Slacker Shack’s top twenty albums of 2013
2013 has been a strong year for music and the Slacker Shack top twenty albums of the year list below spans a number of genres – but we do have a penchant for quality indie rock and hip hop in particular.
As ever there were a number of artists that produced awesome singles in 2013 but couldn’t quite spread out their brilliance across an entire album (step up Phosphorescent, Bibio, Phoenix and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs amongst others) but the list below consists of albums that goosebumped us from start to finish.
Firstly, there have been some great hip hop albums this year, with many being released as free ‘mixtapes’. Debut releases from Brooklyn duo The Underachievers (Indigoism) and Chicago newbie Chance The Rapper (Acid Rap) blew our minds and stand strong in our top twenty list alongside releases from hip-hop stalwarts like Kanye West (yes, he may be a tool, but ‘Yeezus‘ is undoubtedly one of the albums of the year), Ghostface Killah (Twelve Reasons to Die – in collaboration with producer/composer, Adrian Younge) and El-P and Killer Mike (under the moniker, Run The Jewels). And let us not forget the wild-eyed euphoria of Danny Brown‘s third LP, Old, and Flatbush ZOMBiES‘ dark and menacing BetterOffDEAD.
The dark electronic mysticism of Forest Swords‘ Engravings makes our top twenty list below too – along with albums by Welsh songstress Cate Le Bon (Mug Museum), ex-Beta Band singer-songwriter Steve Mason (Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time), Manchester indie-rockers Mazes (Ores & Minerals), modern Americana genius Bill Callahan (Dream River), Dutch baroque-pop retroist Jacco Gardner (Cabinet Of Curiosities) and the returns to form of Cardiff rockers Future Of The Left (How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident) and British indie darlings, Arctic Monkeys (AM).
Our favourite folk album of the year was recorded by up and coming Lancashire duo, Bird to Beast. Their eponymous debut blends elements of classic British folk with splashes of French pop, Kate Bush cooing, Beach Boys-esque harmonies and truly beautiful songwriting. If you’ve not checked them out yet you really should.
A number of American ‘indie rock’ bands also wowed us with some great albums this year. A few of them fell short of our top twenty (Speedy Ortiz, Deerhunter, Vampire Weekend) but deserve a quick mention nonetheless. The albums that really did leave us stunned this year though came in the shape of The Black Angels‘ fifth album Indigo Meadow, Brooklyn punk-rockers Parquet Courts‘ debut album Light Up Gold and Arcade Fire‘s much hyped and critically lauded Reflektor LP.
Our favourite American ‘indie rock‘ album though, and our album of the year is Volcano Choir‘s Repave. It gave us goosebumps over and over again and proved that Justin Vernon could be just as great without the Bon Iver moniker. Repave is stunning, an epic album that’s electrifying from start to finish.
Check out our top twenty list below and tell us what you think:
01 Volcano Choir – Repave
02 Mazes – Ores & Minerals
03 The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
04 Danny Brown – Old
05 Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
06 Kanye West – Yeezus
07 The Underachievers – Indigoism
08 Bird to Beast – Bird to Beast
09 Jacco Gardner – Cabinet Of Curiosities
10 Bill Callahan – Dream River
11 Future Of The Left – How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident
12 Steve Mason – Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time
13 Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
14 Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge – Twelve Reasons to Die
15 Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
16 Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
17 Arctic Monkeys – AM
18 Flatbush ZOMBiES – BetterOffDEAD
19 Forest Swords – Engravings
20 Arcade Fire – Reflektor