I’ve had a very light year musically. Like fat free cheese, it’s been recognisable as me, but without the joy. For most of the year, I was made the object of hatred by Daily Mail readers the length and breadth of the country; I was unemployed. Thus I couldn’t afford to buy much music. I don’t believe in music piracy, artists make fuck all from sales as it is without making it harder for them, and I also don’t believe in Spotify for the same reasons. The end result of this is that I haven’t listened to a lot of new music. Now I am back in gainful employment and commuting for four intellect shattering hours every day, I mean to redress that.
So, from what I have managed to hear, the following, in no particular order, are my favourites of the albums I heard in 2013.
This was easily my favourite of the year. The instrumentation is delectable, the vocals, genuine and beautiful. From what I’ve seen and heard of these three in interviews, I want to go boozing and write music with them.
I’ve followed Boots’ career from when she was dropping Tenori-On and piano demos onto Youtube. Her first album, although I love it, ended up being somewhat disappointing though. The major label she signed to took too much control of the production and sucked the life out of it. Nocturnes, however, released on her own label, is the album it should have been. It demonstrates a wealth of knowledge of pop music and synth wrangling. Pure pop porn.
I stumbled across this with a discovery thing on Google Play Music and immediately bought it. It sounds massive considering how simply orchestrated it is. Twisted and sexy.
Whenever I hear people talk about The XX, they conjure a beautiful picture of complex soundscapes and emotion laid bare. They never delivered for me though, contrite and contrived. Daughter, however, have made the album that fits these images.
Black Sands is easily one of my favourite electronic albums of all time. The tricksy sample-jockeying whisks me off to places that could never exist. The North Borders just continues this journey for me with Bonobo really becoming comfortable in his own skin.