Best Albums of 2013

          Midnight At The Wheel Club - Cover


Country, Americana and melancholy baritone singer-songwriters loom large in my Top Ten albums of 2013.

The album of the year accolade goes to London-based act Dead Flowers, for their astonishing debut record Midnight At The Wheel Club.

Recorded late at night, in wintry conditions, it’s a collection of dark, intimate, haunting and confessional songs, inspired by gravel-voiced singer/songwriter Ian Williams’ travels through New York and Montreal.

Ian Williams - Dead Flowers
Ian Williams – Dead Flowers

Set against a backdrop of the spooky, deserted Coney Island funfair, the songs Wonderwheel and The Beach are gorgeous, folk-tinged tunes, while the stunning, piano-led ballad Supernova is the saddest song I’ve heard all year…

Dead Flowers have been compared to Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Mark Lanegan, Lee Hazlewood and Lambchop.

When I interviewed Ian earlier this year, he described the album as, ‘like a morbid, little dinner party – if you mess with the seating plan, it will all fall apart’.

The next time I host a dinner party, Midnight At The Wheel Club will be the soundtrack. You can bring the whisky and cigarettes…

Special mentions must also go to country duo My Darling Clementine for their superb second album The Reconciliation?, which saw them adding Southern soul and El Mariachi influences to their sound; Manchester’s Nev Cottee for his debut album Stations (think Lee Hazlewood fronting Spiritualized) ; Richard Warren for Rich Black Earth –  raw blues, country and eerie, echo-laden ’50s twangy guitar – and Nick Piunti for his sublime 13 In My Head – an instant power pop classic that’s high on harmonies, hooks and killer choruses. 


Here’s the list of my favourite 30 albums of 2013 and a Spotify playlist to go with it.

1) Dead Flowers – Midnight At The Wheel Club

2) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away

3) My Darling Clementine – The Reconciliation?

4) Nev Cottee– Stations

5) Nick Piunti – 13 In My Head

6) Richard Warren – Rich Black Earth

7) Mark Lanegan – Imitations

8) Jason Isbell – Southeastern

9) Lloyd Cole – Standards

10) Johnny Marr – The Messenger

11) Primal Scream – More Light

12) Manic Street Preachers – Rewind The Film

13) David Bowie – The Next Day

14) Parlour Flames – Parlour Flames

15) Elvis Costello & The Roots – Wise Up Ghost

16) Daughn Gibson – Me Moan

17) Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – Black Pudding

18) Marc Carroll – Stone Beads and Silver

19) Ashtray Hearts – The Strangest Light

20) Bill Ryder Jones – A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart

21) James Skelly & The Intenders – Love Undercover

22) Adam Green and Binki Shapiro – Adam Green and Binki Shapiro

23) Pet Shop Boys – Electricity

24) I Am Kloot – Let It All In

25) Depeche Mode – Delta Machine

26) Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

27) Billy Bragg – Tooth & Nail

28) The National – Trouble Will Find Me

29) Gun Club Cemetery – Gun Club Cemetery

30) The Idyllists – The Grave and Unfortunate Life of Lord Hoffway and his Magnificent Piano

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s