The Best Albums Of September 2013

With Arctic Monkeys, Drake, Kings Of Leon and more...

Straight to it: here are 10 of the very best (new) albums Clash heard in September. Wait, let’s rephrase that: these are albums that came out in September. Clear? We’re rarely clear when anything’s actually out, these days…

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Machinedrum – ‘Vapor City’
(Ninja Tune; released September 30th)

“He’s dreamt up a concept album, based around a recurring dream of his about a city – ‘Vapor City’ – with each track a different district that he lets us roam freely around. And he cements his title as one of the most versatile and heavy-hitting producers in the game.”

Read the full review here

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Drake – ‘Nothing Was The Same’
(Young Money; released September 20th)

“Drake’s spoken of a new contentment in his life, and the coherency that flows across these cuts, joining one to the next, is indicative of a clear confidence in his current creative process. At times it’s bordering complacency, but never for so long that the overall experience becomes dour.”

Read the full review here

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Kings Of Leon – ‘Mechanical Bull’
(RCA; released September 20th)

“‘Mechanical Bull’ is more instantly enjoyable than its predecessor – it’s less earnest, with clearer dynamics between dark and light in its varied rhythms, tones and personal touches. A strong, engaging return to form, it’s made to ride. Strap in and enjoy.”

Read the full review here

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Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’
(Domino; released September 6th)

“Welding inspiration from hip-hop greats with rock’s titans, ‘AM’ is built upon portentous beats that are dark and intimidating, yet wickedly thrilling. Its many stylistic inspirations make it an invigorating experience, and it continues the band’s playful diversion from the Mojave-darkness of ‘Humbug’ that ‘Suck It And See’ heralded.”

Read the full review here

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Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘R Plus Seven’
(Warp Records; released September 30th)

“The pneumatic pulsations of ‘Zebra’ give way to absorbing ambience, while ‘Still Life’ morphs from delicious drones to ominous, shadowy bass. Disquieting divinity, duly delivered.”

Read the full review here

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Emilíana Torrini – ‘Tookah’
(Rough Trade; released September 9th)

“It’s no surprise that everything sounds so wonderful: Dan Carey, whose credits include Yeasayer, TOY and Chairlift, is at the helm. His excellent production wraps Emilíana’s voice in clouds of buzzes, swooshes and warm instrumentation. Every track gives you something new and exciting, while holding tightly on to her flawless voice and melodies.”

Read the full review here

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CHVRCHES – ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’
(Virgin; released September 23rd)

“Not only do CHVRCHES revive the synth-pop sound, they push it forward, with wave upon wave of shimmering synths, more hooks than an angling shop and a songwriting acumen that belies the group’s relative infancy.”

Read the full review here

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The Weeknd – ‘Kiss Land’|
(XO; released September 10th)

“Abel Tesfaye hasn’t turned to gimmicks for ‘Kiss Land’. Instead, he’s managed to transcend his previous efforts via the scaling up the sonics and simply maintaining the quality of this excellent record.”

Read the full review here

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Factory Floor – ‘Factory Floor’
(DFA; released September 9th)

“Gorgeously grimy, post-punk art school posturing muddled up with post-industrial disco, sweating it out in the Haçienda with Liquid Liquid and the 99 Records coterie. Big, bold, invigorating stuff.”

Read the full review here

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65daysofstatic – ‘Wild Light’
(Superball; released September 16th)

“This isn’t an album you’ll want to shuffle into an arbitrary track order, the usual cliché of the journey in sound holding sufficient water in this instance. The journey is one way. Retreat is death, and 65days only ever run towards the light.”

Read the full review here.

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Read more album reviews on Clash here.

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Listen to this best-of-September selection as a Deezer playlist, below…

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