Music: Best of 2013

Julia Holter

Publicity still for Mark So’s Pale Plumes of Dullness (digitally self-released, 2013).

1 MARK SO, PALE PLUMES OF DULLNESS (digitally self-released) Most of So’s latest works come in the form of C30 cassette-tape recordings of his environment (in this case, his apartment on Vermont Avenue in LA at predawn) and of himself reading (in this instance, text from John Ashbery and Joe Brainard’s 1975 The Vermont Notebook). The tape’s compression allows the layers of city noise and So’s casual, unaffected speech to blend—very pleasing to my ear.

2 JIB KIDDER, IV (Gnar Tapes & Shit/ Burger Records) Jib Kidder’s recent release playfully combines his electric guitar and wild wordplay with sampled found sounds. His music is like a fascinating organism growing out of something ordinary from the past—a beautiful flower blooming on top of an old sandwich.

3 LAUREL HALO, CHANCE OF RAIN (Hyperdub) Halo uses the sounds of contemporary electronic dance music, but in a way that

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