40. The Strypes: Snapshot
Perfectly capturing the sounds of 60s RnB this group of young teens have created an unapologetic album filled with youthful exuberance. Yes, it’s not particularly intellectual but there’s something endearing about the way they roll along with standard riffs, chord progressions, rocking guitar solos and naïve lyrics. Following in the footsteps of the young Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and Bo Diddley, they’ve got a long way to go but they’re heading down a pretty good track.
39. Thee Oh Sees: Floating Coffin
It’s obvious why fellow San Fransiscan Ty Segall admires Thee Oh Sees. That being said, ‘Floating Coffin’ (the group’s twelfth full length album) is the closest John Dwyer’s group has ever come to Segall’s sound. Tapping into the sounds of Segall’s work with White Fence, or The Beatles at their proggy best, Floating Coffin have altered course and in turn released their most accessible album to date.
38. Richard Thompson: Electric
Britain’s ever-prolific folk legend Richard Thompson returned in 2013 with ‘Electric’, his thirteenth under his own name. Filled with intense folk-rockers (if that’s not an oxymoron) and touching ballads, Thompson’s powers have not diminished in the slightest over the years. Taking the approach of less is more, these songs feel more focused and have impressive clarity which works to perfectly showcase Thompson’s guitar virtuosity.
37. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: Self titled
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros self-titled third album is a 70s tribute that smacks of Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane and The Beatles at various points. While it will never measure up to the originals, Alex Ebert leads a tight group with some amazing songs and a very strong album.
36. Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind
The second release since husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi joined forces has managed to do away with Trucks’ excesses for a tighter and more song-focused album. Mixing gospel, blues, folk and rock with a polished pop veneer, the group has still managed to keep just enough of Trucks’ masterful guitar work to not lose their rock roots.
35. Ash Grunwald: Gargantua
Ash Grunwald has been the unbridled beast of Australian roots music for a decade now and he shows no signs of slowing up. Pairing up with Andy Strachan and Scott Owen from The Living End has settled the great man somewhat but across 2 new originals, 5 covers of Grunwald’s own back catalogue and 3 fresh covers Grunwald proves that a bit of structure can’t hurt him. In fact with a little bit of help (and an infectiously brilliant cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’) Grunwald’s created an album that cements his reputation and crosses over to a whole new level of audience.
34. Stonefield: Self Titled
We were committed from the outset to including this album purely to encourage women to keep rocking out. We couldn’t though because this album is so bloody good it deserves to be here regardless. The Findlay sisters have put together an extremely well produced album filled with excellent songs and even more impressive guitar solos. Deep Purple eat your heart out.
33. Valerie June: Pushin’ Against A Stone
Laid back and beautiful, Valerie June’s first major label record is a soulful departure from the mostly-country sound of her previous releases. You wouldn’t know it though because across 43 minutes and twelve gorgeous tracks, she deftly glides across genres, effortlessly mastering blues, soul, gospel and pop throughout an album that marks her as one of the best female voices around at the moment.
32. Palma Violets: 180
The British rockers debut smacked of youthful exuberance and reckless abandon. It’s not overly polished, they’re not technically brilliant but it doesn’t matter. They’ve still put together a rat bag of an album and they pull it off largely because of their youth and their belief in what they’re playing. Not quite as British as The Libertines’ debut but that may work in their favour as thus far it’s helped them avoid sounding a bit twee. It might not last long but who cares when it’s this much fun at the beginning.
31. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard: Float Along, Fill Your Lungs
On this, their third album (in just over 1 year), Victoria’s King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have achieved their most consistent and well-written album. Psychedelic but tempered by a pop-savviness that seems at odds with their underground reputation, ‘Float Along, Fill Your Lungs’ sets a new, higher standard for the group to live up to.