Submerge’s Top 30 Albums of 2013

Posted on 02 January 2014 by dubs

Submerge’s Top 30 Albums of 2013

Music is awesome, isn’t it? Whether intentional or not, music is a big part of everyone’s lives. It’s all around us: on TV, in ads, in our headphones and earbuds attached to our smart phones with streaming audio. Chances are if you’re reading Submerge, you love music too. Even though there is more great music being made than ever and access to it is becoming easier and easier, it’s still sometimes hard to know where to look to discover new tunes. Enter Submerge’s annual year-end best-of list! In 2013 there were so many amazing albums released that we actually expanded this story to feature the top 30 instead of the top 20. You’ll notice that a lot of this list, approximately 50 percent, is local. That’s not by mistake. That’s not because we tried to include local albums just to round out our list. No, we just have that much talent right here in our own city.

Compiled by all of our contributing writers and staff, we hope this list will help you discover something new. And because all of our attention spans are so short nowadays (are you still with us?), we kept our reviews to 140 characters or less, because we all know that reading someone’s short, to-the-point Twitter post is a helluva lot better than reading someone’s four-paragraph-long Facebook rant. Now, set forth and discover some new jams! Who knows, your new favorite band/album may be waiting for you somewhere on this list.

danny brown-old-web

30.

Danny Brown
Old

Fool’s Gold

What can you say about Danny Brown? He’s rap’s Jim Morrison, The Lizard King. Old has been on repeat since the day I got it. And will be.

run-the-jewels-web

29.

Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels

Fool’s Gold

As dope as promised, it gets no better than this. Killer Mike is at his best, and El-P provides the perfect sonic-scape for destruction.

Biosexual-The Window Wants the Bedroomweb

28.

Biosexual
The Window Wants the Bedroom

Debacle

Fantastically produced debut album of avant-garde supergroup featuring the great Jocelyn of ALAK, brother Michael RJ Saalman and Zac Nelson.

paper pistols-deliver us from chemicals-web

27.

Paper Pistols
Deliver Us From Chemicals

Self-released

2 can do it all. Skinner & Lydell are all binary: beard/belle; drum/voice; age/youth; decadent/austere; beautiful/music.

EGG-Overly Easy-web

26.

EGG
Overly Easy

Self-released

If Cake and Phish had a baby? Close, but doesn’t quite describe this amazing band. An infectious sound that makes you wanna get up and GO.

MIA-Matangi-web

25.

M.I.A.
Matangi

N.E.E.T.

M.I.A. is pissed off, and still fresh as ever, rapping over aggressive beats and keeping the Sri Lankan sound alive.

The Men-New Moon-web

24.

The Men
New Moon

Sacred Bones

Brooklyn noise punks retreat to a rural cabin, finding a balance between a Mudhoney dustup and a Grateful Dead peace-in.

Gauntlet Hair-Stills-web

23.

Gauntlet Hair
Stills

Dead Oceans

Gauntlet Hair dropped the dopest, weirdest album we’ve heard in a minute and then immediately broke up. Spacey, strange, with a dash of pop.

Jacuzzi Boys-Self Titled-web

22.

Jacuzzi Boys
Jacuzzi Boys

Hardly Art

The Miami trio switched things up with a more polished than pure garage sound. Still playful and infectious, just adding new dimensions.

Gap Dream-Shine Your Light-web

21.

Gap Dream
Shine Your Light

Burger

Mid-tempo sex appeal born of psychedelic melancholy and rock ‘n’ roll disco; drugs, dance, drugs, booze, dance, fuck.

Miley Cyrus-Bangerz-web

20.

Miley Cyrus
Bangerz

RCA
 
Crying cats ftw! The most dissed/discussed AoY; w/ hits by Dr. Luke, Pharrell & Mike WiLL, twerk! This is Miley’s year.

chuuwee-thrill-web

19.

Chuuwee
Thrill

Self-released

With rap albums you usually either get bangin’ trap beats OR real lyricism. On Thrill you get both. One of Sac’s best in top form.

Century Got Bars & Bru Lei-web

18.

Century Got Bars & Bru Lei
Midtown Marauders

Self-released

A flawless Tribe tribute and audible tour of this fair city’s nucleus. If you’ve spent more than five seconds in Midtown, you want this. 

David Bowie-The Next Day-web

17.

