So it’s that time of the year, when everyone starts to evaluate their years, and begin voting in all the ‘best of’ polls. So naturally, I’ve compiled my top ten albums of 2013. .. I must point out how hard this was.. honestly when it comes to picking favourites with music, I liken it to a mother trying to pick a favourite child… REALLY HARD!
So my list is therefore not ordered… but arranged in the fairest way possible… alphabetical!
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
This is the fourth studio album from the Montreal group and it offers up a very different sound to their previous long player. Produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy Reflektor gives off disco infused sounds that morph into all different types of genres, and seem to cross genres and with the notable guest appearance of David Bowie there’s something for everyone on this album.
Star Track – Afterlife
Arctic Monkeys – AM
The fifth long player from these Sheffield boys was definitely a highlight for me this year. This album sees them take a slightly different approach. Alex Turner (lead singer) was quoted saying this album was influenced by Dr Dre – a clear influence on Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? but it also has very much a raw rock sound to it, influenced perhaps by Black Sabbath. The first song written for this album R U Mine? is said to have set the pace for this album. It’s more mature than their last, they have managed to evolve once again and have created a fantastic album that showcases not only their brilliant musicianship but also Turner’s lyricism.
Star Track – Fireside
Daughter – If You Leave
This is the debut release from this band and it is full of beautiful vocals mixed in with powerful drumming. I find this album instantly calming. It is seemingly simple, yet some of these songs become complex, with lyrics that stick with you long after listening… “Setting fire to our insides for fun.” … “We’re still sleeping like we’re lovers”. The big radio song off this album is Human. It is a brilliant song, however I found the more stripped back moments on this album are often better.
Star Track – Youth
Foals – Holy Fire
This album is full of catchy indie rock tunes. It basically makes you want to press repeat as soon as it’s finished! Don’t get me wrong, it does have it’s slower more poignent moments as well, but I found they drew me in just as much as the upbeat tracks. This is the third release from the British group and I think it’s their best yet.
Star Track – My Number
Grouplove – Spreading Rumours
This is the follow up album to Never Trust A Happy Song from the American band. In true Grouplove style it is full of fresh, fun, upbeat and at times, random tracks. I find this band’s quirkiness part of their charm. Whenever you press play you can be guaranteed to be filled with feelings of having a good time and you’ll be ready to party by the end.
Star Track – Shark Attack
Haim – Days Are Gone
The californian sisters’ debut release is a beauty! It is full of indie rock tunes that contain a hint of 80’s sparkle. The entire album has a wash of summery goodness all over it. It definitely sounds like a Californian album, very cruisey and makes one crave summer all year round.
Star Track – Falling
Hungry Kids of Hungary – You’re A Shadow
The second offering from these Brisbane lads is truly a masterpiece! It is a bittersweet choice for me as the band have recently disbanded and cancelled all upcoming live shows. This album follows the same vein as their debut in that each song maintains a completely different feel from the previous one. And it works. There are upbeat songs that make you want to dance and some that are more subdued.
Star Track – Someone Else’s Fool
Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
Upon listening to her fourth long player, you are submerged into a 15 minute trance/meditation. The album opens up with four songs which all blend into one another. It is riddled with Indian instrumentation and timings. This gives the whole piece a completely different feel from all of her previous work. It is magnificent. One of those albums that you can just leave on repeat all day and still manage to find new elements to each song at the end of the day.
Star Track – Breathe
Phoenix – Bankrupt
This is the fifth studio album by the French band. I seriously don’t think they can do any wrong.. this is another great, fun record. A slight change of direction musically, it has a lot more synth elements to it than their previous records, but it works well for them. They never cease to make music that makes you want to smile!
Star Track – S.O.S In Bel Air
Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
The sixth long player from this band is a masterpiece. It’s full of their signature gritty guitar and swoon worthy vocals from Josh Homme. It features guest appearances from the likes of Elton John and Alex Turner. Even without big name appearances, this album holds it’s own and it is guitar heaven.
Star Track – If I Had A Tail
There are actually a whole heap more I could add to this list, but I think ten gives a good indication. 2013 has been another extraordinary year for music, I am really looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store! Remember, when you hear a song for the first time and love it, whether it was just recorded last week or forty years ago it’s still a new discovery for you! I am a big believer that it is never too late to discover good music.