Yep, we’re not through yet. Because there were a lot of great new bands and albums in 2013, here is round two of the best music that you might have accidentally missed this year.
Run The Jewels
While Jay, ‘Ye and Drake hoarded up the music headlines this year, hardly a spotlight was left for rappers El-P and Killer Mike in their collaboration as Run The Jewels. While you were trying to force yourself to like more than one song off Yeezus, you could have been focusing on this duo’s impressive debut. Thanks to us, you can hear the full thing below.
If you’re a fan of Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Capital Cities and/or jazz, you’ll appreciate what Andrew Mayer Cohen has been cooking up as Mayer Hawthorne. His latest album, Where Does This Door Go, is a smooth blend of pop, jazz and R&B that’ll literally charm your socks off.
Dance-y, live electronic music that inevitably incites some part of your body to start moving - this is newcomer Jagwar Ma’s undeniable trademark. You may think these are perfect poolside jams, but there’s no time for laying down because the Aussie trio’s debut, Howlin, will make you dance.
The thing about 19-year-old Archy Marshall’s mouth is that when it opens - it emits this chalky, growling gravel unlike anything else you’ve ever heard before. Marshall alternately exclaims, moans and sighs anguished poeticisms on his debut, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, sounding spiteful at times and knowingly pitiful at others - as the nature of youth often sounds. His incomparable voice was one of the most captivating sounds we’ve heard this year since Lorde.
Live, this London duo is as wrapped up in experimenting with feedback, mixing, and all that other technical verbage that makes electronic music magical as if they were in an isolated home studio, millions of miles away from other humans. Their latest album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth doles out highly intensive electronic ambiance so well you’ll find yourself zoning within seconds.
The Julie Ruin
Beloved riot grrrl and former Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna’s band The Julie Ruin released an excellent EP this year that’s pure, thrashy, igniting, exciting, decadent punk-rock.
Ernest Greene made one of the year’s most drowsily beautiful ambient-rock albums in Paracosm. True to his stage name, Greene lets the music largely do the talking as his voice is enshrouded in a cloud-like haze for the most part. Yes, it’s unintelligible at times, but after a spell you realize that’s kind of the point.
Swedish trio Junip, featuring musician Jose Gonzalez, swept us off their feet with their self-titled album in 2013. Featuring hollowing, humming acoustic folk-rock that rests on a variety of percussive rarities from the world (including the rainmaker gourd), Junip achieves that quality of transporting you outside of your body while making everything grow warmer.
Though the real life couple comprising Cults called it quits after their last album in 2011, they managed to keep their band together, and thank goodness they did. Their phenomenal post-breakup record Static indulges in moments of inspired rock as singer Madeline Follin’s vocals lead with charming attitude, proving that good things can indeed arise from unhappy endings.
No one does it quite like Rhye, the breakout collaboration between Denmark producer Robin Braun and Canadian singer Mike Milosh. Their debut album Woman, casts Milosh’s airy, ethereal voice against a subtle backdrop blending orchestras, keyboards and synthesizers, producing an end product that reaches all elements’ profound potential.
For the love of skate punk, can someone please give FIDLAR a residency in an emptied-out pool in the Hills to jam out in for a month? This fresh band out of L.A. is living proof that yes, they still make them like they used to.
Australian musician and producer Harley Streten conducts his own spin on house music by producing R&B samples tripped over original synth experimentations and vocals. In his new self-titled album, Flume brings this fresh vision to a table littered with half-hearted, laptop-generated EDM and it’s never been a more welcoming time for it.
One of the fiercest newcomers to pop this year was Charli XCX. The featured singer on Icona Pop’s single “I Love It” - propelled to fame by a coked out rave scene a la GIRLS - garnered attention with her debut True Romance which featured track after track of dark, insidiously catchy pop.
Moody, after-hours music propelled by synthesizers and bass is the territory that London duo AlunaGeorge coolly reigns over. After releasing a trail of remixes, this year vocalist Aluna Francis and producer George Reid put forth an original album whose tracks quickly spawned hundreds of remixes of their own.
Don’t let this year pass you by without listening to My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James’ solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God. Much of the album was influenced by a book James read while he was bedridden after surgery, and “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” is possibly one of James’ trippiest songs yet.