David Bowie
The Next Day

RCA

Charming, confidently progressive with kick-ass guitar solos. It’s classic Bowie with a modern, enthusiastically suspended twist.

Black Sabbath-13-web

16.

Black Sabbath
13

Vertigo/Universal

Pure smokin’ stoner doom rock at its finest! Timeless lyrics and riffs. This album picks up where the band left off with Ozzy 30 years ago.

Nails-Abandon All Life-web

15.

Nails
Abandon All Life 

Southern Lord

Yeah, it’s a light version of Unsilent Death (the most brutal album ever), but it’s still hard and evil enough to kill your grandma.   

Bombino-Nomad-web

14.

Bombino
Nomad

Nonesuch

A perfect album for trekking the Sahara. Blues guitar, smooth Tuareg vox, steady rhythm. Produced by Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys).

meat puppets-rat farm-web

13.

Meat Puppets
Rat Farm

Megaforce Records

Return to form for desert-baked Brothers Kirkwood. Simple, honest, catchy… Bare bones and poignant. May the Puppets live forever.

Foals-Holy Fire-web

12.

Foals
Holy Fire

Transgressive

With Holy Fire, these British boys delivered their most focused (and heaviest) album to date, bringing a new meaning to “modern rock.”

City of Vain-Backs Against the Wall-web

11.

City of Vain
Back Against the Wall

Self-released

Sacto punkers bring forth one of the best punk rock records of the year, not just locally, but globally. Warm tones and classic style!

Middle Class Rut-pick-up-your-head-web

10.

Middle Class Rut
Pick Up Your Head

Bright Antenna

More fierce rock ‘n’ roll from Sac’s Dynamic Duo…and we <3 it! Grimy grooves and distorted chaos mark MC Rut’s best album to date.

horseneck-the worst people ever-web

09.

Horseneck
The Worst People Ever

Artery

Booze-fueled bone-breaking sludge metal with a sense of humor. This EP gives Sac’s heavy music fans something to smile about.

Tel Cairo-Voice of Reason-web

08.

Tel Cairo
Voice of Reason

Illicit Artists

Tel Cairo is the best kind of weird. If Kurt Cobain made hip-hop music in space it would sound like Tel Cairo’s Voice of Reason.

Foxygen-web

07.

Foxygen
We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

Jagjaguwar

Flamboyantly lilting pop with occasional Jagger twists; creates proneness for nymph-like prancing, sometimes mincing.

Death Grips-Government Plates-web

06.

Death Grips
Government Plates

Self-released

A dizzying mix of poetry, yelling and other stuff people hate. But in the eloquent words of MC Ride, “Fuck your idols/ Suck my dick.”

Screature-web

05. 

Screature
Screature

Ethel Scull

A solid debut by the Sacramento quartet. Guttural lyrical torrents coalesce with shadowy, rhythmic tones, blending into a dynamic framework of sound.

chk chk chk-thriller-web

04.

!!!
THR!!!ER

Warp Records

Your favorite dance-punk band is back again with more rump shaking, baby making, all-night-party-inducing tunes. Instant classic!

Cove-Candles-web

03.

Cove
Candles

Self-released

It’s an insightful album. An emotional excavation replete with lyrical fluidity, melodic flirtations and a groovy aftertaste.

Doombird-Cygnus-web

02.

Doombird
Cygnus

Eightmaps

Vivid percussive landscapes seen through a celestial-tinged lens. Spacey harmonies embedded within hypnotic textures and bright timbres.

Chelsea Wolfe-Pain Is Beauty-web

01.

Chelsea Wolfe
Pain Is Beauty

Sargent House

A beautifully haunting album. Wolfe’s ghostly vocals, layered with cascading guitars, violins and synths, will put you in a trance.

dubs
Words by dubs

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Comments

Old Ass Comments

che

really interesting art, good article, nice push on FB. seriously, the only piece I cared for was the one at the bottom with the BIG fish and all the fishermen. That one totally resonated with me because I grew up fishing and still do when I can, and the women usually stayed back at the cabin while the men went out and fished. Who knows what they did all day while we were gone from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. sometimes after dark. I remember once in July, it snowed! we had to get off the lake for fear of being struck by lightening. His fish look happy, even as being hooked, that’s some surreal stuff. He should start his own genre / studio – KISS DA FISH!

September 28th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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