To misquote Morrissey, “If you have 3 hours to spare, then I’ll tell you the musical story of my last 12 months.” Yes, you can hear the 19 tracks that made it onto my best of 2013 list, as dissected by Garbanzo and Rikkit, right here.

For the record, my top 3 tracks of the year would have to be:

1. I Killed A Man Who Looks Like You – Robert Pollard

2. Song From The River – Soft Hearted Scientists

3. Sunray Venus – Throwing Muses

In addition, here are a few more of my favourite things from this year:

Top 25 albums:

1. Robert Pollard – Honey Locust Honky Tonk – my favourite Uncle Bob album since From A Compound Eye


2. Throwing Muses – Purgatory/Paradise – 32 songs in 45 minutes and all of them great


3. Guided By Voices – English Little League – the last GBV album till the next one and my favourite from the reformed ‘classic’ band

english little league

4. John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts – some of the best lyrics around set to 80s electronica

pale green ghosts

5. Edwyn Collins – Understated – a remarkable man and a remarkable record


6. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Any Port In A Storm – like Pavement with an Aussie sense of humour only better than that


7. Soft Hearted Scientists – False Lights – unpigeonholeable Welsh genius

soft hearted

8. The Necks – Open – there’s no finer way to lose yourself in music for just over an hour


9. Lloyd Cole – Standards – a return to the rockier sound of yore with the same intelligent lyrics

lloyd cole

10. Julian Cope – Revolutionary Suicide – free-range political poetry of the highest order

julian cope

11. Circus Devils – When Machines Attack / My Mind Has Seen The White Trick – two more slices of the psychedelic surrealist side of Robert Pollard

circus devils

12. Bill Callahan – Dream River – very personal introspective songs that somehow speak to everyone


13.  Omar Souleyman – Wenu Wenu – wild Arabic dance music with dirty synth squelches


14. Joseph Arthur – The Ballad Of Boogie Christ Acts 1 & 2 – the concept album of the year

j arthur

15. Graveola E O Lixo Polifônico – Eu Preciso De Um Liquidificador – an uplifting delight of Brazilian musical eclecticism 


16. The Handsome Family – Wilderness – a glorious helping of surreal animal-based country-noir


17. Eels– Wonderful, Glorious – more fantastic songwriting from Mr E and chums


18. Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest – great electronic soundscapes to soundtrack your daydreams

boards of canada

19. Jagwar Ma – Howlin – a dubbed up wall of sound 

jagwar ma

20. Wire – Change Becomes Us – a new old record that could only be the Wire of the 21st century


21. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle – Perils From The Sea – impeccable storytelling over electronic finery


22. Darkside – Psychic – hypnotic psychedelia with tip top beats


23. Rotifer – The Cavalry Never Showed Up – old skool punk informed songwriting with crunchy guitars and a pop sensibility


24. Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse – classical, ambient, stunning


25. Black Reindeer – A Difficult Third Album / Due To A Lack Of Excitement / All Is Good / Just For Today History Is Wrong / The Ten Stages Of Alcohol / The End Of Youth / Death Is Stupid / Death Is Stupid 2 / Demons Demons Demons


Bubbling under: 

Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe, Robyn Hitchcock – Love From London, Low – The Invisible Way, The Luck Of Eden Hall – Victoria Moon, They Might Be Giants – Nanobots, Yo La Tengo – Fade

Best Compilation:

Strange Fish Collection (Fruits de Mer) – 6 LPs and a CD’s worth of the best instrumental music around

strange fish

Best Retrospective:

Soft Hearted Scientists – Whatever Happened To The Soft Hearted Scientists – a collection of must hear songs from this year’s must hear band. I have told everyone I know that they need this music. Now I’m telling you.

soft hearted scientists

Best musical TV moment

Here’s the Electric Lady in all her glory…

Top 6 gigs:

  1. Bruce Springsteen – Ricoh Arena, Coventry 20/6/13     review
  2. Chuck Prophet – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, 27/4/13     review
  3. Pixies – Apollo, Manchester, 21/11/13     review
  4. Damien Dempsey – The Kazimier, Liverpool 16/10/13
  5. John Grant – The Ritz, Manchester, 14/5/13
  6. Lambchop – The Kazimier, Liverpool 25/6/13     review

bruce 2013Chuck ProphetThe Pixies Performing at Manchester O2 Apollo - 21/11/2013damien dempseyjohn grant ritzLambchop Liverpool Kazimier 25th June 2013

Best new discovery:

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding / Soft Hearted Scientists

sacw soft hearted scientists

Biggest disappointment:

Arctic Monkeys. It’s now finally over between us. You’ve changed.

Robert Pollard’s 2013 output in full:

Guided By Voices – Down By The Racetrack EP

Guided By Voices – Flunky Minnows (7″ single)

Guided By Voices – Islands (She Talks To Rainbows) (7″ single)

Guided By Voices – Trashcan Full Of Nails (7″ single)

Guided By Voices – Xeno Pariah (7″ single)

The Sunflower Logic – Clouds On The Polar Landscape EP

Guided By Voices – Noble Insect (7″ single)

Guided By Voices – English Little League LP

Robert Pollard – Honey Locust Honky Tonk LP

Teenage Guitar – Force Fields At Home LP

Robert Pollard – Tonight’s The Rodeo (7″ single)

Circus Devils – When Machines Attack LP

Circus Devils – My Mind Has Seen The White Trick LP

Robert Pollard – Return Of The Drum (7″ single)

Robert Pollard -Blazing Gentlemen LP

gbv collection 2013

So that’s just the 6 full LPs, 2 EPs and 7 singles (with non-album B-sides) this year. What has your favourite band been up to, eh?

About kickerofelves1

Wizard-in-Chief for Trust The Wizards music podcast and blog. Guided By Voices fanatic.

5 responses »

  1. […] Kicker of Elves’ Favourite Things from 2013 ( […]

  2. […] last year taking up space on this here blog recently. You’ve had my own songs of the year and choice of albums and other stuff.  The people’s wizard, Rebel Rikkit, has also had his say on this podcast and. of course, we […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s