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Music

Listen up: Our 20+ best albums from 2013

Setting the record straight

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FUCK BUTTONS

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MORNINGBELL


Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Blue Horizon
By backing off their recent day-tripping and finally rediscovering the throttle on their sexy motorcycles, the neo-psych rock kings storm back with this powerhouse album to reclaim their throne. And holy shit goddamn, they’ll be returning (Feb. 24, the Social) with psychedelic god and miraculous comeback story Roky Erickson. – Bao Le-Huu

Mikal Cronin – MCII
Merge
It was almost unfair how much more I spun this than any other 2013 release and I’m convinced I will appreciate these effortless melodies, this multi-instrument approach to poppiness and these satisfyingly digestible lyrics for the eternity it already feels like I’ve spent with it. – Ashley Belanger

Dead Confederate – In the Marrow
Spiderbomb Records/Redeye
This well-pitched calibration of their darkly majestic sound proves that no one is forging and forwarding Southern rock with as much muscle, depth and arresting melody as these Athens boys. They’re not the face of the New South yet, but they should be. – BLH

Dumb Numbers – Dumb Numbers
Joyful Noise Recordings
It took a supergroup comprising members of Melvins, Dinosaur Jr. and capable ’90s throwback achievers Best Coast to finally birth a release that truly recalls the era – that, a gentle reminder, is bygone – without the stink of imitation. If you love loud, grungy, distorted guitars, embrace this album. – AB

Forest Swords – Engravings
Tri Angle Records
When composed in such an eerily organic way, electronica never felt so essential. U.K. producer Matthew Barnes eschews the dance floor in favor of dark-hued songs crafted from live percussion, deep dub groove, and swatches of synths, strings and horns. Dig deep and the odd interplay between earthy and industrial becomes obvious. – Nick McGregor

Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Jagjaguwar
Sixties-worshipping nostalgia gone goofy, genuine and sophisticated. High-school friends Jonathan Rado and Sam France tried to bury their Davies/Jagger/Reed-inspired project in inanity: that band and album name, those self-destructive onstage tendencies. Yet the quirky instrumentation, queasy joy and slacker chic of their excellent debut album shines through it all. – NM

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