Monday, December 30, 2013

I’ll meet you at the till — some records from 2013

It’s been a year or two, I think, since I did a list of records-of-the-year for Monorail. It’s so nice of them to involve their customers, when they get it together. It’s not something I’d do without their prompting, though: a good list unearths treasures, and I always have the feeling that mine just list treasures unearthed by others (thanks, others!) Still, I admit that the top two were fixed in place before I knew I’d be doing a list: The Pastels, for creating a record which sounds — as S. said — as though it has always been there, a work of elegant consolidation, shot through with life-affirming pop moments. And Helen Love, for breaking my heart and putting it together stronger with every play: I’ve loved the Love for a long time, but still I was shocked by how thrilling and how moving Day-Glo Dreams is (see previous post). It’s a relief to still be finding pleasure in mbv a year on, and it was great to melt back into Mazzy Star (particularly ‘In the Kingdom’). It was an ever bigger relief to find Edwyn Collins brilliant once more, after the patchy Losing Sleep. Not that ‘Searching for the Truth’ isn’t up there with his best songs, but now we have ‘Too Bad (That’s Sad)’ as well, and it’s fighting fit. She & Him made songs I could drive and sing to, Ela Orleans came up with an entirely new kind of pop record, Ducktails mined the ’80s afterglow, Amor de Días mined that of The Clientele and Pipas (well worth doing), and Lispector made much more fun, earthy songs than I had for some reason been expecting them to. Oh, and Throwing Muses made a record so huge I had no hope of getting to grips with it before the end of the year, hence its absence here.
  1. Helen Love — Day-Glo Dreams
  2. The Pastels — Slow Summits
  3. My Bloody Valentine — mbv
  4. Ducktails — The Flower Lane
  5. Edwyn Collins — Understated
  6. Ela Orleans — Tumult in Clouds
  7. Lispector — Life Without a Map
  8. She & Him — 3
  9. Amor de Días — The House at Sea
  10. Mazzy Star — Seasons of Your Day
Reissue: East Village — Drop Out, or Linda Smith’s cache of albums at


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