Stereogum's 50 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2013

Right around this time last year, we published a list of the 50+ Most Anticipated Albums Of 2012. To be specific, the final count came in at 57. Of the 57 albums included on that list, some never actually arrived (Rancid, Mazzy Star), some arrived but didn’t fully reward our anticipation (Lana Del Rey, Best Coast), and some were longshots in the first place that kinda felt like also-rans on arrival (Garbage, Soundgarden). Of course there were plenty of albums that arrived and were good, some very good, but of the 57 albums on that list, 13 eventually landed among Stereogum’s Top 50 Albums Of 2012. Those 13 albums came from (listed here accompanied by their rank on the Top 50): Cloud Nothings (6); the Walkmen (8); Chairlift (9); Dirty Projectors (10); Grizzly Bear (16); the Men (17); Spiritualized (20); Sleigh Bells (24); Grimes (26); Cat Power (28); the Evens (45); Rick Ross (47); and the Shins (48).

That means that about 23 percent of the albums we were most anticipating last December more or less lived up to the hype enough to stay with us, collectively, till this December. It’s hardly a perfect science (or, in fact, a science at all), but if you were drafting a team for a fantasy indie-music league and used our list as a cheat sheet, you’d probably have a good shot at the title, given a few savvy trades and careful attention paid to the waiver wire.

Still, it’s worth noting that of the 57 albums on that list, none cracked the top 5 of our Top 50. That’s partly, but not entirely, due to a lack of foresight. Some releases slipped our minds; some that eventually won our hearts were simply too unpredictable to count on in December of last year. Heck, Scott said as much in the comments:

We did forgot some, though others (e.g., Fiona Apple) we’re leaving off intentionally because WHO KNOWS.

And some others … well, who could have predicted Frank Ocean would have this kind of year? Considering Dre’s track record, was anyone counting on even seeing an album from Kendrick Lamar, much less good kid m.A.A.d. city? Were you betting on Swans, led by a 58-year-old Michael Gira two years removed from one of his not-best albums, dropping a double-disc masterpiece?

Maybe you were. If so, you should consider a future in professional gambling.

One of the great joys in being an obsessive fan of music is that constant element of surprise, the fact that every year, you will hear and fall madly in love with something — and very likely many things — you never saw coming. That’s why we’re here, right? That’s what keeps us coming back.

Alternately, though, there is the thrill of anticipation, the slow-building excitement that comes with thinking about something long in advance of its arrival. The old-timers wax nostalgic about the days of official release dates — when half the country hit the record store on Tuesday morning to cop the new Smashing Pumkpins album or whatever — and yeah, those days were fun and all, but they are long gone. Still, our blood gets going when we hear Arcade Fire is in the studio with James Murphy, or the Knife have emerged from the terrifying Scandinavian darkness with a new LP ready to go, or that Oliveri and Grohl are reuniting with Homme for the new Queens Of The Stone age disc. We get stoked for sophomore albums from bands that caught us off guard the first time around — Earl, Iceage — or debuts from bands that have taunted us with brilliance in short bursts — FIDLAR, Azealia Banks — or supergroups that actually look legit — Atoms For Peace (featuring Thom Yorke, Flea, and Nigel Godrich), VHÖL (featuring Mike Scheidt from YOB, John Cobbett from Ludicra, and Aesop Dekker from Agalloch). And we can’t wait to hear new tunes from old faves that are back, finally (Phoenix, Vampire Weekend).

The list we’ve compiled here ranks the 50 albums the Stereogum staff is most stoked about hearing in 2013. The albums we’ve included here are only those we’re confident in saying will see release next year — those with release dates attached already, those in the near-final stages of the production cycle. And yeah, you could read that last sentence, then jump down to No. 1 on this thing, and come back LOLing, but there are enough promising reports that we’re willing to put our money on red, spin the wheel, and pray. Next year can’t come soon enough.

