British tastemakers NME certainly agree, and following on from revealing their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time, an impressive contingent of Aussie artists have been named among the year’s best, according to the long-running music publication’s best of 2013 honours.
Melbourne’s laconic songwriting favourite Courtney Barnett and Sydney dance-inspired rock trio Jagwar Ma have both cracked NME’s Best Albums and Best Tracks list, while enduring favourites of the British press – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Pond – also make an appearance amongst the musical ranks honoured in the year-end celebrations.
Courtney Barnett is praised for her lyrical chops on the double EP collection, A Sea Of Split Peas, which ranks at #38 on NME’s Top 50 albums of 2013, particularly for the “instant classic” that is ‘Avant Gardener’, which cracks the Top 10 on NME’s Top 50 Best tracks of 2013.
Arriving at #6, Barnett’s woozy narrative about experiencing a panic attack while gardening is hailed for its “deadpan, relaxed feel… an ode to boredom and unemployment.” ‘Avant Gardener’ also made waves overseas for Barnett earlier this year when it earned her major attention from Pitchfork, Stereogum, and The Guardian.
Joining the 25-year-old Melbournite in earning kudos from the UK publication is Pond, who rank at #7 on the tracks list with ‘Xanman’ taken from the Perth-bred psych rockers‘ latest album, Hobo Rocket; the accolades arriving just as the band are set to embark on tour for the record.
Given NME crowned Tame Impala’s Lonerism as the best album of 2012, it’s little surprise their love affair extends to the band fronted by Tame Impala ex-bassist Nick Allbrook; calling ‘Xanman’ a “psych-prog masterpiece. It sounded like [Pond] had built some kind of psychedelic Large Hadron Collider in order to smash together Jimi Hendrix funk-rock noise, 70s hippy musical choruses and hallucinogenic fuzz.”
While Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ lands at #1 on the singles list (followed by Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ and Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ at #2 and #3), Jagwar Ma land further down the rankings, at #23 for their seven-minute slice of Madchester grooves, ‘The Throw’. The song “became Jono Ma, Gabriel Winterfield and Jack Freeman’s showstopping moment at this summer’s festivals,” writes NME of the Howlin‘ cut.
The Laneway Festival-bound band’s debut LP fared better in the albums list, with Noel Gallagher’s favourite Sydney band landing at #16 on the NME 2013 albums list for melding “acid house beats baggier than Ian Brown’s trousers with a sleek, contemporary aesthetic that went way beyond mere pastiche.”
In the higher echelons of the albums list – falling just behind the top trifecta of releases from Arctic Monkeys, Kanye West, and Queens of the Stone Age – is Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, with Push The Sky Away landing at #8.
Australian audiences have already decorated Cave and co for the band’s 15th studio album, claiming two ARIA Awards earlier this week while also being recognised as being the band’s first-ever ARIA-topping album in their 30 year history. NME praises the Dark Prince of Australian rock and his not-so-merry men’s latest as “a lesson in how to experiment by a band at their peak.”