WPGU 107.1’s Top 50 Albums of 2013: 31-40

31. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
Lead singer Scott Hutchison has mastered his craft on Pedestrian Verse, creating an album that is both heartbreaking and uplifting, scaled back and bombastic. Pedestrian Verse effortlessly shifts from sparse arrangements to rolling drumlines- at times slowing down to frame Hutchison’s unique accent then swelling back up to set the emotional tone of the song. [Dylan Knox]

32. Bastille – Bad Blood
Originally a solo project by London singer-songwriter Dan Smith, Bastille has quickly made its way to the United States in just a few years as a full band. Their upbeat music and the easily recognizable vocals by Smith have helped this band make its way to the list. Even better their music is being featured in The Book Thief along with composer John Williams. Hey, you guys made it! [Alleya Weibel]

33. Inside Llewyn Davis OST
The movie Inside Llewyn Davis is about a struggling folk singer in 1960’s era Greenwhich Village, and the accompanying soundtrack reflects that perfectly. While musical superstars Marcus Mumford and Justin Timberlake lend their vocal talents to the album, the unquestioned star is leading actor Oscaar Isaac, who takes lead singer credits on about half the album. Isaac sounds at home with the spare and haunting collection of folk songs he performs, to the point where he could probably make it his day job. [Dylan Knox]

34. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
Throughout 2013, CHVRCHES debut album was hyped more and more each day. With each new single and video that surfaced, it seemed increasingly unlikely that The Bones of What You Believe could ever live up to the hype. But when it was finally released, it was clear that the excitement was justified. With almost no bad songs on the album, CHVRCHES lived up to the hype and more. [Eric Holmes]

35. Typhoon – White Lighter
Typhoon is a big band- 11 members in all- but their second full length album, White Lighter contrasts the big band instrumentals with painfully intimate lyrics from singer Charlie Morton. The best song on the album, “Young Fathers” plays with the dichotomy best, opening with a background choir accompanying a string and percussion section, as well as an electric guitar- all while opening with the sober line “I was born in September/ but if I die today, you know I won’t regret you./ Some things I can’t explain”. [Dylan Knox]

36. Yo La Tengo – Fade
The fact that Yo La Tengo is still making good music 25+ years into their career is commendable. The fact that they released an album like Fade that holds up against the best albums in their career is extraordinary. The fact that they released “Ohm”, one of the best songs of their career, is nothing short of a miracle. [Eric Holmes]

37. Bombino- Nomad
Omara Bombino Moctar’s third album is a testament to his impressive talent on the guitar, as well as his ability to carefully and beautifully orchestrate his songs. Bombino’s songs are supposedly inspired by political topics surrounding his birthplace in Tidene, Niger. He often sings in Tamashek, so I can’t personally say what any of the songs are specifically about, but it is clear that he sings with a genuine passion for his beliefs. [Claire Schroeder]

38. Avett Brothers – Magpie and Dandelion
While Magpie and Dandelion was nowhere near the same amount of good as any previous Avett Brothers album (yes, it may very well be their worst effort), it still deserved a spot on this list. The band from North Carolina still showed flashes of greatness on this record, but the content seems as though it may be running dry. [Boswell Hutson]

39. Johnny Marr – The Messenger
After an unbelievable 30 years in the music industry with bands like Modest Mouse and The The, legendary The Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr, finally released a solo album. It is everything you would want from a Johnny Marr album. Great alt-rock guitar and songwriting, and even though he spent a lot of time behind the voice of Morrissey, Marr has a pretty decent voice himself too. [Joe Winner]

40. Phoenix – Bankrupt
Phoenix’s 2013 effort, Bankrupt, left many fans of the Parisian band disappointed upon release…myself included. It wasn’t until about listen number 14 or 15 that I actually like the album, and quite a bit, at that. While Bankrupt wasn’t as groundbreaking or innovative as Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, it was a combination popular, catchy, and deserving a spot on this list. [Boswell Hutson]

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