Best Music 2013: our favourites but your final say
It’s the end of the year as we know it and we feel fine. Jim Carroll rounds up the year in music and passes the baton to you, the readers, to have the final say
The Ticket Awards 2013
ARCTIC MONKEYS AM “Warm and distinctive, it’s the sound that manages to retain enough originality and suss to engender respect as well as envy”
JOHN GRANT PALE GREEN GHOSTS “Bold, distinctive, challenging and rich, it’s the work of a singular artist very much coming into his own”
DISCLOSURE SETTLE“The most joyous album of the year… you’ll be humming these tunes months from now”
LITTLE GREEN CARS ABSOLUTE ZERO “An album of great songs that sound like great songs from a dozen other bands”
LISA O’NEILL SAME CLOTH OR NOT “O’Neill’s idiosyncratic voice and a striking turn of phrase makes this one of the most outstanding Irish albums this year”
VILLAGERS AWAYLAND “Surprises await at every turn,rendering all past associationsnull and void”
JON HOPKINS IMMUNITY “His fourth LP and most dance-oriented release shows just how far Hopkins has progressed since his debut 12 years ago”
VAMPIRE WEEKEND MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY “Reaches the parts that other bands don’t even know about it. A great album”
JULIA HOLTER LOUD CITY SONG “Regardless of the method or style, these bewitching songs, both quiet and loud, reverberate more deeply with every listen”
NEKO CASE THE WORSE THINGS GET, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE MORE I LOVE YOU “The finest hour of her darkest moments”
HAIM DAYS ARE GONE “A breezy, carefree, infectiously bright pop album from a band who know they’re onto a good thing”
RASHAD BECKER TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF NOTIONAL SPECIES, VOL 1.1 “Putting clear bright lines to the shape and sound of electronic and avant-garde music”
Click here to cast your vote
Nothing in the world gets people more annoyed or excited than a list. Lists are the Bitcoin of the media business. A list means someone somewhere has gone to the trouble of ranking something, be it chocolate biscuits or works of great cultural importance or reasons why you should spend a weekend in Dublin, and giving it a number from one to 10 (or 23).
Such ranking and numbering causes ire and, in an age when spitting feathers is the default position for many when it comes to engaging with their fellow humans, the fun and games that ensue from the publication of lists are only mega.
Behold, then, pages of lists! It’s The Ticket’s annual music and movies awards’ season and you’re the one with the vote, you lucky pucker. Our team of ace reviewers, snarly critics and insightful voices (that will be the byline at the top of this piece) have taken the time and gone to great trouble to run the rule over the past 12 months – OK, 11 months, the year ends in November around here due to deadlines – and distil the year in music and movies into lists. The things we do for you . . .
While we’re barred from having our say about the films which graced the big screen this year (Gravity was not that good, Pilgrim Hill was the Irish flick of the year and Good Vibrations was a blast), it’s a different matter with music. As with the hurling, it was a cracker of a year. There may be a discourse abroad that music is in a very different place now thanks to technology and all of that, but you stlll get serious shape-throwing and fantastic sounds from all quarters every year.
There was New Zealand teen pop star Lorde, a lass who was on absolutely no one’s radar a year ago, hitting it out of the park with Royals. You had house revivalist youths Disclosure producing hit after damn hit with a galaxy of guest vocalists. And what about those French lads with helmets returning to the fray and killing us with Get Lucky? Daft Punk were playing in your house, your house, yet again and no one wanted to show them the door.
It was a welcome return too for the Arctic Monkeys, who knocked out their best album since their debut.
You had the superb electronic thump and whirr of Daniel Avery on Drone Logic, one of the big albums of the year. And you’d cracking made-in-Ireland releases from Little Green Cars, Chequerboard, Villagers, Lisa O’Neill, Girls Names, Mano Le Tough, This Is How We Fly and many, many more.
Then, there was the likes of John Grant, Jon Hopkins and Kanye West, all of whom made striking albums that struck a chord with many in 2013. In the case of West, there were several other striking things too, but we’ll leave all that for another day or publication.
You will also see mention of David Bowie in the lists around these pages. He was the man who commanded all the attention in the early days of the year with his out-of-the-blue comeback. There were some decent tunes, and we’d happily give him the gongs for Marketing Campaign of the Year and Best Pop Exhibition for the brilliant David Bowie Is show at London’s V&A.
Most of the names above are represented in our lists – the ones who aren’t should have been IMHO – but it will be interesting to hear what you make of the shortlists. The writers have had their say, so now it’s all down to you, the readers.
The closing date for votes is midnight on Sunday December 15th, the winners will be announced in The Ticket on Friday December 20th and we’ll get the souvenir trophies to the winners in time to put under their Christmas trees.
If you have comments to make (smart or otherwise), the On the Record blog is waiting to hear from you.
The Ticket Awards 2013 – over to you.
Click here to cast your vote