Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
A look back at six albums from 2013 that didn't seem to generate the attention they deserved.
Here are 6 albums that were overlooked in 2013

First Published Dec 31 2013 02:19 pm • Last Updated Jan 01 2014 06:17 pm

Today we look back at six albums from 2013 that didn’t seem to generate the attention they deserved.

1. Pretty and Nice: "Golden Rules for Golden People"

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Who are these guys? The freak descendants of the Kinks? The twitchy spawn of XTC? The weirdo cousins of Vampire Weekend? And the bigger mystery: Why didn’t everyone spend 2013 talking about their brilliant pinball machine of a power-pop album? "Golden Rules for Golden People" is fast, frantic, inventive and melodic enough to demand our attention through every zig, zag and loop-de-loop.

2. Arca: "&&&&&"

Alejandro Ghersi — a Venezuela native who produces mutated hip-hop tracks as Arca — made his name in 2013 as a producer on Kanye West’s "Yeezus." But Ghersi’s most pupil-dilating music emerged in a maniac 25-minute burst on SoundCloud, inscrutably titled "&&&&&." Bass melodies contort at the center of this music, but the guy pulls off some surreal tricks with tempo, utilizing brittle clicks that surge and decelerate like a melting Swatch.

3. Obnox: "Corrupt Free Enterprise"

If you like rock tunes about sex, Ciara, Cleveland, sex and/or sex, you’ll want to dig up the recent double album from Lamont "Bim" Thomas, a hyper-prolific one-man band from Ohio who records as Obnox. It’s chaotic and ambitious — the sound of garage rock violently refusing to rot in the garage.

4. Dawn of Midi: "Dysnomia"

This trio’s latest album doesn’t immediately register as jazz. It’s more like a polyrhythmic fever dream. Or an aural illusion. Or maybe artisanal techno. Using bass, piano and drums, they tap out Morse code patterns of melody with machine-like tenacity. But the micro-silences throughout signal the work of human hands.

5. The Courtneys: "The Courtneys"

story continues below
story continues below

They call themselves slackers, but this Vancouver trio is putting in serious work, flattening tricky emotions into sing-songy, deadpan rock-and-roll. Indie connoisseurs will hear the influence of various New Zealand guitar bands, but anyone in the 99 percent should be able to relate to "Insufficient Funds," a song about reading your fate off an ATM screen. "I need a job," drummer Jen Twynn Payne sings. "I need a life."

6. Sturgill Simpson: "High Top Mountain"

You have to strain to hear his influence on contemporary country radio, but the late Waylon Jennings still has plenty of followers touring America’s lonesome highways. Simpson, a singer raised in Kentucky, is one of the best. Like Jennings, he understands that good hooks hang on great rhythms and every sob story requires an uppercut punch line. Check out "You Can Have the Crown," where Simpson groans about popping pills and wandering the Internet and resolves with a hilarious refrain that can’t be printed here.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.