And the 10 best albums of 2013 are …

Albums2013… probably not these, above. Well, they might be. Who would know? Who am I to judge?

Any “best of” list is, of course, completely arbitrary (“worst of” lists, on the other hand, are highly scientific), so you can take from my own list what you will. I have to say there wasn’t an album that smashed it out of the park for me this year.* Plenty of good stuff, but nothing I’d choose to have with me if I were stuck on a desert island, like Paul’s Boutique or Revolver (or a distress radiobeacon).

Anyway, here goes.

My 10 favourite albums of 2013
(no particular order) (links are to video tasters)
Jonathan Wilson, Fanfare
Jagwar Ma, Howlin
Killer Mike and El-P, Run The Jewels
Matthew E White, Big Inner
Arcade Fire, Reflektor
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away
My Bloody Valentine, mbv
Kanye West, Yeezus
Bill Callahan, Dream River
The Haxan Cloak, Excavation

10 great songs from other albums I liked
(no particular order)
Step” (Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City)
“Head On/Pill” (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Float Along – Fill Your Lungs)
Dream House” (Deafheaven, Sunbather)
Antiphon” (Midlake, Antiphon)
Loose Sutures” (Fuzz, Fuzz)
Nothing’s Changed” (Tricky, False Idols)
Default” (Atoms for Peace, Amok)
DOEN” (Red Fang, Whales and Leeches)
Xanman” (Pond, Hobo Rocket)
Hive” (Earl Sweatshirt, Doris)

Other artists/bands whose albums I enjoyed
Wire, Vista Chino, Darkside, Bernard Fanning, Barn Owl, Foxygen,, Hookworms, Clutch, Queens of the Stone Age, David Bowie, NIN, The Drones, Carcass, Boards of Canada, Endless Boogies, Kylesa, Danny Brown

Favourite live show: Laneway Festival, Singapore, 26 January 2013

5 highlights: Tame Impala, Divine Fits, Japandroids, Alt-J, Nicolas Jaar

Open-TheNecks* Oops. Spoke too soon. Just after I put this post together I got my hands on Open, the new album by The Necks. I first heard these guys – I guess you could call them a jazz trio, but it doesn’t tell the whole story – in the late 1990s. That was when they were supplying the soundtrack to one of the best (though, again, who am I to judge?) Aussie films of all time, The Boys. This new album is a single 68-minute piece of music that defies description … so I ain’t gonna describe it. I’ll just say this: it’s brilliant stuff.
[Up next: The 10 best jazz and/or rock trios named after parts of the body]

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