Mid-Year Music Roundup: The Top 5 Albums of 2013 Pt. 3

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Happy July, San Antonio! This week, seven of our music writers will be taking turns listing what they believe to be the top 5 albums of 2013

so far. Yesterday, we had Kasia Pilat's thoughts, now we present Alejandra Ramirez's picks. Let us know in the comments what your favorite new music of 2013 is and check in tomorrow for the next installment.

 

1. Disclosure -- Settle

To deep house purists, the EDM subgenre could be considered too abstruse to erupt from the depths of some underground London nightclub. Yet Settle is a revisionary effort that takes the obscured genre and gives you one of the cleanest sounding albums of 2013 laden with enough head bobbing tracks and dance floor burners. This feat comes as a surprise because of those who produced it: a 22 and 19 year old brother duo that probably weren’t even born when deep house made its 80’s debut in the UK. It’s an intelligent record; serving as a well needed vacation from the over- electronically processed warbles that saturate the current EDM scene.

2. Thundercat -- Apocalypse

Nothing is more annoying than the inflated egos of jazz musicians. Luckily in Apocalypse, Thundercat AKA Stephen Bruner avoids any sort of pretentious barrier that most jazz musicians put forth between their esoteric virtuosity and their “unintelligent” audience. His ability to balance his well- honed craft with playful execution shows in his fidgety arpeggios, ecstasy- hazed falsettos, and unconstrained instrumentation. Bruner proves that jazz isn’t always demanding or pretentious- but something cathartic with a straight punch to the gut.

3. Deerhunter -- Monomania

Frothing with raw and noisy garage rawk riffs, Monomania is that certain album that is there whenever I just need a delightfully sloppy rock n’ roll album to vibe with. The raunchy “Leather Jacket II,” and hazy “Punk (La Vie Anterieure)” remind me of all the good things that get associated with indie rock: run- down bars, cheap beers, motorcycles, and leather jackets. Like any other really good band, Deerhunter are either ahead of their time, or behind, but in Deerhunter's case I can never really tell.

4. Classixx -- Hanging Gardens

If you’re looking for a record that revisits the 80’s Kraftwerk with cues taken from Fred Falke’s “808 PM at the Beach,” Hanging Gardens is your go- to record. Sprawled throughout are retro- futuristic synths and breezy soundscapes that are reminiscent of French house but with a West Coast driven sound. If you were in any way misguided by Daft Punk’s leading single “Get Lucky,” this record is probably what you were expecting Random Access Memories to sound like: a promising and catchy dance party.

5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra- II

With the current psychedelic music revival, Unknown Mortal Orchestra aligns themselves with artists like Dead Ghosts and Tame Impala that are reminiscing over the hippie heyday era in the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco. Delayed guitar wobbles like rainbow Jello as Ruban Nielson’s see- saw falsetto meanders like an aimless acid trip. The album really doesn’t shake loose its 60’s sounding pastiche but not many nostalgic albums do anyway.

Other Really Good Albums

Kanye West- Yeezus

Daft Punk-Random Access Memories

Youth Lagoon- Wondrous Bughouse

Chance, the Rapper- Acid Rap Mixtape

The Underachievers- Inidigoism Mixtape

Autre Ne Veut- Anxiety

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