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Albums of 2013

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  1. Engravings

Forest Swords was one of the first artists that sold me on Pitchfork back in my younger days. Then, there was no other way I would have found out about an artist like that. His sound was so exotic, so out of the norm for my high-schooler self. Though Pitchfork has lost a bit of its mystique for me by now, Forest Swords stays as enthralling and enigmatic as ever with Engravings. His sound, at first sorted with witch house, transcends these tags with his unique personality and his affinity for the foreign. Many of the sounds on here are so warped past familiarity that their origin becomes recognizable. From the squawking tropical bird that passes for melody on “Thor’s Stone” to the distorted siren calls of the ethnically unidentifiable vocals smeared all over the album, Engravings subverts one’s minds propensity attach every sound it’s given with familiar context. And with that the world of Forest Swords becomes a world of its own. It’s a reflection of ours, surely, but you are never spoonfed an easy analog to compare it to. All it takes is the very first vocal vacuum of “Gathering” to be sucked into his swampy vision. Though dark, this album is never without beauty, as the tragic strings that close “Onward” can attest to. Here lies my favorite moment of the album, where tribal drums meld join into the spellbinding harmony and the two inch on to transcendence. By refracting sound beyond the recognizable, Engravings allows us to rise above the limitations of both context and at times even the mind itself.

    Engravings

    Forest Swords was one of the first artists that sold me on Pitchfork back in my younger days. Then, there was no other way I would have found out about an artist like that. His sound was so exotic, so out of the norm for my high-schooler self. Though Pitchfork has lost a bit of its mystique for me by now, Forest Swords stays as enthralling and enigmatic as ever with Engravings. His sound, at first sorted with witch house, transcends these tags with his unique personality and his affinity for the foreign. Many of the sounds on here are so warped past familiarity that their origin becomes recognizable. From the squawking tropical bird that passes for melody on “Thor’s Stone” to the distorted siren calls of the ethnically unidentifiable vocals smeared all over the album, Engravings subverts one’s minds propensity attach every sound it’s given with familiar context. And with that the world of Forest Swords becomes a world of its own. It’s a reflection of ours, surely, but you are never spoonfed an easy analog to compare it to. All it takes is the very first vocal vacuum of “Gathering” to be sucked into his swampy vision. Though dark, this album is never without beauty, as the tragic strings that close “Onward” can attest to. Here lies my favorite moment of the album, where tribal drums meld join into the spellbinding harmony and the two inch on to transcendence. By refracting sound beyond the recognizable, Engravings allows us to rise above the limitations of both context and at times even the mind itself.

     
     
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  3. Searching for Mr. Right - Young Marble Giants

    Searching for Mr. Right - Young Marble Giants

     
     
  4. Searching for Mr. Right - Young Marble Giants
"The Waiting" by Emily Winfield Martin

    Searching for Mr. Right - Young Marble Giants

    "The Waiting" by Emily Winfield Martin

     
     
  5. No Bad News - Bonnie “Prince” Billy
Art by Toni Grote

    No Bad News - Bonnie “Prince” Billy

    Art by Toni Grote

     
     
  6. Mere Your Pathetique Light - Mono
     
     
  7. Ny Människa På 30 Dagar - Karl Lindh
Photograph by finnegan_eins

    Ny Människa På 30 Dagar - Karl Lindh

    Photograph by finnegan_eins

     
     
  8. Great Day - Senking

    Great Day - Senking

     
     
  9. Common Business - Senking

    Common BusinessSenking

     
     
  10. Chamber Forte - Rene Hell

    Chamber Forte - Rene Hell

     
     
  11. Rattling Cage - Forest Swords
"Fever" - Jacek Yerka

    Rattling Cage - Forest Swords

    "Fever" - Jacek Yerka

     
     
  12. Glory Gongs - Forest Swords
Art by Seon-Jeong Kim

    Glory Gongs - Forest Swords

    Art by Seon-Jeong Kim

     
     
  13. If Your Girl - Forest Swords
"Cadmium Fever" by Robert James Hacunda

    If Your Girl - Forest Swords

    "Cadmium Fever" by Robert James Hacunda

     
     
  14. Before We Talked - Gold Panda

    Before We Talked - Gold Panda

     
     
  15. Veils it White - Sunn O)))

    Veils it White - Sunn O)))