Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 10 Country, Folk & Blues Albums

5. The Deep Dark Woods
(Six Shooter)

It has been gratifying to see Jubilee elicit critical raves at home and abroad, as it's the best album yet in the strong discography of Prairie roots-rockers the Deep Dark Woods. Yes, they largely adhere to the template they have honed over their earlier albums, but the work of wunderkind Californian producer Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty's Fear Fun) fully captures their haunting and widescreen sound. He helps beef up a psychedelic feel on some cuts too, while the recording locale of a remote cabin in Alberta enhanced the rustic vibe.

Mainman Ryan Boldt's songwriting remains lyrically eloquent, while bandmates Chris Mason and Clayton Linthicum also contribute effectively to the writing. New guitarist Linthicum really impresses, and it'll be interesting to see the impact he has on the band moving forward. Jubilee concludes with a slowly building 10-minute-plus epic, "The Same Thing." More of the same in the future will be just fine. (Kerry Doole)