2013 was an eclectic and satisfying year for new American music. The tracks below represent some of the year’s best by artists and bands based in the U.S.A.
Valerie June – 'The Hour' Twin Peaks-roadhouse torch and twang from the Dan Auerbach-produced album Pushin’ Against a Stone.
David Bowie – 'Where Are We Now?' While Bowie has been based in NYC for years, this song (from the comeback album The Next Day) somberly recalls his time spent in Berlin.
Deltron 3030 (featuring Black Rob) - 'Talent Supercedes' is futuristic hip hop from rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, producer Dan the Automator and DJ Kid Koala; from the album Event 2, a sequel to 2000’s self-titled debut.
Queens of the Stone Age – 'My God is the Sun' Standout track from Josh Homme and company’s stellar new record…Like Clockwork.
Neko Case – 'Man' Clever and catchy single from Case’s seventh album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.
Rhye – 'Open' A down tempo slice of poignant pop from this Los Angeles-based duo; from the breakout debut, Woman.
Vampire Weekend – 'Diane Young' Part 80’s rockabilly revival and part “dad rock” take on doo-wop, this track somehow works; a postmodern cut from the acclaimed Modern Vampires of the City.
Arcade Fire – 'Reflektor' Although based in Montreal (with roots in Texas), Arcade Fire made a very “New York” record in 2013. This title track, produced by James Murphy and featuring David Bowie, is a timeless party-starter.
The Steak House Mints – 'The Diplomat Hotel' Delirious orch-pop from this under-the-radar Chicago outfit; from the album Love Songs for Prostitutes.
Jeremy and the Harlequins - 'Cam Girl' is Buddy Holly-inspired power pop of the finest order; from the debut, self-titled EP recorded at Detroit’s Tempermill Studios.