Albums of 2013

Always in two minds about the end of year list, it does never the less prove a useful reminder of what I was listening to when new fancies steal my attention away over the next year. Based purely on the amount I have played them – which I assume means they have that certain ‘something’ that makes them special – my top ten albums of 2013 are, in no particular order (cue ludicrous and dramatic music and overlong wait)….

Local Natives – Humming Bird

Due to my laziness and pre-occupations, scandalously no scribbles on either this brilliant album nor the entirely lovely gig at the nasty Bristol O2…..

Nils Frahm – Spaces

A combination of not always technically perfect recordings from various shows, Spaces does indeed capture some of the wonder of a live Nils Frahm show – mesmerising

James Blake – Overgrown

Very nearly my album of the year before others seduced me, and most definitely one of the better gigs of the year, Mr Blake et al make some wonderful sounds

Shearwater – Travelers

Never disappointing, Shearwater put together some unexpected and glorious cover tracks in Travelers rather helpfully introducing me to bands I knew little of

Mountaineater – Mountaineater

At last, at last, a thunderous and joyous debut from Mountaineater, taken a while but so worth it

There Will Be Fireworks – Dark Dark Bright

Late in the year before we saw the second album from TWBF – full of fabulous Caledonian vocals, evocative lyrics and sparkling playing

Message to Bears – Maps

Jerome Alexander aka Message to Bears seems unable to make anything other than rather wonderful music, and on Maps he adds more electronica to sparkling effect

Villagers – {Awayland}

Almost last year and so easy to overlook, {Awayland} proved a brave and progressive step, and the live shows!….

Turin Brakes – We Were Here

We Were Here saw TB resurgent and resplendent, like all their best bits made a bit better and as always joyful live performances

Halves – Boa Howl

Then truly remarkable Halves issued the wonderful Boa Howl along with a few dates this side of the Irish Sea carefully timed so I couldn’t see them (again)


But not to be forgotten and only not there because Top Twelve doesn’t scan as well as Top Ten, the mighty…

Tesselators – Harvest of Sorrows

Whose Harvest of Sorrows provided the opportunity for an inspired collision of the concept album and tales of super-heros – top work chaps, top work

Tom Mitchell – Ruthless Thing

The irrepressible Tom Mitchell released EP Ruthless Thing, alongside countless shows and unending enthusiasm bringing his own twist on Elliott Smith/Mark Knopfler stylee, and as a reward may see a track used in the New Year to support TV and cinema adverts – wil you talk to me when you’re famous?

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