With just two weeks left until 2013 is officially done and dusted, many are still squeezing in the last of the end-of-year lists.
The ‘Best of 2013’ wrap sheets have arrived everywhere, from Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Aussie-plugging Top 10 to Noel Gallagher’s gloriously swear-gilded overview, as well as the usual lists from tastemakers like Laneway Festival, Triple J, and NME, who had a fair chunk of Australian content on their top albums and singles honours. (And don’t forget Tone Deaf’s own features, then vote in the 2013 Readers Poll.)
The latest look back at the last 12 months comes from another hip source, online blog aggregator The Hype Machine, who have once again drawn from their vast resources to compile their annual list of the year’s most blogged-about artists and tracks: the ‘Music Blog Zeitgeist 2013’.
The Top 50 list collates the biggest artists and bands of 2013 that have captured the attention of the influential blogosphere, alongside some cool black and white illustrations from Séamus Gallagher, and proving once again it’s been a banner year for Australian artists making waves overseas, 10% of the ‘Most Blogged About’ list is given over to some homegrown heroes.
There’s a familiar ream of ‘net-friendly acts that occupy the list, including New Zealand sensation Lorde, sibling Cali-rockers Haim, the possibly Splendour-bound London Grammar, Scottish synthpop trio Chvrches, Parisian robots Daft Punk, and topping the list, UK duo Disclosure (retaining their #1 position from a similar mid-year list). But among the international names is five Aussie artists.
The first of which coming in at #34 on the Zeitgeist 2013 list – sandwiched between the Laneway Festival-bound Mount Kimbie and Four Tet – is electropop majors Empire Of The Sun.
The pair of Luke ‘Emperor’ Steele and Nick ‘I’m also big in Germany‘ Littlemore made their big comeback this year with Ice On The Dune, releasing their blockbuster follow-up to Waking On A Dream in June to much online fanfare before embarking on a global tour of the world’s music festivals, including VIVID Live, Splendour In the Grass, and most recently Stereosonic, here in Australia.
Next in the Top 50, at #29, is Say Lou Lou. The duo comprises of twin sisters Miranda and Elektra Kilbey, the Swedish/Aussie-tied daughters of The Church frontman Steve Kilbey. The globe-trotting pair’s ethereal brand of neo-pop is big in Europe and landed theme a coveted slot on the BBC Sound of 2014 list. They’re currently recording their debut album between London and LA, and have previously collaborated with fellow Australian blogosphere darling Chet Faker (on the slinky track ‘Fool Of Me’), and recorded an ABBA-like rendition of Tame Impala’s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’.
Just after Say Lou Lou is Cut Copy, the third most blogged about Aussie artist of 2013. That’d be largely thanks to the electro quartet’s gimmick-laden marketing in the lead-up to their recently released fourth album, the halcyon rush that is Free Your Mind.
The promo campaign for the album captured many bloggers’ eyes, ears, and rapidly typing fingers by releasing a new single – guerilla style – exclusively onto 10” vinyl at a music festival, before following it up with an epilepsy inducing music video, then sending fans on a wild goose chase to obscure broadcast locations it billboards dotted around the world to hear more of their new material.
The inescapable Flume lands inside the Top 25 of the Zeitgeist list, with the award-hoovering, radio-dominating, Aussie-plugging young beatmaker sitting at #21, coming just behind indie darlings The xx, Canadian hip hop star Drake, and neo-chanteuse Lana Del Rey.
But the most blogged about Aussie artist of the year is Flume’s Future Classic labelmates, Sydney’s Jagwar Ma landing at #10, performing even better than Gotye and Tame Impala did on the same Hype Machine list last year.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Noel Gallagher’s favourite Aussie trio since the release of their debut album Howlin‘, which earned high praise from our Tone Deaf upon its release in June, before its Madchester-inspired sounds and delicious dance rock grooves went on see international press hailing them as the next Tame Impala.
Overseas press that have named Jagwar Ma’s debut as among the year’s best include NME, Q Magazine, Drowned In Sound, KRCW radio, Mojo (specifically by the modfather Paul Weller), while closer to home, Howlin’ has been nominated for the $30,000 Australian Music Prize, following missing out on wins from nods in the ARIAs, J Awards, and AIR Awards.
Jagwar Ma – Jono Ma, Gabriel Winterfield, and Jack Freeman – return home after a steady year of international touring next February, to play Laneway Festival as well as a series of headline sideshows.
View the full Hype Machine Music Blog Zeitgeist 2013 here.
(Image: Jagwar Ma. Source: Facebook.)