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The Best of 2013

The Best of 2013

Monday 16th December, 2013 11:08AM

As 2013 draws to a close we've been looking back on the year in music and are excited to present our end of year feature, including notable albums, memorable singles, live favourites and outstanding videos.

It’s been a big year with some big moments - the return of an inspired David Bowie,  the sad passing of songwriting legend Lou Reed, Lorde breaking two of the biggest things in the world today – the US and the internet  - and alternative acts like Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and Unknown Mortal Orchestra enjoying some well deserved mainstream success. In fact, we can’t recall a year where more quality acts were so dominant and this is complemented by a healthy underground of industrious talent; squirreled away in bedrooms, flats and dive bars, combining to promise an exciting few years to come. Back to 2013 though and lets get things rolling with an extra special feature on the best releases of the year...


With a daunting list of great releases this year, we called on a few friends to help us uncover the best albums of 2013. Asked to contribute five of their favourite releases of the year - a particularly difficult task for most they'll have you know - the result is an incredible collection of over 100 releases. We left the choice of format open so there is some great variety but, as hoped, there is also some clear consensus.

Here is a summary of our Favourite Releases of 2013 feature which you can check out in full over here.


kurtvilewalkinonaprettydaze.jpg Kurt Vile
Wakin' On A Pretty Daze

kanyeyeezus.jpg Kanye West
(Def Jam)

lordepureheroine.jpg Lorde
Pure Heroine

unknownmortalorchestraII.jpg Unknown Mortal Orchestra

nickcavepushtheskyaway.jpg Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Push The Sky Away
(Bad Seeds Ltd)


All Seeing Hand – Mechatronics
Anna Calvi – One Breath
Beastwars - Blood Becomes Fire
Carcass – Surgical Steel
Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Dead C – Armed Courage
Death Grips – Government Plates
Kirin J Callinan - Embracism
Mountaineater – Mountaineater
Popstrangers – Antipodes
Queens of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Savages – Silence Yourself
Sharpie Crows – 12 Omeros
Salad Boys – Salad Boys

Click here to view the full Favourite Releases of 2013 feature.


A serious amount of great singles are released each year and 2013 was no different. Still, we  managed to whittle down our list of favourites this year to just ten that we thought were particularly memorable, starting with the inescapable 'Royals'. Obvious yes, but the track's reach has been phenomenal and who hasn't had this song stuck in their head sometime this year...

Lorde – 'Royals' (from debut EP and album Pure Heroine)

Glass Candy
– Beautiful Object (from After Dark II)

David Bowie
– Sound and Vision 2013

Trust Punks
– Prone Hold

Wooden Shjips
– These Shadows (acoustic version from Back To Land)

PCP Eagles
- 'I Hate The Mall' (from I Hate The Mall EP)

– 'Nails Painted' (from In Brush Park)

Primal Scream
– '2013' (from More Light)

Anna Calvi
- 'Love of My Life' (from One Breath)

Kirin J Callinan
- 'Victoria M' (from Embracism)


To the audio visual realm and it's been an excellent year  for videos with plenty of controversy (Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, Lily Allen),  amazing parodies (thanks James Franco and Seth Rogen), viral videos (Harlem Shake), stunning extended music videos/short films (Lana Del Rey, Broken Bells) and more incredible interactive videos (Arcade Fire, Queens of The Stone Age, Bob Dylan), we even got on the bandwagon and produced some great live videos, but as far as straight up music videos go, here are a few favourites...

International Videos

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sacrilege directed by  Megaforce
Beach House - 'Wishes' directed by Eric Wareheim
David Bowie - 'The Stars Are Out Tonight' directed by Floria Sigismondi
Jorge Albrecht + Caroline Polacheck - 'IV Aided Dreams' directed by Cara Stricker
Spiritualized - 'I Am What I Am' directed by AG Rojas
Tame Impala - 'Mind Mischief' directed by David Wilson

Local Videos

Knoxious (Chris Knox x Rackets) - 'Gargarin' directed by Jeff Smith
Mountaineater - 'Lord of Sumo' directed/animated by Reuben Wood (Sketchy)
The Eversons - 'Marriage' directed by James Watson
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark) directed by Becky & Joe
Princess Chelsea - Caution Repititive directed by Simon Ward
Kody Nielson - 'Demons' directed by Francis Wallis


And finally, saving the best till last, our live highlights of the year.   We've had the privilege of attending A LOT of shows this year and locally we've been particularly impressed by the talent of Sheep Dog & Wolf, the charm of Anthonie Tonnon and The Eversons, the intensity of Mean Girls, T54 and Beastwars, the promise of Trust Punks and Caroles, and the ever entertaining Sneaks.  As for individual shows/tours, here are some of our most memorable outings...

A Place To Bury Strangers (Laneway Festival)
Silo Park, Auckland (January)

Kings Arms, Auckland (February)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland (February)
The Stone Roses
Vector Arena, Auckland (February)
Black Sabbath
Vector Arena, Auckland (April)
Vector Arena, Auckland (May)


Goblin Plays Suspiria (NZ International Film Festival)
Civic Theatre, Auckland (July)




Neutral Milk Hotel
The Veils
'Time Stays We Go' Tour

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
'II' Tour

The Phoenix Foundation
'Fandago' Tour
'Blood Becomes Fire' Tour



And that's a wrap, be sure to check out our Favourite Releases of 2013 feature, plenty of great music in there, and this Friday in our final Weekly Round-Up of 2013 we'll let you know what's been most popular on the site this year and point out some shows and releases to look forward to in the first few months of 2014.

Big THANKS to everyone who contributed to this feature and the site more generally this year and of course to all of YOU for stopping by - be sure to include some of your highlights below...

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