Best albums of 2013

IT'S been a big year in music, so we've called on some of the region's best musicians and biggest music fans to share the albums that shaped and rocked 2013 for them.

Joe Gardner (Red Eagle, Mr John McKensie)

1. Israel Nash, Rain Plans

Today's music is filled with new music technology, digital sounds and highly- compressed songs, which is why this album sits as my favourite it has none of the above. It is a simple, well-recorded and well-written album that could easily be mistaken for a Neil Young LP. Modern-day Americana at its best.

2. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

3. Mavis Staples, One True Vine

4. Arcade Fire, Reflektor

5. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Get Up!

6. James Blake, Overgrown

7. Man Man, On Oni Pond

8. Foxygen, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic

9. Black Joe Lewis, Electric Slave

10. The Growl, What Would Christ Do??

Tom Ballard (ex-Triple J)

1. Everything Everything, Arc 

I just love this band. I love their ambition, their originality, their pop sensibility, their sense of humour. While more "accessible" than their debut, Arc reaches extraordinary heights on tracks like Kemosabe and Duet.

2. Cloud Control, Dream Cave

3. Dick Diver, Calendar Days

4. Wet, EP

5. Arctic Monkeys, AM

6. Arcade Fire, Reflektor

7. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

8. Haim, Days Are Gone

9. San Fermin, San Fermin

10. Queens of the Stone Age, ... Like Clockwork

Cobey Fletcher (The Alamo)

1. The Mightiest of Guns, Strange Birds

With a sound straight from a western movie, these guys blew me away with their dark country riffs, Cash-like vocals and banjo-pickin', fiddle-slayin' tunes. It's exciting to find a modern band of cowboys bringin' the west back. Yeehaaw!

2. The Bronx, IV

3. The Ivory Elephant, The Ivory Elephant

4. Lucero, Texas & Tennessee

5. Amanda Merdzan, The Map Has Been Redrawn

6. The Drones, I See Seaweed

7. Black Sabbath, 13

8. Kashmere Club, Lost & Sound EP

9. Wil Wagner, Laika EP

10. The Kill Devil Hills, Past & Future Ghosts

Jono Colliver (Kashmere Club, Vance Joy)

1. Kvelertak, Meir

Six Norwegian gentlemen playing '70s rock through the sonic filter of bleak, unrelenting and abrasive black metal. Their name means chokehold, and Meir means more. That's just what they've delivered on this mighty sophomore LP. For fans of grandiose guitar riffs and grim Scandinavian metal.

2. Haim, Days Are Gone

3. Violent Soho, Hungry Ghost

4. Pond, Hobo Rocket

5. Kirin J Callinan, Embracism

6. Jagwar Ma, Howlin'

7. The National, Trouble Will Find Me

8. Kanye West, Yeezus

9. Big Scary, Not Art

10. Black Sabbath, 13

Gus Franklin (Architecture In Helsinki, Gramps)

1. Italians Do It Better, After Dark 2

This compilation of exclusively produced and curated music by the US-based Italians Do It Better record label was released on the same day as Daft Punk's album, but probably cost millions less to make. Dark and economical dance music with real heart and soul.

2. Angel Eyes, Final Fare

3. DJ Koze, Amygdala

4. Julianna Barwick, Nepenthe

5. Monnone Alone, Together, At Last

6. Pikelet, Calluses

7. Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse

8. Classixxx, Hanging Gardens

9. Midnight Juggernauts, UV

10. Ever Ending Kicks, Weird Priorities

Adam B. Metal (The Departed)

1. Deafheaven, Sunbather

A band that mixes elements of black metal and garagey post rock? Now there's a combo that will leave you scratching your head. It's some of the most unique music I have heard in a very long time. Beautifully abrasive while remaining deeply emotive. An absolute winner.

2. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

3. Kanye West, Yeezus

4. Mouth Of The Architect, Dawning

5. Crash Of Rhinos, Knots

6. Drake, Nothing Was The Same

7. Russian Circles, Memorial

8. Abreact, ´╗┐Entities

9. Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks

10. Mogwai, Les Revenants Soundtrack

Richard Tankard (Tank Dilemma)

1. Don Walker, Hully Gully

Walker's third solo record is full of the stories, wordplay and imagery one would expect, while somehow managing to put the listener fair and square in the middle. At his recent show at the Caravan Club, a working muso colleague pointed out just how many of Melbourne's songwriters were in the audience and correctly summed up the situation: "They're all here to see how it's done".

