Best ALBUMS of 2013 So Far
“This year has just flown. I can’t believe it was only six months since so-and-so did that silly thing at Christmas” said everyone’s grandmothers around the world on July 1. With that in mind, let’s have a look back at the year so far, or more specifically this years albums.
DAVID BOWIE, The Next Day
Bowie is basically a personal hero of mine. His music is compelling, adventurous, innovative and mostly has aged spectacularly. So I doubt he would have had to try very hard for me to be impressed, but with The Next Day Bowie – reconnecting again with his longtime producing partner Tony Visconti – has crafted a touching late career rock album that proves that his artistic vision is as strong as ever.
Late last year a track by the name of ‘Latch’ from two South East England born brothers started worming its way into the ears of Aus listeners. Then before you knew it the guys were travelling this country making countless spectacular performance, Field Day included (where I actually missed their performance because their set clashed with SBTRK, because you know no one would expect them would share the same audience). So with all the hype building off the strength of their performances Disclosure put out Settle, their debut album that magically managers to refuse to do anything less than match the staggering expectations the guys cultivated. So while ‘Latch’ happened to be a standout of summer music 2012, on Settle it’s just another of many.
MOUNT KIMBIE, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
In 2010 Mount Kimbie came to great recognition alongside the likes of James Blake and NERO for working within a sound, which got termed as ‘post-dubstep’. This is a kind of music characterised by mid-tempo ‘ambient explorations‘, multiple samples playing over the top of one another and the Urban influences to the music. With their follow-up Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, Mount Kimbie loosen the hyperactivity of their previous effort, but never deviate too far from their greatly individual sensibility. One of the greatest highlights of this album is also the inclusion of King Krule on two tracks, adding a soulful voice to the dreamy sounds of Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.
KANYE WEST, Yeezus
After the one-two punch of My Beautiful Dark Twister Fantasy and Watch the Throne Kanye West took one mighty side-step into the aggressive, dirty and minimalism with 2013s Yeezus. Since its release I have looked at Yeezus as the sort-of antithesis of the 2008 release 808 Heartbreak. Where 808 is cold, restrained yet always seemingly on the verge of a break down of emotion, Yeezus is completely overt and embracive of a side to West his music has always seemed to keep in check. The submersion into the grimy sounds, the scathing lyrics and the (lateral) screaming vocal performance produces another totally unique, thoughtful and audacious album from West, the man who after 7 releases is still yet to produce an obvious dud.
SAVAGES, Silence Yourself
Silence Yourself presents Savages as a band totally confident and clear of their sound and their voice. The music explores an anxiousness to the digital, and our separation from a sense of place. This is a band who seem discontent with the worlds detachment from its natural self so they explore it deeply with both lyrics and the feelings created through combination of instruments and sounds. Ambient echoes and vibrations brush up against harrowing guitars, battle-cries vocals and at one point the most delightful inclusion of a saxophone.This is one of rock’s most stellar debuts in a very long time.
Five more Killas:
MAC MILLER, Watching Movies with the Sound Off
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, …Like Clockwork
DJ KOZE, Amygdala
COLD WAR KIDS, Dear Miss Lonleyhearts
DAFT PUNK, Random Access Memories
Words by Luke Letourneau