hmv's Albums Of The Year…#20 - #11
Over the last month, we've asked all our staff members to vote for their favourite albums of 2013 and they've responded in droves. Over 500 albums received votes, but, after every vote has been counted, we have our final tally. We've been revealing our Top 10 throughout the last two weeks, but we thought you'd like to know which records were just pipped at the post. Here, in all its glory, is hmv's Albums Of The Year, #20 down to #11...
Traams - Grin
One of the year's surprise favourites, this is angular, art-rock LP has really struck a chord with record buyers. With it's distonate vocals, Rapture-esque swirling grooves and driving basslines, this has become real word-of-mouth success. We can't wait to hear what they do next.
Best Track: 'Reds'
Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady
Janelle Monae's second studio album tells the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android sent back in time to free the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, a secret society that uses time-travel to suppress freedom and love, but to most people it was just a great collection of R'n'B songs. Full of brilliant collaborations, including tracks recorded with Prince, Solange and Miguel, this cements Monae's place as one of music's most unique talents.
Best Track: Q.U.E.E.N
Biffy Clyro - Opposites
Double albums are a tricky business. Normally the mark of a band going into an overly self-indulgent mode and losing sight of their normal quality, it was with some trepidation that many fans greeted the news that Biffy Clyro had disappeared off to Los Angeles and come back with a double album.
But then it came out and all fears were quickly arrested. More experimental than the band’s mainstream greeter Only Revolutions, but with just as many big tunes, the album was a total triumph.
Best Track: 'Black Chandelier'
Bastille - Bad Blood
You might think that there's not much life to Bastille beyond their singles, but you'd be very very wrong. Immaculately produced, Bad Blood is an album full of stories and wonder. It's cinematic in its soundscape and consistently good from start to finish.
Best Track: 'Things We Lost In The Fire'
Foals - Holy Fire
The Oxford band's third studio album kept up their remarkably high standards with a string of bouncy, rhythmic and impossibly catchy tracks. It's taken them within spitting distance of headlining arenas and deservedly so.
Best Track: 'My Number'
Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
After a five-year gap, Trent Reznor finally picked up the mantle once again and brought out a new Nine Inch Nails record, and boy, it's great to have him back. After spending his time away from the band bagging an Oscar for his lustrous film scores, Reznor's vision is grander than ever on Hesitation Marks, but it retains the same dark, twisted sensibilities and crushing choruses. Don't leave us again Trent…
Best Track: 'Copy Of A'
Savages - Silence Yourself
One of the outstanding debut albums of 2013, the London post-punk quartet have been a breathe of fresh air, with their broody basslines and clipped vocal stylings. Their debut is full of brilliant songs and captures the furious energy of the band's live shows brilliantly. Angular, spiky and always challenging, it'll be fascinating to see what Savages do next.
Best Track: 'Husbands'
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away
Nick Cave and his troupe have 15 albums under their belt now, but continue to produce some of the most vital and stirring music out there. This is the band's first album for five years and it is a relentlessly dark journey through Cave's psyche, punctured occasionally by gloriously uplifting moments. Almost 30 years into their career, Cave and co have lost none of their power or poise. A remarkable record.
Best Track: 'Mermaids'
Chvrches - The Bones Of What You Believe
When we've been inundated with electro-tinged, female fronted, indie pop over the past few years and it's pretty hard to make yourselves stand out, but Glaswegian trio Chvrches have certainly done that with their debut record.
At once bleak and incredibly catchy and uplifting, this album is stuffed full of hummable, glacial pop and has been a fixture on many stereos this year.
Best Track: 'The Mother We Share'
John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
This missed out on a top in the Top 10 by a single point and topped many people's list, when you hear it, you can see why. Recorded in Iceland in collaboration with Icelandic electronic musician Birgir Þórarinsson and featuring backing vocals from Sinead O'Connor, this is a dusty gem full of lovelorn lyrics and heartwarming instrumentation. Well worth checking out if you haven't already.
Best Track: 'Why Don't You Love Me Anymore'