Stereogum's Top 25 Albums Of 2013 So Far

2013 isn’t technically half over yet, but we’re deep into the part of the year where you start sweating the instant you leave your door, and that means it’s a good time to take stock of all the disco robots, frantic rap nerds, and metal boundary-crushers who have thus far delighted us. It’s impossible to pick a narrative out of this year’s crop of great albums, as we’ve heard beautiful things from just about every corner of the music multiverse.

But perhaps more than usual, our favorites of 2013 (so far) marry precise studio craft to open-hearted sentiment and weapons-grade hooks with a sense of genre-blurring adventure. By and large, these good people sound like they’re having fun, you know? To be eligible for this list, your record had to come out by 6/11 (roughly midway between January 1st and our year-ending listomania) and be available for us to hear for at least one week prior (sorry, Boards Of Canada, awesome as you sound on first blush).

And if you didn’t make an album this year, but would like to own the best of them, here’s a thing: One Stereogum reader will win our Top 10 albums of 2013 (so far) on vinyl, courtesy of Insound. To enter the sweeps, you need be a fan of Stereogum on Facebook and comment below with your favorite album(s) of the year (so far) via Facebook Connect (do not use your ‘Gum user account on this post — we’ll have to be able to check if you are a fan of Stereogum on FB when the sweepstakes ends). Winner will be chosen randomly. Sweepstakes ends on 6/18/13 at 12 PM EST.

And now … check out our picks below.

Kylesa - Ultraviolet25 KylesaUltraviolet (Season Of Mist)

Tegan And Sara - Heartthrob24 Tegan And SaraHeartthrob (Warner Bros.)

Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety23 Autre Ne VeutAnxiety (Software/Mexican Summer)

Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle22 Laura MarlingOnce I Was An Eagle (Ribbon Music)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito21 Yeah Yeah YeahsMosquito (Interscope)

Yo La Tengo - Fade20 Yo La TengoFade (Matador)

The Strokes - Comedown Machine19 The StrokesComedown Machine (RCA)

Deerhunter - Monomania18 DeerhunterMonomania (4AD)

Kvelertak - Meir17 KvelertakMeir (Roadrunner)

Charli XCX - True Romance16 Charli XCXTrue Romance (IAMSOUND)

Mikal Cronin - MCII15 Mikal CroninMCII (Merge)

LE1F - Fly Zone14 LE1FFly Zone (Greedhead/Camp & Street)

Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze13 Kurt VileWakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador)

Rhye - Woman12 RhyeWoman (Republic)

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap11 Chance The RapperAcid Rap (Self-Released)

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt10 WaxahatcheeCerulean Salt (Don Giovanni Records)

The National - Trouble Will Find Me09 The NationalTrouble Will Find Me (4AD)

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience08 Justin TimberlakeThe 20/20 Experience (RCA)

Majical Cloudz - Impersonator07 Majical CloudzImpersonator (Matador)

My Bloody Valentine - MBV06 My Bloody ValentineMBV (Pickpocket)

Deafheaven - Sunbather05 DeafheavenSunbather (Deathwish Inc.)

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories04 Daft PunkRandom Access Memories (Columbia)

Savages - Silence Yourself03 SavagesSilence Yourself (Matador/Pop Noire)

Disclosure - Settle02 DisclosureSettle (PMR)

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City01 Vampire WeekendModern Vampires Of The City (XL)

Not all of our favorite records as individual humans made our aggregated staff list, so we broke off five honorable mentions each for your further perusal and study:

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Scott
01 LowThe Invisible Way (Sub Pop)
02 BibioSilver Wilkinson (Warp)
03 Dutch UnclesOut Of Touch In The Wild (Memphis Industries)
04 PhoenixBankrupt! (Loyauté/Glassnote/Atlantic)
05 Thee Oh SeesFloating Coffin (Castle Face)

Amrit
01 Jon Hopkins – Immunity (Domino)
02 BathsObsidian (Anticon)
03 Colin StetsonNew History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light (Constellation)
04 Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse (Fat Possum)
05 AlpineA Is For Alpine (Votiv)

