Top album releases to check out in 2013


Vampire Weekend perform “Unbelievers” on Jimmy Kimmel on Oct. 31, 2012. Photo courtesy of Live Music Trajectory

The year 2013 is turning into a year of musical comebacks. With new music from artists like David Bowie, Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake, it will be interesting to see just how much room opens up for newer acts to steal the spotlight.

1. David Bowie, The Next Day | March
David Bowie is a genre-spanning, gender-bending, trend-setting musical god. The Next Day will be his 26th studio album and his first album in ten years. Bowie has been laying low since the release of Reality in 2003 but gifted his fans with the single “Where Are We Now?” Jan. 8. 

2. Iceage, You’re Nothing | February
Iceage is a punk band made up of four devilishly talented Danish youths. You’re Nothing follows 2011’s New Brigade, which was 24 minutes of thrashing guitars, spastic drums and angry, growling vocals that would leave any listener with headbang hair. The band revealed the track “Coalition” Jan. 7, and if it’s any indication of You’re Nothing’s direction, then expect to be completely destroyed by sheer punk force (it’s a good thing, I promise). 

3. Bleached, Ride Your Heart | April
Bleached, consisting of Los Angeles sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, are the effortlessly cool rock girls that Urban Outfitters tries to recreate in every catalogue. The sisters, both former members of Mika Miko, are releasing their debut album Ride Your Heart this year. Their sound is the perfect balance of warm, washed out guitars and upbeat garage punk drums that will leave listeners yearning to feel the California sun shining on their cheeks. Or to go buy leather jackets.

4. Jim James, Regions of Light and Sound of God | February
Jim James is a busy man. In addition to fronting Kentucky rock outfit My Morning Jacket, James has done solo contributions here and there and formed the supergroup Monsters of Folk, an indie wet-dream including Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes and M. Ward. The track “Know Til Now” is a ‘70s R&B-sounding throwback that is unlike anything heard from James until now. Plus, he has the voice of an angel. It’s true. 

5. Vampire Weekend, TBA  
The stylish New Yorkers that simultaneously created the genre of ivy league pop and sound-tracked many high school experiences are back. This currently unnamed record is the group’s third album, following 2010’s Contra. All that’s been heard from Vampire Weekend up until now is the track “The Unbelievers,” which they performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live last October. Thankfully, the appearance confirmed that Ezra Koenig is indeed just as cute as he used to be, in that dreamy ‘80s rich kid kind of way. 

6. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience | TBA
Your boyfriend Justin Timberlake is back, releasing his first album since 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds. The ever-smooth, ever-sexy Timberlake has ended his six-year musical hiatus and released the sharp R&B single “Suit & Tie.” While it was fun to watch Timberlake try his hand at acting and sing about putting his thing in a box, it appears that the world is ready for his return.

7. Destiny’s Child, Love Songs | January  
Destiny’s Child will never go away. Granted, Love Songs is primarily a compilation of the its old songs, with the very special addition of “Nuclear,” the group’s first song together since they broke up in 2005. “Nuclear” has an early ‘90s girl group feeling that makes you yearn for the group’s earlier work. Hopefully the Destiny’s Child reunion at the Super Bowl will reignite the girl group magic and inspire a completely new reunion album. 

8. Beach Fossils, Clash the Truth | February
Brooklyn foursome Beach Fossils is releasing the follow up to its 2010 self-titled debut. If recently released singles “Shallow” and “Careless” are any indicators, Beach Fossils’ dreamy surf pop is about to make an upbeat return after their gloomier EP What a Pleasure. The band’s grimy and windswept sound is sprinkled with a healthy dose of hazy nostalgia. Never heard of the foursome? Think along the lines of if Vampire Weekend went to public school.  

9. Earl Sweatshirt, Doris | TBA
Doris is the much-anticipated second album from rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who for those that don’t know, is arguably one of the most talented members of the band Odd Future. On the recently released track “Chum,” Earl delivers deeply confessional lyrics with such ease and frankness that it’s hard to believe he is only 18-years-old. And with the success of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, the music community is wondering if Earl will be as fortunate.