To wrap up 2013 we present to your our staff picks of the best music and performance from the year.

Records

Tame Impala – Lonerism
On mine again for this year. Still no record better. GM

Live photoset at VU
Toro Y Moi – Say That (Single)  
The warmest thing that could happen to you in January 2013. AS

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts
I like the remix album as much as the original but I love Grant’s style and towering delivery pitched somewhere between Beck, Prince and Hercules and The Love Affair. DD

William Tyler – Impossible Truth
Kieran Hebden brought this release to my attention and I’ve been listening to this atmospheric steel-guitar heaven ever since. More to explore from this ex-Lambchop guitarist. GM

Broken Bells – After the disco (Song)

If this is cheesy then it’s cheesy like the most expensive Neals Yard Dairy piece of cheese. AS

Bombino – Nomad
Niger-born Tuareg dazzles with fiery and free-wheeling desert beauty. An exhilarating journey has just begun. GM

James Blake- Overgrown
Wasn’t convinced after the single, seemed pale in comparison to his debut record. But wow, Overgrown was on repeat multiple times after that. VG
I’m avoiding the James Blake album ’til the hype dies down. GM

Moderat II
My record of the year as far as electronic stuff goes. Totally accessible and Apparat’s voice is way sexy. VG
Not just his voice… AS

2/5 :: Eastern Electrics meets… MODERAT from London Sessions Productions on Vimeo.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away
I arrived at this album after I caught Nick live a couple of times at Primavera and XOYO this year. Although I agree with Glenn that I wanted the later show to linger on more of a considered fan based setlist I was suprised in both cases how the new material stood out. Strong lyrics, superb musicianship, still fierce, still thought provoking. DD
Another landmark release from the dark prince and his evil henchman, here, demonstrating a restrained tension and slowly building-up themes in repetitive layers that drive the narrative directly into one’s brain. GM

Live

Flickr photoset

Neon Neon with National Theatre Wales: Praxis Makes Perfect, Village Underground
I’m a low-level luvvie at heart and I thought the concept album delivered on a moving stage was just brilliant. My highlight had to be Hoops With Fidel, a basketball playing Che Guevara and braggish Che Guevara running rings around our misunderstood hero Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. DD
I cant be sure I’d be as attached to this release had I not been a proud presenter of their masterpiece live concept concert. But subsequent listening of this tragically mishandled reealse have proven the songs are as strong as the story-line, acting, writing and staging that made ”Praxis Makes Perfect” my gig of the year. GM

Dan Deacon, Village Underground
Almost impossible to top because no other artist tried to create a human tunnel all around the block. AS
I totally agree with Amelie. For me this was the most anticipated gig of this year and…I missed it. The DM report and the following fall out (neighbour complaints) and staff smiles in the aftermath proved to me this was THE highlight of 2013. TV

Pantha Du Prince with Bell Laboratory, The Barbican
It’s such a treat to hear an album that is a complete entity and with Elements Of Light you were compelled to listen to this album, at home, alone in a darkened room. The live performance was a real treat, with the Bell Laboratory adding texture and humanity to Pantha Du Prince’s beats the synesthetic oil and ink based lightshow by Joshua Light Show was also an organic treat. DD

Gold Panda, Somewhere in Zurich
The last time I saw Gold Panda live was three years ago and it was rather boring. Last November he played a tiny venue in Zurich and showed that he had really improved, making it almost impossible to stop dancing. AS

Foxygen, Hudson River Park,NYC
While I liked the record, and their set at Village Underground, it wasn’t until I saw the wreckless Hudson River Park set in NYC that I fell in love with the hilarious, snotty, courageous, care-free, glam-band. Since then the songs have taken hold of the heart. Big hopes for their ”difficult” 2nd album.

Nils Frahm VU photoset

Nils Frahm, Hackney St John
A perfect example of the venue complimenting the music. The creaky, dusty St John is brought back to life with Nils powering on the church organ before he takes to his piano and assorted samplers in the round, the audience laughing, coughing and even answering a phone only adds to the unique performance, many of which made it onto Nils’ live Spaces album. He also put in a synth-blowing set at Village Underground. DD

TV On The Radio, BAM, Brooklyn
IPA + Brooklyn + beautiful venue + TV on The Radio with Phosphorescent and Here We Go Magic as supports. You see what I mean. AS

White Denim, Village Underground
2 sold out nights. 1 of the few nights I was inspired to attend. Totally worth every part of my hangover the day after. My sister hung out with them after the first night and said they were all lovely guys! High praise. TV

James Holden- Roundhouse Studios
What this guy does with synths is just brilliant. The live show builds on the already exceptional record… so groovy + loved the visuals. VG

One of the Rocketnumber9’s guys joined him to play drums and he was just brilliant. It added depth to the performance. It was an early show in a tiny studio but the combination of dark and groovy sounds made it feel like a midnight act at a rave. AS

Beck Songreader – Barbican
Performances from Beth Orton and Joan As Police Woman are especially memorable. Great songs, great performances, perfect weeknight out. VG

Seth Troxler at Fuse, Village Underground
Really fun night with Seth Troxler on the decks at our second Fuse gig. He played new records he’d bought right before the gig and the vibe was just F-U-N. VG

Morning Glory, Village Underground.
The Rakes - 22K Job
Well enough said… 22K job in the city REALLY? JF

Favourites selected by

GM: Glenn Max
DD: Dan Davies
VG: Vidhi Ghandi
AS: Amelie Snyers
TV: Ty Vigrass
JF: Jack Foxcroft