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Listen up: Our 20+ best albums from 2013

Setting the record straight

Photo: , License: N/A


Photo: , License: N/A


Poliça – Shulamith
Mom + Pop
That this Minneapolis group made my list two years in a row speaks to the cogency of their work. Dressed in Euro-sleek soul with sophistication not seen since Tracy Thorn and space-age midnight sensuality, they’re probably the sharpest, most distinctive electro-pop band in the game. – BLH

Emily Reo – Olive Juice
Elestial Sound
What a treat to hear home-recorded electronic ex-pat Emily Reo finally find her voice. You may have heard many of these tracks before, but assuredly not like this. Stand-out track “Peach,” with its dreamy drone, is exactly that. – AB

Set and Setting – Equanimity
Science of Silence Records
This heavy St. Pete band released their debut right in the middle of an admirably strong year for music, but its slow-build approach to distorted instrumentals quickly gained national attention and has me eager to hear these spiraling uncertainties continue to unravel. – AB

Shannon & the Clams – Dreams in the Rat House
Hardly Art
Modern garage rock has reached a saturation point – which strengthens the singular hand of Shannon & the Clams. Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard share crackling lead vocal duties, skipping from cartoonish rockabilly to raucous doo-wop to ghoulish gutter-punk with ease. And no album has captured their madcap live show more accurately. – NM

Suuns – Images du Futur
Secretly Canadian
Another one of my few five-star reviews this year, these mind-warping Canadians are proving so far to be a lock for my best list any year they release an album. Like a more single-minded and focused Clinic, these arty future-psych rockers are making some of the most concentrated and compelling music today. – BLH

Kanye West – Yeezus
Def Jam
This one may be obvious, but it’s indisputable. There are about a million-plus reasons to hate him, but this charging, radical magnum opus isn’t one. – BLH

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