The way I see it, 2013 is going to be a fascinating year for music. The big boost that Frank Ocean gave to R&B last year is likely to continue through at least the first half of this year. Synth pop will be a big draw too, though not in the ways you might think. I suspect there will be a few really creative synth-based records that will create that forward momentum. It’s only appropriate that The Knife are putting out a new album and touring this year too, and a number of bands with similar influences are likely to get swept up in such an attractive darkness. Electronic producers with open minds are probably going to be hot in 2013 too as they take a mess of different genres and throw them all into some unique stew of their own creation. That blurring of lines between music styles will definitely take off even more than it already has. And while 2013 will be a year of innovation for many musicians, others will learn that certain tried and true techniques and sounds never really go out of style and that there’s always room to inject fresh blood into a genre that might otherwise have been left for dead. A great punk rock record doesn’t simply become bad just because it might not be “cool” anymore. It is with these thoughts in mind that I put together the Class of 2013. They’re certainly an eclectic selection of 10 artists, even if some of them sound relatively similar to one another. In some ways, that’s part of the fun. I’m tremendously excited that I’ll be following their every move for the next 12 months, and have every intention of doing even more than what I did with the Class of 2012. So strap yourselves in and click past the jump to learn all about the Class of 2013!