Tom
01 CassieRockaByeBaby (self-released)
02 Kevin GatesThe Luca Brasi Story (self-released)
03 Free EnergyLove Sign (Free People)
04 The So So GlosBlowout (Shea Stadium)
05 Dawn RichardGoldenheart (self-released)

Michael
01 V/ASvn Okkvlt Compilation (Fallen Empire)
02 Vattnet ViskarSky Swallower (Century Media)
03 Biffy ClyroOpposites (Warner Bros.)
04 ASGBlood Drive (Relapse)
05 IceageYou’re Nothing (Matador)

Claire
01 Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquireKismet (self-released)
02 Unknown Mortal OrchestraII (Jagjaguwar)
03 August AlsinaThe Product 2 (self-released)
04 HausuTotal (Hardly Art/Sub Pop)
05 The-DreamIV Play (Radio Killa/Def Jam)

Even with those mentions, something tells us you think we left one or two of your favorites off. The comments are below and they are yours, to identify omissions and memorialize your tastes. 2013! Good job (so far).

 
Comments (752)
  1. Jeez. Everyone says it again and again but it has seriously been a stellar spring.

    • I’m glad to see Comedown Machine on here. I think that record is going to age better than critics initially thought.

      I’m also loving John Vanderslice’s new LP Dagger Beach, but I don’t think it’s seen “official” release yet.

    • Seriously, that list wouldn’t look out of place as an end of year top 25 (and still doesn’t have a few from my own list).

      • Boards of Canada, Kanye West, Fuck Buttons, and No Age will all make very strong cases to be included. I know I’m missing more.

        • run the jewels, gold panda, mayer hawthorne, danny brown, surfer blood, earl sweatshirt and MGMT are all on my radar. and that jay electronica record if it ever comes out.

        • Sigur Ros

        • GUYS, CRISIS!

          For some reason I seem not to be able to log in to the ‘Gum using my facebook account! So now I’ve been forced to create an actual user name!!!

          NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! (?)

          It’s Broydrick, btw.

          I’d like to see Baths’ Obsidian (big ups Amrit), Phosphorescent, Foxygen, JAMES BLAKE (?!) and the Jim James album on here, but beyond that I can dig it.

          Also, this priceless piece, I like to think she’s got “Ego Free, Sex Free” on the headphones:

          • Anybody else getting a kick out of the fact that they incorporated one of the Facebook Connect contests into this list and it’s not even working?

          • For some reason I imagine her listening to “Lump” from POTUSOA. And it makes me laugh when I imagine this.

          • It’s working again.

          • crisis averted….

          • Boy, I sure am having a helluva time trying to get my Facebook account to work. When I post, it doesn’t do anything…the comment just doesn’t post.

            Anyone have some clues?

          • Test TEST testicles

          • Hm…it lets me say that^ but everytime I post my list it disappears. Perhaps it’s just too offensive.

          • Let’s try this one more time…

            1. My Bloody Valentine – mbv
            -hard to beat for AOY in my book…
            2. Daft Punk – RAM
            -Sumbitch it’s just too magical
            3. Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience
            -Sumbitch again
            4. James Blake – Overgrown
            -Too smoov to ignore Gum!
            5. The Strokes – Comedown Machine
            -Much better than I had feared it would be, and that is always a pleasant surprise.
            6. Disclosure – Settle
            -Note: I still haven’t even heard the whole thing. I expect it to rise once I do.
            7. Bibio – Silver Wilkinson
            -Disappointing at first, but definitely a grower. A perfect summer nights album.
            8. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
            Difficult but rewarding. Much respect.
            9. Atoms For Peace – AMOK
            -Sliding down a bit after all the glory that has surfaced this year.
            10. Phoenix – Bankrupt!
            -Not as euphoric as I expected it to be, but listening to it in France did help.

            Honorable Mentions:
            Paramore – Paramore
            - What can I say? Hayley is hot and this thing is catchy as hell. I feel no shame.
            Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires in the City
            - Don’t get your pitchforks out just yet…it’s still growing on me.

            There you go I guess

        • Washed Out. I’m really excited for that one.

