2013 was the year this blog hit the wall, but that won’t stop me from throwing out my own year end list. As you might expect from recent output, or lack thereof, this list is rather half baked and limited by my narrow world view, but if you’re reading this chances are we’ll agree on at least some of it. Please enjoy and feel free to broaden my horizons in the comments.
25. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
A retreat from Silent Shout, it’s a challenging but ultimately rewarding listen.
24. Phoenix – Bankrupt!
Likewise inferior to its predecessor, but still finely crafted French pop.
23. Pure Bathing Culture – Moon Tides
A guy/girl duo that take the Beach House blueprint and add a warming layer of synths.
22. Ejecta – Dominae
Gorgeous DIY synthpop from Daniel Lopatin and Neon Indian’s Leanne Macomber.
21. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Josh Homme is everywhere, but that’s because he’s kind of kickass.
20. Suede – Bloodsports
Ten years gone and it’s as if they never left.
19. Sigur Ros – Kveikur
The Icelandic experimentalists stripped down to a trio and made their most immediate album yet.
18. The Ocean Blue – Ultramarine
It’s been 14 years, but their beautiful jangle is still intact.
17. White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade
One of the tightest bands out there, they’ve perfected their proprietary form of psychedelic blues.
16. Still Corners – Strange Pleasures
This London duo play it straighter than Chvrches, which is much more pleasing to these ears.
15. Minks – Tides End
A strong set of 80’s tinged tunes from Brooklyn’s Sonny Kilfoyle that embody the Captured Tracks ethos.
14. Pet Shop Boys – Electric
After a string of “mature” albums, they reembraced the beat and brought the early 90’s flooding back.
13. Primal Scream – More Light
Speaking of the 90’s, Bobbie Gillespie’s ever evolving collective found a spot between Screamadelica and Give Out But Don’t Give Up.
12. Foals – Holy Fire
Mercury Prize nominated, the band’s third album reaches for greater heights.
11. Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
Their strongest album in more than a decade and a massive tour confirmed they’re still vital.
10. Midlake – Antiphon
The departure of vocalist Tim Smith found the band embracing a more psychedelic direction with mesmerizing results.
9. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
Trent Reznor didn’t hang up Nine Inch Nails for long… just long enough to rediscover his roots.
8. Weekend – Jinx
Another Slumberland entry, this San Francisco shoegaze outfit have just the right combination of noise, melody and urgency.
7. Holy Ghost! – Dynamics
These nu-disco bros may not be breaking new ground, but they wear their influences well.
6. Johnny Marr – The Messenger
A homer call, sure, but it’s a grower featuring every kind of sound we’ve patiently been waiting to hear him play.
5. Deerhunter – Monomania
A scruffy detour into garage rock that still offers glimpses of Bradford Cox’s brilliant songcraft.
4. Cut Copy – Free Your Mind
A concept album that marries the two summers of love, preaching peace and love over house grooves.
3. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
The organic reinvention of the robots is a master class in new media promotion and old fashioned analog craftsmanship.
2. Arctic Monkeys – AM
The most fully realized effort to date from the UK’s best rock band going.
1. My Bloody Valentine – m b v
It’s a new My Bloody Valentine record. Period.
Spotify playlist (minus White Denim, Minks & MBV):