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Top 10 Albums For 2013



1. Superchunk – I Hate Music

When Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance are handling the impressive roster at their Merge Record label, they are the driving force behind Superchunk. I Hate Music is the second Superchunk full-length after a sizeable hiatus. With searing guitars, a healthy dose of melody and energy to burn, I Hate Music is killer from start to finish.

2. The Avett Brothers – Magpie And The Dandelion

3. Ghost BC – Infestissumam

4. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

5. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle – Perils From The Sea

6. Dick Diver – Calendar Days

7. Haim – Days Are Gone

8. The Ocean Party – Split

9. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold

10. My Bloody Valentine – MBV


1. Function – Incubation

Two decades is a long time to wait for a debut album from Dave Sumner (a member of Sandwell District) but the result is quite simply the best techno album of the year. From the pumping groove of Modifier to the ambient Counterpoint the release sits excellently as a whole. Intelligent techno indeed.

2. BlondesSwisher

3. Jon HopkinsImmunity

4. BonoboThe North Borders

5. SashaInvolver 3

6. Congo NattyJungle Revolution

7. Stellar Om SourceJoy One Mile

8. A SagittariunDream Ritual

9. FloorplanParadise

10. Jeff MillsThe Jungle Planet


1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories  

The exceptional production on Random Access Memories is rumoured to have cost Daft Punk and Sony over a million dollars. This investment has paid off, with guest collaborators coming out of the wazoo, and an incredibly infectious, retro sound. Synth pop is making a huge comeback at the moment and no one does it better than these guys.

2. Arctic Monkeys – AM

3. The Chemist  – Ballet In The Badlands

4. Paul Kelly, James Ledger, Genevieve Lacey – Conversations With Ghosts  

5. Lorde  – Pure Heroine

6. Big Scary – Not Art

7. Haim – Days Are Gone

8. Foals – Holy Fire

9. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus

10. James Blake – Overgrown


1. Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio 2  

Sequels are rarely as good as the original, but Black Radio 2 gives its classic predecessor a run for its money. Intelligent, smooth hip hop backed by Glasper’s expansive melodies and thick neo-soul approach to songwriting. This album makes you hate all your friends who haven’t listened to it yet, just a little bit.

2. Abbey/Foster/Falle – Brotherhood

3. Damu The FudgeMunk – Spare Overtime Re-inspired

4. Thundercat – Apocalypse 

5. Asheru  – Sleepless In Soweto

6. Bonobo – The North Borders

7. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

8. John Legend – Love In The Future

9. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Blackbird

10. British Sea Power – Machineries Of Joy


1. Danny Brown – Old

On Old, Detroit rapper Danny Brown unflinchingly documents his traumatic upbringing, the drugs and sex he indulges in to escape his demons, his physical and spiritual hangovers – and growing up enough to leave them all behind. It’s also 2013’s best front-to-back listen; gaining momentum as the first half’s murky hip hop gives way to filthy electronica. It’s a thrilling experience.

2. Thundercat – Apocalypse

3. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap

4. Kanye West – Yeezus

5. Bombino – Nomad

6. Killer Mike & El-P – Run The Jewels 

7. Omar Souleyman – Wenu Wenu

8. Horrorshow – Kings Amongst Many

9. The Uncluded – Hokey Fright

10. The Heliocentrics – 13 Degrees Of Reality


1. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away

The gothic grasshopper never disappoints. If Nick Cave puts out an album in any given year, it’s going to wind up in my Top 10. A sense of reinvigoration and recommitment, coupled with songs like Higgs Boson Blues make up for Mick Harvey’s absence and push it to the top of the 2013 list.

2. The Drones – I See Seaweed

3. Mark Lanegan – Imitations

4. Various – Crucible – The Songs Of Hunters And Collectors

5. David Bowie – The Next Day

6. The Love Junkies – Maybelene

7. Adalita – All Day Venus

8. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

9. Boys Boys Boys! – We Are Excited About Everything

10. Gogol Bordello – Pure Vida Conspiracy


1. Haim – Days Are Gone

Californian sister act Haim cemented their place as my top band of the year from the moment I heard the seriously infectious Don’t Save Me. Haim have landed with much hype and they’ve had a lot of commercial airplay of late but no matter how many times I hear their music the appeal doesn’t fade. Honest and sultry, Haim know who they are and where they’re going; they make producing a stunning debut look effortless.

2. Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe

3. London Grammar – If You Wait

4. Cub Scouts (now Cub Sport) – Paradise

5. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

6. Ms Mr – Secondhand Rapture

7. The Love Junkies – Maybelene

8. The Trouble With Templeton – Rookie

9. Abbe May – Kiss My Apocalypse

10. Daughter – If You Leave


1. Meg Myers – Daughter In The Choir

For a relative unknown, Meg Myers has had a big year – she released her debut EP this April and joined the legendary Pixies on tour shortly afterwards. While her sound could best be described as alt pop, her banshee-like howl betrays the rock and roll soul within. Raw, visceral and utterly inimitable, she’s the most exciting solo artist I’ve come across in a long time.