  2. Over the past few weeks, it has gotten many mixed reviews but I have to say that Daft Punk – Random Access Memories is my favourite album of the year so far. It has got many decent summery tracks, that take their style back to the days of Homework, but many modern tunes like Get Lucky. Also, who doesn’t love a sci-fi sounding track like Contact? Long live Daft Punk.

  3. I definitely would have put Youth Lagoon on this list in the top 20, and Kurt Vile in a position above Justin Timberlake (not that I agree with his No. 8 slot) or Majical Cloudz.

    But yea, 2013 has been purrrty good so far. Are we going to get a vote for the 2013 Song of the Summer?

  4. Best list of the year so far

  5. Little Boots “Nocturnes” should at least have a honorable mention, if not a placement in the Top 20.
    As much as grew up loving Daft Punk (And the new albums isn’t bad at all). Gotta say Disclosure is now the House/Dance/Electro artists to watch (or dance too), awesome house music. “Settle” Best Dance music of the year.

  6. 10 absolute keepers from 2013

    Kvelertak – Meir
    Deafheaven – Sunbather
    Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze
    Mikal Cronin – Mcii (funny typo with that Kurt Vile record)
    Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
    Colin Stetson – New History Warfare 3
    Free Energy – Love Sign
    Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety
    Inter Arma – Sky Burial
    And yeah, that Vampire Weekend album is pretty good too.

    Also, Michael, I checked out ASG. Really digging it. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Nice! I would’ve had Inter Arma in my honorable mentions but wanted to get in some non-metal stuff too, so I left it off to make some space. It’s one of the year’s best for sure.

      • That’s the tough thing about being a metal dude on a not-entirely metal website. You’ve got to rep your metal, but you don’t want to appear like that’s all you care about (because it isn’t), so you have to sacrifice, say, Inter Arma, so you can include, oh I don’t know, Savages or something. Wish it worked the other way around.

    • I thank you for including the Stetson! I actually think it’s a pretty weird album, even for Stetson. I feel like it’s his take on “Sax-Metal”, if there’s such a thing, and I’m lukewarm about it, but I have to say the the eponymous song, “Too See More Light” is a total winner and redeems the whole album! It’s 15 minutes of pure awe.

      Also the guys at Constellation are very sweet, they wrote me a personal note when I ordered the album!

  7. It really has been an excellent five months for music.

    A few artists, whose new albums I’ve enjoyed, that didn’t make your list: Colin Stetson, Dungeonesse, Phosphorescent, Baths, Matmos, Grouper, James Blake, Local Natives.

  8. Foxygen?
    That list is missing… :/

  9. Three great albums that you may have missed:
    William Tyler – Impossible Truth (Merge)
    John Grant – Pale Green Ghost (Bella Union)
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd)
    That being said, I must say that Kurt Vile’s latest album is still my favorite record of this year so far.
    I’d like to think that there’s more in Daft Punk’s RAM than some misplaced ‘retromania’ but I just can’t hear it.

  10. Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety is just so strong. My favorite of the year so far. “Counting” is just dirty.

  11. Haven’t put a ton of thought into this but I’m pretty sure albums by Daft Punk and Rhye were the two I listened to the most non stop when they first came out.

    Off the top of my head biggest ommision Youth Lagoon? I can barely remember what came out this year vs. last. Was the latest Unknown Moral Orchestra this year? I liked that one a lot.

    I never took the time to listen to “Comedown Machine” or “Mosquito” I guess I assumed I didn’t need to listen to them to know about what they sounded like and forgot about them. Do I need to fix that?

    • Yeah Yeah Yeahs is good. The song with Dr. Octagon is really good. But it didn’t leave a huge impression on me.

      “Comedown Machine” however is a really great listen. If you ever wanted to hear what The Strokes sound like in their absolute chillest, this is it. (STROKES PUN!)

      Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II came out this year and it really is awesome. Way to go Claire for getting it on her Honorable Mentions.

      • I enjoy UMO, but holy shit, the band is so much better live. Ruban Nielson is my new guitar hero. This isn’t a slight toward their albums, either–the live performance is just that good.

