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Best albums of 2013 - part 2

19th December 2013

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Best albums of 2013We’ve already shared the first ten of our top 20 best albums of 2013.

Here are the next ten records chosen by our music team after much discussion, arguments and disagreements.

From a list of hundreds of albums this is the final list of the cream of the crop of album releases in 2013.

Here are the rest of the best:

Run the Jewels – Run The Jewels

EL-P and Killer Mike are two rappers who have both featured on our best albums lists in previous years. So it kind of makes sense that their collaboration would make the list as well. EL-P’s production is as inventive as ever and two of the finest MCs on the planet bounce off each other effortlessly. Run The Jewels is both a forward-thinking and 'classic' slice of hip hop simultaneously.

-       James Thornhill 

Days are Gone - HAIM

HAIM were tipped for big things in 2013 and the three LA sisters delivered on the hype with a stunning pop debut. A blend of soft rock with R&B, Days Are Gone created a sound that oozed widespread appeal.

-       Cara McGoogan

Settle – Disclosure

2013 saw the rise of house music back to the top of the charts and arguably it was Disclosure’s stunning debut that made it happen. Joining the dots between late 80s acid house and UK garage, Settle added enough vocal collaborations and pop hooks to set both dancefloors and the charts alight. With every track a potential hit single, how could we not include this debut?

-       Chris Marks


Immunity – Jon Hopkins

Immunity is a dreamlike, visceral and engaging electronic record. Hopkins injection of acid techno into his ambient compositions, makes it more like classical music than simple dancefloor fodder. This is one of the most carefully-crafted and complete albums of 2013.

-       James Thornhill

Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend

After a three year hiatus Vampire Weekend emerged with their most mature and accomplished set of songs to date. Having spent this time mulling over their position musically and metaphysically, their new release is a nuanced fusion of melodic fun and poetic depth.

-          Cara McGoogan

Loud City Song – Julia Holter

Holter’s third album is an avant-pop masterpiece. Loud City Song marked the studio debut of a truly spellbinding talent. It is an album that takes several listens to unveil its majesty but the reward is completely worth the effort.

-       Chris Marks 

The Bones of What You Believe - Chvrches 

Glaswegian synth-pop newcomers Chvrches’ combination of synth hook-loaded, downbeat pop tunes and emotive lyrics are charmingly simple but exceptionally catchy. Their fusion of pop-hooks, dance rhythms and indie attitude made them one of THE new sounds of 2013.

-          Cara McGoogan

Matangi – M.I.A

While the likes of Lady Gaga allude to making experimental music, one lady constantly pushes sonic boundaries all over the shop. M.I.A returned with another aural assault on the senses, straddling genres and styles with ease. Matangi is an unpredictable listen full of eccentricities. M.I.A deserves to be a huge star but her work on the sidelines of pop keeps yielding exceptional results.

-          Chris Marks

Holy Fire - Foals

Foals have been going for ages now and in Holy Fire delivered the album they have been capable of all along. A more expansive and accomplished offering than their past two albums, the band showed how they have matured significantly since Total Life Forever back in 2010. Foals show off their wealth of talent eaping from the heavier instrumentals of ‘Inhaler’ and ‘Providence’ to the very Foals-sounding  ‘My Number’ and ‘Out of the Woods’. The Oxford chaps remain as clever as ever.

-          Cara McGoogan

The North Borders – Bonobo

Bonobo’s abilities are at an all-time high. Immediately a continuation of the soulful sonic palette created by Black Sands and a huge step forward, The North Borders is a rare thing for today’s throw-away musical culture – a perfectly formed, coherent whole, a complete album that has to be listened to as such.

-          James Thornhill

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