This was the year I bought more old music than new and, annoyingly, just as I got back into vinyl, the rest of the world did too. Either I am a cultural leader to be revered or a brainwashed drone stupid enough to pay £20+ for music I already own.
Anyway, below are the five new releases which spent happy times in my earbuds in 2013, rounded off with my top three gigs of the year. Go get it.
Deerhunter – Monomania
A visceral album as ragged and angular as lead singer Bradford Cox’s knee joints, it will rattle your bones and then offer to make you a cup of sweet post-shag tea. Deerhunter are a proper rock band; a scorching fire burning a lonely bright light through the dinge of 2013’s many un-bands. See below for extended Bradford-worship.
Jon Hopkins – Immunity
I confess I only stumbled across Mr Hopkins for the first time this year and things didn’t get off to a good start when a Wiki search revealed a Coldplay connection. Choke, splutter. But then Immunity is a national grid of thrumming technopia reminiscent of Fuck Buttons’ 2009 masterpiece Tarot Sport. Put that in your pylons, Big Six.
Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
Trevor Powers follows up wistful 2011 debut The Year of Hibernation with this bountiful hedgerow of sounds; like Sergeant Pepper on fruitier drugs. Listen to Raspberry Cane (below) for a full and gorgeous summer pudding head rush. It’s my favourite single track of the year. Those descending piano chords truly grab me by the soft fruits….
My Bloody Valentine – m b v
A swirling return from the awkward squad of Kevin Shields and clan who spent 876 years recording this successor to 1991’s peerless classic Loveless. The beauty of the return was it didn’t change the jammy, kaleidoscopic formula. New You (below) is gloriously old you. Thanks Kev. Now where did I put my Global Hypercolour T-shirt ‘n’ wooden beads?
Veronica Falls – Waiting for Something to Happen
Veronica Falls are a perfect little pop band – funny and mournful, with nods aplenty to indie pontiff Steven Patrick. And just like MBV, they don’t go changin’ which is why this melody-steeped follow-up to their jangle-berried debut is a lovely thing. More summer pudding please. With loadsa cream. Thanks!
Deerhunter at ATP
Bradford Cox, you bewigged God, a true rock ‘n’ roll star, you make Liam Gallagher look like a C&A mannequin. And you high-fived me with your wonderful bony hand. Bradford, you are the first man I ever met whose fingers ARE TRULY LONGER THAN MINE*, ya sexy beast. And you played three utterly awe-inspiring headline sets three nights running in an English holiday camp. I will never come down.
Kraftwerk at Tate Modern
Super Nintendo genius from the mensch who invented electro. I was very happy in the haze of a 3D motorway projected onto my face. Make mine another neon light with a defragged robot on top.
Verity Susman at ATP
I love a moustachio’d woman with a keyboard down her pants. That she is also the purveyor of spectral, pulsating electro-sax-drone is nice. Here she is in all her saxophallic marvellousness – To Make You Afraid:
Thankyou for the music. Happy hunting in 2014!
*has very long fingers. FACT