    • You really don’t know what Comedown Machine sounds like. Think more along the lines of Random Access Memories than Is This It (seriously).

  12. This Town Needs Guns – 13.0.0.0.0
    The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual

    Both great bands, both great albums :D

  13. James Blake???? The Knife????

    • “James Blake” being omitted from Stereogum’s Top 25 Albums of 2011 So Far > “Overgrown” being omitted from Stereogum’s Top 25 Albums of 2013 So Far

      • It’s a good explanation of why it isn’t here.

        Personally, I like “Overgrown” a lot more than self-titled James Blake.

        • Yeah, no Overgrown is surprising. And I also much prefer it to the debut. James Blake has a few better individual songs (that “Lindisfarne” combo is so killer), but Overgrown is a better album all-around I think.

      • Honestly, I much prefer Overgrown.

        • Fair Enough…

          Personally I would have “Overgrown” in my top 25 and maybe even top 10 of this year so far but the people at Stereogum have listened to a hell of a lot more music this year than I have. I’m kind of fine with it not being included where as I was blown away when they left “James Blake” off the list a couple years ago.

  14. Pretty good list. A few forgotten: Jim James, Atoms For Peace, Local Natives, Dawes, Boy. The Strokes, Justin Timberlake and Tegan and Sara are under-rated. Surprised Phoenix didn’t make the actual list…but I agree with it.

  15. Where is Nick Cave?
    Flaming Lips?
    Tyler, the Creator?

    • yeah, Samuels here! Where’s Wolf?

    • The Terror and Push the Sky Away are both top 10 for me at the moment. Great job, Stereogum, for remembering that Waxahatchee album exists, it rules.

      VW is getting worse for me on subsequent listens. It got major points on the first go just by not sounding like their other albums, but it’s really only the production that saves it.

  16. Well I guess Disclosure is getting Album of the Week…

  17. Not surprised it’s not on here, but people need to recognize the new Marnie Stern. It’s some of her strongest work to date.

  18. Kurt Vile and Yo La Tengo are my favorites so far, so it’s nice to see them in the mix. I’d have Phosphorescent on there (and extremely high at that), but other than that, it doesn’t seem like anything too rage-worthy is going on here.

  19. Definitely a strong year thus far. But I can’t help but think that all of these great releases are essentially just a warm-up for Riff Raff’s NEON iCON.

  20. Best for me this year:

    Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze
    Blue Hawaii – Ungtogether
    Widowspeak – Almanac
    Ducktails – The Flower Lane
    Toro y Moi – Anything in Return (if only for 4 songs that I really dig)
    Foxygen – We are the 21st…

    Guess we don’t have much in common.

  21. My favorites thus far:

    1. Kurt Vile
    2. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    3. The Growlers
    4. Foxygen
    5. Deerhunter
    6. White Fence
    7. Devendra Banhart
    8. Shannon and the Clams
    9. Vampire Weekend
    10. Jacco Gardner

    MBV, Parquet Courts, Beliefs, and Nightlands are in the running too. This year has been especially fantastic for new releases, and I don’t say that every year (I don’t think so anyway…)

  22. I will say that there is no doubt that if this list was delayed a few weeks Yeezus would have been at # 1. I’ve been listening to my illuminati copy for a few weeks now, it’s insane.

  23. ICEAGE. PISSED JEANS. DESTRUCTION UNIT. MILK MUSIC. MERCHANDISE. LOTUS FUCKER. GUN OUTFIT. VAR. PHARMAKON. PURLING HISS.

    i agree about Le1f and kurt vile but the rest of the list is whatever on me.

  24. I see UMO in the honorable mentions, but that album might be my favorite so far. If not it’s second only to The 20/20 Experience. Also, happy to see Rhye on here.

  25. The first half of Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires Of The City is close to pop perfection, and I cannot help listening to it all in a row (this is worthy of notice in the mp3+stream area of randomness and playlisting). And the second half has “Ya Hey” in it. Damn, I was deeply struck by this album. Others in the list touched me, but nothing quite like the Vampire Weekend stuff. This is funny because (and I am not sure people agree with me on that) I found the previous albums were great but missing something, while this one just hit me in the face since the first listen.

