Best Albums of 2013 – Audible Treats Contenders: Hip-Hop / Indie Rock / Electronic
Highlights from Audible Treats’ 2013 Client Roster
As 2013 winds down, the pinnacle of internet listicles draws near – the Year End List. Bow down before the king of click-through and SEO, the Black Friday sale of music journalism, the flashpoint of internetz polemics… you get the idea. We at Audible Treats would love for you to consider some of our most successful campaigns for your top 10, top 20, and top 100 features. Below, we present to you our short list. First, we present our top hip-hop projects, followed by our top indie rock and electronic projects:
Best Albums – Hip-Hop / Urban:
Iamsu! – KILT 2
HBK Gang – 6/6/13
- Iamsu! first garnered national attention with the release of his KILT mixtape in 2012. After continuing his breakout success in 2013, collaborating with 2 Chainz, being featured on fellow HBK Gang member Sage The Gemini‘s Billboard-charting single “Gas Pedal,” headlining his first national tour, and more, Iamsu! capped his two-year breakout run by bringing things full circle, releasing the follow-up KILT 2 this fall. The mixtape earned Iamsu! acclaim from Pitchfork, FADER, Complex, MTV, and more.
- “It truly seems that Iamsu! is incapable of making a bad song.” – VICE
Black Milk – No Poison No Paradise
Fat Beats / Computer Ugly via Fat Beats- 10/15/13
- Detroit native producer and rapper Black Milk released No Poison No Paradise, a beautifully crafted concept album and perhaps the most dark and hard-hitting of his 10 year career. Accompanied by a US and European tour of the same name, Black’s album garnered rave reviews from publications as far away as Germany and Australia, as niche as Wax Poetics, and as varied as FADER, FactMag, HuffingtonPost, Red Bull, VICE, and more.
- “[No Poison No Paradise‘s] most compelling moments are career highlights.” – Pitchfork
Hopsin – Knock Madness
Funk Volume – 11/26/13
- Knock Madness is Hopsin‘s first solo album since the release of his 2010 breakout RAW. Since, Hopsin, named to XXL’s 2012 Freshmen class, has headlined multiple tours, national and international, performed at Rock The Bells, garnered over 130 million YouTube views, and seen the label he co-founded, Funk Volume, become one of the most powerful, respected independent labels in hip-hop. Knock Madness, produced entirely by Hopsin, includes features from Tech N9ne, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, SwizZz, and more.
- “All of the…pieces are in place for Knock Madness to break big throughout 2014.” – HipHopDX
Dizzy Wright – The Golden Age
Funk Volume – 8/19/13
- 2013 was nothing short of a breakout year for Dizzy Wright. Dizzy, who signed to Funk Volume in 2012, releasing two projects and headlining his first national tour, was named to XXL’s 2013 Freshmen class, winning the fan-voted “People’s Champ” award. Dizzy capped that success off with more tours and the release of a breakout mixtape The Golden Age, a project that included features from Joey Bada$$, Wyclef Jean, and more.
- “Dizzy Wright is captivating the moment you hear him.” – Complex
Latyrx – The Second Album
Solesides – 11/05/13
- After a 16 year hiatus during which Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker went their separate ways to write books, work on solo material, get nominated for Grammy’s, and more, the two joined forces to release The Second Album, once again showing the world that they hold the title of creating some of the most creative and urgent hip hop music of today.
- “They’ve brought forth what is hands-down the alt-rap album of the year.” – Robert Christgau of NPR’s “All Things Considered”
Joey Fatts – Chipper Jones Vol. 2
Yamborghini Records – 5/29/13
- Long Beach, California native rapper-producer Joey Fatts burst on the scene with the release of Chipper Jones Vol 2 via Yamborghini Records, featuring guest production and appearances from Alchemist, Young Chop, Danny Brown, 100s, Action Bronson, Freddie Gibbs, A$AP Rocky, his Cutthroat Boyz cohorts Vince Staples and A$ton Matthews and more.
- “Joey Fatts is an upcoming artist that should be on your radar.” – XXL
SL Jones – Way of Life No Hobby
Independent – 9/4/13
- After headlining his first solo tour this spring, SL Jones partnered with producer Metro Boomin (Future, Gucci Mane, Ludacris) and DJ Don Cannon to release his latest mixtape, Way Of Life No Hobby. The tape includes features from Killer Mike, Kevin Gates, Starlito, Trouble, and more, and earned praise from the likes of Pitchfork, SPIN, Complex, XXL, and more, while lead single “Big Bank (No Ones)” has been picked up by MTV Jams.
- “SL Jones brings a lot to the table.” – SPIN
Roach Gigz – Roachy Balboa III
Goomba – 8/25/13
- In 2010, Roach Gigz had his first breakout moment with the release of his Roachy Balboa mixtape. Now, three years, a handful of national tours, and a bevy of critical acclaim later, Roach released the third installment of his fan-favorite series. The tape, which included features and production from Iamsu!, Kreayshawn, P-Lo, and more, earned acclaim from Pitchfork, FADER, Complex, and others, also being named Stereogum‘s Mixtape Of The Week.
- “The funniest rapper working.” – The New York Times
The Doppelgangaz – HARK
Groggy Pack Entertainment – 3/12/13
- Few young rappers make music that sounds as enjoyably vintage as The Doppelgangaz. This past spring, upstate New York duo, comprised of rapper/producers EP and Matter Ov Fact, released HARK, an album full of crunchy boom-bap goodness, earning praise from the likes of FADER, XXL, MTV Hive, HipHopDX, and others along the way, and selling out a headline European tour.