50 KvelertakMeir (March, Indie Recordings)

49 Major LazerFree The Universe (2/19, Mad Decent/Downtown)

48 Autre Ne VeutAnixety (2/12, Software Recording Company)

47 Jamie LidellJamie Lidell (2/18, Warp)

46 William TylerImpossible Truth (3/19, Merge)

45 VHÖLVHÖL (4/16, Profound Lore)

44 FoxygenWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic (1/22, Jagjaguwar)

43 HAIMTBD (Spring)

42 AlunaGeorgeTBD (June, Island Def Jam)

41 Beach FossilsClash The Truth (2/19, Captured Tracks)

40 WavvesTBD (3/26, Mom + Pop)

39 RhyeWoman (3/5, Loma Vista)

38 Free EnergyLove Sign (1/15, Free Energy Records)

37 Hilly EyeReasons To Live (1/22, Don Giovanni)

36 DoldrumsLesser Evil (2/25, Souterrain Transmissions)

35 The Mary OnettesHit The Waves (3/12, Labrador)

34 Sun Kil Moon & The Album LeafPerils From The Sea (5/14, Caldo Verde)

33 Kurt VileWakin On A Pretty Daze (Spring, Matador)

32 Bleeding RainbowYeah Right (1/29, Kanine)

31 Devendra BanhartMala (Spring, Nonesuch)

30 Frightened RabbitPedestrian Verse (2/5, Canvasback)

29 DucktailsThe Flower Lane (1/29, Domino)

28 DeafheavenSunbather (Spring, Deathwish Inc)

27 Toro Y MoiAnything In Return (1/22, Carpark)

26 Depeche ModeTBD (March, Columbia)

25 Yo La TengoFade (1/15, Matador)

24 Unknown Mortal OrchestraII (2/5, Jagjaguwar)

23 Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsPush The Sky Away (2/18, Anti-)

22 LowThe Invisible Way (3/19, Sub Pop)

21 Queens Of The Stone AgeTBD

20 Marnie SternThe Chronicles Of Marnia (3/19, Kill Rock Stars)

19 FIDLARFIDLAR (1/22, Mom & Pop)

18 Tegan & SaraHeartthrob (1/29, Sire)

17 Local NativesHummingbird (1/29, Frenchkiss)

16 James BlakeTBD

15 DeerhunterTBD

14 M.I.A.Matangi

13 Azealia BanksBroke With Expensive Taste (2/12, Interscope)

12 IceageYou’re Nothing (2/19, Matador)

11 Yeah Yeah YeahsTBD (Spring)

10 A$AP RockyLongLiveA$AP (1/15, RCA)

09 Atoms For PeaceAmok (2/18, XL)

08 Christopher OwensLysandre (1/15, Fat Possum)

07 Cloud NothingsTBD

06 The KnifeShaking The Habitual (4/9, Rabid/Brille/Mute)

05 PhoenixTBD (Spring, Glassnote)

04 Vampire WeekendTBD

03 Earl SweatshirtDoris (Tan Cressida/Columbia)

02 Arcade FireTBD

01 My Bloody ValentineTBD

So now it’s your turn! What albums are you most excited for in 2013? What did we rank too high, too low, not at all? Don’t even joke about Detox — you know as well as we do that one’s not seeing light of day till 2014, earliest.

Comments (239)
  1. I cannot find Foals

  2. Having heard A$AP, Toro y Moi, FIDLAR, Jim James, and Veronica Falls, I can surmise that 2013 probably won’t suck.

  3. I predict a new album from Beck. And I base this on absolutely nothing.

  4. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
    VÅR – TBA (Spring)
    Sky Ferreira – TBA (Spring)
    Charli XCX – TBA
    Pissed Jeans – Honeys (February 12, 2013)
    Cold Cave – TBA

  5. A$AP Rocky, La Tengo & Toro Y Moi leaked. :)

  6. Was just thinking the other day that Deerhunter might be due

  7. I am actually anticipating Palma Violets album soooooooo much, And yeah, Peace too…

  8. I know most people seem to be over the whole odd future thing…but I’m genuinely curious to see what Tyler does next.

    • Earl Sweatshirt being up there with Arcade Fire and My Bloody Valentine seems to say most people at Stereogum aren’t over Odd Future. When you consider the Frank Ocean explosion, it becomes even harder to say that. Maybe you’re right, that the Odd Future crew is on a downward trend while the unique talents from the crew are ascending on their own.

  9. Also looking forward to Pere Ubu, Joy Formidable, BRMC, Chris Stamey, and House of Love. It seems like Franz Ferdinand has been on perpetual “coming soon”.

  10. Definitely agree with Local Natives. Excited about Foals and Shout Out Louds. Don’t be surprised if My Brightest Diamond releases an album in 2013. She announced she’ll be performing new tracks at a show in January. Which I’d love.

  11. Definitely looking forward to Foals, Vampire Weekend, Toro y Moi, and James Blake.

    And here’s hoping that just because the Arcade Fire album is likely out in late 2013 that they can still find their way to Coachella/Bonnaroo etc this year.

  12. Is anyone else extremely excited for that Rhye album…The Fall has been on repeat for the past month or so on my end.

  13. Hoping for a Goldfrapp album too this year? Hopefully they don’t disappoint like they did with Head First.

    and Austra’s sophomore album is due this year too, excited for that.

    Anyone else hoping for some new material from St. Vincent or Glasser in 2013?

  14. Deerhunter is due. Lockett stated that they’d begin studio work in the Spring, and with them curating ATP I see a late summer/early fall release.

    Local Natives definitely, Unknown Mortal Orchestra too. I’d add…

    Mikal Cronin
    No Age
    Chelsea Light Moving
    Death From Above 1979
    Modest Mouse
    The Men
    The Dismemberment Plan
    and hopefully The Wrens.

