The year is slowly coming to an end, to mark this we decided to get in contact with the people behind some of the labels, bands and event organisers that have been providing us with great music this year.
Monkey Records is an eclectic boutique independent record label founded in New Zealand in the year 2000 with offices in Wellington and Berlin. It has been a busy year for the label which currently has bands such as Charity Children, Robin Pahlman, Sleepy Wolf and the Major Pins. We got in touch with Monkey Records founder Nigel Braddock to talk about his favorite music of 2013.
John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts
I’d never really been aware of John Grant till he released Pale Green Ghosts but this album really blew me away. Fantastic production and unflinchingly honest songwriting.
Volcano Choir – Repave
I’m a big Bon Iver fan and the news that Justin Vernon is perhaps not going to release anything more as Bon Iver is made up for with this great release from Volcano Choir.
Andrew Bird – I Want to see Pulaski at Night
A few years ago I walked into an Andrew Bird gig in New Zealand just in time to hear him play the last chord of what was probably the last of quite a few encores. Based on the audience reaction and glowing faces of people coming out of the gig, I bought a copy of Fingerlings 3 on the door and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe
The Magic Place was one of my favourite albums of 2011 and I think I prefer Nepenthe even more. Julianna Barwick’s luscious swirling compositions are perfectly enhanced by producer Alex Somers (Jónsi), members of Amiina and Múm, and a teenage female choir.
Moderat – II
Moderat’s second album is near pitch perfect as far as I’m concerned. Atmospheric moody electronica at it’s best.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away
I’ve always been a fan of Nick Cave in his less raucous moments and Push the Sky Away replaced The Lyre of Orpheus as my favourite album of his.
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
I wouldn’t say I was ever that into Daft Punk although I did like a few of their previous singles, however my 2 year old son is currently obsessed with robots and has decided that Daft Punk are the coolest band around because they are obviously robots. Hence I have heard this album just about every day for the last few months and had a lot of fun dancing robotically with my son around the living room.
Bill Calahan – Dream River
Another great solo album from Bill Calahan – dammit he has an amazing voice.
Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven
In a landscape of often boring generic electronic music, Daniel Lopatin’s music really stands out and inspires my to wipe the dust off the keyboard I have lying around and get creative.
Charity Children – The Autumn Came
I met this band on the streets of Berlin in 2011 and convinced them to let me produce an album with them. It took a bit longer than we expected but the result was worth the wait. Nine decidedly unique slices of contemporary indie folk that I can still enjoy listening to despite spending close to 300 hours recording and mixing the album.