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. DAFT PUNK may come around. We can only hope.

  2. junip’s new one comes out in early spring.

  3. Can’t wait for Marnie Stern, Doldrums, Atoms For Peace, Phoenix, and you guys totally left out the Flaming Lips and Starfucker. Bands I’m not holding my breath for: MBV, U2, Hockey, Franz Ferdinand

  4. Wait, has no one mentioned the Avalanches yet? Damn.

  5. The Foxygen album leaked and it is amazing.

  6. DANNY BROWN BITCHES!

  7. i mean, bottom line, that list looks terrific. there’s some stuff missing here and there but that speaks to how much great stuff is coming out. and supposedly there will be a new beck album coming out. 2013 is already shaping up to be better than 2012, which i thought had a lot of duds honestly.

    • I’m so relieved to hear someone else say they though 2012 was kinda weak on the quality of it’s musical releases. Some of these 2012 best of lists have opened me up to new things but overall there were a lot fewer albums that inspired me. Here’s to hoping 2013 is bursting with great new music.

  8. Danny Brown for sure. Also Low, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Iceage, The Knife, Arcade Fire…
    Whew, so glad the world did not end.

  9. Autolux have been recording – they’ve tweeted photos from the studio.
    I’m thinking These New Puritans should be due, as well.
    Pattern is Movement and maybe the long-awaited Evangelicals, too!

  10. Some metal picks:
    - Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance (February)
    - Ghost – Infestissumam (Spring)
    - Enforcer – Death By Fire (2/1)
    - Suffocation – Prince of Bedlam (2/15)

    • I would have pushed to get Ghost on this list but that song they’ve leaked is not exactly promising. I think I may do a Darkthrone Best to Worst when Underground Resistance comes out.

      Also very stoked on the new ones from Man’s Gin, Hate Meditation (Blake Judd + Wrest), new Botanist, and heck, new Carcass while we’re at it.

  11. youth lagoon too!

  12. The National!

  13. Looking forward to telling people my new favorite band is called Foxygen, if only for the confused looks

  14. Nothing confirmed but it’s likely a new Pixies album will be released in the Spring, should be interesting.

  15. i love it how a mixtape (ASAP Rocky) basiclly is rereleased with mp3s that have been on the net for over a year and its still the tenth most anticipated album of the year. Not to put it down, I mean I love his mixtape its been on heavy rotation for over a year, but are we really that excited for the album? I think most of us have heard it already.

  16. I love Glasvegas and I’m excited for their new record “Later… When the TV Turns to Static” album that’s to be released next year.

  17. Joy Formidable?

  18. I pray for Jay Electronica too bless us with Act II

    Also, ScHoolboy Q is gonna breakthrough to the mainstream next year, quote me on that

  19. Black Veil Brides!

    (Totally kidding.)

  20. New suggestions: Interpol? Wild Beasts?
    Otherwise: Since Pitchfork and I loved Dawn Richard’s surprisingly good Armor on EP this year, I’m looking forward to her solo debut LP.

  21. Bryan Adams

  22. I think I heard Basia Bulat has a new album coming out in 2013? and Telepathe too.

  23. im excited for Atoms for Peace and Vampire Weekend
    but seriously where is beyonce? she’s working with miguel for her album and i’m ridiculously excited

  24. built to spill!!!!!

  25. Word to Dr. Dre, Detox is like a mix away

  26. Katy B please.

  27. Mayhaps Burial will finally release a new LP? Just speculation, but that would make my year if I got new MBV, Deerhunter, AND new Burial.

    I’ll also settle for Clams Casino Instrumental Mixtape III. Or maybe a full length exploring what he was doing on the Rainforest EP

  28. Major Lazor at #49?!? Come on, now.

  29. Madvillian?

  30. Gutsy putting a new MBV album on the list as a 2013 release.

  31. The National and Daughter are both likely coming out with albums 2013.

    HOW HAVE THESE NOT BEEN MENTIONED!!!

  32. Would love to see new stuff from Grimes, the National and Owen Pallet…and I think they’re all working on stuff?

  33. Since 2007, the answer to this question is “Cassie”.

  34. ugh M.I.A.

    …er, I mean: Joy Formidable, The Fratellis, and whatever.

  35. Really need to see the third MGMT album on this list. Of course that is just as highly anticipated as Vampire Weekend’s next album. Come on guys, it’s MGMT, where are they!?!?

  36. Tera Melos, the Flaming Lips, Native, Cult of Luna…to name a few not on the list..

  37. Demon Queen (Tobacco and Zacky Force Funk)

    Check them out

  38. Autechre isnt here

  39. The queen of forest elves shall return…..unannounced…as she’s done before.

  40. No Franz Ferdinand. Of course. At least I’ve got Depeche Mode to hope for.

  41. Foxygen +1

  42. Arctic Monkeys anyone?

  43. Doldrums is my most anticipated. Really looking forward to hear how he refines his sound because what he has released thus far has only just trotted the surface of brilliance. I like to think that he is just teasing his listeners in anticipation of something fantastic.

    Also, they might not be everybody’s favorite group right now but Death Grips are planning another release. I don’t think that they’ve recorded anything just yet but they seem to make music pretty damn quickly.

  44. You forgot the god damn Melvins.

  45. Super Furry Animals. It would be very great to hear something from those guys again.

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