FAULT Presents: Our Top 20 Albums of 2013 (part 2)

Part 2 of our Top 20 Favourite Albums of 2013 feature. You can find part 1 HERE. Remember, these are just our personal favourite albums of the year, in no particular order. Let us know if you think we missed anything!

10. John Legend – Love in the Future

john_legend cover - web

John Legend inside FAULT Issue 13

Remember John Legend’s first album? Well, this is absolutely nothing like that. For a start, it’s executive-produced by Kanye West and features songwriting collaborations with Rick Ross. It’s unashamedly sexy, dramatic and soulful, and even manages to make schmaltz sound cool.‘All Of Me’ is a pop ballad in the truest sense, and wouldn’t sound out of place being sung by One Direction. It’s a polarising point on the album, but Legend’s smooth soul flows throughout, and he’s incredibly good at it.

Read John’s own thoughts on the album inside FAULT Issue 13. Excerpts from our interview (and some shots from inside the issue) are available here and our behind the scenes video from our shoot can be found here

John Legend – ‘All Of Me’:

 

9. Haim – Days are Gone

Haim inside FAULT issue 15

Haim inside FAULT issue 15

2013 was undeniably Haim’s year. They’ve been universally praised by the likes of The Line of Best Fit and The Guardian as well as garnering extensive airplay on Radio 1. Instant classics like ‘Falling’ and ‘Don’t Save Me’ secured their debut’s position as one of the most anthemic and memorable records of the year.

We spoke to the sibling trio in FAULT Issue 15 while they were recording Days Are Gone, in which they told us what to expect from the album (needless to say, it didn’t disappoint): “Be prepared to have some fun! We had a lot of fun making it, so I hope it sounds fun. There are a bunch of new songs as well as songs that we released before.”

Read more from the interview, or get the full feature in FAULT Issue 15 from here

Haim – ‘Falling’:

 

8. Bass Drum of Death – Bass Drum of Death

bass drum of death

While Black Lips fans await their next album, they’ll probably be filling the gap with Bass Drum of Death. The Mississippi outfit’s honest, fuzzy garage-rock may not be particularly pioneering, but they demonstrate an excellent grasp of the genre in their second full-length offering, with infectious melodies and a purposefully under-produced sound. They also really, really like reverb. Who doesn’t?

Bass Drum Of Death – ‘Crawling After You’:

 

7. Charli XCX – True Romance

Charli XCX inside FAULT Issue 16

Charli XCX inside FAULT Issue 16

She’s had a fantastic 2013 by anyone’s standards – the past year has seen Charli XCX tour with other FAULT Featured artists Ellie Goulding and Marina and the Diamonds, as well as Paramore. She’s gone from underground sensation (her first album, ‘14’ was an acclaimed underground hit in 2008, but never commercially released) to the potential ‘next big thing’ of leftfield quirky-pop. Her vocal tone is strikingly similar to Marina Diamandis but her songwriting and grasp of melodic devices is phenomenal for her 21 years.

 In her recent interview for FAULT Issue 16, Charli revealed that she “always see[s her] music in colours. , my first record, was purple, whereas this [upcoming] album is going to be red. I’m inspired visually by red lips, blazers and things that blow up!…It’s going to be much more alive than True Romance.”

Read more excerpts and see more shots from the shoot here – or get the whole story in FAULT Issue 16, available from here.

Charli XCX – ‘You’re The One’:

 

6. SUUNS – Images du Futur

suuns Slightly freaky but wholly compelling, ‘Images du Futur’ really is something of a masterpiece, juxtaposing the heady sound of electro-indie (think Holy Ghost, Cut Copy) with what can only be described as futuristic lo-fi garage. FAULT Favourites SUUNS are carving their way through multiple genres with this impressive second album, and as a result, saw themselves nominated for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

Check out our interview with the Montreal four-piece in full on FAULT Online here

SUUNS – ‘Edie’s Dream’:

 

5. Jessica Sanchez – Me, You and the Music

Jessica Sanchez inside FAULT Issue 16

Jessica Sanchez inside FAULT Issue 16

The American Idol runner-up showed she’s not just a pretty face with her impressive debut album. After a stint on Glee, it would have been easy for her to continue down the squeaky-clean teen pop route, but she shakes off any preconceptions with the R’n’B-influenced ‘Me, You and the Music’, which includes a collaboration with Ne-Yo and songs co-written by Tom Petty and Sia.

Read Jessica’s own thoughts on the album inside FAULT Issue 16. Excerpts from our interview (and some images from inside the issue) are available here, along with our exclusive behind the scenes video. Get the whole story in FAULT Issue 16, available from here.

Jessica Sanchez – ‘Tonight’:

 

4.Big Sean – Hall of Fame

Our (in)famous shoot with Big Sean inside FAULT Issue 15

Our (in)famous shoot with Big Sean inside FAULT Issue 15

If you miss Notorious B.I.G as much as we do., Big Sean is there to fill the void. His unashamedly retro hip-hop, with song titles like ‘MILF’ and ‘Freaky’ borders on being a pastiche without crossing the line into ‘Trapped In The Closet’ territory. Collaborations with Li’l Wayne, Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz make this one of the most noticeable new hip-hop releases, and Sean’s lyrics segue between the humorous and the filthy with ease.

