Popjunkie’s top 30 albums of 2013

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.


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