Have you read your fair share of Top-Whatever lists this December? Now that we’ve all established Japandroids’ Celebration Rock was awesome, let’s shut the door on 2012 and take a look at five albums we’re hotly anticipating in 2013:

1. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, We The Common / Release date: February 4, 2013
Produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, The Walkmen), We The Common is the forthcoming full-length from this perpetually about-to-breakout San Fran alt-folk act. While the band has previously recorded a pair of critically acclaimed albums for Kill Rock Stars, this might the album that puts the band in the mainstream music consciousness; frontwoman Thao Nguyen’s utterly beguiling voice aside, she’s got a laser-sharp precision when it comes to observational songwriting, getting down to the minutiae without bogging it down with too many details. Musically, the record bridges the gap between The Get Down Stay Down’s infectious sunny indie pop and experimental psych-rock tendencies. Expect to see this one on Best of 2013 lists.

2. Low, The Invisible Way / Release date: March 19, 2013
In celebration of its 20th anniversary in 2013, veteran Minnesota indie rock outfit Low is gearing up to release its tenth album, the Jeff Tweedy-produced The Invisible Way, via Sub Pop. Recorded at Wilco’s studio this past fall, the new record is raw, intimate and unadorned. Alan Sparhawk said that Low visited The Loft while they were in Chicago on tour and decided to record with Tweedy after hearing his work on Mavis Staples’ You Are Not Alone. While the soundscapes are left simple, the song’s subjects are not — expect to hear lyrics informed by such big, bold-strokes topics as “intimacy, the drug war, the class war, plain old war war, archaeology and love.”

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TBA / Release date: Spring 2013
It’s been four long years since New York art-rock royals Yeah Yeah Yeahs released It’s Blitz! — a joyous, glitter-drenched dance party of a record that got us to put our leather on and make a date with the night. After taking a well-deserved break, Karen O and co. have announced via Twitter that they’ll be releasing their fourth full-length album in 2013. We’re excited to see if it’ll be another dance-floor electro-pop opus — or if it will recall the urgent, primal noise of 2003’s raw debut Fever To Tell.

3. Guided By Voices, English Little League / Release date: April 30
One of the most prolific bands out there, indie rock titans Guided By Voices is releasing yet another full-length album. English Little League comes as the band’s fourth record that band has released in just over a year, following 2011’s Let’s All Go to the Factory and 2012’s pair of outings Class Clown Spots a UFO and The Bears for Lunch. There are few details out there, but we’re definitely curious about this one.

5. Arcade Fire, TBA / Release date: TBA
This is all rumors and speculation, but we have good reason to believe that Arcade Fire will release its fourth full-length album and follow up to 2010’s Grammy-winning The Suburbs. In the fall, drummer Jeremy Gara told an Ottawa radio station that the band has been actively writing and recording, but said that the band isn’t working to a deadline. Then, of course, there were those other rumors about LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy producing tracks for this unicorn Arcade Fire album, but those turned out to be false-ish; Murphy told The Huffington Post that wasn’t “necessarily true.” Which basically means anything is possible. Stay tuned!

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Jen Zoratti is a freelance music journo, feminist/pop culture columnist, and the former music editor at Uptown Magazine. In addition to the music, she digs on coffee and fashion.  

pixel Oh happy days: 5 albums we cant wait for in 2013