Favorite Albums of 2013 (10-1)

10. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

Death, taxes, and The National putting out fantastic albums. They'll probably never top the one-two punch of Alligator and Boxer, but I'll continue to buy their albums and listen to them try.

9. Postiljonen - Skyer 

Why this album has gone mostly under the radar while everyone gushes about CHVRCHES, I'll never understand. I love both bands, but Skyer is clearly the superior album.

8. Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On

Maybe my judgement is clouded by my fandom for all things Spencer Krug, but this is another record that is severely underrated in the landscape of 2013 albums of the year. It's just Spencer at a piano, but the songs are utterly sublime.

7. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Many bands kiss of death is when they decide to switch up styles and try something different. That might be a problem for lesser bands, but Arcade Fire didn't have that problem. The Talking Heads influenced 4th album gets better with each listen.

6. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience 1 of 2

I feel the need to clarify that my number 6 album of 2013 is only the first volume of Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience. Like many others volume 2 feel flat with me, but this one has so much pop goodness it's hard to understand how the second volume could sound so much worse.

5. My Bloody Valentine - m b v

Of all the comeback albums of the year, none had more potential for disaster than the followup from My Bloody Valentine to the brilliant Loveless album. This album has been 20+ years in the making and defies expectations by being really, really great.

4. Ha Ha Tonka - Lessons

How bands like The Lumineers and The Head & The Heart are popular while Ha Ha Tonka still is relatively obscure baffles me. I wouldn't compare them very closely with the aforementioned bands, but they have a similar vibe to them. Ha Ha Tonka's newest album, Lessons, absolutely blows anything those bands have done away by a long shot.

3. Iceage - You're Nothing

I don't dig too deep into obscure punk rock & hardcore enough, but there seems to be a serious lack of anything sounding as remotely dangerous as Iceage does on their second LP You're Nothing. I got to see them in KC this year for Middle Of The Map and it was an absolute shit-show in the best way possible.

2. Jason Isbell - Southeastern

I said to someone recently on twitter that I didn't think there was a better songwriter around right now than Jason Isbell and I believe it. Cleaned up and going full force on Southeastern, it's by far his most cohesive album with some of the best songs he's ever written.

1. Deafheaven - Sunbather

Never in a million years would I have expected my favorite album of the year to come from the black metal genre. Some metal nerds will argue this isn't black metal, but they're wrong. If you get past the high pitched, unintelligible black metal-esque vocals and view his voice as another instrument it's such a beautiful album. The music sounds like a post-rock heaven somewhere in between Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor which is what drew me in initially. I should also mention the lyrics are really amazing but most likely you'll have to look them up online to understand what they are.

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