Our 15 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013


So Christmas is done with for another year, which means that today is all about hangovers, indigestion and looking forward to 2013. We have good vibes in general about the year to come, and we’re hoping that it holds as much musical goodness as 2012 did. The early part of the year is certainly shaping up well, and after the jump we’ve put together a kind of extended edition of our regular monthly album release preview, looking at the 15 albums (with confirmed release dates) that we’re hanging out for in the new year, in addition to a roundup of records that are rumored/don’t have firm release dates/etc. As ever, do let us know if there’s anything you’re looking forward to that we might have missed.

Broadcast — The Berbarian Sound Studio (January 8)

The untimely death of Trish Keenan robbed the music world of a singular and chronically underappreciated talent. This posthumous release is a soundtrack to the recent British psychological thriller Berbarian Sound Studio, which depicts “a British sound recordist’s slowly degenerating mental state while working in an Italian film studio.” The film’s meant to be great, and the soundtrack is just as weird and sinister as one might expect from the sound of the plot — sample song titles include “Burnt at the Stake,” “Found Scalded, Found Drowned,” and “The Serpent’s Semen.”

Hilly Eye — Reasons to Live (January 22)

This is the debut album from ex-Titus Andronicus and current Leda guitarist (and Flavorwire-approved up-and-coming culture maker) Amy Klein’s pleasantly raucous two-piece noise project. It’s a whole lot louder than her work with Leda, and we like it a great deal.

Widowspeak — Almanac (January 22)

Apparently Widowspeak are somewhat disappointed that the world didn’t end last week, but on the bright side, it means we get to hear their new record, which we’ve been rather looking forward to. As Pitchfork observed when reviewing “The Dark Age” (above) a couple of weeks back, the comparisons between Molly Hamilton and Hope Sandoval aren’t gonna go away any time soon, but that’s perfectly OK with us.

Ducktails — The Flower Lane (January 29)

It’s funny how side projects work out. These days, Matt Mondanile is signed to Domino as Ducktails, and his solo endeavor is both more interesting and more successful than his “real” band (NJ indie stalwarts Real Estate.) This is his fourth album under the Ducktails moniker, and if the title track (above) is to judge by, it’s gonna be working its way into plenty of people’s spaced-out summer playlists in due course.

Grouper — The Man Who Died in His Boat (February 4)

This release coincides with the re-release of Liz Harris’ marvelously creepy Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (incidentally, did you know it’s Harris herself in the cover photo of that album?) The tracks on The Man Who Died in His Boat apparently date from the same era as Dragging a Dead Deer…, and lead track “Vital” (above) could certainly have walked straight off Grouper’s magnum opus. We can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Foals — Holy Fire (February 11)

If post-millenial anti-drug anthem “Inhaler” (above), which dropped back in November, is anything to judge by, then we can expect Foals to continue their career-long march toward pop stardom to continue with this record. Disappointingly, though, a puntastic new song called “Ronald Raygun” — which, apart from anything else, recalled the brief glory days of psychedelia Smith sensations Raygun — is apparently not included.

Autre Ne Veut — Anxiety (February 12)

We’re running our regular artists-to-watch-in-2013 feature next week, and you better believe that Arthur “Autre Ne Veut” Ashin is one of them. This album promises to be fascinating — according to this interview with Pitchfork last month, the title deals with Ashin’s anxiety disorder and features cover art that alludes to Edvard Munch’s überfamous painting The Scream. Happy days!

Azealia Banks — Broke With Expensive Taste (February 12)

Not broke for much longer, we suspect.

Psychic Ills — One Track Mind (February 18)

We heart Psychic Ills, and we’re always delighted to hear new material from them. From the sound of first single “Might Take a While” (above), this settles right into the groove we’ve come to expect from the band, somewhere between Spacemen 3 and the heavier sounds of bands like The Warlocks. The cover art’s pretty ace, too.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Push the Sky Away (February 19)

We got into an intra-office argument last time we said something nasty about Grinderman here, so let’s just say that we’re happy to see Cave directing his energy away from his moustache and back towards The Bad Seeds. This is a welcome development for everyone.

Beach Fossils — Clash the Truth (February 19)

We’ve ridiculed “Beach” bands in the past, but we will admit to being rather partial to Dirty Beaches and Beach Fossils (as well as excellent Australian psych five-piece Beaches, who we hear also have a record en route in 2013.) Anyway, there are plenty of bands ploughing the same scuzzy lo-fi indie pop furrow as Beach Fossils, but still, we’re rather partial to their Dunedin-meets-Seattle sound.

Atoms For Peace — Amok (February 26)

The evolution of Atoms for Peace from session crew through live entity to actual real functioning band reaches its logical conclusion with the arrival of their debut album. Really all we know about it thus far is the tracklist and the fact that you can find a track for download here if you click on the clock next to the “Arco” sign — unsurprisingly, the music is being guarded more tightly than [insert choice of analogy here].

Autechre — Exai (March 5)

If you need more intellectual electronic music in your life in 2013, look no further than the return of Autechre, who hit a rich vein of form with 2010’s Oversteps, one which we’re hoping continues with this record. Exai is apparently two hours long and will be available as a swanky 4LP set, amongst other options, and contains tracks with names like “T ess xi,” “1 1 is,” and “YJY UX.” Don’t ever change, Autechre.

Marnie Stern — The Chronicles of Marnia (March 19)

We’ll be honest: we’re all for Marnie Stern, we think she’s a fantastic guitar player and a thoroughly worthy songwriter, and we’re sure this’ll be worth hearing… but honestly, we just like it for the title, which is all kinds of puntastic genius. Bravo.

The Knife — Shaking the Habitual (April 8)

We featured this on last year’s most anticipated albums feature, which really only serves to demonstrate how long we’ve been waiting from The Knife. Bring. It. On.

Unconfirmed, rumored, to be confirmed, and all that:

Angel Haze — TBD If this doesn’t propel Angel Haze to stardom, there’s no justice in the world.

My Bloody Valentine — TBD Oh yes. Oh yes indeed.

M.I.A. — Matangi Let’s see if she does interviews this time around, eh?

Depeche Mode — TBD …annnnnnnnnnnnd how’s about a tour?

AlunaGeorge — TBD This could well be massive. Watch this space, etc.

Deerhunter — TBD We actually kinda wish that Bradford Cox would just concentrate on Atlas Sound, but still.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs — TBD Remember when the Lower East Side was cool? They do.

Owen Pallett — In Conflict If this is half as entertaining as his Twitter, it’ll be an album-of-the-year contender.

The Flaming Lips — The Terror The stakes are high here, given that for all the gummy skulls and cum baths, the Lips are well overdue an actual good album.

Queens of the Stone Age — TBD And with Nick “Chris Brown” Oliveri back in the band, apparently. Hmmmmmm.

The Avalanches — TBD Lolololololololol etc etc.