    (Perhaps I’ll add the David Bowie album too, although I agree it is hard to distinguish the real greatness of the music itself from the greatness of the surprise comeback)

  26. Am I the only person who thinks Bankrupt! is a pretty great album?

    • I love Phoenix, and it is a good ablum. I even got to listen to it in their hometown of Versaille this year, which was kinda cool. But it probably won’t crack my top 10.

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

    • Just the fact that we got new material from bands like Strokes, National, Vampire Weekend, Daft Punk, MBV, Deerhunter, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs in one year alone makes that comment insanely shallow. I won’t even mention the onslaught of debut albums we’ve also been gloriously subjected. My ears have been dripping honey since February.

      You need a bitch slap, boy.

    • I know I’m diving right into a pile of downvotes for saying this, but I almost agree with Corey. I say “almost agree” because I think “horrible” is an overstatement. But, it’s true, I have been generally underwhelmed with 2013 compared to the last few years. Or at least I had been underwhelmed until the last month or so. Vampire Weekend, The National, Mikal Cronin, and Daft Punk have allowed me to see 2013 in a far more favorable light. I’ve just been surprised that the consensus has been that the Winter and Spring of 2013 were so strong.

  28. People mentioned James Blake in the comments above so I’ll move past that and say the thing I’d most like to see and don’t is probably that Torres album. “Honey” is incredible.

  29. It will be pretty hard to beat mbv for me this year. Although RAM is right behind it. Everytime I start listening to something else, I keep coming back to those two.

    I’m just barely hearing Disclosure, and that is blowing my mind.

    • Every time I see to it referred to as RAM I think people are talking about the Paul McCartney album, which makes me happy. Mashu perhaps, Danger Mouse?

    • Does this work?
      I’m just gonna throw mine up right here. Sick of trying to figure this thing out…

      My Thus Far List:

      1. My Bloody Valentine – mbv
      (it’s going to be pretty damn hard for anything to beat this one as AOY in my book. Flawless…Victory.)
      2. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
      (Sonuvabitch. It’s just so magical.)
      3. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
      (Sonuvabitch again)
      4. James Blake – Overgrown
      (Too smoov to ignore, Gum)
      5. The Strokes – Comedown Machine
      (Much better than I expected, and that’s always a good thing)
      6. Disclosure – Settle
      (Note: I still haven’t even heard the whole thing yet, and it’s this high. I expect it to rise.)
      7. Bibio – Silver Wilkinson
      (Disappointing at first, but a definite GROWER. )
      8. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
      (Difficult but rewarding)
      9. Atoms For Peace – AMOK
      (Sliding down a bit as more glory unveils itself this year)
      10. TIE
      Phoenix – Bankrupt!
      (Not quite as exhilarating as I had hoped, but still pleasant. Listening to it in France helped.)
      Paramore – Paramore
      (Hayley is hot, and this thing is just too damn catchy. I’m as surprised as you are.)

      I’m well aware I’ll be lynched for excluding Vampire Weekend in favor of Paramore. Don’t break out the pitchforks just yet, it’s still growing on me.

      Well…there ya go I guess.

  30. Also, for self-indulgent’s sake, off the top of my head I’d say:
    1. Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt (only definite pick of these)
    2. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
    3. My Bloody Valentine – MBV
    4. Disclosure – Settle
    5. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap
    6. James Blake – Overgrown
    7. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
    8. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
    9. Kevin Gates – The Luca Brasi Story
    10. Torres – Torres

    with Autre Ne Veut, Yo La Tengo, Kurt Vile, Inter Arma, KEN Mode, all hovering around my most listened to list and Deafheaven being the coolest seeming thing that I haven’t checked out yet