2. White Denim, Corsicana Lemonade

3. Sweet Jean, Dear Departure

4. Gian Slater/Jamie Oehlers, The Differences

5. Ainslie Wills, You Go Your Way I'll Go Mine

6. The Break, Space Farm

7. Barney McAll, Chucky Vol 1: Swirl Cauldron Swirl

8. Neil Finn & Paul Kelly, Goin' Your Way

9. David Bowie, The Next Day

10. Mavis Staples, One True Vine

Nigel Wearne

1. Lucy Wise & The B'Gollies, When We Wander Far From Home

The first time I heard Lucy Wise, I was struck by the originality and honesty of her songwriting. There are so many layers at work in this 10-song offering. Lay Of The Land and Mother's Song are standout tracks. A slow burner that keeps giving.

2. Matt Walker, In Echoes Of Dawn

3. Lau, Race The Loser

4. Guy Clark, My Favourite Picture Of You

5. Don Walker, Hully Gully

6. Peter Rowan, The Old School

7. Old Man Ludecke, Tender Is The Night

8. Mark Knopfler, Privateering

9. Martha Wainwright, Come Home To Mama

10. The Milk Carton Kids, Ash & Clay

Phillip Cooke (Capricorn Records)

1. Wooden Shjips, Back To Land

It was The National's Trouble Will Find Me all the way until the very end, but it was run down by Wooden Shjips. This album charged through and completely took me over. It came late, but it is all I want to listen to. It is a clear winner for me.

2. The National, Trouble Will Find Me

3. Steve Earle & The Dukes, The Low Highway

4. King Krule, Six Feet Beneath The Moon

5. Kurt Vile, Wakin' On A Pretty Daze

6. The Strypes, Snapshot

7. Jake Bugg, Shangri-la

8. Chris Russell's Chicken Walk, Shakedown

9. Charles Bradley, Victim Of Love

10. Black Sabbath, 13

Tom Richardson

1. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Made Up Mind

TTB are just too groovy, too funky, blending blues, funk, soul and ballads too easily. Trucks is undeniably one of the smoothest slide guitar players in the history of the universe, flowing through Idle Wind while also dropping some crazy distorted riffs in Misunderstood and The Storm that had me screwing up my face and nodding subconsciously to the beat. Any band that can pull off duelling drummers is always gonna score highly too.

2. Lorde, Pure Heroine

3. Amos Lee, Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song

4. Benjalu, The Battle EP

5. Daniel Champagne, The Gypsy Moon: Volume 1

6. Michael Franti & Spearhead, All People

7. Mavis Staples, One True Vine

8. James Blake, Overgrown

9. Jordie Lane, Live At The Wheaty

10. Junip, Junip

Matt Neal (The Standard, The 80 Aces)

1. Arctic Monkeys, AM

The brash brattiness of their first album has made way for a witty swagger on their fifth record. The title is their initials, but also hints at the post-midnight vibe throughout, like it's the soundtrack to a late-night party where there are way too many people in your lounge room. Do I Wanna Know? is the prime example of the stellar production, arranging and songwriting at work here.

2. Future Of The Left, How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident

3. Pond, Hobo Rocket

4. Bob Evans, Familiar Strangers

5. The Love Junkies, Maybelene

6. Sigur Ros, Kveikur

7. Lorde, Pure Heroine

8. Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt

9. White Denim, Corsicana Lemonade

10. Cactus Channel, Wooden Boy

Brady Jones (Red Eagle)

1. White Denim, Corsicana Lemonade 

White Denim have released their most accessible album to date. Grab a metronome and break it, destroy all that you know about acceptable time measures, add analogue recordings of the tastiest fuzz guitar, coupled with erratic finger-pickin' bass gold and a jazz drummer playing rock and then shake it loose.

2. Mavis Staples, One True Vine

3. Man Man, On Oni Pond

4. Jonathan Wilson, Fanfare

5. QOTSA, ...Like Clockwork

6. Valerie June, Pushin' Against A Stone

7. Bass Drum Of Death, Bass Drum Of Death

8. Courtney Barnett, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

9. Chris Russell's Chicken Walk, Shakedown

10. Wolf & Cub, Heavy Weight

Jackson McLaren

1. Stolen Violin, Temperate Touch, Tropical Tears

Jordan Ireland, the driving force behind Aussie band The Middle East, has delivered an album of exquisite beauty, evoking days that have long passed with his nostalgic vignettes. Loops and fuzzy electric guitars mumble under the surface against a finger-picked nylon string. Ethereal harmonies cascade among an intricate soundscape achieving a gloriously happy sadness.

2. Soda Eaves, Like Drapes Either Side

3. Don Walker, Hully Gully

4. The National, Trouble Will Find Me

5. Josh Pyke, The Beginning And The End Of Everything

6. Kurt Vile, Wakin' On A Pretty Daze

7. David Bowie, The Next Day

8. Bill Callahan, Dream River

9. Jae Laffer, When The Iron Glows Red

10. Adalita, All Day Venus

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