2013 in music

Personally, I considered 2013 to be an incredible year for good music. I was at times overwhelmed and consumed exactly eighteen tonnes of new sounds and bought too much vinyl probably.

Top Albums

I’m surprised the QOTSA album wins 2013, but indifference gave way to addiction. It’s a confident album packed with loud and quiet. The mood is filmic, like an unofficial soundtrack to an epic Breaking Bad desert scene, or maybe Scott Snyder’s American Vampire comics. The animated videos and the vinyl’s comic book inserts really drive that theme home for me. It just felt like a complete package from a band back on form, and I played it to death. Ólafur Arnalds was a very close second with his beautiful and haunting gentle masterpiece. I could say more about them all but we'd be here all day, so...

  1. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
  2. Ólafur Arnalds, For Now I Am Winter
  3. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
  4. Agnes Obel, Aventine
  5. John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts
  6. Phosphorescent, Muchacho
  7. Son Lux, Lanterns
  8. Camera Obscura, Desire Lines
  9. The Thermals, Desperate Ground
  10. Steve Mason, Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time
  11. Haim, Days Are Gone
  12. Arctic Monkeys, AM
  13. Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest

Notable mentions: Daughter, If You Leave. No Ceremony///, No Ceremony. Manic Street Preachers, Rewind The Film. James Blake, Overgrown. Local Natives, Hummingbird. Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob. CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe. Savages, Silence Yourself. Sigur Rós, Kveikur. Múm, Smilewound. Volcano Choir, Repave. Grizzly Bear, Shields: B-sides. Rogue Wave, Nightingale Floors. Calexico, Maybe On Monday EP. Arcade Fire at a generous push.

Top tracks

I played the rather wonderful Reclaim several times a day over the Summer so it has to be my number one. I wasn't mad into the CHVRCHES album, but the Lies track is all sorts of incredible. Pair that with the Haim song and you got a party going on. It's a very mixed up list as ever, and I can't be bothered to explain everything so here it is.

  1. Ólafur Arnalds, Reclaim
  2. CHVRCHES, Lies
  3. The National, Slipped
  4. Phosphorescent, Song For Zula
  5. Haim, If I could Change Your Mind
  6. Queens of the Stone Age, I Sat By The Ocean, or I Appear Missing
  7. Agnes Obel, Fuel To Fire
  8. John Grant, Glacier
  9. James Blake, Retrograde
  10. Son Lux, Lost It To Trying
  11. Camera Obscura, William’s Heart
  12. Air Review, Rebel
  13. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Higgs Boson Blues
  14. Grouper, Vital
  15. Daughter, Amsterdam
  16. Cold War Kids, Miracle Mile
  17. The Thermals, You Will Be Free
  18. Steve Mason, Never Be Alone
  19. Savages, City’s Full
  20. Emiliana Torrini, Speed of Dark
  21. Iceage, Ecstasy

Top cover versions

  1. Arctic Monkeys, I Wanna Be Yours (John Cooper Clarke)
  2. Calexico, Unsatisfied (The Replacements)
  3. Mark Lanegan, Imitations (whole album)

Top gig

  • Sigur Rós, Madison Square Garden, New York

I think that was the only show I went to in 2013, which is kind of terrible. Oh wait, I also saw Sigur Rós in Nottingham, but kind of the same just not as epic. Hmm, I'm sure I saw a couple of other bands but if I can't recall then they can't have been very good, so that's that.

Treat your ears

If your ears have time, ask them to check out my 2013 Faves playlist. 181 tracks, 13 hours.