Listening Party: 12 Of The Best Records Put Out By New Jersey Artists In 2013 (So Far)

Mike Mehalick July 22, 2013 Features No Comments

New Jersey

You don’t need a calendar to know that we’re very much in the middle of the dog days of summer. Just open a window. As is always the case, the hotbed of musical talent that is the Garden State has turned in some exciting, diverse, and expansive new releases in the beginning half of this year.

Earlier, we asked our educated and opinionated Facebook following to tell us which records put forth by New Jersey based bands have had the largest impact so far in 2013. It’s now our unique pleasure to bring you this excellent collection of albums that are begging to blare from your speakers by the fireside, at a BBQ, or driving with the windows open on a breezy Jersey night.

Know of something we missed? Leave a comment in the space below and we’ll share!

The Battery Electric – Weaving Spiders
The Battery Electric

An exciting debut off of the Little Dickman imprint, The Battery Electric channel a litany of hard-nosed influences into a perfect storm of pure bar room ready rock and roll.

Sir Dove – Stay Home

Nihilistic vitriol never sounded so catchy as Sir Dove grinds its collective axe with whip smart lyrics and driving, eclectic punk constructions.

Yo La Tengo – Fade


“In a few ways, Fade reminds me of McCartney, Paul’s first solo release, days after leaving the Beatles. It displays the group’s mastery of genre and style giving us a smorgasbord of instrumentation. Except with Fade, there are no fragments, instrumentals or need to prove anything to a skeptical audience. There is only a solid ability, almost three decades in the making, to produce a string of jazz, folk, smash, fuzz, pop perfection.” – Christiana Hart

Put Under – Put Under

Put Under

A towering, terrifying inferno of no holds barred hardcore thrash, Put Under’s self titled effort manages to get in your face and grab you by the throat without being physically present.

Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5 – Full Fathom 5

Tony Tedesco

An un-equivocating, ambitious culmination of a down home troubadour’s country/blues/folk soul and influences, Full Fathom 5 is a smoky, reflective experience reminiscent of whiskey sunsets and post-aughts Dylan. Backed by a perfectly employed cast of contributors, Tedesco unfurls classic, nostalgic, lovelorn narratives across constructions worthy of a Levon Helm midnight ramble.

Chris Rockwell – Buildings Will Collapse

Chris Rockwell

2010’s Asbury Park Poet Laureate dives head first rather than dipping a furtive toe into his first full length studio album with his spoken word, alt-rap style extrapolated into different and effusive flows set against old school hip hop samples.

Moon Motel – Live At The Berkeley

Moon Motel

This set recorded live at The Berkeley Bar in Asbury Park manages encapsulate the arresting, haunting, and achingly passionate nature of Moon Motel despite the venue’s tricky acoustics. A record for those who enjoy a slow, but concerted burn.

Crazy & The Brains – Let Me Go

Crazy & The Brains

“For a debut album, this four piece group from New Jersey has created a concise series of party punk songs that doesn’t overstay its welcome, and lasts long enough to make an impression. I definitely wonder what they would sound like if they decided to branch out their sound beyond their four piece and a xylophone set up. But for now, with summer just at our door and the nights longer, there’s always more room for songs about snacks, partying in the city, and Lindsay Lohan.” – Allyson Dwyer

Reese Van Riper – Ghost Oil Revival

Reese Van Riper

Powerhouse three piece Reese Van Riper manages to turn the difficult trick of transferring their raw, unbound live energy onto a record that spits and snarls through a collection of gritty kiss offs and raucous, hard blues rock passages.

The Front Bottoms – Talon Of The Hawk

The Front Bottoms

Talon of the Hawk cranks up and rounds out The Front Bottoms’ sound with accordion, keys, bass, horns, and… is that a glockenspiel on “Back Flip?” Everything is bigger and brighter, but the soul of Sella and Uychich remains. It all adds up to something capable of spreading the enthusiasm displayed by a couple hundred fans in Asbury Park like a virus across the land.” – Jim Appio

The Blind Tellers – Portrait In Blue

The Blind Tellers

Simply put, The Blind Tellers’ live recorded homage to delta blues and folk standards, funneled through their own contemporary prism, is an incredibly impassioned and dutiful without being trite love letter to the band’s influences. You would never guess that elements like Matt Gentile’s booming vocal and Devin Crosby’s soulful slide guitar were products of life growing up on the Jersey Shore.

Only Living Boy – Cool Collected Headcase


This 5 track EP expands upon Only Living Boy’s previous works with righteously heavy grooves illuminating their sweaty, elephant-stomp blues. If Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys had a baby…

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About The Author

Mike is a graduate of the School Of Visual Arts with a BFA in Film & Video focused on screenwriting. His career stops have included editing positions at AOL, The Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed. He regularly contributes to a variety of outlets. Follow him @mmehalick

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