In our second batch of ‘Top 5s of 2013’, we take a look at the long players that have soundtracked the past twelve months. Again, they’re featured in no particular order.
Dutch Uncles – Out of Touch in the Wild
It was third album lucky for Dutch Uncles as this release finally got them the credit they deserved – and a Paramore European tour support slot to boot! Idiosyncratic, surreal and peculiar pop moments and a love of Steve Reich made repeated listens a highly rewarding experience. Plus frontman Duncan Wallis managed to give hope to all of us who can’t dance…
Stagecoach – Say Hi to the Band
We waited a long time for their debut long player, but when it finally came, Stagecoach did not disappoint. ‘Say Hi to the Band’ developed the band’s sound so that their bouncy indie-pop melodies combined with a more reflective and assured approach. Looking back on all aspects of life and ten years in the band, it’s tinged with sadness that this is their sign-off, but what a way to bow out!
Phoenix – Bankrupt!
When this album was released, we really believed it would be the album to take Phoenix up to UK festival and arena headliner status, especially after their set (complete with a cameo from R Kelly) wowed the masses over the pond at Coachella. They’ve ended up a tremendous Second Stage headliner and isn’t that more fun anyway? The album was full of bona-fide indie-pop hits and had some of the year’s most memorable hooks.
Los Campesinos! – No Blues
Any album with the lyrics ‘People laugh, they will call it folly, but we connected like a Yeboah volley’ is fine by us. Littered with poetic self-depreciation and dark humour, the band’s overall sound was also more structured and confident than ever before, with the varied sound taking in everything from the glam stompalong of ‘Avocado, Baby’ to the more settled and reflective ‘Let It Spill’.
Adam Green and Binki Shapiro – Adam Green and Binki Shapiro
Subtletly might not be the first word you associate with Adam Green, but this album of understated duets with Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro was a delight. Tinged with Phil Spector elements, the duo’s voices synched in perfect harmony and took you back to a romantic summer in the 1960s.
Other albums up for consideration this year included And So I Watch You From Afar, The National, Jamie Lenman, Frightened Rabbit, Anna Calvi, Villagers, Everything Everything, Laura Marling and Foals.