Blimpy’s Best Long Playing Records of The Year


In a slight break from tradition, I’m sticking to the vinyl that I bought this year (sorry Crocodiles & Mikal Cronin, your records were great too, I just don’t own them yet!) – Here’s a not-particularly ordered list!

1. “The Bones Of What You Believe”Chrvrches. Unstoppable song writing from these Glaswegians, a pop heart shot through with a bullet of the all important Scots melancholy. Mighty non-cheesy 80s synths abound.

2. “Modern Vampires Of The City”Vampire Weekend. Good golly there’s a plethora of cracking & clever tunes on here, as the VW begin to contemplate their mortality & place in the world.

3. “A Sea Of Spilt Peas”Courtney Barnett. Bob Dylan, Lou Reed & Kurt Cobain as seen through the lens of a slightly bonkers, mildy stoned Australian singer.

4. “Pedestrian Verse”Frightened  Rabbit. The fourth good record in a row from Selkirk’s finest.

5. “Dream Cave” Cloud Control. Skewed psych-pop from more Aussies (what do they put in their water over there?)

6. “Hobo Rocket”Pond. Heavy deavy psyche nonsense lifting bits of Zep and Bowie, sounds like it was knocked off in an evening. Australian. Bonza.

7. “II” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Tripped out rambling 60sesque psyche pop from a bunch of long haired freaks. Not Australian!!! What??!

8. “Secret Soundz Vol 2” – Pictish Trail. I think I may have put this in last year’s list too, but as it officially came out this year…

9. “Now That You Are A Dancer”Kid Canaveral. More indie pop perfection from the brawsome foursome, now with added shoegaze & epicosity.

10. “EP 1”Pixies. Not technically an LP, but I did play the heck out of it. 3 amazing songs, one ok song. No Kim. Still a good deal.

I’d be interested in seeing your lists, so if you can’t be bothered to do a full post, please put top 3s/5s/10s/100s in the comments! I love lists!

33 thoughts on “Blimpy’s Best Long Playing Records of The Year

  1. Grab bag of single tunes in no special order. I’ve listened to a few of these albums, not all. And honestly i wasn’t in love with most of the albums i did listen to, more like these songs were the album standouts for me. Not a whole lot up my particular alley this year, but some gorgeous shimmery pop as compensation. I’ve probably forgotten a lot.

    1. Daft Punk – Get Lucky Not my usual basket of cookies, but what a perfect disco tune.
    2. Sky Ferreira – I Blame Myself Also not my usual. Love this song though, but could get tired of it. Y’all can have Beyonce.
    3. Vampire Weekend – Step. Pick of the album, but the whole album is lovely.
    4. Phosphorescent – Song for Zula First heard this from Bish i think. Still gorgeous.
    5. Yo Lo Tengo – Ohm Makes me smile.
    6. Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving Now we’re getting to my usual fare. Still sounds great.
    7. Black Angels – Don’t Play With Guns Still may favorite garage tune this year, maybe my favorite overall, with Parquet Courts a close second.
    8. Ty Segall – Sleeper Seems to have gotten hold of a batch that gave him a bum trip this time around . Still better then most stuff out there, but no real butt kickers on this one either. Good rainy day album though.
    9. Swim Deep – The Sea Still love it.
    10. Grouper – Vital Dreamy post rockish.
    11. Rhye – Open Gorgeous soulish.
    12. Bill Callahan – Small Plane Album may need more listens – lovely but some tunes skate a bit too jazzy or country for me. This one is perfect.

  2. Ooh List lust ! Just the thing to stop me doing any housework and stuff today !
    So, my fave albums of the year are, perhaps unsurprisingly to some, mostly Japanese or Korean so the names won’t mean anything to most folks. Don’t worry, they didn’t mean anything to me either before I heard the music !
    I’ll do me top 5.

    5.Kaela KImura – Rock . An album of covers from a Japanese legend who has been away for a while ( having kids etc I think). A little patchy but some great versions of well known songs, standouts , for me, being the Velvet’s Sunday Morning and “Funkytown” !