    • No Age! Is that speculation or did they say they were recording?

    • Yeah really. No Age? The Men? DFA1979? MODEST MOUSE?? Are these all just speculative or do you know something?

      • I believe Modest Mouse has been in the studio. At the very least, they were working on something with Big Boi.

      • None are speculation.

        No Age has been experimenting live with new material throughout 2011/2012 and stated sometime ago that they were heading to the studio.

        The Men have confirmed a 2013 album via P4K and their blog.

        DFA1979 have been playing new material live and stated that they’ll have enough soon for a full album. Dunno about 2013 but sometime soon.

        Modest Mouse have been in the studio, they confirmed this through several articles in 2011 and 2012. I suspect a summer release. They’ve been trying out new material for like a year live.

        D-Plan’s Facebook has been blowing up since their reunion about writing new material. 2013 is speculation but seems very likely.

    • A new Death From Above 1979 would be EPIC!!

  15. Shabazz Palaces
    Jai Paul
    Missy Elliott – “Block Party” (yes, it’s coming out)
    Kid Cudi – “Idicud”

    Just off the top of my head.

  16. The National?

  17. Maybe The National? I base this on nothing…but they’ve been recording together a lot recently for TV Shows, so maybe they’re recording a new album?

  18. Kelis

  19. Where’s Owen Pallett. This list is missing Owen Pallett’s In Conflict. After releasing Heartland, how could you forget about Owen Pallett?

  20. Au Revoir Simone

  21. I pray for Despot and I pray he is not lying about having Ratatat produce the whole thing.

  22. If we are just throwing shit at the wall, how about Real Estate? They didn’t release anything last year but I saw them live so we know they were at least hanging out.

  23. I heard Dr. Dre might be working on something

  24. Spoon might have something. Nothing official tho.
    Although the things Britt has been saying about it sound sort of odd.

  25. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  26. John Grant’s new album is the one thing I’m wishing the days away for. I love his music dearly.

  27. No Flaming Lips?? Their latest was supposed to be out this fall, so I’m sure it’ll be ready before 2013 is up.

  28. is there any word on when that broadcast album might come out?

  29. I am hoping that 2013 will be the year Janelle Monae finishes the Metropolis cycle.

  30. Random speculative hopes that probably won’t amount to anything: Burial (at least an EP?), Portishead, Joanna Newsom, Daft Punk… yeah.

  31. Can’t wait for Beach Fossils’ album to drop. After cancelling their Aus. shows earlier this year any excuse for them to make the trip will bring a smile to my face.

  32. Modest Mouse, anyone? And I second that Daft Punk should have been up here too.

  33. Um…The Weeknd?

  34. Wildlife! I am most excited for Wildlife’s new album and you all should be too:

  35. Boards Of Canada. Boards Of Canada. Boards Of Canada. Boards Of Canada. Boards Of Canada.

  36. Portugal. The Man

  37. Neko Case, MGMT, Jenny Lewis, Spoon ! (I think)

  38. Boards of Canada, MODEST MOUSE

  39. Ra Ra Riot, MGMT, Youth Lagoon, Yacht, The Strokes, Starfucker have all mentioned 2013 albums. I would love to see some new Warpaint, Fleet Foxes and Tune Yards.

  40. After that track ‘Glitch’ a few weeks ago I’m looking forward to the History of Apple Pie debute – probably a long shot what with the dismal hit rate of that kind of uk indie *insert genre here*-revival type band, but potentially could be a. decent record

    Hopefully Mazzy Star, Joanna Newsom, Portishead and a few others will show their faces.

    REALLY fucking stoked for the new MBV – either going to make my life or be the disappointment of the millenium. Either way, we should all start preparing ourselves for the inevitable shitstorm.

  41. Chelsea Light Moving seconded!

  42. D’ANGELO

  43. Why is My Bloody Valentine even on there?

    I mean isn’t that album coming out within the next week?

  44. The Flaming Lips- The Terror
    January 2013

  45. Second on Pissed Jeans, Honeys

  46. Can I please get a new Neko Case this year? It feels like SSSSSOOOOOOOOOO long since Middle Cyclone!

  47. Carter 5!!!! Father come back!!!!!

    • Seriously though, how sick if Wayne climbed out of his slump? Or are people not gonna forgive him for the last album and few mixtapes? And the fact that if I’m right he’s appearing on Vinny from the Jersey Shore’s upcoming television culture fest fuck it why do i even know that cough fuck it..

      Below’s mention of Interpol got me pumped. I would love if VW released their new album in the winter.. I have fond memories of Contra throwing me into a mental tropical island while enduring a harsh Northeastern winter in the beginning of 2010. Take me back there bros!!!!!

  48. I don’t see Foals, Atlas Genius, or Eskimo Joe….
    Also, here’s hoping that Beck releases his own recordings of that songbook sometime soon..

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