WPGU 107.1’s Top 50 Albums of 2013: 41-50


41. Baths – Obsidian
Obsidian marks a new direction for Baths in both songwriting and tone. Largely ditching the instrumentals that made up the majority of his debut, Baths opts instead for a dark and often uncomfortable glitch pop. The lyrics are confrontational and the beats set a brooding tone that compliments them perfectly leading to an extremely compelling listen. [Eric Holmes]

42. Guards- In Guards We Trust
Guards gained early attention because their lead singer is the brother of Cults singer Madeline Follin. While In Guards We Trust did bear notable similarities to Cults’ albums, the band also ventures into grittier territory, unafraid to deviate from pop-rock standards. The relatable topics of their songs, as well as their proclivity for writing catchy melodies, make the album fun to listen to, and enjoyable to revisit. [Claire Schroeder]

43. Fuzz – Fuzz
Fuzz is pure psychedelic fuzz rock that flies through riffs at breakneck speed. This is a no frills guitar record that throws fuzzy riffs, noisy solos and powerful jams at you until your ears bleed. And you will love it. [Eric Holmes]

44. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
If you go to parties, you’ve heard Daft Punk’s new album (as well as Pharrell, he’s everywhere!). Get Lucky might be one of the most covered songs of 2013, and with good reason. Daft Punk gave a groovy twist with this album and managed to stay close to their electronic roots. [Alleya Weibel]

45. Ovlov – am
Ovlov’s debut album am is pure 90’s nostalgia. It’s lo-fi noise-rock with scraps of shoegaze, Midwestern emo and alternative rock thrown in for good measure. This is a must listen for any Dinosaur Jr. or Sonic Youth fan. [Eric Holmes]

46.Kopecky Family Band- Kids Raising Kids
This album ended up on my desk in April and I was hooked after one listen. It is just so darn catchy. There is not a single track on this album that falls short, it is all unbelievable. While the band didn’t see much commercial success (their single “Heartbeat” was only on the charts for what felt like a heartbeat), I expect great things from them in the future. They are going to be really big. [Joe Winner]

47. Bill Callahan – Dream River
Bill Callahan’s music paints vivid pictures of nature and the outdoors, but it’s his expressive baritone that keeps you grounded in his slow-paced, deliberate style of story telling. Sometimes it’s intimate, like escaping the cold into a fire-warmed cabin, and sometimes pensive, like looking out over a still lake. Dream River is calming and slow paced, a great record to return to after a day in the cold. [Eric Holmes]

48. Eleanor Friedberger- Personal Record
While I’m still holding out for a Fiery Furnaces reunion, Eleanor Friedberger’s second solo album is satisfying enough to fill the time. She has a history of writing strange songs that break the molds for pretty much everything, including simple things like how people expect songs to be structured, and the kind of diction that people are used to hearing. This album tones down the weirdness a little, but most of the songs are still light-hearted and carefree, and can be uplifting even when they are about sad subjects. [Claire Schroeder]

49. Elsinore – Push/Pull
I’ve grown up with Elsinore. OK, that’s not true, but their sophomore album Yes Yes Yes has been on rotation on my iPod since early on in high school. The local band, which is led by the extremely strong-vocaled frontman Ryan Groff, set out to make something great in 2013, and that they did. Push/Pull goes fast, it goes slow, and it goes sideways, showing me sides of Elsinore I’ve never seen before while also including the rousing choruses and guitar solos we’ve all come to know and love. [Boswell Hutson]

50. Jim James- Regions Of Light And Sound Of God
On his first solo record under his real name, Jim James creates a softly mystical, sometimes spooky, atmosphere that is reminiscent of the more mellow parts of My Morning Jacket albums. James never rushes the build-ups of the songs, but his slow pace is neither frustrating nor disappointing. The album is so relaxing that I think it has the ability to make anyone attain a level of patience that is at least a little closer to that experienced by James. [Claire Schroeder]

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