- “The Doppelgangaz are not horrorcore, but they’re making dark music, and… they even have that RZA-esque pained growl popping up a few times. – The FADER
Jarren Benton – My Grandmas Basement
Funk Volume Records – 6/11/13
- ATL-based Jarren Benton, who is signed to the independent powerhouse label Funk Volume, is one of rap’s most outsized personalities. Jarren’s debut, the equally aggressive and fun My Grandmas Basement, debuted at #4 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Charts and at #4 on Billboard‘s Heatseekers Albums chart, an impressive showing that Jarren has built upon by hitting the road, with a co-headline tour in Australia, a debut headline tour in the U.S., and currently, in a supporting role for Rittz‘ nationwide tour.
- “Benton has an extraordinarily nimble flow and sense of rhythm.” – HipHopDX
Main Attrakionz x Tynethys – Main Attrakionz x Tynethys
- Tynethys’ collaborative mixtape with Main Attrakionz, the essentially self-titled Main Attrakionz x Tynethys, came out in October, but was supposed to come out much earlier this year. As luck – or the lack thereof – would have it, the hard drive that housed the trio’s original mixtape crashed, forcing the Sacramento producer and Bay rappers to hit the studio again to record a whole new project. Clearly something went right; the mixtape earned praise from Pitchfork, FADER, Noisey, Brooklyn Vegan, and more.
- “…an airy, narcotic project that floats along and passes in a blur.” – The FADER
Best Albums – Indie Rock/Electronic:
G&D – The Lighthouse
SomeOthaShip Connect – 5/21/13
- Female beat maker and vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow teamed with her husfriend Dudley Perkins to release the beautifully constructed and powerful The Lighthouse album via their record label, SomeOthaShip, winning the hearts and praise of such press outlets as Frank151, KCRW, NPR, WNYC, MTV and more.
- “Muldrow and Perkins have spent their entire recording careers marinating in eccentric creativity — their own as well as others’ — so it’s no surprise that their work together has a full-to-bursting quality: As performers and producers, they shape-shift and reinvent with a relentlessness that’s hard to contain on a single record. Thankfully, The Lighthouse (out May 21) does its best, while still taking care to careen in countless directions at any moment.” – Stephen Thompson of NPR’s “First Listen”
Nylo – Indigo Summer Mixtape
Independent – 7/15/13
- A relative newcomer to the scene, Chicago’s gorgeous and talented future soul singer songwriter Nylo stole hearts and everyone’s attention with the release of her Indigo Summer mixtape, which garnered her features in everything from Elle to LA Weekly to Nylon to Mass Appeal to SPIN to VICE and many more.
- “Every few years an artist comes along that stops you dead in your tracks. Disrupts you from what you’re doing. I had that moment about a year ago when clicking play on Nylo’s Soundcloud page.”- Fake Shore Drive
Lightouts – WANT
Independent – 3/5/13
- 2013 was a breakout year for Gowanus, Brooklyn’s fuzz purveyors Lightouts. Their debut album Want earned accolades from SPIN, AOL Spinner, SYFALL, The Record Stache, and more. The band racked up more than 60,000 plays on Soundcloud, and SPIN named them one of SXSW’s “Hottest Acts.”
- 10/10 Star Review: “The great thing about Want is how different it sounds from everything and not in a reactionary sort of way… They aren’t trying to sound original or better than the rest of the bands coming out of Brooklyn, they just are. Essentially Want is the kind of album that rock music was invented for.” – Tim Baker, SYFFAL
Sad Baby Wolf – Electric Sounds
Independent – 4/9/13
- Albuquerque-based shoegaze quintet Sad Baby Wolf released their debut album, Electric Sounds, to critical acclaim from outlets like SPIN, SYFFAL, Stereo Subversion, MSN, AOL Spinner. Comprised of two Shins cast-aways, 2013 saw the band step out from the shadow of their former band and into their own reverb-drenched spotlight.
- “Electric Sounds… radiates emotion-wracked, atmosphering-scraping crunch.” – SPIN
A Million Billion Dying Suns – The Strawberry EP
Bugs on Balloons – 11/26/13
- San Francisco’s A Million Billion Dying Suns produce a wall of sound, melodic noise-pop that they call “Transcendental Rock.” True to that label, the band rose far above their baby-band status with accolades from Consequence of Sound, Impose, Best New Bands, Turntable Kitchen, and more.
- “…a pulsing rush of dance-floor beats, bubbling hot like a sun flare. Mercereau’s voice floats out into the ether like a stranded astronaut as the song spirals towards oblivion, only to be pulled back down in the gravity swell of a massive, soundscape-altering guitar solo.” – Consequence of Sound
The Mohawk Lodge – Damaged Goods
White Whale Records – 5/7/13
- Damaged Goods is the 4th album from Canadian indie rock group The Mohawk Lodge and at 30 minutes, it’s their rawest, shortest, and most urgent recording to date. Impose, The Daily Mirror, The Mad Mackerel, and other sites were unified in their praise of the album.
- “Mesh the grunge fried sound of Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Nick Cave at his most feral and temestuous, and you have an indication of the sonic territory this Vancouver-based group alights on. Prepare for scorch marks on the soul at every listen…” – UK’s Daily Mirror