A few months back, I shared my top 20 albums turning 20 years old in 2023. I loved compiling that list, and figured it would be great to put one together for the albums turning 10 this year as well. In this post, I’m scouring my collection for albums released 10 years ago, and I’m pulling out the top 10 albums turning 10 in 2023 — or, in other words, the top 10 albums of 2013.
As always, these are records I physically have in my collection. Because of that, there may be a glaring omission or two. Also these countdowns are most certainly just my opinion. So as you watch this video, let me know down in the comments if you agree or disagree, and what albums you’d drop in that are missing from my list.
Likewise, if you want me to expand on any of the albums here via an album review, a vinyl unboxing video, or whatever, let me know.
I’m going to start with a quick look back to 2013.
A Look Back at 2013
2013 was really the tail end of my original tenure of cranking out daily blog posts on the original iteration of FensePost. I hit burnout mode HARD and the drop-off in content creation was pretty instantaneous. However, my passion for discovering new music and picking up awesome albums on vinyl never really subsided. If anything, the vinyl aspect just grew stronger!
I believe it was around this year that strayed quite a bit from the NEW music aspect and began a deeper exploration of the genres and subgenera that influenced my music taste at the time — garage rock, psychedelic rock, new wave, punk and post punk. You get the picture.
Still, I probably have 25-30 albums on vinyl that were originally released in 2013 alone! These are my top 10 from that list.
10 | Deerhunter: Monomania
Monomania is when Deerhunter really caught my attention, despite being a fan since about 2007 or 2008. Here frontman Bradford Cox gives us an expert composition of weirdo experimental, noisy art rock.
I love how this record flows, and it features a number of my favorite tracks by the band. From the cool, lagging swagger of opener “Neon Junkyard” to the catchy midpoints “Blue Agent” and “T.H.M.” through the end of the album.
There are more accessible rockers like “The Missing” and “Back to the Middle” cleverly and gently dropped within, backed by the signature angry bedroom experimentation on songs like title track “Monomania.”
9 | Psychic Ills: One Track Mind
Originally recorded in 2012, as it calls out on the cover, Psychic Ills 4th album and second on Sacred Bones is probably my favorite, though their 2016 LP Inner Journey Out is a very close second. Blending psychedelic rock and experimental rock with a hazy, high desert drone isn’t necessarily something you’d expect out of New York City, but here it is. Then again, two foundational members — Tres Warren and Elizabeth Hart met at University of Texas in Austin.
What you typically get with Psychic Ills is a mellow, stoner-y style of indie rock. Favorites from this album include “One More Time” and “FBI” — both those opening the A and B side respectively. But overall, the album is great. And it’s perfect for this time of year in Texas, where we haven’t seen a day with a high below triple digits in what seems like a month.
8 | Kevin Morby: Harlem River
Definitively folk but with traces of Americana and psychedelic rock, much like that of Woods, Morby leaves behind a lot of the lo-fi, gritty garage sound found in The Babies. The whopping 9-minute title track “Harlem River” remains among Morby’s top streamed tracks on Spotify with over 33 million plays.
I’m still shocked this is one you can snap up for less than $20 USD these days on Amazon.
7 | Crystal Stilts: Nature Noir
Dark noisy post-punk meets jangle pop in an unexpected mashup with Crystal Stilts‘ third and so far final album Nature Noir. I’ve always loved this album and find it both the Stilts’ most endearing world and their best.
I became obsessed with “Future Folklore” the moment I first heard it, and Nature Noir is packed with other great tracks including “Spirit in Front of Me,” “Sticks & Stones,” and the title track to name a few.
6 | Club 8: Above the City
Club 8 might be among the lesser known bands on this list, at least here in the United States. Hailing from Sweden and made up of the duo Johan Angergard and Karolina Komstedt. Angergard actually fronts the Swedish label Labrador Records, and is no stranger to this blog thanks to being part of other favorite bands like Acid House Kings and The Legends.
Above the City might very well be my favorite Club 8 album, with songs like “Stop Taking My Time” and “You Could Be Anybody.”
5 | Arcade Fire: Reflektor
Say what you will about Win Butler and the allegations of his alleged abuses that surfaced over the past year, Arcade Fire sure knows how to craft an amazing album.
I never really gave Reflektor the time it deserved back when it was released and instead focused my listening to their first two albums, Funeral and Neon Bible, and even more recently last year’s We. But this is really solid!
4 | Beach Fossils: Clash the Truth
I quite enjoyed Beach Fossils‘ 2010 self-titled debut and their subsequent 2011 EP What a Pleasure, but I REALLY fell in love with the band’s music in 2013 upon the release of Clash the Truth. The title track, “Clash the Truth” is my all time favorite by the band, and that’s followed closely by “Sleep Apnea,” which can also be found on this record.
While I picked up an original pressing on black vinyl, this copy here is the 5th anniversary edition. Usually I wouldn’t pick up what technically is a duplicate — even if it is pressed to cool pink wax — but this version comes with a second LP containing 7 demos from the album. Both “Clash the Truth” and “Sleep Apnea” are included as demos here.
I just couldn’t resist!
Beach Fossils latest album, Bunny, came out this year and I picked it up about a week after I threw together my Best Albums of 2023 So Far list. I did give it a solid review a few weeks later, so do check that out. I’ll include a link down in the description.
3 | Ty Segall: Sleeper
I love it when an artist steps outside their norm and creates something completely nonconformist insofar as their other work is concerned. And that’s what you get with Sleeper by Ty Segall. Almost entirely acoustic, this is the first album by Segall that really sees him stepping away from the noisy garage and indie rock sounds he’s known for.
It’s introspective. It’s contemplative. It’s emotional. He digs deep here, seeking meaning and clarity in life after the death of his father and the estrangement from his mother that followed. He has woven depth and emotion into his music since Sleeper, but I don’t think it’s ever been quite this powerful.
2 | The Men: New Moon
I’ve long dubbed New Moon the best album by noisy garage rock outfit The Men. That holds true today, though their 2023 LP New York City does give it a run for its money — an aside, I covered that one about a month or two ago and have really been enjoying it, so seek out my coverage on that.
There are plenty of greats here, and where The Men shines most are when they inject the slightest hint of a southern, country twang to their solid grimy Brooklyn-style garage rock. “Half Angel Half Light,” “Without A Face,” and “I Saw Her Face” — three superb tracks with plenty of grit.
I’ve loved this album, and The Men, since the moment I heard it. And, for the longest time considered it my favorite album of 2013. But there’s one that tops them all…
1 | My Bloody Valentine: mbv
Simply titled mbv and scripted in all lower case, this was the influential shoegaze band’s first new material in decades, and really the only they’ve released since. So My Bloody Valentine reunited and released mbv to great acclaim, easily giving us their second best material after their seminal Loveless. It’s followed that album with perfection. And, like Loveless, mbv is an essential record for fans of shoegaze or anyone curious about digging into the genre’s history or those at the forefront of the subgenre’s creation and its resurgence.
After this release, two other prominent shoegaze pioneers from the early 90s would reunite and release new material as well, both those coming out four years later, in 2017. I’m of course talking about Ride and Slowdive. But My Bloody Valentine tends to be THE band that tops the list in terms of shoegaze impact and influence, and mbv gets a well-warranted place atop my list as the #1 album of 2013.
There’s my list of the top 10 albums turning 10 in 2023, or in other words, the best albums of 2013, ten years later. What was your #1 album of that year and why? Let me know down in the comments.