    4.Fromm- Arrival. Korean indie at it’s most lovely. Twinkly and interesting but also very tuneful.

    3.Foxygen- We are the 21st century ambassadors of peace and magic. The only “western” album, one of Ubuette’s, most of the record is fine but it’s one of those albums where there’s one track that is just head and shoulders above the others and, consequently, they kind of fade into the background a bit. Rather “Flaming Lips” or “R.E.M” ish.

    2, Yaya-Cruel Picture – Not even sure how to class this one, I’ve called it Korean “Trip-hop” before but I don’t really know what trip-hop is so it’s a bit of a blag. Samples, odd noises, “dreamy” vocals and blasts of distorted guitar. Lovely jubbly !.

    1. Seiko Oomori and Rai Rai Rai Band ( or Lai Lai Lai Band as it is sometimes translated) – Poiduro. Spiky “indie” band, rather “post punk” in feel, fronted ( temporarily ?) by singer who sounds rather like an excitable 3 year old ( a good thing !). She seems to be chucking albums out every few week too, her solo work is great but this adds a whole new dimension.

      • If it’s the one that mentions a certain West Coast city . If so it’s one of my ” top 3 songs of the year”.
        It pains me, being as Ubuette found it, but not as much as it pains her to have a record ( she bought the vinyl) that her parents like too !
        Poor kid.

      • Hadn’t heard them before, liked that a lot. Enjoyed your playlist Amy (had forgotten about the Phosphorescent album, which I played quite a lot at the beginning of the year – that track in particular). Now for strange Finnish sounds…

  3. Excellent stuff Blimpy – psychtastic!

    Pond was my favourite of the newtomes, will investigate further. Will get my own list up forthwith.

    Now, how do you do that Youtube compression thing so that you only see the bar at the bottom?

    • The previous Pond album “Beard Wives Denim” is perhaps better, it has some corkers on it like “Elegant Design”

      To fiddle the youtube embed, just change the height number to 25 before you copy & paste the embed code!

    • They do some great early 90s jangly guitars and baggy beats in Finland, don’t they? Predictably enjoyed French Films and The Lieblings (recognised them immediately, on the strength of the one you posted some months back). Also immediately recognised Phantom – more haunting Twin Peaks-y stuff. Is there an album yet?

      • I don’t think there’s a Phantom album yet. I suspect that it’ll be either Burning Hearts popular or a bit of disappointment like the Paperfangs. I actually think it’ll be very good because she really has something cool about her voice.

        My other list is probably more to your taste, well the first ten tunes and a couple after that. Last year was stronger, I think, but I’ve not immersed myself in local sounds that much this year.

  4. Ah, it’s that time of year when I discover all the things I should have been listening to… Expect my “best of 2013” list sometime in March…

    Anyway, enjoyed everything here – Pixies and Vampire Weekend being the only ones I’ve spent any time with, though I’ve liked what I’ve heard of FRabbit and Pictish Trail in the past.

    I’ll follow these up on Spotify – but that’s kind of been the problem for me this year. I bought a Spotify subscription, so now I can listen to all sorts of things. And there are all sorts of wonderful things. But I skim. I browse. I invest little, and the returns diminish.

    Maybe I need to start buying vinyl. I haven’t actually bought a physical album this year, though I have paid for a few legal downloads. I’m not sure I feel qualified to make a list.

    I’ve enjoyed albums by Arctic Monkeys, Casey Musgraves, Serafina Steer, MBV, Lanterns on the Lake, Lotte Kestner and Janelle Monae, among others. La Trimouille by Peter and Kerry was one of my favourite discoveries, although I think it was released in 2012.

    But the only two albums that have connected in something resembling the way that albums used to – when saving up to buy a tape at Our Price was the highlight of my month – are, not coincidentally, by artists I already love: Trouble Will Find Me by The National and The Silver Gymnasium by Okkervil River. I’ve only listened to the latter a handful of times, but it’s one that demands to be listened to, properly, as a whole.

    Notwithstanding, I may try to do a playlist later…

      • i’m going to have to find that Okkervil River, i think i’ve missed that one.

