Sunday, 15 December 2013

Nugazer's Favourite Records of 2013

End-of-year lists, eh?... Nugazer hasn't previously published one - partly because of the difficulty in quantifying a record's brilliance, and partly because (if we're all honest) by the time December swings around, it's bloody hard to remember who released what and when.

Nonetheless, with so many great albums released, it somehow felt right to have a go this year. So here, in reverse order, are Nugazer's 30 favourite long-players of 2013.

30) Edweena - Solar Days & Lunar Nights (Northern Star)

29) True Widow - Circumambulation (Relapse)

28) Drowner - You're Beautiful, I Forgive You (Saint Marie)

27) SPC ECO - Sirens & Satellites (Self Released - Bandcamp)

26) No Joy - Wait to Pleasure (Mexican Summer)

25) Poliça - Shulamith (Mom + Pop)

24) The History of Apple Pie - Out of View (Marshall Teller)

23) Washed Out - Paracosm (Sub Pop)

22) Thought Forms - Ghost Mountain (Invada)

21) Besnard Lakes - Until in Excess, Impercetible UFO (Jagjaguwar)

20) Lanterns On The Lake - Until The Colours Run (Bella Union)

19) You Are Not Real - You are Not Real (Self Released - Bandcamp)

18) No Ceremony/// - No Ceremony/// (No Ceremony///)

17) Hookworms - Pearl Mystic (Gringo)

16) Exit Calm - The Future Isn't What It Used To Be (Club AC30)

15) Daniel Avery - Drone Logic (Because)

14) Deafheaven - Sunbather (Deathwish Inc)

13) Black Hearted Brother - Stars Are Our Home (Sonic Cathedral)

12) Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse (Fat Possum)

11) Sigur Rós - Kveikur (XL)

10) Holden - The Inheritors (Border Community)

Abstract electronica in its most complete form, producer James Holden deconstructed and rebuilt an entire genre from scratch. Techno didn't know what had hit it.

09) Foreign Television - Youthless (Self Released via Bandcamp)

The highest-placed self-release on Nugazer's chart, Youthless is as important an entry as any 2013 release from a major. It drew a glowing review back in October and continues to dazzle with every listen. A wonderful record.

08) Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day (Rhymes of an Hour)

A long overdue reunion and a spellbinding return to form for the dream pop veterans. Seasons of your Day is a record to cherish.

07) Follakzoid - ii (Sacred Bones)

An ode to krautrock past and a nod to spacerock future, Chile's Follakzoid built a wall of blistering psychedelia with the release of this, their much anticipated second album.

06) The Fauns - Lights (Invada)

The long awaited follow-up to 2009's self-titled debut - and Invada Records' second album to feature in this chart - Lights garnered strong reviews across the music press and led this site to describe it as "a breathless collection of instant dreampop classics."

05) My Bloody Valentine - MBV (Pickpocket)

Possibly the only thing wrong with MBV was the fact that it wasn't Loveless. Indeed, had we never heard its genre defining big brother, MBV may well have gone on to define one in its own right... So whilst MBV can never earn the lush praise of its forerunner, it would be churlish not to point out of just what a terrific record it is. The masters reminding the apprentices precisely how it's done.

04) Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus (ATP)

A behemoth of an album, Slow Focus is arguably Fuck Buttons finest work to date. Slower, darker and more menacing than ever.

03) Jon Hopkins - Immunity (Domino)

Moving away from the delicate ambient electronica by which he made his name, Hopkins embraced warped dubstep and chemical beats to produce one of the most varied and engaging electronic releases of the year.

02) Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe (Virgin)

2013 was some year for Chvrches. From playing dingy basement clubs in the UK to selling out major venues across the globe (with a host of high profile TV appearances along the way), the Glaswegian three-piece conquered all before them with the release of The Bones of What You Believe - a bona fide, synth-pop masterpiece.

01)  The History of Colour TV - Emerald Cures Chic Ills (Saint Marie)

Originally released digitally in November 2012, US label Saint Marie Records picked up Emerald Cures... and gave it a much-deserved physical release in January 2013. The epitome of a slow-burner, Emerald Cures... took time to warm to, but as with all great records, demanded further exploration. Eventually, the menacing mix of cold wave synths and brutal post punk sensibilities made it essential listening. It's a colossal record and Nugazer's stand out moment of 2013.

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