WPGU 107.1′s Top 50 Albums of 2013: 21-30

2013
21. Arctic Monkeys – AM
I remember seeing the Arctic Monkeys live for the first time after the release of their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. They conveyed an image, the leather jacket wearing, cigarette smoking, whiskey drinking frontman and his hip rock band from across the pond. After a disappointing two album span, AM embodies this image once again. Only these Arctic Monkeys are older, and AM reflects that, encapsulating a mid 20′s lifestyle of late nights, one night stands, and bad decisions around a constant tone of uncertainty and insecurity. [Dylan Knox]

22. Sky Ferreira – Night Time My Time
What a life it’s been for Sky Ferreira. From dating the lead singer of DIIV to being charged with heroin possession to being signed to unhealthy record deals from an obscenely young age, Sky’s certainly experienced a lot for a 20 year-old. Through the constant doubt of her actions, Sky put out Night Time My Time to much skepticism and curiosity. Maybe it’s pent up emotion about the swirling world around her which drives the strength of this record, or perhaps it’s just her raw talent, but either way, what she put together this year was at least a little bit groundbreaking. If you ever have the opportunity to see Sky live, please do it. [Boswell Hutson]

23. Deerhunter – Monomania
Taking a hard left turn after 2010′s Halcyon Digest, Deerhunter’s new album, Monomania, sounded raw, powerful and imbued with a swagger not heard on their previous records. Gone is the swirling, reverb-drenched shoegaze. In its place is punk rock and a guitar that sounds like a chainsaw. [Eric Holmes]

24. Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Though I was disappointed with Foxygen’s cancellation at this year’s Pygmalion Music Festival, I’m happy that I’ll always be able to look back on We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. Though the lead singer seems a little arrogant, the band put out an awesome record, which mixes 1960′s San Francisco with the folk music of Appalachia. Ok, maybe that’s stretching it, but it’s definitely something similar. [Boswell Hutson]

25. Cayucas – Bigfoot
The only that I have to criticize this album about is that it wasn’t nearly long enough. At 31 minutes, this album packs a punch. Sounding like it was recorded in a california beachside garage, this is modern surf-rock at it’s greatest. This album is fun and just all around fantastic. It was also heavily featured on the soundtrack of the movie Drinking Buddies, one of my favorite movies of the year. [Joe Winner]

26. King Krule – Beneath the Moon
Believe it or not, I first heard King Krule on a hip-hop blog. I have no idea why, but the rap community seems to love the skinny ginger from the UK, but they do. And it’s awesome. 6 Feet Beneath the Moon showcases Krule’s skills not only behind the microphone, but also as a guitar player and beat-maker. I oftentimes found myself just grooving along to the instrumental and not even paying attention to the words, and I think that’s the mark of an extremely talented musician. When I first watched the video for “Easy Easy”, I couldn’t believe the sound that came out of this kid’s mouth. Neither will you. [Boswell Hutson]

27. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
This was my go-to electronic jam this year. When you need to plug away on some work and just need to jam out, this is the album for you. It’s danceable, it’s musical, it’s just flat out enjoyable. [Joe Winner]

28. HAIM – Days Are Gone
Three sisters making straightforward guitar pop may not seem like anything special, but it’s their personality that makes the songs on Days Are Gone really pop. Musically, the group is very tight and polished with a knack for catchy hooks, making Days Are Gone a must listen for pop lovers. [Eric Holmes]

29. Grouplove – Spreading Rumors
Let’s be honest – Grouplove is a performance band. Upon first listening to Spreading Rumours, it was clear that some of the songs were going to pop more live than on their recordings. When Grouplove visited CU, my suspicions were confirmed. Never the less, the group has some great tracks tucked into the album, definitely worth a download. [Daniel Szoke]

30. Willis Earl Beal – Nobody Knows
Willis Earl Beal is a Chicago born artist who pours his weird, seething lyrics over minimalist instrumentals, delivering with the bassy kick of a true modern master of soul a sound unique to him. His performances are feverish and intense and the man stands as a testament of the true beauty that “strange” can be. His sophomore album Nobody Knows is a dark, moving recording which challenges the listener to take a step back from popular media culture and look inwards in an attempt to rediscover the “individual soul”. [Sam Halpern]

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