        Liked a lot of Janelle Monae that i’ve heard. Heard a tune or 2 from the Monkeys and the National – bit underwhelmed but i haven’t given either a full or fair hearing yet.

        Chrvrches is all over the place, and indeed some mighty synths. Unfortunately synths seem to make me break out in hives, i can’t help it.

      • Synths! Three of the LPs I’ve enjoyed most this year were by OMD, Depeche Mode and PSB. Oh and I’ve inexplicably forgot loads of synth stuff like Sin Cos Tan for that Finnish list. It was very 1983 in the Fuel household at one point. Having said that, my three for Shoey were very rockist. Expect guitars.

        Swim Deep must’ve been one of those I forgot due to the amount of good stuff released this year. Love that and ubu’s Foxygen

      • shows how much i’ve been around. I totally missed Shoey’s call for tunes this year.

        I seem to remember liking some Sin Cos Tan a lot. Probably from one of you, Shane, or Shoey’s lists.

  5. System is playing up again – I’ve tried to post this twice already… Haven’t got time to put up a proper ‘My Top Ten’ post (though if I’d done it instead of trying to post this comment, it would probably be done by now…). so here’s a quick run-down in no specific order…

    Fuck Buttons and Boards of Canada: haven’t actually bought the albums yet as I’m hoping to get at least one as a Christmas present from my brother, so haven’t yet decided which one I prefer – can’t tell just from listing on Spotify, have to wait to play it in car and on the proper music system. Both pretty darn good.

    Mogwai: Les Revenants: I do suffer from the feeling that this isn’t quite a ‘proper’ album, which isn’t really fair. Still unforgettable.

    Daft Punk: Random Access Memories: It’s, well, as an album it’s okay, and I honestly can’t see how it’s featuring so high on the ‘best of year’ lists except that it’s infinitely better than Arcade Fire, but ‘Georgio by Moroder’ is a work of staggering genius.

    Tomasz Stanko: Wislawa: Can’t not mention this; not the greatest album he’s ever recorded, and I’d still prefer to hear him with Marcin Wasilewski & Co, but the quality remains amazingly high.

    Eric Schaefer: Who Is Afraid of Richard W? The best celebration of Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday: hilarious yet heartfelt tribute to his greatest operatic themes. Completely subverts any latent fascistic tendencies.

    Julia Huelsmann Quartet: In Full View: I can see nilpferd’s point of view on this, and it’s largely a sentimental vote after I saw them in the Bunker Ulmenwall in Bielefeld earlier in the year, but still a very fine album.

    David Bowie: The Next Day: ‘Where Are We Now’ remains an astonishing song by any standards; mostly this is a winner because of the way it evokes past glories and because we’re all worried it’s the last record we’ll ever hear from him, but still a great listen.

    Trwbador: Trwbador: yes, I’m contractually obliged for family reasons to like this, and there’s no denying that it does tail off a bit at the end, but some killer pop songs and very interesting production. Pretty impressive for a home-recorded debut.

    Lorde: Pure Heroine. Terrible, terrible title; otherwise rather wonderful, with the sort of killer teenage attitude that I would have utterly fallen in love with when I was thirty years younger… Having been snooty about the album in comparison to the first EP, I’ve now been converted after just a couple of proper listens.

    Dub Mafia: Sirens. It’s now traditional that, when I pop into Glastonbury Festival (this year, to hear Trwbador), I stumble across someone that demands further investigation. This is a brilliant mixture of dub. drum’n’bass and god knows what, from Bristol; not normally my sort of thing, but love it to bits.

    Conquering Animal Sound: On Falling Bodies. Stumbled on this by accident when looking for songs about the heat death of the universe in Apocalypse week; totally captivated. No idea how to characterise it; Godspeed You! Black Emperor without the bagpipes?

  6. Another 90 minutes of Finnish tunes. These have beats and electronica, plus there’s also some 30 minutes of Ripatti and Äänipää for umlaut loving, strange noise appreciating head-in-the-speaker gurus.

    Iisa’s “Perjantai” is my favourite song of the year, I’ve waiting until the CD is released before I buy it, so it’s not in my three.

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