  31. Here’s my fav albums of the year so far:

    1 My Bloody Valentine – MBV
    2 Grouper – The Man Who Died in His Boat
    3 Dirty Beaches – Drifters/Love is the Devil
    4 The National – Trouble Will Find Me
    5 Board of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
    6 Recycled Culture – In Transit
    7 The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
    8 Pure X – Crawling Up The Stairs
    9 Wild Nothing – Empty Estate EP
    10 Dean Blunt – The Redeemer
    11 Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
    12 Classixx – Hanging Gardens
    13 Jai Paul – Jai Paul
    14 Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety
    15 Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
    16 James Blake – Overgrown
    17 Disclosure – Settle
    18 Deerhunter – Monomania
    19 Phoenix – Bankrupt
    20 Inc. – No World

    It’s funny that MBV ended up being my favorite so far because when it came out I hated it, or really wanted to hate it but then after many many listens I ended up realizing that not only did I love it (because it represented something comforting and familiar) but that it was my favorite of the year.

    • Wasn’t that Jai Paul thing fake?

      • Yeah it was, but I ended up paring it down to 10 tracks, re-sequencing it and listening to it a billion times and connecting to the songs. Whether or not they are fake doesn’t matter if I dig the tunes.

        • can you post your re-sequence?

        • Yeah since every track was numbered, just post the numbers and we’ll take it from there :)

          • Jai Paul Resequenced

            W/ Real Titles

            1 Track 2 – Strai8 Outa Mumbai
            2 Track 3 – Zion Wolf
            3 Track 7 – Crush
            4 Track 11 – Jewel
            5 Track 5 – Genevieve
            6 Track 9 – Jasmine
            7 Track 8 – Good Time
            8 Track 13 – Merman
            9 Track 16 – BTSTU
            10 Track 14 – Chix
            11 Track 15 – All Night

            I’m not saying it’s right or anything, it’s just my preference for the album I’d like to hear, that I enjoy more (without all the interludes) and I really didn’t change much either. I left out 1 song song (Track 10 – 100,000) because It never really clicked with me and I felt it was the one that didn’t fit the mood of the others, but if you enjoy that track put it between Jewel and Genevieve so there is much of a lull between Zion Wolf and Genevieve (though I like that comedown of Crush and Jewel).

            I hope you guys dig it, if you don’t just play with it and make your own sequence.

      • Not at all. And it’s phenomenal. The three most likely scenarios are that it was leaked by him, someone from xl, or an outside source. And don’t bother with any fan made remixes or mixes, the way it was released is perfect, with some great interludes in between the songs.

    • you have good taste

      • Heeeeeey, Thanks Bruh bruh! but I’m just a slave to my emotions (and my depression)

        It’s cool to see like people’s completely differing taste in this thread, some I find absolutely boring, some along rockist lines, some really dig electronic music, I know Raptor Jesus loves full album experiences, I just try to find music that comforts me in this sad, lonely road of life.

        I just wanna like interview everybody, study their differing taste and figure out why people connect to it the way they do. Like I’m sure some people reading my list absolutely hate it, maybe hate me, lol

        What have been your favorite?

        • See below! (This is me. My cover’s been blown and yet it was myself who blue myself.) I didn’t list them, but I’m definitely liking the Pure X, Boards of Canada, and Mount Kimbie albums; I just haven’t listened to them enough yet. There have been some surprises: I really didn’t expect to enjoy the Justin Timberlake and Youth Lagoon albums as much as I have. But the JT is just FUN and the YL finds curious ways of setting up shop in my head. I had no patience for the last (and acclaimed) Men album, but most of New Moon is very good in a comfortable sort of way. (Seeing them play tonight!) Deerhunter does no wrong, and Camera Obscura’s is the most romantic/ depressing album of the year.

          • Oh yeah good list! Yours is the one that reminded me that I need to listen to that DJ Koze album.

            Camera Obscura is quickly growing on me too! But I need to listen to it more still.

    • Yeah, tends to happen with My Bloody Valentine.

      • Nahhhh Loveless is my favorite album and that hit me almost immediately emotionally.

