Best New Albums of 2013: #19, Various Artists – Adult Swim Singles Program 2013

Running through the end of the month (with a short Christmas break), I’ll be running a post each weekday taking a look at one of my top 20 albums of the year, slowly working my way down to number one. Some I’ve reviewed previously for Bearded Gentlemen Music – I’ll provide links where necessary – and the entire list will eventually end up there, too. But for most of these records, this is the first time I’m writing about them at length, making this a chance to explain my choices in a little greater detail. Last year’s list is no longer online, but for 2011’s Best Canadian Music click here and for 2010’s list, click here.

#19: V/A –  Adult Swim Singles Program 2013 (Adult Swim Music)

Okay, it’s not really an album. Sue me. This year there wasn’t a better compilation of new music and I’m not just counting the free ones, either. For the past few summers, Adult Swim has been releasing free singles from new artists each week. In past years, it’s given people an advance look at albums by Washed Out, Yamataka//Sonic Titan and Active Child. Hell, it’s even given out some exclusive tracks by artists like Madvillain and Best Coast.

This year’s was one of my most looked forward to collections. And it had some pretty great shit, too. Even the lesser tracks – Pig Destroyer’s pounding The Octagonal Stairway or Miguel’s Cant Sleep 2gether – are still great jams. And the highlights were among the best downloads of the summer: Madlib and Freddie Gibb’s tense and frantic City, the METZ pounder Can’t Understand and Autre Ne Veut’s grooving On and On.

One I especially liked was Kitty’s Barbie Jeep, where she lands several blows at dance club creepers (“You’re rubbing every butt in the room like it’s your duty to”) over Hot Sugar’s great beat. Can’t wait for her to drop a full-length!

But I think my favourite is Mac DeMarco’s shambling Young Blood. Loosely inspired by the Patrick Swayze movie of the same name, he manages to mix sex and hockey metaphors together (“I’m telling you coach, her ass is so fine / I’m skating away across the blue line”) before going into an impromptu Bob Cole impression. Even by DeMarco’s standards, this tune’s reckless. It’s also one of the best things I’ve heard all year: nobody sounds quite like DeMarco when he’s on his game.

Want to listen? Download the whole 15 track comp at Adult Swim. You won’t regret it.




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