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Listen up: Our 20+ best albums from 2013

Setting the record straight

Photo: , License: N/A


Photo: , License: N/A


Morningbell – Bôa Noite
Orange Records
It is rare that an album with this many crazy-diverse references – from tribal drums to pop princes to tropicalia to psychedelia – achieves delicate composure, but this album goes beyond expectations in every way. And songwriter Travis Atria’s clever lyrics only further punctuate this space case of an album concept. – AB

Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple
A gorgeously aimed shot between traditional and indie, this record takes the North Carolinian country-rockers from promise to full and magnificent realization with some of the sweetest, most perfect melodies heard this year. – BLH

The National – Trouble Will Find Me
The brilliance of their deep-water indie rock is well-known by now. But this is their most vigorous and essential work in ages and proves that their quietly transcendental anthems can out-drama even Arcade Fire, with half the effort and volume. – BLH

Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold + Tally All the Things That You Broke EP
What’s Your Rupture?
Whip-smart and bristling with nervy New Wave energy, Parquet Courts resuscitated thinking-man’s punk rock. Sure, it’s served best slathered in sarcasm – but that sneer only adds to the street cred. Based on their airtight live shows and prodigious two-album 2013 output, this debut represents but the tip of this band’s potential. – NM

Peals – Walking Field
Thrill Jockey
Indie filmmakers, take note. A hushed, home-recorded instrumental affair from two Baltimore bassists (Future Islands’ William Cashion and Double Dagger’s Bruce Willem), Walking Field embraces kinesthetic guitars, cinemascopic sound effects and a tidal ebb and flow of riveting sonic calm. Listen with headphones, and you’ll be instantly submerged. – NM

Pissed Jeans – Honeys
Sub Pop
This is necessary sludge punk with enough versatility to resonate with a lot more folks than just those who suffer from cat allergies. – AB

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