M's top albums of the year so far... part one

Check out our pick of the game changers, modern classics and aural alchemists that have won us over in 2013

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 16 Jul 2013
  • min read
Welcome to part one of M's Top 20 Albums of the Year So Far...

We've been overwhelmed by the glut of talent tickling our ears so far this year, and since we're just past halfway we thought we'd share them with you. Over the next two days you'll find our pick of the game changers, modern classicists and aural alchemists that have won us over in 2013. Choices are in no particular order...

It’s been a while since the Beta Band were NME darlings and Steve Mason their nervy frontman, but now he’s firmly established himself as an innovative solo artist and songwriter. Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time is the perfect balance of the poetic and the political without being as grating as Billy Bragg. Jim



If you close your eyes and imagine what proper techno sounds like, you won’t be far from this set by Detroit and Berlin heavyweights Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald. On first listen it may seem elementary, but repeated plays reveal a minimalist mastery at work. Subtle, hypnotic, seamless and beautiful, this collaboration has been a long time coming. Anita


Following on from Apparat’s last album in which he incorporated a full band and his own melancholy singing voice, Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre) was commissioned for a stage adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. It's a stunning collection of moving, cinematic and tender compositions. Paul



A retro mix of indie and electro-pop, Bankrupt draws close comparisons to Comedown Machine by The Strokes and carries echoes of Kavinsky. It’s sure to send pulses racing with its invigorating blend of beats and catchy hooks. Best tracks - Entertainment, SOS in Bel Air. Carl



PMR's Disclosure dropped their hotly anticipated debut album Settle this year. It did not disappoint. With a track listing featuring already adored songs like Latch, featuring the vocals of Sam Smith and AlunaGeorge collaboration White Noise, it also showcased new collaborations with Jamie Woon and London Grammar. Look out for these Surrey brothers – everything they touch turns to gold. Shaun


Yeezus is a feral scream of a record from a star so rich he no longer needs to try this hard. Despite Kanye’s God complex, his music goes way further than any other mainstream artist. He’s setting fire to the hip hop envelope rather than just giving it a push. Jim



Immunity is a mix of heady club and intimate soundscapes, rewarding the listener with more levels and textures on every spin. Hopkins work as a film composer is evident on the albums atmospheric soundscapes; his producer head firmly on to counter the intimacy with hedonistic, relentless and repetitive grooves.  A near-perfect ‘going-out/morning after’ album. Paul


For me it’s the best album of the year so far which stands head and shoulders above anything else I’ve heard. Layered with subtle brilliance, the more you listen, the more you discover. It’s also perfect for the warm weather. Best tracks – Jets, Cirrus, Know You. Carl



This record is nuts. Like jumping onto a giddy fairground ride, James Holden’s aural blend of ugly and pretty makes your tummy leap and your brain tingle. In a single stroke, he has redefined dance music in 2013 and delivered the most psychedelic album I’ve heard in years. A serious contender for Album of the Year. Anita



I was excited about Foals’ latest album, Holy Fire, when I heard Inhaler for the first time. With a fuzzy guitars, emotive vocals and a crescendo leading up to an explosive pre-chorus, I knew Holy Fire was going to be a good album. And it is. It hits all of the bases, with indie-pop track My Number filling your head with its catchy hooks, and Stepson leaving you emotionally devastated (who doesn’t love a good sad-song-induced-cry?), this is a brilliant progression for Oxford’s indie rockers. Shaun



Find out who else is included -  Part two