Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, XPN nights and weekends host (and Indie Rock Hit Parade curator) Eric Schuman talks about musicians and producers who saw the bigger picture.
When great musical minds come together, the results can be magical. This year saw many fruitful (and sometimes unlikely) collaborations form across countless genres. But there were a few masterful albums whose contents convey the singular vision of a lone individual. These are my picks for the Top 5 Musical Visionaries of 2013, in no particular order:
The Mississippi-based musician made an abrupt about-face on his second album, 2012’s Do Things. Jumping from the charming acoustics of The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele to pocket-sized electronic disco jams, May fused Prince-ly grooves with melodies reminiscent of Brian Wilson’s best. His 2013 release, Warm Blanket, expands on that shift, bringing beats to the forefront of an irrepressibly lively album.