What's Dom Gourlay's number one album of 2013?
After an immense year for music, here's reviewer Dom Gourlay's favourites for 2013 - and possibly for a long while after!
Arcade Fire 'Reflektor' - Early reviews were ridiculously negative, probably because journos were invited to a one-hour listening session in a plush Soho bar while being plied with free booze. The test of time has proved otherwise. And some.
My Bloody Valentine 'mbv' - After 22 years of waiting, and a similar length of time in the making, Saturday, 2nd February 2013 will live long in the memory. Yes, it happened. The third My Bloody Valentine LP. And while not reinventing the wheel in the same way as its two predecessors, it definitely hit the spot.
Weekend 'Jinx' - New York three-piece, now a four-piece, released an incredible record. What more do you need to know? Imagine the first era of new wave redefined by shoegaze devotees and you're halfway there.
Factory Floor 'Factory Floor' - It may have taken what seemed like an eternity in the making, but the wait was worth it. Abstract dance never sounded so insatiable. And while their aloof presence confuses and confounds, Factory Floor remain one of music's great enigmas. Cherish.
Foals 'Holy Fire' - Their most consistent and diverse record to date, anyone in doubt of Foals' potential to headline major UK festivals really should have been among the crowd at Latitude this year. With ascendancy to rock's Premier League confirmed, 'Holy Fire' delivered in every conceivable way.
Jagwar Ma 'Howlin'' - The psych rock scene was undoubtedly 2013's biggest underground success, and while Jagwar Ma can lay claim to being associated, their George Clinton-recreates-the-vibe-of-60s-San-Francisco-via-Tony-Wilson's-eyes made them the Hacienda's secret dreamweapon.
M O N E Y 'The Shadow Of Heaven' - Based in Manchester, oozing charisma and regaling real life tales of personal battles both home and away, M O N E Y take Wu Lyf's DIY ethos through a catechism decreeing all things, including Verve ('Storm In Heaven' era), The Beta Band's stoic individuality and Wild Beasts playful nature on words.
Neils Children 'Dimly Lit' - Written off years ago by some as post-Libertines scenesters? How wrong you were. VERY wrong, in fact. Taking psychedelia on a post-modern trip through the ages, 'Dimly Lit' heralds John Linger and Brandon Jacobs as exquisite songwriters and arrangers beyond any pre-conceived scene.
Girls Names 'The New Life' - Again, not exactly newcomers in the most pedantic sense of the word but, after years of promising hints, 'The New Life' exceeded all expectations. While not primarily a concept album, its darkened new wave aesthetic as seen through panoramic post-millennial eyes make it one of 2013's most complete and sonically perfect records.
Hookworms 'Pearl Mystic' - Perfection comes in many forms. However, where music is concerned, it has become increasingly difficult to find. Rewind the clock twelve months and various naysayers told us guitar music was dead. Thankfully, Hookworms weren't listening. Channelling the best of the past five decades into one delicious melting pot, 'Pearl Mystic' is a revitalising voyage of (re)discovery. Unimpeachable in every possible way, and quite possibly the greatest debut by a UK band since The Jesus & Mary Chain unleashed 'Psychocandy' nearly thirty years ago.