Shed Some Blood
Label: Polydor Records
As further evidence that R&B is becoming pop music's lingua franca in 2013, consider Rhye, the duo of Denmark's Robin Hannibal and Toronto's Mike Milosh. Flecked with pinpoint bass and guitar riffs, and fleshed out with silky falsetto, their debut album takes Sade's smooth operations as its primary inspiration, but its unassuming airs and studied hush find common ground with contemporaries like The xx, Inc. and How to Dress Well. Bathed in space and reverb, the production is quietly immaculate, and the songwriting (and those heavenly harmonies) gives the LP the feel of an instant classic.