Top 40 Albums of 2013: Part One – 40 to 31

And here we go again! As we bring 2013 to a close, it’s time for our annual celebration of the best in music from Australia and around the world with our top 40 albums of the year special series. We kick things off with a little known band from Portland called Typhoon as we throw into this eclectic list, voted by the AU review’s contibutors:

40. Typhoon – White Lighter

Larry Heath: This album really blew me away, as did the band when I saw them at Austin City Limits earlier this year. It’s not an album that has had much press here in Australia but we think it deserves attention. It’s an album that brings to life comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel, Bright Eyes and Beirut, while making it uniquely their own. We’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a stream to the whole record which we’ll share with you below. If you’re a fan of any of the bands mentioned, you will not be disappointed with White Lighter, the first entry in our top 40 list for 2013!

39. Pond – Hobo Rocket

What We Said: The album doesn’t feel short or unfinished, despite only having seven tracks. When it finishes, you feel satisfied and content with what you’ve listened to. It is a complete work, and doesn’t have any real standout tracks – which is the mark of a good album. Hobo Rocket hasn’t taken Pond in a groundbreaking new direction, but it didn’t need to. Pond have found what they’re good at and continued to do it, and credit must be given to them for this. – Justine McNamara (Original Album Review Score: 8.2 out of 10).

38. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

What We Said: Picking a favourite from the album is proving to be a challenging task; too many of the tracks have a grabbed my attention for different reasons. Lead single ‘The Woodpile’ is a masterpiece, though a touch more polished than the bands previous work, there is still a attractive rawness to the bands sound, that is distinctively their own. Another favourite of mine, is ‘Late Match, Death March’ featuring a brilliant albeit gloomy chorus, that’s just waiting to be sung along to live. We’re barely a month into the year and Frightened Rabbit have released this, an album that surely will be – or at least should beo- featured in many end of year polls. It’s a confident and assured release, and despite its name, there is nothing pedestrian about it. – Simon Clark (Original Album Review Score: 9.2 out of 10).

37. Rufus – Atlas

Mairead Bilton-Gough: An outstanding breakthrough album, every song makes you want to dance. Wouldn’t press skip on any of the tracks.

36. Cut Copy – Free Your Mind

Stuart Sevastos: Once again Dan Whitford and co delivered the beats and at at the same time expanded their sound. It’s an album you can put on straight away and catch onto it very quickly, without having to listen to it a number of times.

35. Daughter – If You Leave

What We Said: Daughter do exactly what they set out to do, and do it well. Singles ‘Smother’ and ‘Still’ are highlights, and on ‘Youth’ Tonra’s vocals are more to the fore, instead of being lost amongst a haze of guitar tinkling and shadowy background noise. – Paul McBride (Original Album Review Score: 6.2 out of 10).

34. Phoenix – Bankrupt!

What We Said: Although several of the slower tracks aren’t quite as appealing as those that make you want to dance, they certainly add some depth to the record. Perhaps on their own they wouldn’t be as appealing, but finding their places between the catchier numbers helps makes Bankrupt! an album you want to listen to again and again. – Mairead Bilton-Gough Original Album Review Score: 8.2 out of 10).

33. Boy and Bear – Harlequin Dream

Jayden Wilson: Boy & Bear have had a substantial amount of growth since their debut album Moonfire. They managed to give a fresh sound while remaining true to their roots.

32. Disclosure – Settle

Jules LeFevre: Without a doubt, the best electronic act in the world at the moment. An astonishing debut.

431. Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends

Isabella Fowler: A little erratic, a little superficial and too damn fun.

Stay tuned as we continue counting down to the #1 album of 2013…

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.