Top 10 Albums of 2013. Nicholas Preen [Al Bairre].

1. Mac DeMarco – 2

My absolute favourite album of this year hands down goes to Mac DeMarco’s jangle spangled second album 2. Mac de Marco plays within the self-titled genres of ‘Slacker Rock’ and ‘Jizzy Jazz’ which basically just comprises of sexy, stringy, twangy electric guitar topped with charismatic vocals and groovy sleek beats. He is the epitome of how to be cool through being quirky and nice. Watch an interview/live performance with him on the internet and you may just take up smoking, fall in love with his girlfriend or see him stick some drum sticks up his bum. Before falling in love with the rest of this album I would say give ‘Ode to Viceroy’ and ‘Cooking Up Something Good’ a listen.

2. Mac DeMarco – Rock and Roll Night Club

Okay sorry, I’m not done. This year Mac DeMarco has sickenly been my everything. Never have I been more in love with a human being I’ve never met. His label, Capture Tracks, cunningly saw his potential after his debut album Rock and Roll Night Club was released and got him to quickly put out 2 within the same year.

This album is a lot more breezy and has been said to be a little less fun than 2 but I disagree man flippen hell. This album transports you to slow dancing with the girl of your dreams in an empty dingy smoke filled bar with nothing but the sounds of the Mac DeMarco band on your mind. At the time of recording this album he got tonsilitus and sings most of the album in a deep baritone. Which is just uh! Its like when Ryan Gosling sings that Mills brothers tune in Blue Valentine. Mac de Marco is a pretty average looking dude but trust me after listening to the love songs of both Rock and Roll Night Club and 2, in your eyes, he’s going to look better than Ryan Gozzy himself! Track favourites would have to be ‘Moving Like Mike’ and ‘European Vegas’.

3. Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe

In between writing songs for Solange and Sky Ferreira, Dev Hynes has finally completed his second album and I’m real happy about it. Track favourite and second single of the album: ‘You’re Not Good Enough’ featuring his current girlfriend and ‘friends’ lead singer Samantha Urbani is a winner and a nice start if you’re interested in getting excited about the New York-inspired album. I’m all about the hot gossip and apparently he’s not friends with Solange or Sky any more either because they’re unhappy with him performing his or their songs, whatever and saying ‘he wrote them’. SCANDAL . I’m glad he’s working on his solo stuff again and receiving all the credit deserved.

4. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

It’s been a whole three years since I first heard their last album Contra and after that album I really didn’t think they’d be able to make another one as original or epic. BUT PTHHJGFLKGK>JGHH They did it! Modern Vampires of the City, despite having one of the worst album names I’ve ever heard, is one of my favourites of the year. It’s unique in comparison to their former albums because instead of the usual Paul Simon/Africanesque influence they’ve become so well-known for, they have actually taken a more Western classical pop approach. Track favourites are ‘Finger Back’ and ‘Hannah Hunt’.

5. Beatenberg – Second studio album

It isn’t out yet and I’ve only heard the single ‘Chelsea Blakemore ‘ but we’ve been playing heaps shows with those ballies and I’ve heard all their new material and it’s just so spectacular that I already know its going to be a favourite. It’s the kind of music you want to impress a girl with at the World of Birds. Track favourite : ‘Southern Suburbs’.

6. Foals – Holy Fire

I recently watched their live Royal Albert Hall performance at a friend’s house and haven’t stopped thinking about Ramfest since. They are going to do the South African music industry a world of good to witness. I hope there are no girls around me when they play the drop in ‘Providence’ at 3.12 because I might just kick dance myself into a coma. Track Favourite: ‘Bad Habit’.

7. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

It’s Arcade Fire man. Come now don’t be silly. Haha arcade fireman. Amazing.

8. Foxygen – We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

I hate these guys. They are absolute winkys. So young and full of themselves . If you enjoy this album as much as I do, don’t watch an interview with them. Sam France sounds like a total jerk but ya the psych-rocky popish duo made a really nice album and I’m planning on listening to my track favourites: ‘San Francisco’, ‘Shuggie’ & ‘Into the Darkness’ for the rest of the day.

9. Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

Also hasn’t been released yet. The due day is for the 3rd of February and the reason Bombay Bicycle Club didn’t come to South Africa this year was because they instead decided to record this. I cried for a bit and then did a little dance. They have released a single called ‘Carry Me’ which has made me super excited for So Long, See You Tomorrow and left me able to confidently confirm that it has a place in my top ten. That may be a bit eager but in my eyes BBC can do no wrong.

10. ShortStraw – Good Morning, Sunshine

Try seeing a ShortStraw performance and not having a good time. I dare you. They’re just a good wee in your wetsuit or morning-after poo. My bosom buddy Kyle lost his iPod for about a month and all we had in his car was Good Morning, Sunshine and now we know all the songs word for word and haven’t even killed them. Track favourite: ‘Couch Potato’ & ‘Bikini Weather’.

Photograph by Nic Preen.

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