you need to check out AlunaGeorge’s album, you need to check out James Blake’s. Overgrown just oozes delicious electrosoul from start to finish.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Retrograde”
DAVID BOWIE THE NEXT DAY
Bowie’s return to music was abrupt, unexpected, and monumental. The Next Day is the album we’ve been dying to hear from him even long before he “retired.”
SONG OF CHOICE: “Where Are We Now?”
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS PUSH THE SKY AWAY
Far and away the best album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in just shy of a decade, Push The Sky Away is fragile and sparse and really plays off the haunting beauty in simplicity.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Push The Sky Away”
DAFT PUNK RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES
Just in case you were living under a rock, Daft Punk made their highly anticipated comeback with an album that puts modern EDM to shame. Random Access Memories is an instant classic.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Doin’ It Right”
LAURA MARLING ONCE I WAS AN EAGLE
Sorry everyone else, THIS is folk music’s proper modern landmark. Laura Marling’s Once I Was An Eagle is a stark, emotion-ridden masterpiece that will leave you drained in the best way possible.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Where Can I Go?”
PALMA VIOLETS 180
These guys are the pulse of alternative rock, and despite not being the biggest band in the world like they deserve to be, Palma Violets are making ripples that are worth swept away in.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Best Of Friends”
PET SHOP BOYS ELECTRIC
The Pet Shop Boys haven’t exactly gone anywhere since their debut back in the early 80s, but Electric is their proper return to forward-thinking pop genius. The album has a candy coated shell, but it’s got an explosive center.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Axis”
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE …LIKE CLOCKWORK
Queens Of The Stone Age have officially returned and we are all rejoicing. …Like Clockwork kicks things up enough. They even managed to get Elton John, Trent Reznor, a Dave Grohl on the same track… and make it work.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Fairweather Friends”
SAVAGES SILENCE YOURSELF
Savages is the kind of band that the world has been waiting for… four chicks who rock their fucking brains out. Their debut LP, Silence Yourself just soars above the rest. These ladies are important.
SONG OF CHOICE: “She Will”
SIGUR RÓS KVEIKUR
There is not a band on the planet even close to resembling Sigur Rós. Every album is a massive change of pace, and Kveikur takes them to one of their darkest and most experimental. Every moment is genius.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Kveikur”
VAMPIRE WEEKEND MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY
Vampire Weekend have always been pretty awesome, but Modern Vampires Of The City really sees them stepping into their own. There’s this addictive sparkle that comes through this time around.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Diane Young”
KANYE WEST YEEZUS
Yeezus is Kanye at his batshit craziest, and we love him for it. There’s not a moment on the record that isn’t glaringly audacious, but he pulls it off with just the right amounts of arrogance and short attention span.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Black Skinhead”
YEAH YEAH YEAHS MOSQUITO
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back (Thank God,) and they are not messing around. From the gospel choir assisted lead single, “Sacrilege” to the throbbing title track, Mosquito is pure perfection.
SONG OF CHOICE: “Sacrilege”