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

Further long-playing highlights...

Missed part one of our does-what-it-says-up-there run through of some of the year-so-far’s best albums? Go here to read about Savages, The National, Young Fathers, Mount Kimbie, Boards Of Canada and more.

Below: another superb 10 from 2013’s crop of new-release long-players. (So far.)

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Foals – ‘Holy Fire’

Reviewed in issue 82: “There’s plenty of key Foals characteristics to be found: fabulous funky rhythms that change at the drop of a hat; jangly, agitated guitars; and the compelling layered complexity of their songwriting, meaning you can listen to the LP 10 times straight and not get bored.”

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James Blake – ‘Overgrown’

Reviewed in issue 84: “Still drifting in and out of post-dubstep interpretations and piano acoustics, Blake stretches an early, minimalist potency and beautiful, lip-biting tension. ‘Overgrown’ remains closer knit, and paradoxically less fragmented than its illustrious predecessor.”

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The Haxan Cloak – ‘Excavation’

Reviewed in issue 84: “‘Excavation’ sounds exactly like its cover art looks: a noose on a black background. Unsettling to the extreme, this makes Blackest Ever Black’s ‘The Night Of The Burning’ sound like a children’s tea party. Spine-tinglingly brilliant.”

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Vampire Weekend – ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’

Reviewed in issue 85: “Melodic gifts are here in abundance: but the palette used to explore them has been vastly enhanced, Ezra Koenig’s vocals rich, varied and, at times, transcendental. ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ conveys one hell of a sense of permanence from a band that once seemed ephemeral and frivolous.”

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Deptford Goth (pictured, main) – ‘Life After Defo’

Reviewed in issue 83: “With powerful juxtapositions of connection and disconnection, hope and despair, life and death, possession and loss throughout, ‘Life After Defo’ is an absolute thesis on pop experimentalism.”

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Primal Scream – ‘More Light’

Reviewed in issue 85: “A sprawling document, more of an old-fashioned double-LP than an iTunes listing, ‘More Light’ is, in short, an inspirational return. By no means their most straightforward endeavour, it finds Primal Scream covering ground they know well as well as exploring fresh territory.”

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David Bowie – ‘The Next Day’

Reviewed in issue 83: “This is a contemplative, confident record which will only strengthen with further listening. Reflective, revitalising and luxuriously refined: it’s bloody good Bowie, after all.”

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Disclosure – ‘Settle’

Reviewed in issue 86: “It’s on tracks like ‘Latch’ that we see exactly why Disclosure have crept to the top of the charts, yet remain on the setlists of top selectors – it’s their ability to solder emotion and soul onto hyperactive dance riddims.”

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Kurt Vile – ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’

Reviewed in issue 84: “Kurt Vile is already onto his fifth solo LP, and it’s the Philadelphian’s most focused to date. Shedding much of the lo-fi aesthetic typifying previous work, this is classic rock only enriched by its keener edge.”

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The Knife – ‘Shaking The Habitual’

Reviewed in issue 84: “Strings are stretched and flutter like a levitating force on a backwards Lynchian loop. These pulses and polyrhythms may sound contemporary but ‘Old Dreams’ inhabits an ancient place of mists and sagas, which then mutates into 19 minutes of colossal white noise and handclapping. Self-possessed and uncompromising, this is a record with regal bearing.”

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Tomorrow: part three of this.

Yesterday: part one of this.

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