2. Northlane – Singularity

3. Silverstein – This Is How The Wind Shifts

4. The Red Paintings – The Revolution Is Never Coming

5. Mogwai – Les Revenants (soundtrack)

6. Tesseract – Altered State

7. Amorphis – Circle

8. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

9. Dead Letter Circus – The Catalyst Fire

10. Deafheaven – Sunbather


1. Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
It’s been a huge year of innovative and experimental music, pushing technical and genre boarders. However, for myself, Sempiternal stood out above the rest. Bring Me the Horizon managed 11 incredible tracks, ranging from the pumping opener, Can You Feel My Heart to the stripped back The Snakes Start To Sing; the album completely changed my view on the band, turning me into a massive fan.

2. Letlive – The Blackest Beautiful

3. Biffy Clyro – Opposites

4. Young Lions – Burn

5. Balance and Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing

6. Hands Like Houses – Unimagine

7. A Day To Remember – Common Courtesy

8. The Story So Far – What You Don’t See

9. Tonight Alive – The Other Side

10. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City


1. Chelsea Wolfe – Pain Is Beauty 

Chelsea Wolfe is emotionally exhausting – in a good way. While 2011’s Apokalypsis and 2012’s stark Unknown Rooms inched Wolfe closer to her melodic potential, they could only hint at the power of this superseding LP. Now, on Pain Is Beauty, we get a better sense of her spirit. The slower her metamorphosis on each track, the more this album engulfs you. Sure, the songs require more patience than any of her pervious material. But the reward is hefty. Definitely one for the introverts.

2. The Haxan Cloak – Excavation

3. Hope Drone – Hope Drone

4. Deafheaven – Sunbather

5. Youth Code – Keep Falling Apart 7” 

6. Belgrado – Siglo xxi 

7. Ensemble Pearl – Ensemble Pearl

8. The Body – Christ, Redeemers

9. Blixa Bargeld & Teho Teardo – Still Smiling

10. Zola Jesus/Jim Thirlwell – Versions


1. Arctic Monkeys – AM

Smoulder and smoke in place of the fire and spark of their early work, substitutes longing for love, and just sexy as all hell, it’s their most cohesive, complete album yet. It has I liked plenty in 2013. AM I loved.

2. Drake – Nothing Was The Same

3. The Roots & Elvis Costello – Wise Up Ghost.

4. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

5. Mazzy Star – Seasons Of Your Day

6. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

7. J. Cole – Born Sinner

8. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get The Harder I Fight The Harder I Fight The More I Love You

9. Hanni El Khatib – Head In The Dirt.

10. Kanye West – Yeezus


1. Popecitelji – Sijalica

This great instrumental band delivered another bunch of amazingly played punk-folk-funk. Their unpronounceable name should not stop anyone from checking this mind-blowing Serbian three-piece’s third album.

2. The Leap Year – The Narrowing

3. Craig McElhinney – Complainer Orientation

4. Lower Spectrum – Little Appeal

5. Standish/Carlyon – Deleted Scenes

6. Ooga Boogas – Ooga Boogas

7. Taco Leg – Taco Leg

8. Sarry – Shiva

9. The Prophet Hens – Popular People Do Popular People

10. Jastreb – Mother Europe


1. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 

This duo is like a rap nerd’s fantasy football team. A combination hinted at on El and Mike’s previous albums, which became a frighteningly powerful – yet really quite accessible – bundle of thematically connected hard rap songs, that stand equally strong on their own.

2. Kanye West – Yeezus

3. Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven

4. Barn Owl – V

5. Marijuana Deathsquads – Oh My Sexy Lord

6. James Blake – Overgrown

7. Men In Burka – Techno Allah

8. Deafheaven – Sunbather

9. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

10. Cash Krzma – Excessive & Disgusting Degrees


1. The Haxan Cloak – Excavation

Your favourite album isn’t necessarily what you spin the most, but the one you listen to occasionally, late at night, when you dare. This second album by London-based producer, Bobby Krlic is a pretty grim and spooky journey into an imaginary afterlife, but sometimes you just need to explore the unknown.

2. Jon Hopkins – Immunity

3. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze

4. Barn Owl – V

5. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

6. The Flaming Lips – The Terror

7. Russian Circles – Memorial

8. Darkside – Psychic

9. Deafheaven – Sunbather

10. Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic


1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away

Mesmerising. Utterly.

2. The Chemist – Ballet In The Badlands

3. The Drones – I See Seaweed

4. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

5. David Bowie – The Next Day

6. Deerhunter – Monomania

7. The Bamboos – Fever In The Road

8. Pond – Hobo Rocket

9. Abbe May – Kiss My Apocalypse

10. Gossling – Harvest Of Gold


1. Tim Hecker- Virgins

Where do you start with something that wants to kill you?

2. Pharmakon – Abandon

3. KES Band – Duets

4. Zomby – With Love

5. Kanye West – Yeezus

6. Blanche Blanche Blanche – Wooden Ball

7. Wolf Eyes – No Answer: Lower Floors

8. The Stevens – A History Of Hygiene

9. Loud City Song – Julia Holter

10. James Ferraro – NYC, Hell, 3am

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