Favourite Albums of 2013
Gilded Skies – Jack Hertz
Excellent ambient music, free to download or stream. One of my photos on the cover. See also here. Released by We Are All Ghosts netlabel, founded by my friend Thomas Mathie aka @headphonaught on Twitter and elsewhere.
AMOK – Atoms For Peace (Thom Yorke)
The debut album by the band Atoms for Peace features Radiohead singer Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, keyboards and programming), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea (bass), longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (production and programming), Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M. (drums) and Mauro Refosco (percussion).
Lost in You – Petula Clark
80 year old Petula Clark needs little introduction. Her latest album is beautiful, notables tracks are a new version of Downtown and a cover of Gnarls Barkley‘s Crazy (yes, you read that right).
Dronescape 003 (waag_drs003) – Cousin Silas
The third instalment in this series from the master of the ambient soundscape Cousin Silas, who I also count as a friend I haven’t met yet. Another album released on the We Are All Ghosts netlabel. Note: there have now been more releases in this series.
Graffiti on the Train – Stereophonics
As I listened to their new album I put aside the usual ‘meat and potatoes’ criticism of this Welsh band. I’m pleased I did, as this is a fine piece of work in my humble opinion. I defy anyone to listen to the last track without a tear in the eye!
Sing to the Moon – Laura Mvula
A lovely album by the singer-songwriter from Birmingham, full of interesting and beautiful harmonies.
Pearl Mystic – Hookworms
A great debut album from this Leeds-based five-piece psych-rock band whose members eschew celebrity, being known simply by their initials. I came across this band when I heard them on BBC Radio 6 Music.
People, Hell & Angels – Jimi Hendrix
An excellent collection of studio rarities from the undisputed master of the electric guitar, definitely one for Hendrix fans out there. Not strictly speaking a 2013 record, but released this year.
Nanobots – They Might Be Giants
It’s hard to think of They Might Be Giants without thinking of their 1990 hit Birdhouse in Your Soul (watch on YouTube). Their latest offering is an idiosyncratic collection of 25 tracks in about 45 minutes. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a listen.
The Next Day – David Bowie
David Bowie is one of my favourite musicians, and he never disappoints. A great new album, that came as quite a surprise when it was announced. Check out my post about it here.
Tooth & Nail – Billy Bragg
This is a beautiful downbeat and reflective album from the national treasure that is singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. I was pleased to meet him a couple of years ago at an event organised to celebrate the unity in diversity of Leicester following hatred stirred up by the racist EDL.
East (waag_rel021) – Cousin Silas
A second appearance in this list for Cousin Silas, a wonderful double album. Haunting synths, gentle lilting percussion, vibrant bass, intriguing field-recordings and vocal samples, and his guitar all come together in such an exemplary manner. Thomas Mathie
Hubcap Music – Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve is always entertaining, and his sixth studio album is no exception. The title derives from his Morris Minor guitar, made out of two hubcaps placed back-to-back, which he uses frequently.
Please note: Albums listed in order of release. This is a work in progress (obviously).
Here is a link to a Spotify playlist of the albums above (and some others not listed here yet) that are available for streaming: Favourite Albums 2013