Writers’ Poll: Albums of 2013 (50 – 11)

Laura MarlingTo repeat the sentiments expressed in our Tips for 2014 post, this year we’ve been spoiled for choice. Not only have up-and-coming musicians rallied the troops to set fire to creative juices for their debut record; established acts have chipped in, offering their knowledge and experience in a glorious concoction of wit and talent.

Our Albums of 2013 countdown highlights this, but not in the manner you might expect. Our writers have had a hard time agreeing with one another, and only a handful of albums have been voted for more than once. As a result, our team list isn’t the accumulative monster is could be. Instead you’ll find mainstream and arguably obvious choices slipping towards the top by way of afterthought votes. The majority of favourites reside between position 10 and 25; second favourites come close to position 40. While this lack of cohesion could be seen as a collective failure, it also proves our point: there were almost too many decent records to choose from. 2013 has been a minefield made in Heaven.

As a disclaimer, DrunkenWerewolf has not interfered with the voting system. In the instances where multiple acts received the same total vote, we’ve moved acts with more than one individual vote to the top of the pile. Otherwise this list remains unchanged, and therefore sometimes in alphabetical order. Fair’s fair!

Our Albums of 2013 Top 50 ranges from unsigned artists from the Midwest of America, to Goliath pop acts with millions of capital behind them. Gorge your eyes on numbers 40 – 10 below, and return later in the week for our official Top Ten Albums of 2013 and early next week for our Editor’s Pick (ho hum).

50 // Mozura – Skinny Fingers

49 // Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull

48 // David Bowie – The Next Day

47 // Crazy Arm – The Southern Wild

46 // Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap

45 // Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait

44 // Atoms for Peace – Amok

43 // Alela Diane – About Farewell

Heartache, love loss and moving on resound throughout Alela Diane’s excellent new album About Farewell. The fourth studio full length from the Portland based musician and soon to be mother has its protagonist touch on a new and phenomenal ground of talent; hinted at but not truly realised on 2011’s Alela Diane & Wild Divine. – Tiffany Daniels

42 // Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle

Once I Was an Eagle is Laura Marling’s fourth studio album in five years. From an artist already loved by many, it neither steps up a gear nor presents the listener with something wholly new. What it does do very successfully is establish Marling as a tour de force of British talent, but one that nods sturdily in the direction of our cousins in the United States of America. – Tiffany Daniels

41 // Tom Odell – Long Way Down

40 // Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience P1

39 // Jim O & the Swanky Psychos - Self-titled

38 // Drenge - Self-titled

37 // Dirty Beaches - Drifters

36 // Cage the Elephant - Melophobia

35 // Bonobo – The North Borders

34 // Biffy Clyro - Opposites

33 // Neko Case - The Worse Things Get

Neko Case could sing 1-20 in German and many would probably still hold on to each vowel and consonant. She can sing alright, but she’s not shy on the literary either. The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (catches breath) is full of bizarre musings. Pointing out the absurd is nothing new from Case and overall this album is no great departure. – Stephen Toogood

32 // Sweet Baboo - Ships

31 // Arcade Fire - Reflektor

30 // Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

29 // Tricky - False Idols

28 // Nils Frahm - Spaces

27 // Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day

26 // Lonesome Leash - One Foot...

25 // Daughter - If You Leave

Daughter fail to spoil If You Leave with petty gimmicks and crowd spinners. The grace of their debut album is it’s been allowed to develop at its own pace. Thanks to some heroic defence from 4AD and a large dollop of will power on the band’s behalf, the industry can throw nothing at Daughter that their sheer talent can’t handle. Fans have huffed and puffed at the speed of delivery, but now the London trio are here, armed with the genius they’ve threatened all along. – Tiffany Daniels

Daniel Avery - Drone Logic

23 // Emily Wells – Mama

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then that cover art sings the whole album. Juggling childish innocence with a veiled maturity, the MO of Texas born gone-to NYC artist Emily Wells is second only to her handling of instruments and all other sounds besides. But even this seems paltry next to the list of many influences behind her debut UK album Mama, a great deal of which seem more cultural than individual. She knows how to make it all work together, with an astonishingly original and plainly enjoyable outing that wants to ingrain its every moment into your life. – Graham Ashton

