And so, with June on its way to becoming a distant memory, it’s time to look back on the first 181 days of 2013 in albums. The first part of our top 20 albums of the year so far has an eye on everything from chart-busting dance to rock legends in the midst of a continued creative renaissance, and a range of bands either making the leap or maintaining an impossibly high standard. Also, Yeezus.
10-1 comes tomorrow.
20. Everything Everything – Arc
The Mancunian indie quartet set the standard back in January with their sophomore effort.
“This is a fascinating album that somehow shrouds arena-filling indie in a frantic, experimental collage of tastes and lives to tell the tale.” – George Morahan’s review
19. Disclosure – Settle
The brothers Lawrence bring deep house to the mainstream and do it very well.
19. Akron/Family – Sub Verses
US experimentalists up the intensity, if such a thing were possible.
“Sub Verses is indeed an epic work” – Phil Udell’s review
17. Kanye West – Yeezus
The most forward-thinking and thoroughly ridiculous artist of our time goes industrial, demands croissants.
“…the most arresting work of his storied career.” – Dave Hanratty’s review
16. Foals – Holy Fire
Their richest and most mature effort to date. ‘Mathletics’ feels so long ago.
“Skillfully composed and never short of innovative, Foals’ third is the first future-classic of 2013.” – Paul Mc Connell’s review
15. Atoms for Peace – Amok
Thom Yorke’s new band explore what might have been for his other band, and it’s just as good.
“Atoms For Peace find their power in repetition. Disparate musical elements combine, accumulate and intensify to create something powerful and emotionally resonant.” – George Morahan’s review
14. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
The Brooklynites’ most intensely reflective record yet.
“Although he has always been their disheveled heart, Matt Berninger is not all the National have to offer, but Trouble Will Find Me is stunted for living in his lengthy shadow.” – George Morahan’s review
13. Austra – Olympia
Katie Stelmannis allows the rest of the band in and reaps the rewards.
“Spilling over with thought, intensity but with slightly less angst than Feel it Break, this is a grower” – Paul Mc Connell’s review
12. And So I Watch You From Afar – All Hail Bright Futures
Instrumentalists let the sun shine and broaden their horizons in the process.
“We didn’t see this coming.” – Phil Udell’s review
11. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away
Cave’s middle-aged purple patch is extended on the 15th Bad Seeds’ outing.
“…lo-fi, emotive perfection.” – Steven Dunne’s review