Way back when in January, we peered into our crystal balls and sought to predict the top albums of 2013 with the help of our excellent contributors. Whilst some of the albums are yet to be released, it’s now exactly half way through the year and time to check out how well our predictions went and what our contributors have been listening to on repeat.
6. Sigur Ros – Kveikur
The seventh release from the Icelandic three piece (pictured above) was only released midway through June but already the nine track album has been heaped with praise for its originality and shock value. Not an album for first time Sigur Ros listeners but definitely one for long time fans.
Nicholas Langley: This darker offering almost returns to their debut album, Von, whilst still remaining accessible enough for a couple of singles. There is hope blended with despair, and crushing textures contrasted with soaring melodies. One of their best yet.
5. Jagwar Ma – Howlin’
If you haven’t checked out the debut album from the Sydneysiders taking over the musical world then you must have been living under a very insulated rock. In the words of Noel Gallagher, “The future of the galaxy depends on the Temples and Jagwar Ma records.”
Sose Fuamoli: An excellent release from the Australians who are rightly so being lauded with praise overseas. Perhaps it’s because they have such an international flair about them that it wouldn’t be stupid to assume they’ve come out of the UK scene. The heaviness of the beats and the infectious nature behind the melody makes me want to dance regardless of where I am…a sign of an album done right.
4. Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob
Another seventh album release, Tegan & Sara’s Heartthrob is the twins highest chart release yet, debuting at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Jason Strange: An album so damn catchy it’s criminal. These girls know how to write a great pop break up song. I defy anyone to not being able to relate to the track ‘How Come You Don’t Want Me Now’. A slab of pop goodness yet again from the twins.
3. Foals – Holy Fire
Michael Lean: Delivering on the promise built across their first two albums and tightening their core sound, Foals have finally produced their swan song from the release of Inhaler to the one song that can compete with ‘Get Lucky’ as the funkiest track of the year, ‘My Number’. There are also slow burners like ‘Late Night’. It is an enthralling listen to lose oneself in.
2. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
For two month old album, the latest release from Queens of the Stone Age has made quite an impact in its infancy. Featuring Dave Grohl on drums post Joey Castillo’s departure from the band, the album contributors including Trent Reznor, Alex Turner, and even Sir Elton John.
Lauren Connelly: Despite continually releasing solid and consistent albums over the past 15 or so years, QOTSA have outdone themselves with …Like Clockwork. A perfect collection of tracks that is indeed a long player – it’s necessary to sit down and listen to this as a whole. Homme is still dark and edgy, and of course it has that QOTSA sound raging through it. But the ebb and flow is what makes this album absurdly brilliant. I called this as one of the albums of 2013 before its release – it’s nice to say I was very, very right.
1. Kanye West – Yeezus
Another youngling’ to make the list, Kanye’s sixth release has been both eagerly and unenthusiastically received since its release. Love him or hate him, this latest release at least has riled up a bit of discussion and debate on the fine line between confidence and delusion between critics.
Jason Strange: The man knows how to make a cracking album. Call him what you want, when it comes to music and production – he nails it each and every time. ‘Yeezus’ is everything that Kanye is. It’s self indulgent, brash, and forces you to pay attention – just like the man himself. And let’s face it, only Yeezy can get away with a song called ‘I Am A God’.