22 // Summer Cannibals - No Makeup

Portland, Oregon natives Summer Cannibals released their debut long player No Makeup on New Moss Records last month. They take their name from the Patti Smith song of the same name and the influence of the Godmother of punk should leave a clue as to what to expect from this soon-to-be-massive four-piece. Their self-produced offering has already seen them hailed as the saviors of rock 'n' roll and won them a tonne of champions including The Thermals. It's easy to see why. – Nathan Fisher for Issue 9

21 // Phillip H Anselmo and the Illegals - Walk Through Exits Only

20 // Orquestra Basura - Desecho en Mexico

19 // Jetplane Landing - Don't Try

18 // Kurt Vile - Walkin' On a Pretty Daze

17 // Dean Blunt - Redeemer

16 // Quasi - Mole City

15 // These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

For a band whose ambition is practically unparalleled amongst their contemporaries, it’s hardly a surprise that These New Puritans promise of a pop - or “Disney music” - third album failed to come to fruition. The claim, made at roughly the same time as the release of their second album Hidden, seemed a tad far-fetched even then; the sinister and intense sound that they had honed at that point hardly leant itself to upbeat, sunny sing-a-longs written as though they should be sung by courageous foxes or pessimistic mice. A more natural progression has come in the form of Field of Reeds: an uncompromising, polarising record that befuddles and amazes in equal measure. – Jon Clark

14 // Cate le Bon - Mug Museum

Mug Museum is the third album by Welsh psychedelic folk chanteuse Cate Le Bon, following on from last year's remarkable CYRK. Produced by Noah Georgeson and recorded in Cate's new home of L.A., it seems that the West Coast sound has seeped into her already overflowing cauldron – an opulent potion of garage rock, 60s melodic pop and enticing, warped discord. Mug Museum, although boasting a startling originality, will also put you in mind of The Doors, Broadcast, Pentangle, Pavement, Velvet Underground, Nico and Gruff Rhys. A decadent, luxurious blend that would be churlish to refuse. – Vik Shirley for Issue 11

13 // Anna Von Hausswolff – Ceremony

Already acknowledged as an unrecognized triumph of 2012, the second full length album by Swedish singer songwriter and (more importantly) pianist Anna Von Hausswolff finally brings its boldness with a full European release through City Slang. Ceremony caters to the architect student’s background, built upon a steely centrepiece that is the church organ of Gothenburg’s Annedalkyrkan, which features back to front all the way up to the cover art. Though less emotionally wrought than her debut Singing from the Grave, courtesy of stronger pop influences, it goes without saying the experimentation at hand means this isn't a necessary album made for all, but it’s far from an album all made for necessity. – Graham Ashton

12 // Laura Stevenson – Wheel

Laura Stevenson teeters on the brink of world domination. Her underground first release A Record documented a sound not ready for commercial success, but nevertheless packed with a juicy, raw talent. It was sophomore Sit Resist that proved the Long Island native a musician brave enough to test open waters with an innovative flourish; unleashing a blistering phoenix that’s been bubbling under her skin since birth. Wheel ramps things up to combustion point, moving her battleship into position before exploding in a kaleidoscope of shapes and sounds. – Tiffany Daniels

11 // Agnes Obel - Aventine

Agnes Obel’s Aventine treads a frightening path through the scales of human emotion; at once beautifully haunting and disturbingly effortless. Using the piano and Obel’s prevalent classical training, her talent comes alive and grows with each listen of her second studio attempt. The result is an enveloped audience, speechless in their reflection. – Tiffany Daniels

What do you think of DrunkenWerewolf's Albums of 2013 so far? Comment below, or tweet us (@drunkenwerewolf) with the hashtag #albumsof2013!


3 Responses to “Writers’ Poll: Albums of 2013 (50 – 11)”


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      […] Top Ten Albums of 2013 are ready for your listening pleasure below, following Numbers 50 to 11 on Thursday, and preceding the Editor’s Pick on […]

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      […] may be, our Albums of 2013 countdown is now available for all to see (50-11) here and (10-1) here. Voted for by our writers, the results of suggest a year crammed full with good releases. So much […]

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