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M+N Readers Poll 2013

Our critics have had their say about the year’s best albums. Now it’s our readers’ turn to count down the Top 50 of 2013.

1. Dick Diver
Calendar Days

These are the stories no one else is telling. Accounts of worlds colliding in Alice Springs (“Arrernte and white”), of two-year leases and lime green shirts, of days and weeks and months – those fleeting calendar days – spent in the Safeway deli, the IGA, a third-floor Fitness First and “rusty old paddock bombs.” They’re the stories too small to register, except register they do – and how. After 2011’s debut New Start Again ranked at #6 in that year’s Readers Poll, Dick Diver’s second album Calendar Days sits confidently at the top. There’s no way four people as cheeky and unassuming as Alistair McKay, Rupert Edwards, Steph Hughes and Al Montfort should be able to stumble upon such consistent profoundness, but they do even more than that: they locate and wield it like masters, all while making it safe for a whole generation of Australian bands to sing about their world without that tell-tale cringe.

Water Damage by Dick Diver Calendar Days

2. The Drones
I See Seaweed

It starts with a living nightmare: seaweed on the lawn, blind overpopulation, horse tranqs in fuel tanks, dead bird songs. Only it’s real – we’re looking it in the face – and, as Gareth Liddiard quips, we’re all fiddling while Rome not burns but stews. Too busy breeding and consuming and tweeting to do anything about what’s ahead. Even if this album was limited to simply that opening title track – which, yeah, should have been on this list – it’d be a contender for album of the year. But there’s more here than Liddiard’s gushing words and rabid-dog snap. There’s the luxuriant séance of ‘How to See Through Fog’, the riled-up pub-punk rave-up ‘A Moat You Can Stand In’, the swooning soundtrack-isms of ‘Laila’ and the unmoored melodic instincts of ‘Nine Eyes’. Like Calendar Days, I See Seaweed is an album we’ll remember – and still love – decades from now. It’s an album you instantly admire the hell out of it and, like the ugly truths it deals in, can maybe even come to grips with someday.

3. Adalita
All Day Venus

“Look at the carnage now,” instructs Adalita on the very first song of her second solo album. She may as well be talking to herself, because she spends the rest of All Day Venus doing just that: surveying fallout, turning over rubble, examining wounds. The hooks and choruses are quick to connect, but that’s not to downplay just what an intense, adult record this is. Every song is a long list of lessons that Adalita shares even as she lives them. Hearing this album is to be brought immediately into her grimy world – she is an island, to debunk a saying, and it’s no tropical paradise – but there’s something of value beyond mere downcast toiling through her troubles. There’s always hope, always light. That it’s not in copious surplus only makes it that much more valuable.

4. Batpiss
Nuclear Winter
(Every Night is a Saturday Night)

5. La Bastard
Tales From Beyond
(Off The Hip)

6. TV Colours
Purple Skies, Toxic River
(Dream Damage)

7. The Spinning Rooms
Complicating Things
(Every Night is a Saturday Night)

8. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys
Ready for Boredom
(R.I.P. Society)

9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Push the Sky Away
(Bad Seed Ltd.)

10. The Native Cats
(R.I.P. Society)

11. Beaches
She Beats

12. Zeahorse

13. Saint Jude
Saint Jude II

14. Courtney Barnett
How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose

15. Ooga Boogas
Ooga Boogas

16. Shining Bird
Leisure Coast

17. Laura Imbruglia
What a Treat

18. The Stevens
A History of Hygiene

19. The Ocean Party

20. Seja
All Our Wires

21. The Ancients
Night Bus

22. Kirin J Callinan

23. Bushwalking
No Enter

24. Bad Vision
Bad Vision

25. Day Ravies

26. Angel Eyes
Final Fare

27. Bitch Prefect
Bird Nerds

28. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Float Along/Fill Your Lungs