        It wasn’t the music that was being difficult it was me, I was scared, angry – I was thinking of it like Loveless, I wanted it to be Loveless – in an emotional sense, in the way that Loveless comforted me when I was younger (in the way that it reminds me NOW how foolish I was), and then if it wasn’t the same – how do I feel about that, like I’ve been betrayed. I know that’s a selfish sentiment but I’m a selfish person and I listen to music selfishly. So at first, the album started – I was at work the night of the main fervor for its release, waiting (insatiable) – and because I was so used to the sonic language of Loveless, of understanding it completely I was sorta disgusted. Haha. and that colored the rest of the listen, then barely finishing the album. I kept listening and listening found sparks of what I found so enthralling in Loveless – similar emotional motifs – and then came to terms with them moving forward; and respected it much more so. I’ve grown up – I’ve gotten over my juvenilia, my (self-imposed) solitude, much of what Loveless has come to represent for me, of being (lol) unloved for a lot of my life. Of music being my love – so why couldn’t my favorite band also grow up, move forward.

  32. Along with Daft Punk and Foxygen, I’ve been listening to Jai Paul’s bandcamp demo’s more than almost anything else this year (not an official release, Aof course). His remix of Emiliana Torrini’s “Jungle Drum” is also mind-shellackingly great

  33. I have to say…Savages hasn’t really done it for me. I enjoy it, but it gets pretty monotoned after awhile. I’m kind of surprised it gets so much attention.

    • Let’s talk about it then!

      Honestly, I purchased “Silence Yourself” the day it came out and haven’t really spun it too many times. When I have though, it’s been a really enjoyable listen. I had some of my good friends in town over Memorial Day weekend and about 4-5 songs in it caused one of them to ask who was playing. That’s usually a good sign in my eyes, when an album someone has never heard is asking who it is (unless they’re asking to tell you it sucks, which was not the case here).

      I think for many, it hits that post-punk pleasure center that bands like Joy Division/Gang of Four/Interpol/etc. have carved out for many music fans. It’s a blast of energy, it’s new and they pull it all off without overstaying their welcome. An enjoyable A/B side experience.

      But as long as we’re talking about bands pulling off a certain aesthetic across an LP format, seems like we got plenty of other bands on this list that could just as easily trump Savages.

      My only guess as to why they’re so high here is because they have that “it” factor. They’re new, all girl band, have a manifesto (which apparently is an increasingly popular thing for bands to have) and by the looks of it, slay live.

      Overall, I think it is the newness factor that is putting it so high on the list. Hell, see Disclosure for further example of the “newness” factor. I think as the year pans out, Savages will (and IMO should) rank high on year-end lists. However Top 5, hell, even Top 10, seems like a little too high.

      Finally (STFU ALREADY RJC!) there are albums on here that I think will RISE in time. I predict that once we all get through the upcoming summer days/daze — Mr. Vile will be a shoe-in for everyone’s Top 10 year-end list. Given how dense it is, I feel a nice long summer with that album will fully reveal its perfection.

      • Damn RJ, you always gots the goods.

        That make sense. They’re a total hype band. And I can understand why, but the music itself really hasn’t latched on for me personally. To be perfectly honest though, I haven’t given it a fair amount of attention. It’s been in my car stereo since I bought it, but that’s just it – I’ve only listened to it while driving around to and from work. Even if I go somewhere far, my wife is usually with me, and she veto’s it. So, I probably should give it a good headphones listen.

        Having said all that, there isn’t a song I can think of that stood out to me where I thought “I need to go home and listen to this with good ears.” It’s just been…ok. At any rate, I’m still on the journey. It is only mid-year after all.

  34. The National Trouble Will Find Me is the #1 album of the year so far.

  35. I know they got a honorable mention by Michael, but I can’t be the only one who thought Iceage’s “You’re Nothing” was one of the greatest albums of the year, right?

  36. No Queens of the Stone Age love?

  37. I’m glad someone else likes Bibio’s album. It’s probably my favorite of his yet. I’m listening to Jon Hopkins new one now. So far so good.

  38. No love for Frightened Rabbit? Yeesh.

  39. Holy hell! What a year so far! 2013 = the year of the comebacks (i.e. Daft Punk, JT, MBV)

    For what it’s worth, my Top Ten so far (though, honestly, any of these could be #1):
    1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
    2. Savages – Silence Yourself
    3. Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze
    4. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
    5. My Bloody Valentine – mbv
    6. The Strokes – Comedown Machine
    7. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold (although, I’m not sure this exactly counts)
    8. Mikal Cronin – MCII
    9. Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law
    10. Wavves – Afraid of Heights

    HM: Free Energy “Love Sign”, QOTSA “Like Clockwork”, Bleeding Rainbow “Yeah Right”

    …and this year ain’t half over yet!

