2013 has been a fantastic year for music across all genres. Sadly this list doesn't even begin to scratch the surface, but after a hard time trying to decide what my top 10 was, I think I've managed the task. Maybe. Wait, I just thought of another album...!
1. Arctic Monkeys - AM
I went off Arctic Monkeys. I was so in love with their first two albums that when they changed direction I was having none of it. By chance I heard a song on the radio that I thought was amazing. That song turned out to be R U Mine? From that point on I fell right back in love. From start to finish this album is amazing. Don't get me wrong, this is nothing like Favourite Worst Nightmare or Whatever People Say… But this, for me, proved they aren't just another indie band.
2. Enter Shikari - Rat Race
Ever since Take To The Skies, Enter Shikari never seem to be able to hold back on releasing songs. After every LP, there's singles and EPs to tide the fans over. Rat Race was released off the back of A Flash Flood of Colour, and it proves that this band is ever evolving. From the one minute blistering opener that is The Paddington Frisk, to the anthem that is Radiate, and to the absolute craziness that is Rat Race, this EP doesn't let up.
3. Listener - Time Is A Machine
One of my favourite bands, ever since hearing Dan Smith on The Chariot's David De La Hoz (I may or may not have a Listener tattoo). This time they recruited a drummer to complete the line up, and along with this their sound is heavier by far. This album still has it's quite heart breaking moments, but amongst these are out of step heavy moments, where talk music becomes shout music, and they do it brilliantly.
4. Drake - Nothing Was The Same
Following up from Take Care, Drake didn't fix what wasn't broke. He keeps the low, post-dubstep beats, and sings for most of the album. With massive songs like Started From The Bottom and Worst Behaviour mixed in with the more downbeat Hold On, We're Going Home, Drake knows exactly what to do and how to make it work.
5. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe
2013 has been a brilliant year for pop music that means something, and isn't just Simon Cowell playing puppeteer (look closely and you'll see 1D's strings). Glasgow's CHVRCHES have had quite a year, with an album drop and regular radio time. In amongst the good there was the bad, with lead singer Lauren Mayberry receiving sexual harassment, but she handled it gloriously, calling the people out in an online article, which just made me like this band more.
6. Cavalcades / Coma Regalia / Heart On My Sleeve - Split 10"
This split, released through Middle Man Records, spans 3 countries and 2 continents. It showcases some of the best emo and screamo from Sweden, Indiana and Aberdeen.
I was lucky enough to review this album earlier this year. After an EP and a split, this two-piece wrote an album full of grungy chords and twiddly emo guitar parts. They had the best of what they are loved for thrown in amongst some new twists.
Aberdeen's very own hardcore band returned after a successful single with their first full length. After some label issues this LP was finally released. I was lucky enough to review this too, and my thoughts haven't changed almost a year on.
9. Death Grips - No Love Deep Web
I first became aware of this band due to an online avatar photo. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for but people seemed to love them. I put on No Love Deep Web and loved it, even if I was more than a little perplexed by what was going on. Between the shouted raps and music akin to Crystal Castles, it's definitely an acquired taste, but everyone should listen to this band and acquire that acquired taste.
10. Lorde - Pure Heroine
Another example of great pop in 2013. When I first heard of Lorde I thought someone was talking about the Eurovision winners. I couldn't have been farther from what was going on. Beautiful vocals over contemporary dance/r'n'b beats, 2014 should be an even bigger year for Lorde after this great debut album.
Honourable Mentions -
DIRTDRINKER - s/t
FIDLAR - FIDLAR
Gnarwolves - Funemployed