Deap Vally Sistrionix

2013 was a good year for the girls, in particular these two rock chicks from California. The duo – comprising Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards – released their debut album “Sistrionix” in June of this year to great acclaim. It’s so refreshing to hear girls make the loud, in-your-face rock ’n’ roll which usually only has a place in the charts for hairy men. Their subject matters are great too; “Creeplife” which tackles creepy guys (we’ve all encountered them), “Raw Material” which focuses on female creativity, all in amongst the love, lust and lies we come to expect on a blues-rock record.

The Whigs Enjoy The Company

A tremendously brilliant Americana record that was released in August, courtesy of Georgia- based band The Whigs. With an epic eight minute opener in the form of “Staying Alive”, “Enjoy The Company” starts as it means to go on with brass and a guitar solo adding to the rock n roll madness. The whole album has a real Southern, open road feel to it. With harks to a simpler life, growing up and being in love, there are elements to the album everyone can relate to on this summery, country-rock record.

Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

The Scottish art-rock quartet made their comeback in 2013, with the mysterious Franz Ferdinand logo graffiti sprayed on pavements and buildings around Glasgow. Eventually, the band revealed their fourth studio album would be released in August. From the Halloweeny sounding “Evil Eye” to the beautifully bizarre, “Fresh Strawberries”, it seems that Alex Kapranos and co have not forgotten the art of creating a perfectly crafted hit. “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action” is crammed with driving guitar lines, intelligent lyrics and is sprinkled with catchy sing-along choruses.

Jake Bugg Shangri La

Album number 2 for Jake Bugg, the same number in as many years, was released this November. Following up to his fantastic debut, Bugg grows on “Shangri La” without completely leaving behind his Nottingham council estate roots. “Slumville Sunrise” and “What Doesn’t Kill You” stumble over the old ground, while the latter has a more experimental, punkier feel. Bugg also stretches himself on the poignantly titled “A Song About Love”, reaching notes and depths not necessarily expected from a 19 year old stoner. It’s so uncommon yet beautiful to have a teenager influenced by music well beyond his years, and to do the bygone era justice.

Haim Days Are Gone

Undoubtedly one of the most eagerly- anticipated albums of 2013, the debut LP from this trio – released in September – did not disappoint. Flying the flag for female musicians everywhere from SXSW to Glastonbury via the Andrew Marr Show (yes, really!), the Haim sisters have received many comparisons to the greats, including Fleetwood Mac, 90s r’n’b stars En Vogue and even Shania Twain. Imagine a blend of all three, in a world where girls do the heartbreaking and finding themselves while the boys are left to lap it all up, and you have “Days Are Gone”. Full of catchy-pop choruses, with modern indie vibes, it’s very difficult to dislike this album.

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