Starting V: Favorite Albums of 2013 (So Far)

Coming off the back of my gargantuan favorite tracks of the year list, here’s a quick rundown of my five fave LPs of the year. The first four picked themselves, but I had a struggle picking out the fifth. The ones that just missed the cut were Grouper’s The Man Who Died in His Boat, Dean Blunt’s The Redeemer, Italians Do It Better’s compilation After Dark 2, Walton’s Beyond, and Cloud Boat’s Book of Hours. All of those come highly, highly recommended. Let’s get into the Top 5.

5. Autre Ne Veut
Brooklyn, NY 

R&B deconstructionist Arthur Ashin’s explosive Software Records debut is full of heartfelt devotionals, relationship postmortems, and unfiltered personal reflections, all set to inch-perfect, progressive pop jams with unexpectedly alluring hooks.

Hottest Jams: “World War,” “Ego Free Sex Free,” “Promises”

4. Deptford Goth
Life After Defo
London, UK 

With just one listen, it’s clear that the debut LP from British schoolteacher Daniel Woolhouse was made in isolation. Recorded in his apartment, Life After Defo fuses organic, folksy English songwriting (think: Nick Drake) with down-tempo electro (think: James Blake) to devastating effect. Personal storytelling, engulfing arraignments, a direct hit.

Hottest Jams: “Life After Defo,” “Guts No Glory,” “Union”

3. James Blake
London, UK 

Like the XX’s second LP, Coexist, the 24 year-old’s sophomore effort has been grossly underrated by the American press. Though the buzz may have faded, make no mistake, Overgrown is an incredible, multi-faceted album — full of Blake’s emotive warble, brainy arraignments, and markedly developed songwriting. Another masterclass from the one of music’s brightest, most versatile artists.

Hottest Jams: “Life Round Here,” “To The Last,” “Retrograde”

2. Deafheaven

I don’t usually write about metal on Thunder Penguin, but the San Francisco progressive black metal duo’s second LP is simply too stunning to overlook. The group matches exquisitely crafted black metal elements (blast-beats, tremolo picking, screamed vocals) with layers of lush, shoegazey melodies and the life-affirming, triumphant guitarwork of Kerry McCoy. This isn’t a perfect metal album; it’s a perfect album, regardless of genre.

Hottest Jams: “Dream House,” “Sunbather,” “The Pecan Tree”

1. Disclosure
London, UK 

I’m sure you all have more important things to do than listen to me wax lyrical about this album for the 4,136,295,637th time. If you still haven’t gotten swept away by it at this point, it’s your fault, not mine.

Hottest Jams: ALL OF THEM.

Posted on by TP1.COM in Best Of '13, Featured

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