Click on the title for the Spotify playlist. I’ve not put them in any particular order but suffice to say that Bowie’s comeback was my musical highlight of 2013. I thought nothing could beat the rush of waking up to his surprise single in January but watching him back in action in the The Stars (Are Out Tonight) video was awe-inspiring. Nothing else comes close, which is saying something as there are some astounding albums in this list.

They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories.. – The Bullitts
Pale Green Ghosts – John Grant
Rewind The Film – Manic Street Preachers
Pure Heroine – Lorde
Electric – Pet Shop Boys
Upstream Color – Shane Carruth
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Once I Was An Eagle – Laura Marling
Immunity – Jon Hopkins
The Electric Lady – 
Janelle Monáe
{Awayland} – Villagers
Pedestrian Verse – Frightened Rabbit
Reflektor – Arcade Fire
The Diving Board – Elton John
The Thieves Banquet – Akala
Mosquito – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tales of Us – Goldfrapp
Trouble Will Find Me – The National
The Next Day – David Bowie
The 1975 – The 1975

My Albums of 2013

Lead single The Waves is more daring still, its sparse beat-driven opening and apocalyptic lyrics recalling latter-day Radiohead. It fizzes with drama and excitement as O’Brien imagines (and identifies with) waves crashing down on humanity and eradicating “well-insulated bigotry”. Befitting the theme, the music reaches a furious crescendo which is as powerful as the climax of any Hollywood disaster movie. This fury at the self-righteous and the narrow-minded is found throughout the album – the deceptively catchy Judgement Call is a coruscating attack on “the clean, and the right and the chosen ones” who “gotta get the kids before they grow/God forbid they retain their sense of wonder.” Grateful Song, meanwhile, is an ode to adversity and the conviction which arises from it – a conviction which O’Brien hopes will save him should he “”forgo a love for my brothers and my sisters with a pledge of allegiance to God.”


My review of the new Villagers album is up.

Villagers – Awayland