by / July 2nd, 2013 /

State’s albums of 2013 so far: 10-1

Albums 20-11 can be seen here.

2013 has been the year of the comeback so far. Five artists in this final part of our countdown had not released a studio album since at least 2006 until this year, but their respective renaissances have not come at the expense of the young talent that find themselves nestled comfortably throughout our top 10 – four of the albums here are either debuts or second albums.

The soundtrack of January-June is self-lacerating but also unbelievably smooth, cripplingly nostalgic but bravely looking to the future, and polarising but immensely listenable. It seems absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

10. Little Green Cars – Absolute Zero

The harmonising Dublin upstarts with their eyes firmly on the prize and within touching distance of it.

“This may be only the start of the story.” – Mark Roche’s review

9. John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

This violent and spirited assassination of an ex-lover sends Grant to new levels.

“He offers two pieces of advice: first, you don’t have to suffer like I did, and second, if you do, the pain can have a purpose; it can beget beauty.” – Niall Crumlish’s review

8. Jagwar Ma – Howlin’

Summer 2013’s psych-pop record of choice.

7. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

JT remodels himself as a luxury brand and brings the long-form funk.

The 20/20 Experience attempts a grand deconstruction of its own most popular, base elements in a protracted exploration of rhythm” – George Morahan’s review

6. David Bowie – The Next Day

Bowie shows his age, confronts his myth and comes out victorious.

“It starts incredibly strongly, finishes with conviction and will probably go some way to conflating Bowie’s legend with the idea of a suddenly tangible future that he is clearly in control of.” – Steven Dunne’s review

5. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

Ambient Scots took their time with album number four, but it was worth the long and sometimes puzzling wait.

“Subtly, Tomorrow’s Harvest retreats back to their more conventional work, as if the two rediscovered their old selves during the process.” – Fintan Walsh’s review

4. Villagers – {Awayland}

Conor O’Brien and co. take a confident leap into this century and build on the success of Becoming a Jackal.

“…they’re learning to use their intelligence in new and dazzling ways.” – George Morahan’s review

3. My Bloody Valentine – m b v

Not quite the second coming, but, to many, it was close enough.

“My Bloody Valentine are all about being in the moment. And m b v is a collection of endless moments – gauzy, heady, harmonious moments…” – Alan Reilly’s review

2. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

The moment when four gentrifying Ivy League hot-shots became real boys.

Modern Vampires of the City is the missing piece of the puzzle.” – Dave Hanratty’s review

1. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Heavily divisive but immaculate all the same.

“Full of nice little flourishes and almost 100 per cent sample-free, Daft Punk have made a kind of progressive-retro album. But it is just too much of a good thing.” – Steven Dunne’s review

  • Stretch MacGibbon

    Pointless to comment, tis yer tastebuds all the same. Don’t even know why I’m commenting. I will go now.

  • gowan

    never a bad thing to try and support domestic music but pretty sure villagers and Little Green Cars wouldn’t make the top 200 in any other country’s list