Jamie Lenman - Muscle Memory (Pt.2)
A double album split into two distinct parts, one side loud, the second quieter more reflective, spread across a myriad of genres. The ex Reuben main man back with an absolute bang, exploiting his songwriting, and talents as a musician to the ultimate.
Lucy Ward - Single Flame
A breathtakingly gorgeous collection of dark folk songs from Lucy Ward, highlighting a purity of voice with distinct Northern tones, which only enhances the individuality surrounding this record. Beautiful and emotive.
The Computers - Love Triangles Hate Squares
A re-invention of sorts, The Computers dropping the hardcore aspects of earlier work, instead focusing on the more rock 'n' roll and soulful aspects of their music, bringing their lyrical excellence to the fore.
Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
Straight from day of release, Like Clockwork always going to feature in my top ten, the only question in the heavier or lighter list. A definite return to form from one of the best bands of the last twenty five years. A more mature sound with melodies back to the fore, supplemented by one of the tightest musical units around, whatever the line up.
Lincoln Durham - Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous
Even filthier swamp blues take Lincoln Durham to another level after his debut 'The Shovel and the Howling Bones.' Deliciously dark, with murderous intent, if anyone can convince you to become a "Sinner," it's this man. Stunning in it's intensity.
Carlton Melton - Always Even
An instrumental album of literal shimmering soundscapes. One in which to lose yourself entirely and travel to another dimension on a legally purchased high.
Beans on Toast - Giving Everything
Another album filled with compulsive listening from Beans on Toast, acerbic wit, personal issues and dark observational comment on modern day society combine. You might not agree with all the sentiments, but you certainly can't ignore them.
Rovo and System 7 - Phoenix Rising
Japanese electro meets and conjoins with legendary prog couple Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy, producing an otherworldly collection of instrumental brilliance. Two drummers, electric violin and Hillage in brilliantly extended soloing mode, and absolute highlight of the year.
Wolf People - Fain
An album which intertwines folk with psychedelic rock, impossible to predict, such the meandering nature of the constructions without venturing too deeply into vast prog territory. Brilliantly played and composed, modern music really doesn't get much better.
The Wave Pictures - City Forgiveness
A band who should garner much more attention. Unambiguous lyrical genius mixed within one of Britain's musically diverse three pieces, City Forgiveness is a sprawling twenty tracks, with never so much as a dull moment.
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My heavier, more extreme top ten of 2013 to follow soon............