Artists Of The Year CMU Approved

CMU Artists Of The Year 2013

By | Published on Monday 9 December 2013

Each December, we select our ten favourite artists of the year – acts who we think have gone above and beyond the usual requirements of a performer. So, below are the ten artists who, for us at CMU, made 2013. You can listen to a playlist featuring all ten acts here.

Janelle MonaeJanelle Monáe
As well as being the last to feature in this year’s Artists Of The Year rundown, Janelle Monáe is also the first returning artist we’ve ever had in our customary end-of-calendar best artists review, having previously made the list in 2010, the year she released her debut album ‘The ArchAndroid’. This year she was back again, with a second long playing… [READ MORE]

Kanye WestKanye West
When I think of Kanye West in 2013, I think ‘I Am A God’. I think “damn croissants”. I think leather jogging pants, Kim Kardashian, baby North, and hideous candle-wax/Michelin Man heels. I think a big, livid ball of contradiction; the quiet, respectable man chatting affectionately with Kris Jenner vs the tyrannical rap star railing, raging, naming… [READ MORE]

Yasutaka NakataYasutaka Nakata
We’ve already mentioned Japanese songwriter and producer Yasutaka Nakata once in our Artists Of The Year rundown, for his contribution to the multi-layered world of J-pop group Perfume. But he more than deserves to be recognised in his own regard. His work as a songwriter and producer this year has been phenomenal. Although probably best known for… [READ MORE]

Arctic MonkeysArctic Monkeys
Against mile-high odds, Arctic Monkeys have had a shock ‘sexy renaissance’ this year, stealing a best-selling stealth hit in fifth LP ‘AM’, a true triumph given the current interest-lull in ‘indie’ music. A razor-sharp simplification of all the Arctics are and were; ‘AM’ is an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind ace card for a band to deal at this middling phase in their… [READ MORE]

Veterans of the Japanese music industry, the original line-up of the group having formed in 2000 while they were still at school, Perfume are now one of the country’s biggest groups. Their rise, however, was a slow one, with their first five years as recording artists spawning a handful of not particularly successful singles – slightly ironically collected on their first album… [READ MORE]

Blood OrangeDev Hynes
If this were a ‘Producer Of 2012’ piece – which obviously it isn’t, but go with it – I’d probably be talking now about Sky Ferreira’s ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ and Solange’s ‘Losing You’, both of which bear Dev Hynes’ writing/mixing/production fingerprints. Precisely how deep those grooves go, in terms of Hynes’ role in and responsibility for the songs, versus the input… [READ MORE]

Joy Division ReworkedThe Heritage Orchestra & Scanner
Commissioned for last year’s Brighton Festival, The Heritage Orchestra and producer Scanner’s collaborative performance, ‘Joy Division Reworked’, was my live music highlight of the year, when I caught it on its UK tour at the Royal Festival Hall in London in September. Initially I was pretty sceptical of a show that professed to rework Joy Division songs… [READ MORE]

Charli XCXCharli XCX
Of all the popstars to make it big this year – ie to complete the rocky transition from sapling artist to chart player with real long-game potential – 90s child Charli XCX perhaps dealt the winning hand. Sorry, Miley. Having first self released regrettably-titled (as was the trend at that time, let’s be fair) singles ‘!Franchesckaar!’ and ‘Emelline/Art Bitch’… [READ MORE]

Dear ReaderDear Reader
In 2010, Dear Reader’s Cherilyn MacNeil left her native South Africa and moved to Germany, where she recorded her last album ‘Idealistic Animals’. In some ways her third LP, ‘Rivonia’, released this year, is a continuation of that record, which deconstructed her breaking away from a religious upbringing in Johannesburg. MacNeil has said in the past that… [READ MORE]

Fat White FamilyFat White Family
The debut album from late-in-the-day CMU approvees Fat White Family album is a dark and strange one, full of horrors, offal, and stories about riding donkeys into pubs. In short, you probably wouldn’t want any of it on your mum’s mantelpiece. Having grouped from the offcuts of rut-stuck south London indie ‘urchins’ The Saudis and The Metros… [READ MORE]

View previous Artists Of The Year: 2012, 2011, 2010

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