SPOTIFY PLAYLIST ALERT! Though I’ve picked out ten of my favourite albums of the year, there were plenty of other great albums and some damn fine singles released too, so I’ve put together a pretty great collection of 28 tracks into one super-duper playlist. Enjoy!
1. Darwin Deez – Wonky Beats
I’m probably as surprised as you that a concept rap album sampling Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from already accomplished none-more-hip singer-songwriter Darwin Deez would be my album of the year, but it’s just too much damn fun for it not to be. The lyrics are more like a bizarro geek stream of consciousness than anything, a 21st century pop culture time capsule, and few have other musical offerings this year have left me with quite as broad a grin on my faces as Wonky Beats. And the best thing of all? It’s free!
TOP TRACK: I Don’t Like The Look (Remix)
2. The Horrors – Skying
The Horrors expand on the successful formula they nailed with Primary Colours, with an even bigger and better sound than before. Not original by any stretch of the imagination, but by golly, it’s an album that truly soars.
TOP TRACK: Monica Gems
3. Matt Berry – Witchazel
Not just gifted with a smooth voice and comedy chops, Matt Berry is also a supremely talented musician, as is evident with this, his third album – a magical folk-infused journey into the English countryside, with a warm 70s telly incidental music sensibility.
TOP TRACK: Take My Hand
4. Metronomy – The English Riviera
The sound of the summer, Metronomy’s best album yet was stripped-back, stylish simplicity married with bona fide excellent tunes.
TOP TRACK: The Look
5. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
Another typically strong work from the TVOTR team, though tinged with inevitable sadness with the passing of bassist Gerard Smith shortly after its release.
TOP TRACK: Repetition
6. Battles – Gloss Drop
Battles return as a trio, but on fighting form with a sparky set of intricate tracks, buoyed by wonderful guest turns from the likes of Gary Numan, Matias Aguayo, and Yamantaka Eye.
TOP TRACK: Ice Cream
7. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
Abstruse, for sure, bordering on the impenetrable, but given time, The King of Limbs unfolds into a fascinating and atmospheric listening experience.
TOP TRACK: Lotus Flower
8. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Few artists manage to conjure up quite so wonderful dreamy soundscapes as Anthony Gonzalez, and this double album is a fine example of what he does so well.
TOP TRACK: OK Pal
9. Justice – Audio, Video, Disco
Topping their debut was always going to be a tall ask, but Justice come pretty close with another batch of hard-to-beat beats that mainline into whichever part of the brain responds to awesomeness.
TOP TRACK: Civilization
10. The Leisure Society – Into The Murky Water
A musical voyage of pure unabashed loveliness that gently rocks you into submission. Something special.
TOP TRACK: Into The Murky Water
Cults – Cults
Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi – Rome
The Dø – Both Ways Open Jaws
Flashman – To the Victor the Spoils!
Fruit Bats – Tripper
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer
Russian Circles – Empros
BONUS: Music Video of the Year
Is Tropical – The Greeks (Dir: Megaforce)