Albums of 2013
So, time for my top 10 albums of 2013. It's quite a mix and I think reflects the range of music I have been playing at events across the country this year as well as what has been on in the car on many a long journey.
10. Titus Pullo - Regardless Of How It Appears
Debut album from the Edinburgh based band was released this year. Titus Pullo began as a solo project for singer/songwriter Craig Robson to explore a more intimate, acoustic vibe. On the back of an acoustic EP, Robson wanted to explore the potential of the tracks within the context of a live band and collaborated with fellow Edinburgh-based musicians. The project developed quickly and gelled to form the most excellent Titus Pullo.
Top Track - Like Water
9. Tired Pony - The Ghost Of The Mountain
The Ghost of the Mountain is the second album from what is justifiably tagged a "supergroup". Tired Pony's line-up includes Gary Lightbody, Iain Archer (both from Snow Patrol), Richard Colburn (Belle & Sebastian), Jacknife Lee, Peter Buck (R.E.M), Scott McCaughey and Troy Stewart. Their talents come together to produce another fine record.
Top Track - All Things All At Once
8. Bastille - Bad Blood
We used the Kat Krazy remix of Pompeii at The 2013 William Hill Scottish Cup Final for the massive club banners and it just worked really, really well. The album has some great tracks, but also mention must be made of some the of the great remixes from the likes of RAC and Fix8. A good year for Bastille.
Top Track - Laura Palmer
7. Ricky Ross - Trouble Came Looking
Ricky Ross released his first solo album for eight years in the form of Trouble Came Looking. He began writing it as the wheels started to fall off the economy! I probably like this a lot as it's been described it as modern folk, a genre I've been listening to a lot of late.
Top Track - Sang O' The Saracen Maid
6. The 1975 - The 1975
Having released a few EPs which I really, really liked, The 1975's singles were then remixed (no doubt to keep Radio 1 happy). Thus, I was curious as to how the album would turn out. No denying tracks like Sex, The City and Chocolate were great, but I feel the energy was sucked right out of them with the radio remixes.
Top Track - Sex (EP Version)
5. Kodaline - In A Perfect World
Kodaline broke through with the single Love Like This in 2013. Really been enjoying this album (especially in the car) as it really grows on you with every song.
Top Track - All Comes Down
4. CHVRCHES - The Bones Of What You Believe
I'm always cautious with hype surrounding new acts, especially those coming out of Scotland. Neon Gold Blog first alerted me to CHVRCHES with the track Lies back in 2012 and it became a fixture on my playlists. As I watched their profile grow I hoped the album would live up to the hype being penned in the many column inches being being devoted to the band - I'm glad to report it did!
Top Track - Science Visions
3. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
Featured The Woodpile and Late March, Death March a lot on playlists at Hampden and Murrayfield. Another fine album, full of great songs and interesting lyrics from the band and I need say no more. Frightened Rabbit certainly stepped up to another level in 2013.
Top Track - Late March, Death March
2. The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars
This dropped in my inbox courtesy of Renegade Music. The Civil Wars are a raw and unique talent who’s heartbreakingly sparse and beautiful melodies sit perfectly with their two agonisingly restrained individual voices. With flavours of blues, folk, Americana, country and classic singer-songwriter their sound is firmly rooted in the gothic American South. It's a brilliant record.
Top Track - Eavesdrop
1. The Deadly Winters - Away Boys, Away
(Yes, I've got a vested interest in this.) It's the best thing The Deadly Winters have done and it stands up, shoulders back, chest pushed out alongside everything else on this list in terms of song writing, performance, vocals, harmonies and production. The nine tracks were recorded live over two days at Gargleblast Studios in Hamilton because that's what the band do best. The Deadly Winters know their audience and know their stories well, bringing to this record an emotive musicality that goes beyond an ordinary performance. That's what you get with these guys - a story that blossoms and erupts beneath and around intricate and well-constructed melodies.
Top Track - Sixteen Days