    • and the comeback of David Bowie (it’s a good album…)

    • Glad to finally see someone include Wavves on their list – I thought I was the only one.

      • And Joy Formidable! :)

      • You are not! I really like the Wavves album, scratched me right where I itched back in March. And TJF are one of my favorite bands out there now, the album was a bit less powerful than The Big Roar for me, but still solid nonetheless.

        It’s funny, had you told me this time last year that Daft Punk, David Bowie, My Bloody Valentine, Justin Timberlake, and Queens of the Stoneage would all be included as the Top Albums of 2013 (so far), I would’ve seriously worried about your sense of reality.

  40. Great list overall!

    I shouldn’t be surprised, seeing as how Stereogum almost completely ignores them, but it’s still disappointing to see PORTUGAL. THE MAN’s “Evil Friends” and CITY AND COLOUR’s “The Hurry and the Harm” left off of this list. The latter features some of the most mature songwriting I’ve heard, and “Evil Friends”… well, I strongly believe it should be a few centimeters ahead of Vampire Weekend for the #1 spot. The album is near perfection.

  41. I’m digging the new Phosphorescent, Young Galaxy, and Mikal Cronin, for sure.

  42. It’s all about MBV, Kurt Vile, Kvelertak, and The National for me. Also been diggin ASG lately but I don’t know if I’d call it a favorite yet.

  43. Not that I really expect much love for downtempo/IDM from this crowd but Bonobo’s The North Borders and Lapalux’s Nostalchic are both achingly gorgeous albums. Glad to see Bibio made it into the Honorable Mentions, at least.

    (Gold Panda is coming)

  44. Most definitely forgot Local Natives.

  45. Great list. Glad to see Laura Marling, Yo La Tengo, and Waxahatchee made it.

    I would swap a few with:

    Phosphorescent
    Wooden Wand
    Low
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    Mazes
    Widowspeak
    Bored Nothing
    Caveman

  46. Also I really wanted to enter the contest but the FB connect appears to be malfunctioning at the moment.

  47. I want to win the top ten on vinyl, but Stereogum isn’t letting me log in to my Facebook account!

    Anyway, as far as stuff that’s on my list that’s missing here, I think I’d probably throw in the Tree mixtape and Alpoko Don’s Ol’ Soul EP. Young Thug’s tape is growing on me too, and After Dark 2 will probably get there in a few more listens.

    It’s been weird though, I’ve liked a lot of albums this year, but I’ve been spending so much of my music time discovering old music that I haven’t really gotten obsessed over any new music like I did with The Seer last year. I’m sure that’ll start changing soon though.

  48. Fantastic list for a fantastic half-year of music.

    My go-to albums thus far have been The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me” (possibly my favorite album of this young decade), Vampire Weekend, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Laura Marling, “Comedown Machine”, Rhye, “After Dark 2″, and Classixx’s debut.

    I also have to say that after a few spins of “Settle,” there’s a very real chance it might unseat all of the above. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a dance album so much (maybe “Rooty”)? It sounds less like a debut and more like a Greatest Hits album — except it’s a Greatest Hits album with utterly perfect sequencing.

  49. 1. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
    2. The Knife – Shaking The Habitual
    3. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
    4. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
    5. Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
    6. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City
    7. Savages – Silence Yourself
    8. Flaming Lips – The Terror
    9. My Bloody Valentine – m b v
    10. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze
    11. The Strokes – Comedown Machine
    12. Deerhunter – Monomania
    13. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
    14. The Haxan Cloak -Excavation
    15. Phoenix – Bankrupt

    has been a great year for established artists so far. haven’t listened to Nick Cave and Foxygen and it is a bit early to rank Boards Of Canada imo.

  50. The unofficial #1 is Jai Paul’s leaked debut….. By a mile

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