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Top 20 Dance/Electronica Albums Of 2013 (5-1)

Completing our countdown of the best full-length dance/electronica releases of 2013 (20-16 is here, 15-11 is here, 10-6 is here) here are the “top five”—the best of the year.


05) John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

Inspired by the aftermath of a particularly painful break-up, former The Czars frontman John Grant abandoned the melancholic folk of his 2010 debut and instead, rather perversely, set his bitter, angsty and self-deprecating confessional tales of relationship woes to a vibrant 80s synth-pop backdrop, producing this year’s most compelling misery-wallowing experience in the process.

04) Postiljonen – Skyer

Scandinavian trio Postiljonen’s debut album might have been heavily indebted to the reverb-drenched cinematic sound of M83; but what it lacked in originality, it made up for in playfulness, throwing in samples of everything from The Princess Bride to Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” on a string of blissful sax-led dream-pop jams which conjured up visions of the New York skyline circa mid-1980s.

03) Rhye – Woman

Proving that it’s possible to sound sexy without being overtly sexual, Rhye’s debut album was a gorgeously intimate Quiet Storm homage which had many believing that the androgynous tones of frontman Milosh in fact belonged to a Sade-esque chanteuse. Bathed in languid basslines, gentle house piano chords and finger-clicking R&B rhythms, few records this year were as sensual.

02) Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe

By far the most cohesive and consistently strong album of his chameleon-like career, Dev Hynes’ second release under his Blood Orange moniker was a slick blend of chillwave, electrofunk and hipster pop also notable for inspired guest appearances from the likes of Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, grime rapper Skepta and Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth.

01) CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe

Impressively managing to inject something new into an already overcrowded 80s electro-pop revival scene, Scottish trio CHVRCHES thankfully delivered on their early promise with an effervescent debut which combined Lauren Mayberry’s cutesy tones with deceptively bloodthirsty stories of revenge, a widescreen flair and massive brain-lodging hooks.

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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