So, 2013 is almost done and dusted! Seems like a good time to share with you which albums have topped our lists from Australia and abroad, which tracks we had on high rotation, the videos we rated most highly and the live gigs that blew us away throughout the year.
Top 10 Australian Albums of 2013
It was such a great year for Australian music that we struggled to stop at 10 albums and had to include an Honourable Mention as well!
Check out The Orbweavers' Top 5 Australian albums of 2013.
Listen to the MadfaMusic Top 10 Australian Albums of 2013
Listen to the albums in full via the Spotify playlist below, or check out the two tracks we've handpicked from each album via the 8tracks playlist below. You can also listen to a single track from each album via Soundcloud or Bandcamp below.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds -Push the Sky Away
Push The Sky Away, the 15th album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds is a captivating listen from start to finish, and as always, it's lyrically diverse, encompassing Cave's recurring themes of sex, death and religion. Cave manages to disturb, even on the gentle, lilting opening track, courtesy of the creepy lyrics "and we know who you are, and we know where you live, and we know there's no need to forgive" ("We No Who U R"). With this eery softly-spoken threat, even the innocent feel guilty. Cave is the quintessential literary, cantankerous intellectual, however on this album, it's the lyrics rather than the music that's dark - the end result of which is that the music is accessible (perhaps moreso than ever before for a Bad Seeds album). Push The Sky Away is the first Bad Seeds album since the departure of long time Cave collaborator and guitarist Mick Harvey, and it's Warren Ellis' loops and electronic sounds that provide the frame on which Cave has hung these songs. Above all else, this album has a warmth and lushness that makes it eminently listenable. Standout tracks: "We No Who U R", "Water's Edge", "Jubilee Street", "We Real Cool" and "Higgs Boson Blues".
Top 10 International Albums of 2013
Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
Philadelphia's Kurt Vile was a member of the indie rock band The War on Drugs in its early days before he went solo and delivered a slew of albums and EPs. Since releasing the phenomenal "Wakin On a Pretty Daze", Vile is so revered in Philly that the city awarded him the Liberty Bell Award and has named August 28th "Kurt Vile Day". Knowing this, the clip for standout track "KV Crimes" (which shows Vile wearing a crown and being carried through the streets on a throne) seems apt. His music is guitar driven and lo-fi and can only be described as mope rock. He comes across as a stoner, dreamer and introvert who just happens to play some seriously good guitar which often delivers the melody that his vocals lack. Even the louder tracks on the album are mid paced and leisurely, and 3/4 of them come in at over 5 minutes. His music has a spacious, hypnotic quality to it which is undeniable is its appeal. New to Kurt Vile? First stop for you should be "Never Run Away".
Top 20 Music Videos of 2013
1. Toro Y Moi – Rose Quartz
2. Devendra Banhart – Mondo Taurobolium
3. Janelle Monae – Q.U.E.E.N.
4. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark) (NSFW)
5. MGMT - Alien Days
6. Junip – Line of Fire (Part 1) and Your Life Your Call (Part 2)
7. Brighter Later – The Woods
8. Atoms for Peace – Before Your Very Eyes
9. James Blake – Overgrown
10. Flume & Chet Faker – Drop the Game
11. Snakadaktal – Hung on Tight
12. Cloud Control – Dojo Rising
13. David Bowie – The Stars Are Out Tonight (NSFW)
14. Hanni El Khatib – Family (NSFW)
15. James Blake feat. Chance the Rapper – Life Round Here
16. Arcade fire – Reflektor
17. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Clean the House
18. Spiderbait – It’s Beautiful
19. The Black Angels – Don’t Play with Guns
20. Julia Holter – This is a True Heart
See Courtney Barnett's Top 5 videos of 2013.
Best Gigs of 2013
The Best Tracks of 2013
We've put together a Spotify playlist of 150 or so of our favourite tracks from 2013, plus added some Soundcloud and Bandcamp files below for tracks that aren't on Spotify. Read the full list below. Tracks that aren't on Spotify are denoted by **. Enjoy!