Pie&Vinyl records of the year 2013

Crikey…what a year that was…so many great new acts and so many great old acts returned..(the best TV show this year was also called the returned ‘les revenants’, is this all just a big organised marketing campaign? ha!) . 2013 has to be the known as the year of the comback. In saying that, there have been plenty of highlights from new artists we would never have heard of this time a year ago…and that’s what excites us here at P&V. The absolute neccesity to chase the feeling you felt the first time you heard The Beatles, Radiohead, Neil Young, The New Kids On the Block etc is what inspires us to keep investigating new music, and different artists. To hear something you have never heard before, and connect with it is very wonderful and powerful thing. This is what we are looking forward to in 2014…can this be the year for the new acts?

Anyway, enough babling from me…enjoy our top 10 records (they are in no particular order, that would be too hard). So we thought we’d let you choose. We will be running an incentive on Facebook where you can vote for your favourite record of the year – (by liking the record). All of the names of people that have voted/liked will be put in to a hat, one name picked at random and a lucky chappy will win a meal and a £10 gift voucher to spend at P&V. A bit of fun to end the year…

All of the records will be available in store at the prices quoted below, so pop in and pick one up today. We also have many of the best releases from 2013 in our trunks, along with many other great records – it really is a great collection.

So finest Sirs and Madames…Until 2014! Keep on listening….P&V


Savages – Silence Yourself (Matador) £15.99 LP& DL Code

Savages, quite literally – female savages…who direct their angers and frustrations with this modern world by spitting every word and pointing fingers whilst creating their art using guitars, bass and drums. A simple set up – and it’s certainly been done many times before but Jenny Beth and her colleagues find a way to hit home efficiently by going straight for the throat as well as the heart. Undeniable with every listen…Such beauty lurks in this gothic, hazy and loud record which finds a way to connect by reminding you that the system the modern world operates within, is pretty unforgiving – and so are they.

Kurt Vile – Waking On A Pretty Daze (Matador) £15.99 x2 LP & DL

This dude is one laid back mother…and boy, is it contagious. How on earth does the first song on this mighty record last 9 minutes and 31 seconds?…somehow Kurt Vile manages to hypnotise, while burrowing his nose through his long hair in to your ears and minds by forging 3 songs in one that you just can’t help but hum…pretty slow but fast when he wants to be, Kurt uses different tempos to remind us that he can get out of bed in the mornings. He was just asking the question what for? It get’s sunnier and sunnier with every listen, but instant from the start…this has been played to death all year long on the staff record player. An easy top ten record for us.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II (Jagjaguwar) £14.99 LP & DL

The first thing you can’t help but notice with this record is the front cover. A female beauty, revealing her gold to the world on top of a stony mountain and holding a sword – the whole picture coloured in a misty red. Fragile and mysterious. It reminded me of a scene from a ‘‘Russ’’ Meyer ‘ film, and so the tone was set before I’d even heard a note. Ruban Nielson, and his ensemble – a kiwi based in the United States produce this psychedelic soul sound, with extremely fragile hooks that you just can’t shake out of your head. It’s like listening to the radio, in a foreign country in the back of a taxi. It sounds as if he is making the guitar lead and words up as he goes along…literally doodling songs. Every song sounds like it’s about to snap in half, but he just about props them up using desperate melancholia. Recalling classic soul melodies but wishing he could sleep and swim like a shark does. I think I know what he’s getting at, but I’m never quite sure. Truly one of the best of the year.

Arctic Monkeys – AM (Domino Records) £16.99 x 2 LP & DL

The four lads from Sheff, the ones with their massive selling debut – clever lads, that sing about chip shops, wearing tracksuits, drinking cheap booze, British things. They now spend a lot of time in America, look like ‘the fonze’ and hang out in L.A. with RAWK’s elite – are people really going to believe the band for their fifth album? Will the same fans connect? We connected. Using classic rock riffs to great effect, the melodious Turner is in great form. His turn of phrase prevalent throughout, almost rapping his contemporary themes, rhyming words that few have thought of using. This record is just hugely enjoyable, the classic themes of love, lust, frustration and isolation are well and truly there. The piece works as a complete album, although every song is a belter! This fine and addictive listen confirms Alex Turner as one of the best lyric writers of his and possibly any other generation. The record wears a leather biker’s jacket and high tops on its feet. These kids are cool again, and there’s more to come…

Traams – Grin (Fat Cat) £16.99 LP & DL

These local chaps from Chichester via Bognor released our ‘go to’ record of the year. Stu Hopkins scream sings with a huge passion for frustration. A man that has clearly seen a thing or two in his time, Stu produces unrelenting wailing pop melodies infused with Leigh and Adam’s insanely tight rhythm section. Smashing out kraut style jams, garnished with feedback sonics and fuzz, this incredible live act are so ‘moorish’ we want to name a pie after them. You can sing along, dance like a loon all whilst wearing a huge grin on your face. Ahhh…I get it now. I look like a Cheshire cat whilst writing this. WE LOVE TRAAMS.

Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Sonovox) £28.99 x 2 LP & DL

It was just like the old days…a huge over the top PR campaign that began with mysterious chalk lettered symbols appearing all over the world (including outside of the shop) and ended with the most surreal thing I’ve seen allowed on prime time American TV for some time. Wow, we were excited. Win Butler and the gang are back, and we missed them. Trips to Haiti (Regine’s birth place), and James Murphy (LCD Sound system) have played a major role in the ‘dread’ dance direction the band have taken. Two concept albums in one – breaking down the relationship between humans and the false connection/things are made easy mentality that we perceive is a good thing using the advances in technology being explored. The truth is, no one knows how this insane million mile an hour time in the history of human evolution will affect us. Arcade Fire do what they do best, entice you in with their super catchy melodies until you’re hooked and then give you an awfully bad feeling in your tummy – maybe this isn’t going to be alright. And if it’s not, we’ll just dance like androids at the ‘end of the world’ night club, all moving at the same time with a hopeful look on our face.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd) £17.99 LP & DL
Can you believe it, the bands 15th album (yes – they’ve been around forever) after the raw fuzzy bottled excitement of the ‘Grinderman’ releases, the band come down and reflect. They capture the real inner beauty this collective have at its core…almost an acceptance that the bad seeds are no longer deviants, no longer bad. Has the beast been tamed? Well you still don’t want to poke it with a stick, but for now they are looking at the sky and wandering? It’ll be really interesting to see where they go next, but for now this really is one of the most spiritual records of the year, as Nick and Warren Ellis in particular shine.

Mogwai – Les Revenants Soundtrack (Rock Action) £15.99 LP & DL

When Mogwai announced that they were writing the soundtrack to a French television series based on people returning from the dead, we got pretty excited here in pie towers. What a perfect idea…surely just a warm up for a new album, expecting the limited EP release to be all that was milked from the mysterious TV show. ‘Rock action’ then announced that they would be releasing the full sound track. Great, it’s Mogwai – it’s going to be good, but where’s the new album? Let’s buy it anyway while we wait. Wowzers! The most subtle, harrowingly beautiful record Mogwai have produced. I just couldn’t stop playing it. The textures are clear and fresh, creating a misty visual to accompany the sound. No trademark quiet to loud builds, just really engaging arrangements. Then the TV show started on Channel 4 and we were hooked. The music matched the tone of the cinematography perfectly! What a show…and now I’ve got ‘Wizard motor’ motor in my head. One of Mogwai’s best records, full. Stop.

The Knife – Shaking The Habitual (Mute) £19.99 x 3 LP & 2 CD

Back after 7 years with a side project (Fever Ray) in between, the mythical electro art duo returned for an intriguing earful of different sounds, tempos and visuals. Enjoying the fruits of the anonymity they have created over the years, the Swedes confuse us orally as much as they do physically. Their live shows have been a topic of conversation, and you get the feeling people either love or hate this band. With some songs ranging from 0.34 seconds to 19 minutes this album demanded a bit of patience and a truck load of open mindedness. Almost political in places, the tracks do seem to have a theme running throughout them, but at the same time don’t get weighed down by any message. It still seems free, quite personal and of course extremely progressive and dance based. It’s at this point that you realise how many electro acts they have influenced in the last 3-4 years, and none of them get near this. If you stick with it, the reward is immense!

The B of The Bang – Tremors and Nosebleeds: The Melodies of a Malady (Pie&Vinyl records) £9.99 LP & DL

Ok, I know what you’re thinking…we are just saying this because we released it on our label (do you think Rough Trade never do this?)…but ask yourself this…have you heard it? If you have, would you disagree with us? If you haven’t, you really should and then potential claims of bias disappear as quickly as Wit and co have you in the palm of their 13 fingered hand. We are extremely honoured to release Southsea’s favourite son’s second album (and our very first release on our label in time for record store day) and we genuinely believe it’s one of the best things we’ve heard this year! A loose concept album, the Banglings create their trademark luscious harmonies while Wit controls the atmosphere of the record using his baritone vocal like a orchestral conductor. Track by track, we are introduced to clever word play, unique instrumentation and more twists and turns in a song, cor blimey – you are never really sure that the song has ended. The heart racing happy sadness the stereo omits leaves us feeling like we are sat in a gothic church, on a boat, sailing at night time – off the edge of a waterfull… They sound like everything and nothing you’ve heard before. And that’s why we love them, don’t take them for granted and listen…

Look out for our new ‘click & collect’ pre ordering service in January…more news on that sent your way soon.

Many, many thanks to our loyal customers this year. It has been a real pleasure selling you great music!

Happy Christmas from the ears at Pie&Vinyl :-{)

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