Time for a little self-indulgence. Here then are the thirty (mostly psych) albums from 2013 that I have played the most. It has been a very, very good year.
The best album of the year would have been the five best tracks each from Diane Coffee/Jonathan Rado’s solo albums aka Foxygen’s third album. But they both chose to go it alone.
Anyhow here are some videos and a Spotify playlist of most of the bands. No Hidden Masters tho (!?).
1 The Hidden Masters – Of This And Other Worlds
Genius British pop psych that plunders the Chocolate Soup/Rubble songbook in an extraordinary way. Startlingly unique and utterly addictive. Review.
2 The Magic Theatre – The Long Way Home
Sublime Europop influenced easy listening. Even better their magnificent fiirst album. Review
3 Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century…
The band of the year whose members have no fewer than three albums in the top ten. Self belief, swagger and impishly stunning tunes by the bucketload. Review
4 Robyn Hitchcock – Love From London
Another mature collection from the godfather of quirky English indie. Contains at least a couple of the best Hitchcock songs in a decade. Review
5 Diane Coffee – My Friend Fish
Foxygen’s drummer makes the best solo album by a drummer since this one. A wonderful stew of gospel, doowop and psych.
6 Mondo JetSet – Provincial Drama Club
Another very fine collection of quirky English ditties from a band who deserve to be much much better known. Review
7 Suede – Bloodsports
A very worthwhile reunion. More than hints at their 90s glories. Review.
8 The Sufis – Inventions
A huge leap on from their debut, contains some of the best psych pop tunes of 2013. Review
9 Beaulieu Porch – We Are Beautiful
Not quite as consistent as the band’s incendiary debut, but still a rather thrilling albums of quirky Brit psych pop. Review.
10 Jonathan Rado – Law And Order
The other Foxygen solo album. Inspired in places unlistenable in others.
11 The Sudden Death Of Stars – Getting Up, Going Down
Very classy 60s psych from Brittany, via Stoke Newington.
12 Jacco Gardner – Cabinet Of Curiosities
Stunning Baroque Pop from the Dutch fella. Review
13 The Shadow Kabinet – Nostalgia For The Future
Another superb album from Steve Somerset, a very smart mix of Beatley pop and 70s rock. Review
14 Neil’s Children – Dimly Lit
Glorious mix of noisy psych pop and Kraut Rock.
15 Rotifer – The Cavalry Never Showed Up
His best album so far Rotifer. Lots of edgy Jam-esque pop. Great lyrics.
16 Nev Cottee – Stations
Very fine debut from the Lee Hazlewood-influenced Mancunian singer songwriter
17 Mazzy Star – Seasons Of Your Day
Not quite in the same league as their earlier albums, and a bit too much of a Zeppelin influence for these ears, but at times it is sublime.
18 Bill Ryder Jones – A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart
The ex-Coral man’s album of emotionally charged ballads that recalls Elliot Smith at his best.
19 Parlour Flames
Sparkling collection of folky pop sings (reminds me of The Lilac Time) from Vinny Peculiar and Bonehead from Oasis.
20 Papernut Cambridge – Cambridge Nutflake
Weird, edgy but always fun twisted folk with psychy and electronic undertones from new Gare Du Nord band
21 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II
The Kiwi/Brooklyn Tame Impala impress again with their strange brand of psychedelic soul
22 Adam Green and Binki Shapriro
Lovely Nancy and Lee-isms from the very talented duo. Review
23 Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy – You Are Everything
The Church fella teams up again with multi-instrumentalist. Superb in places.
24 Jagwar Ma – Howlin
Baggy revival Aussie style
25 The Asteroid #4
Another fine album from the BJM-influenced SF band.
26 Kosmischer Laufer – Volume One
East German Kraut Rock from the 70s (sort of). Review
27 Crystal Jacqueline – Sun Arise
Spacey psych prog from the west country chanteuse.
28 Ulysses – Kill You Again
Stomping glammy garage pop.
29 The Solar System – Spectrums
Ambitious, but entertaining lo-fi psych with proggy interludes from Detroit’s Chris Oliver
30 Schnauser – Where Business Meets Fashion
Like Yes playing The Beatles. Many strong tunes.