29. Standish/Carlyon
Deleted Scenes

30. Violent Soho
Hungry Ghost

31. Constant Mongrel
Heavy Breathing

32. Dollar Bar
Paddington Workers Club

33. Baptism of Uzi
Stray Currents

34. Cash Savage & The Last Drinks
The Hypnotiser

35. Pikelet

36. Wolf & Cub
Heavy Weight

37. Absolute Boys
Heavy Flow

38. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding
Any Port in a Storm

39. Summer Flake
You Can Have It All

40. Love Chants
Love Chants

41. Cherrywood
Book of Matches

42. Ausmuteants

43. Big Scary
Not Art

44. Montero
The Loving Gaze

45. Jen Cloher
In Blood Memory

46. The Gooch Palms

47. Lakes
Blood of the Grove

48. Peak Twins
Peak Twins

49. Per Purpose
Circle the Stains

50. Abbe May
Kiss My Apocalypse


  -   Published on Friday, December 20 2013 by Mess+Noise.
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Your Comments

Sunnyboyz  said about 1 year ago:

all good.

Ralph Malph  said about 1 year ago:

I like Batpiss at number 4. Well done Readers.

gabbo  said about 1 year ago:

instead of those fancy official reviews under the top 3 albums, why not cherry pick some sweet quotes from the 'readers' reviews in the respective threads?

anonymous  said about 1 year ago:

shh, we don't actually exist.

GOD  said about 1 year ago:

That Adalita track is sick. On reflection I would like to quote the Shatner version of ''It was a very good year'':

It was a very good year

gabbo  said about 1 year ago:

Like this for I See Seaweed:

NotMorrissey said about 9 months ago:
Hmm, I get sad listening to the Drones, but I should probably buy this...

Or this for Adalita's:

DavidNichols said 8 days ago:
disinterested children or uninterested children? Just wondering.

SnoopDoug  said about 1 year ago:

Good stuff!

I should have voted for Dialetrix ''Cold Light Of Day''. Doubt it would of made this list, but I listened to it again last night and it's pretty fucking good. One of my fave releases for 2013.

anok  said about 1 year ago:

rock music

GrantleyBuffalo  said about 1 year ago:

I can only assume ''Great North'' was ineligible due to unfair awesomeness.

geneclark70  said about 1 year ago:

What did you vote for Anok?

electricsound  said about 1 year ago:

angel eyes duh


anok  said about 1 year ago:


Kenickie  said about 1 year ago:

youse all fucked the list aye

electricsound  said about 1 year ago:

i don't think anything i voted for placed

black wasp!  said about 1 year ago:

anonymous  said about 1 year ago:

youse all fucked the list aye

Nah, probably just seeing some decently run social media campaigns, there's no barrier of entry to voting, and possibly voting a couple of times. Good on em.

seahunt  said about 1 year ago:

Am I the only one that thinks that Dick Diver, 'Water Damage' aside is massively overrated?

seahunt  said about 1 year ago:
  • Dick diver record, I mean.

Sunnyboyz  said about 1 year ago:

Yeah, it's probably just you. It's an ace record. :)

electricsound  said about 1 year ago:

i don't find it as charming as new start again

carpetsquare  said about 1 year ago:

check out for an alternative, interactive Best Albums of 2013 list. You can downvote albums, you get a live update of the votes that are collected till the end of the year, and you can filter the results down to just your facebook friends. You can also pick your favourite tracks from the albums.

Raoul Duke  said about 1 year ago:

Top list. I fuckin love this country.

MelonHCST  said about 1 year ago:

No Primitive Calcs? Surprising

jhf92  said about 1 year ago:

Surprised Songs' 'Malabar' didn't make the list. Potentially due to March release.

DXDXDX  said about 1 year ago:

Velvet Whip

FrankieTeardrop  said about 1 year ago:

MelonHCST said 51 minutes ago:
No Primitive Calcs? Surprising

Sad, but not surprising.
a) it came out late in the year
b) it's probably a bit too anti-social for most M+N readers

Still, I'm happy to see Batpiss, Spinning Rooms and Native Cats right up there.

Mess+Noise  said about 1 year ago:

prim calcs was 1 vote off making the list :(

mark2712  said about 1 year ago:

Great list, but Dick Diver are so heavily over rated , i would have added Cash Savage, Sweet Jean and Greta Mob to that list

mrmagoo  said about 1 year ago:

Jagwar Ma robbed by critics and readers alike

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