27 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in 2013

The best of what flew under the mainstream radar

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Richard Buckner, 'Surrounded'
Courtesy Merge Records26/27

Richard Buckner, 'Surrounded'

A country-folk-rock modernist with an intoxicating tenor and a heart-wrenching sense of poetics, Buckner chiseled these nine spare songs from a single story, telegraphing narrative through flashes of dreams and dug-up memories. With drones and odd instrumentation (hello, Suzuki QChord electronic autoharp!) swarming his minimalist acoustic guitar work, the emotions seem both simple and confoundingly elusive. Ain't life like that sometimes?

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