In Loud And Quiet 55 you might have noticed that we published our top 40 albums released in 2013. In that same issue we asked 9 artists responsible for those records to share what their favourite release of the year was. Here’s what each of them said.
Chosen by San Fermin
‘Bright Sunny South’
Amidon’s previous records have had these great arrangements by Nico Muhly on them, but this one is more sparse. There are old mountain ballads in there as well as re-appropriated songs by Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw, and they all somehow feel like they’re drawn from the same musical well. There’s a restraint and truthfulness there that’s frustratingly absent in today’s more knee-slappy pop-folk.
Chosen by Channy Leaneagh of Poliça
I remember the first time I heard Jon Hopkins. We were sleepily strolling into the Night and Day festival. The music overtook me and I immediately went and bought it. Since then we’ve been playing that record on the road consistently, and it has not grown tired in the last 6 months. It is a seamless beautiful piece of music from beginning to end that utilizes solo piano, which feeds my Satie-loving ears and is also very progressive and opening. Very well done.
Chosen by August Peru of Vision Fortune
‘I am Not a Human Being II’
Whilst sitting in the Idea Store (public library) trying to write about my favourite album of the year the young man sitting next to me refuses to stop chewing so loudly that it is drilling into my brain. It’s not only the chewing that is irritating; for some reason the keys on his keyboard are extra loud so it is totally distracting. Anyway, here it goes… ‘I Am Not a Human Being II’ is the tenth studio album by Lil Wayne. It was one of the most anticipated albums of 2013 (can’t find the citation for this). It is a masterpiece.
Chosen by Johnathan Rado of Foxygen
YEEZUS has probably influenced me more than any album in the last couple of years. I spend a lot of time thinking about this album. I’m not sure why. I’m not even particularly into Kanye’s whole catalogue or even modern hip-hop, but there’s something about this record that I can’t get enough of. I think it’s a true piece of art. I find myself listening to it more than most records. I love everything about it – the words, the jump cut samples, the minimal production, “hurry up with my damn croissants”, the obscene amount of autotune on that one song. It all works for me. This year, I’d say I’ve pretty much only listened to ‘YEEZUS’ and ‘A Wizard, A True Star’ by Todd Rundgren. In a way, they’re the same album – more on that later.
Chosen by James Blake
‘Cold Spring FauLt Less Youth’
Mount Kimbie with Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is probably my most listened-to album of the year. I love the fact that it includes King Krule. I think he’s amazing on it. He’s certainly one of my favourite new people and I actually leant him the mic that he recorded his album with. I’m long time best friends with Mount Kimbie as well so it hits a personal soft spot for me.
Chosen by Forest Swords
These New Puritans
‘Field of Reeds’
Field of Reeds pushed These New Puritans into even more lush, exploratory territory, and it was definitely a highlight of my year. It’s not a record that I can digest in one sitting, but the sheer scale of ambition and accomplishment that runs through this record puts a lot of other bands of their age to shame. It twists and turns in the most curious and surprising ways. In my mind it’s an even better record than previous one, ‘Hidden’, which I thought they would never improve on.
Chosen by Andy Hung of Fuck Buttons
This year has been incredible for electronic music, but ‘The Inheritors’ held the most anticipation for me. It’s a really ambitious record; attempting to break out of the mould of digital sequencing and the sound that comes with that. That’s why albums like Burial’s ‘Untrue’ were so compelling, where the artist actively tries to destroy the rigmarole of automated sequencing. It’s more generous to the listener, allowing us space to feel and interpret.
Chosen by Connan Mockasin
Kirin J Callinan
I saw Kirin J Callinan perform this year and I found him the most genuine and exciting performer I have ever seen. It was something I hadn’t heard or seen before, which excited and inspired me. The music sounds a bit nasty and scary and you can feel naughty and dirty listening to it, but he has a beautiful voice as well. Actually, maybe I would find the record hard to like and listen to if I hadn’t seen him live before so if you get a chance to see him and his band you should do it.
Chosen by Matthew E White
Julia/Earl/BiLL/Kanye/Bob … and a note to Kendrick
I can’t decide between Julia Holter, Earl Sweatshirt, Bill Callahan, Kanye West and Bob Dylan… And a significant, honorable mention to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Control’ verse. Lets have a round for these freaks and soldiers.All these folks have courage and imagination in spades. In some its graceful, in others its a bit more reckless.When I listen, that’s what I want, however it may shine through.