 Big Sean told us in FAULT Issue 15 that Hall of Fame featured ”the best music [he'd] ever made”. Read more from the interview, and see more shots, here – or get the full story in FAULT Issue 15 – available from here.

Big Sean – ‘Guap’:

 

3. The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

black angels

Not only did they use some seriously Sixties cover art for ‘Indigo Meadow’, they also showed that they’re still one of the American underground rock scene’s forerunners with an album that’s as melodic, lyrically dark and introspective as you’d expect from the Texan five-piece.

Read our interview with the psych-rockers in full on FAULT Online here

The Black Angels – ‘Indigo Meadow’:

 

2. Beyonce – Beyonce

beyonce

One morning, we all awoke to a new Beyonce album. No media fanfare or indeed any clues at all preceded the release of Beyonce’s self-titled fifth album, which began as an iTunes exclusive. Following the release, she announced that she ‘sees’ music, explaining the fact that each track came with its own music video. Throughout the course of the album’s accompanying visuals, she portrays an exploited pageant queen (‘Pretty Hurts’, which is co-written by Sia), a happy theme-park goer (‘XO’) and sings an entire song about having sex with Jay Z (‘Drunk In Love’).

Beyonce – ‘Drunk In Love’:

 

1. Mac Miller – Watching Movies with the Sound Off

mac miller

Mac Miller described his second album as ‘introspective’ and he certainly lived up to that promise with ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off’. His previous style of playful party anthems has been shelved in favour of deeper lyrical content and a clear desire to make music for no-one other than himself – although the lead single is officially ‘Somebody Do Something’ (abbreviated to S.D.S) there is no particular standout track. Taking this approach is a risk, but one that’s paid off for Miller.

 Look out for more of Mac Miller in FAULT Issue 17 – more info announced this Friday 10th January!

Mac Miller – ‘S.D.S.’:

———

Read the rest of our Top 20 FAULT Favourite Albums of 2013 feature:

Part 1

Part 2

———

Words by Thea de Gallier

John Legend is our Music cover for FAULT Issue 13

John Legend was shot by Miguel Starcevich and styled by Avo Yermagyan for FAULT Issue 13

John Legend was shot by Miguel Starcevich and styled by Avo Yermagyan for FAULT Issue 13

Excited to announce the first preview shots from John’s shoot in the upcoming issue of FAULT today. The 6-time Grammy award winner - who releases 5th studio album Love in the Future this Spring - was photographed by Miguel Starcevich and styled by Avo Yermagyan exclusively FAULT Winter 2012-13. Keep an eye on FAULT Online for our Behind the Scenes video view, but. in the meantime, check out an excerpt from our feature below:

 

john 8418 - web

Above – John wears a Trench coat by Oumlil  tie by Title of Work ; suit by Alexandre Plokhov ; shirt by John Varvatos ; shoes by Gucci.Here – T-shirt, denim and shoes by All Saints ; blazer by John
Varvatos.

For nearly 10 years, John Legend has been living up to one of the most ambitious stage names in the business. Born John Roger Stephens, few can argue that the undisputed king of contemporary soul has well and truly earned his appointed title of Legend.

Over the past decade John Legend has made an indelible mark on the music industry with his countless hit singles, unique style and extraordinary talent. As a nine-time GRAMMY Award winner, Legend has garnered respect not only for his successes in the music industry, but also by becoming something of a mainstream renegade in the world of contemporary soul music. From Get Lifted,(his 2004 debut) to his latest offering, Love in the Future, his innovative collaborations with artists such as The Roots, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco has seen John merge various genres and blur the lines of soul, hip hop and inspirational music with effortless cool.

FAULT had the pleasure of spending time with John during the course of our exclusive editorial. We got a chance to speak in-depth with the superstar and get his insight on the music industry as a whole, his personal growth as an artist and what his plans are for 2013.

John 8559 - web

Shirt by Life AfterDenim; tie by Title of Work; trousers by General Idea; shoes by John Varvatos.

Can you tell us the reason why you choose Love in the Future as the title for the album? What can your fans look forward to with this LP?

The title was chosen for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am getting married next year. And secondly, I really wanted to make a modern 21st century soul album. I wanted to create something fresh and exciting yet organic, modern and relevant. So much of music today is computerized, electronic and processed and, with Love in the Future, I wanted the album to be truly reflective of the times – modern soul music.

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 13 (WINTER 2012-13) – THE CONTRASTS ISSUE – IS  NOW AVAILABLE TO ORDER

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £12. Get your single issue digitally this January for just £6

Interview & Production by Leah Blewitt
Grooming – Anna Branson
Hair – Ron Stephens
Special Thanks to : Shoshanna Stone, Bryant Robinson