The 10 Most Exciting Records Of 2013

1. Beyonce, TBA


Beyoncé is EVERYTHING, if just for her amazing lace fronts and use of wind machines ALONE. Even if you’re one of those weird people who doesn’t like her all that much, you’ve got to admit that she’s crazy talented, it’s kind of bananas. In our image-heavy age of autotune and orbital headpieces, Bey is the closest thing we have to a true entertainer along the lines of Prince or Michael Jackson. On February 3 a few people will be tuning in to watch the Super Bowl but everyone else will be tuning in to see Beyoncé’s Halftime Show, her biggest profile performance since she became a mom. There’s no date for her new record yet, but she’s been in the studio and it’s likely she’ll debut some new material at the Superbowl.

2. Arcade Fire, TBA, late 2013


One thing that makes Arcade Fire so amazing and different is that they may sound a lot like indie rock, but to me their stuff has always felt like chamber music. And that keeps a lot of musical possibilities wide open for discovery. 2011’s The Suburbs won the Grammy for Album of the Year, and the 2013 follow-up, which has no release date but is slated for late 2013, should be just as promising. And hey, James Murphy is working with them on it! Does this mean this next record will take them to a disco-y place?!

3. Azealia Banks, Broke With Expensive Taste, February 12


Azealia Banks is buzz-worthy performer who has taken the fashion and blog scenes by storm since her viral video hit “212,” teasing us with mixtapes, an EP, music videos, and songs that aren’t even ON her record. Known for her sound which incorporates a variety of electronic genres, rapping and singing, Banks feels a lot more authentic than some of her peers. And despite her brash personality, the Twitter feuds with other female rappers and her big ass mouth, Banks is probably the hottest, most closely watched new artist of 2013. Curious about what it’s going to sound like? “It’s gonna to be about all that ratchet shit, like having your MetroCard and your cell phone and feeling like you’re alive. It might sound artsy but it’ll have some real n*a shit.” #YAASS

4. The Knife, Shaking The Habitual, April 9th


Everything that comes out of Sweden is so cool, probably because it’s really freaking cold there. Electronic music duo The Knife is no exception. The Knife is Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, the band that gave us “Heartbeats,” one of the best songs of the early 2000s, a song loved and enjoyed by hipsters everywhere. For some reason the duo has not released a new record since 2006’s Silent Shout, which makes us all really eager for the follow-up later this Spring.

5. Vampire Weekend, TBA, Spring 2013


Doesn’t everyone love Vampire Weekend? The New York-based quartet makes really good, really catchy tunes with an electro, afro-pop twist. I mean, sure, if you have a problem with a bunch of white guys making afro-pop, THAT’S a whole other article. But the music itself, not unlike Arcade Fire’s stuff, is quite like chamber pop. It’s fun, carefree, and with biting themes about Ivy League pretense that make you want to get up and dance. According to Rostam Batmanglij, “the way this album sounds is the product of thinking forward and being fearless in terms of mixing and production, going for something that hasn’t been done before but using elements and techniques that have existed for years and years, pushing them as far as they can go.” Can’t wait.

6. Lady Gaga, ARTPOP, Spring 2013


Lady Gaga was THE artist of the last two years. The Fame and The Fame Monster were both epic monsters, but Born This Way, which she promised would be the album of a generation, was a big commercial flop. This Spring, Our Lady of Orbital Headpieces returns with a new record, and we’re curious to see what The Gaga has in store for this one. Apparently she has 50 songs recorded and plans to release a full-length album and an interactive app a la Bjork, complete with games, music videos, updates, and fashion. This could either be a flash of brilliance or a piping hot mess, but we’ll have to wait and see what she does and which direction it’ll take her career.

7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TBA, Spring 2013


This one, along with Azealia Banks, is the other record I’m super excited about. There’s just no beating Karen O.! Yeah Yeah Yeahs have always been an amazing band, shifting their sound from that gritty New York rock on Fever to Tell to a more new wave/disco sound on 2009’s It’s Blitz. Details about the upcoming record are totally under wraps, but James Murphy may or may not be producing and/or working with the band on this new record which, if there was a way to make this record even more epic, that would do it.

8. Phoenix, TBA, Spring 2013


According to Rolling Stone, the French indie-rock quartet has already finished a fifth studio record, slated for an April 2013 release. It’s untitled for the moment, and there are no official deets, but in 2011 the band described the follow-up to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix as “minimal” and “experimental.” I suppose we could also throw in “vague” for good measure.

9. Factory Floor, TBA


Factory Floor are a British post-punk dance band who produce trance-inducing, minimal, hypnotizing electronic music that you will want to listen to while you’re studying for midterms or going jogging. With “Two Different Ways,” the band’s official single out now on DFA, plus a Soundcloud full of tracks, this unsigned band has a lot of potential and could easily rise to the top as one of the most talked about dance acts of 2013.

10. Sleigh Bells, TBA, Spring 2013


It hasn’t even been a year since Reign of Terror dropped last February and already the dynamic noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells are talking about a new record for 2013. Yes — ride those waves of success! Brooklyn-based Sleigh Bells recently wrapped an amazing and very loud/seizure-inducing tour, including a Sandy Relief benefit performance at Terminal 5. Now that it’s off season, the band will likely use this downtime to perfect the new record for a Spring release. Wouldn’t that be awesome? When asked if the record would sound as dark as Reign, Derek Miller said, “Sonically, it’s a lot more clean…it might sound surprising.” Surprise us, Derek, but just please don’t stop assaulting our senses.

Other records of note: James Blake, The-Dream, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Danny Brown, Nicolas Jaar, Toro Y Moi, Tyler, The Creator.

What albums are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Author of How To Be A Pop Star.

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