The Final Edition – Velvet Independent’s Top 40, 2013 albums. 20-11

local natives

20. 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.


a grav with no name

19. A Grave With No Name – Whirlpool

I’d only heard of A Grave With No Name just a week before their album dropped and lucky for me that I did. Whirlpool is a maelstrom of heavy basses, swirling guitars and calming vocals. However, as chaotic as it may first appear, Whirlpool as a whole is a well balanced album. Tracks such as Six Months and Balloons provide a polar shift for Whirlpool’s destructive force on Aurora and the stunning Dig Me Out.
Best song from the album: Dig Me Out.



18. Savages – Silence Yourself

The all female Punk crew completely destroyed the all male stink of Punk forever with Silence Yourself. Glorious bass lines ran deep throughout the entire album piercing your chest more violently than standing in front of the speakers at a metal gig.   Combining their chilling smooth vocals on Marshal Dear with high pitched screams on the ferocious I Am Here; Silence Yourself does the trick by leaving your jaw wide open with nothing but silence pouring out.

Best song from the album: The full force scream that is, I Am Here



17. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold

With tracks such as Yr No Stoner, Donut’s Only and Yonder Is Closer to the Heart. It was hard to see that this wouldn’t be the most ‘American’ album of the year. With their stripped back approach of just the basic; (Guitars, Bass and Drums), primarily on Stoned and Starving and Master Of My Craft; Parquet utilised the ongoing fascination with the minimalistic ‘no technical wizardry’ craze, that has been so strong for the last few years.

Best song from the album: Stoned & Starving for making simple guitar playing sound like a masterpiece.



16. 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 daisies.

Best song from the album: Both San Francisco and We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic.


the weight of your love

15. Editors – The Weight Of Your Love

The Heavens were opened. Every Deity known in human history combined to remove the horror of Editors 3rd album (I daren’t mention it’s title) to make way for the grandest of comebacks in the form of The Weight Of Your Love. Sounding almost like An End Has A Start Volume 2. The Weight prioritised Editors polished guitar techniques instead of “it’s” dreadful synth use, aside from Papillion. A Ton Of Love, when combined with Formaldehyde produces  Editors greatest tracks since Munich.

Best song from the album: Sugar, for the hardcore grittiness.



14. 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.



13. 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 with perfect vocals, dynamic guitars and more drama than an episode of Revenge, but less vengeful. 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.



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.


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