Summing up my favourite albums from 2013 was certainly one of the hardest things I could have possibly chosen to do. I think 2013 has been both the year of good and bad music, Jessie J and other pop chart zombies being the bad, and some of these albums being the cream of the crop.
-Arctic Monkeys / AM
The infamous Arctic Monkeys fifth studio album ‘AM’ was certainly the highlight of any fans year. As I’ve stated in previous blog posts, I’ve felt as though the lead up to this album has been painful. The band constantly teased us with the special record store day release of ‘R U Mine?’ then there was a dry patch, then ‘Do I wanna Know?’ was released and then Glastonbury happened, and still no album. However finally on the 9th September fans where put out of their misery. I genuinely think this album is a slice of genius pie. I think something that Arctic Monkeys do best is having an individual sound to each album, which is something that I really admire. Go have a listen if you haven’t yet, you won’t regret it!
–Peace / In Love
After Peace blew my mind with EP Delicious back in September 2012, I literally couldn’t wait for a debut album from the band. March 2013 was when all my wishes where granted. The band are a modern day answer to 90’s Rock. Although the band are new comers onto the music scene, they’re inevitably one of my favourite bands of all time. I can’t wait for more from them and hopeful finally get the chance to see them live in 2014, fingers crossed!
-The Strokes / Comedown Machine
Comedown Machine was probably one of the biggest musical shocks of the year for me. There was no record promotion, no interviews and no tour. It’s as though the album was released as just a little feast for hungry fans wanting something new from them, even though their previous album ‘Angels’ was only released in 2011, there’s a part of me that makes me feel that this album was perhaps rushed, and I know there’s much debate about their previous albums being a whole lot better. However I’m disappointed that there’s been no tour, I’m just as happy having something new from the band.
-Foals / Holy Fire
I feel as though I’ve watched Foals grow up, especially music wise. I remember watching the music video for Balloons, and compared to now, in how they look and how they sound there is a significant difference, however I can’t complain. Even though Holy Fire was released in February I think it was probably the album the I listened to most in the Summer time. I just think that it had a really summery vibe to it. I think Foals are a band that you can’t help but fall in love with, especially after watching Yannis go radio rental at Glastonbury.
-Palma Violets / 180
Palma Violets truly flourished as a band this year with the release of their debut album ‘!80’ as well as strong support from NME magazine. I think the band where at least mentioned in pretty much every issue with the run up to their album and for a short period afterwards. I feel as though Palma Violets aren’t a band that I can put into a niche genre, I have no idea why. I just think that this record has an unusual feel to it, as though it hasn’t been done before. I feel as though the album is a mix of personal jokes that the band has made into song. I don’t know where I’m going with this so I have no idea why I’m even attempting to explain. All in all it’s a good album, once again it has that summery sound to it.
-The Strypes/ Snapshot
I’m literally shocked by the talent of these boys. the fact that they’re 15/16 years old is absolutely outstanding. ‘Snapshot’ is a strange combinations of music genre, however it’s absolutely brilliant. with a hint of classic R&B and Blues repertoire, taking from the songbooks of some of the finest musicians, such as Chuck Berry, the band really can do wrong. After seeing the band live in October when they supported Arctic Monkeys on their U.K tour, this band has a promising future ahead of them, if I do say so myself.
-She & Him/ Volume 3
Zooey Deschanel isn’t just acting talent and breath taking looks, the girl can sing to, and pretty well too. She & Him consist of M.Ward and Zooey herself. Volume 3 is the fourth studio album from the duo and probably my favourite. The 50’s pop/jazz sound to the record is absolutely beautiful, and in stressful times, this was the album I’d reach for with no hesitation. A cover of Blondies ‘Sunday Girl’ is also featured on the album, which is probably one of the most beautiful covers I’ve heard of this song (she even sings most of it in french…FRENCH)
–The Courteeners/ Anna
One of the things that makes me love The Courteeners so much, is probably Liam Fray’s love for his loving fans from Liverpool, which is surprising as the band are from Manchester. I saw the band back in July as their ‘Glastonbury Warm Up gig’ at Liverpool o2 Arena and it was probably one of my favourite gigs ever. I love how the band turns gritty song subjects like Drugs/breakups/sex and makes it beautiful on the ear. Amazing.
One of the things I love about Drenge is their brutality., however in a sense of how they almost have a beautiful brutal clanky sound to their music. It’s an album that you’d certainly want to listen to when you’re angry. I do love a good Husky voice. I’ve read previously of the band being dubbed similar to The Black Keys and The White Stripes, however these are statements that I just don’t agree with. The Black Keys and The White Stripes have a clear American rock sound to their records, however I find Drenge a weird mix between American rock and British rock. It’s almost ‘grungey’ – Which is a word that i would most probably never use, however it’s the only word that I can find to some what describe their music.