Clash’s Best Albums Of 2013 So Far – Part One

Can you guess which albums have made the cut...?

Well, the title up there rather explains what this is about. So let’s keep this introduction brief.

Clash has listened to a lot of albums in 2013, so far. And we’ll be doing the same for the second half of the year.

Over the next three days we’ll be highlighting some of our favourites. Thirty in total. No rankings, no competition: these are simply fantastic albums that we’re still very much listening to.

Here’s your starter of 10…

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Savages – ‘Silence Yourself’

Reviewed in issue 85: “The thunderous, catatonic, post-rock soundscapes need your entire brain to lock in, or they flail around like eels in the dark. (This is) a wilder, impatient beast, squealing with immediacy and thrashing with insurgency. There is a modern, angry masterpiece in here.”

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Boards Of Canada – ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’

Reviewed in issue 86: “This is cyclical, introspective – if machines have soul, then this is truly spiritual music. Boards Of Canada have saved their finest ideas for ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’, which burns as brightly as anything they have accomplished thus far.”

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Young Fathers – ‘Tape Two’

Reviewed in issue 86: “While Young Fathers (pictured, main) may lack stereotypical Scottish sonic behaviour – whatever your own perception of that may be – they channel the same perplexing distinction into exhilaratingly baffling production and refreshingly sharp and passionate lyrics. Everything suggests that, on the strength of this set, The Land of the Brave won’t need a referendum to prove its independence.”

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Sigur Rós – ‘Kveikur’

Reviewed in issue 86: “‘Kveikur’ sounds like a band reborn. Having lost multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson in 2012, the Icelandic outfit decided to challenge themselves a little by roughening up the edges and toning down the glacial euphoria. It’s far from more of the same.”

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Mount Kimbie – ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’

Reviewed in issue 85: “This has the same accomplished complexity as the duo’s debut. It’s an album that doesn’t hit hard; but left to percolate, it seeps with a distant brilliance.”

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The National – ‘Trouble Will Find Me’

Reviewed in issue 85: “This long into the band’s career, the narratives here – on love, on loss, etc – aren’t new, but they’re crafted with an intimacy and intensity that inspires a simple, continued devotion. ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ contains the same qualities that made 2005’s ‘Alligator’ and 2007’s ‘Boxer’ albums so vital and personal. This set of tracks will stand with their most masterful.”

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Laura Marling – ‘Once I Was An Eagle’

Reviewed in issue 85: “It’s a long album – 16 songs with interlude – but ‘Once I Was An Eagle’ (appropriately) flies by. New intricacies emerge on every listen, from the ghostly percussion of ‘Little Love Caster’ and the sweetest of melodies in ‘Pray For Me’. Without doubt, this is one of the folk albums of the year.”

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These New Puritans – ‘Field Of Reeds’

Reviewed in issue 86: “It’s an incredibly accomplished record, no doubt about that. Brilliantly composed, planned and produced, a feast of instrumentation that mixes the classical and contemporary with style.”

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Ghostpoet – ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’

Reviewed in issue 85: “Patting you from the palm of his hand, Ghostpoet sits loftily, courting a preservation chamber lit by synths and orderly electronics capable of a domineering aspect set to an unhurried flicker: ‘Them Waters’ is something for new wave vampires to lock themselves into.”

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Tyler, The Creator – ‘Wolf’

Reviewed in issue 85: “Tyler emerges, still relevant and unique once again. ‘Wolf’ is a well-executed concept album, reminding us why its maker is amongst the most exciting and talented hip-hop artists of the past few years.”

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Tomorrow: part two of this flashback to some mighty fine albums.

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