2013 brought everyone a little bit of everything
The return of Kanye West’s hit and miss 6th LP Yeezus
The rise of Bastille and the continuing rise of Jake Bugg
And most importantly, Arctic Monkeys showed, you don’t need to make anything wildly different to what’s already out there, as long as you have the NME to back you.
Now focusing in; I share with you the albums that made my 2013
20 – 11
20. Arctic Monkeys – AM
As much as I dislike the album compared to the rest of AM’s discography, for that reason, it just makes my top 20. Ignoring the dribble that is Fireside, No.1 Party Anthem and Mad Sounds; the album as a whole is interesting to say the least. You’ve got Do I Wanna Know, stomping away slowly like a giant, chasing the killer R U Mine? following the slow and steady One For The Road and then swooning after Arabella. But then following this great start, you get the next four tracks which are shit. (Abrupt but it is). AM then get’s a kick start with Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High at the end and then eventually fades out to the abyss. Whilst Alex Turner’s lyrics are as intelligent and cheeky as ever, most of the music is not keeping up the pace.
Best song from the album: R U Mine? With Arabella calling a close 2nd.
Now for the real albums:
19. White Lies – Big TV
The trio produced yet another stellar album, brimming with the energy of early White Lies after the more adult, Ritual. There Goes Our Love Again declared the band back to the music scene, with a huge chorus combined with Harry’s soaring vocals and a charming video to kick start the trio’s return. The free download Getting Even borrowed shared some melodies from Ritual whilst Change brought a great change for the band.
Best song from the album: Change is the way.
18. Dinosaur Pile-Up – Nature Nurture
The Leeds band hardly received the recognition they should have for this album. Whilst it’s nothing ground breaking, it abides to the one law of Alternative Rock; Appeal to Indie fans who want something heavier. Just over half the album managed to break into the 3 minute mark, but the loud, bustling, deep rhythms of shitty guitars don’t need any longer than 3 minutes to blow your brains out.
Best song from the album: The crowd favourite, Nature Nurture.
17. Daughter – If You Leave
The London band had barely passed the two year mark before they were making headlines with their enchanting single Youth. the rest of the album followed suit with singles Human, Still, Smother, all plucking on the listeners heartstrings. It’s 10 tracks of heart aching tracks; a box of kleenex’s would be recommend if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Best song from the album: The song that started it all, Youth.
16. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
The National returned with yet another classic album, filled with love and aching that we all have come to love them for. Tracks Sea Of Love, Demons, Graceless and I Need My Girl, showed the many faces to the album. Quick paced at times, slow and somber at others and tear jerking for the rest of it; it seems almost impossible for The National to make a bad album.
Best song from the album: I Need My Girl.
15. Local Natives – Hummingbird
Nearly five years after the triumphant Gorilla Manor; Local Natives seemed to have disappeared, joining the list of bands that made an incredible debut then vanished. Luckily, they returned with Hummingbird, and even luckier was a brilliant sophmore album. Breakers and You & I screamed Gorilla Manor leftovers, which happily placed on Hummingbird alongside beauties, Wooly Mammoth and Bowery.
Best song from the album: Quite proudly, Wooly Mammoth.
14. Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic
The title alone tells you it’s going to sound like the psychedelic 70’s and thankfully it does. Moving in on the current Psychedelic trend from Tame Impala; Foxygen took a step back from the mainstream Psychedelic and grabbed their parents old records and vamped them up a bit. The title track is the biggest sound of the album, screaming Peace and Magic at you (literally) whilst the lead single San Francisco, uses the 70’s Psychedelic with a modern approach perfectly, almost tricking you into thinking you’re a hippy frolicking through a field of daisys.
Best song from the album: Both San Francisco and We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic.
13. Foals – Holy Fire
When Holy Fire first surfaced I thought, what the bloody hell is this?! But then after a good few listens without repeating Inhaler and My Number, I slowly began to love the album. Late Night claims the title of Spanish Sahara for Holy Fire whilst Providence feels like a new rendition of Two Steps, Twice. They’re the kings of Math Rock and rightly so, each track follows its own rhythm whilst tingling with early Foals simplicity.
Best song from the album: Providence, because I’m an animal just like you.
12. Hurts – Exile
Theo and Adam declared a year after Happiness that they were indeed to happy to write a new album and that they had to become sad and depressed again before a second album was on the cards. Well they did it. They went partying around the world, engorging on drugs and that some how made them sad. It did however give birth to a new, even more dramatic Hurts. The Road, storms its way through your ear canal, whilst Miracle rests as highly as Better Than Love and Sandman still has me confused as to whether it’s about a drug dealer or a demon. And in a now tradition, Hurts closed Exile pleading for Help alongside a colossal choir.
Best song from the album: Help. Listen to it without feeling wildly unimportant.
11. Fidlar – Fidlar
When I say Cheep Beer, you say Cocaine! Fidlar blasted their way to every festival possible this year with their loud, aggressive, in your face Punk Rock/Surf Rock. Unlike Dinosaur Pile Up who struggled to pass the 3 minute mark; Fildar hardly managed to pass the 2 minutes mark on most tracks. And yet each song is filled with enough energy to power up a small city for a year. Whether you Wake Bake and Skate, or work 5 to 9 because you’re a Whore; you can relate to at least one track on this album. Sort of.
Best song from the album: Cheap Beer, whether it’s the song or the real stuff, its always good.