The best album releases of the month, February 2013 edition

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Another month, another wade through 25 or so albums in an attempt to pick-only-ten. I should point out that, although I have been looking forward to the new Autechre album, I haven't got around to hearing it yet. It is also over 2 hours long so I wouldn't be able to cram it in even it landed in my lap this afternoon. I haven't heard Atoms for Peace either - February is too short! Oh yeah, and the page looks different because the photo uploader has changed its settings. So without further ado, here are my ten picks.

My Bloody Valentine 'mbv'
Along with Mr Bowie, mbv have been responsible for putting some excitement back into releasing records. When the ridiculously long-awaited 'm b v' appeared in the early hours of Sunday 3rd February the buzz was incredible. I've spent a lot of time with this since, and I am still going with what I said on my initial tweets here
and here. It doesn't just preserve their legacy, it adds to it.

Grouper 'The Man Who Died In His Boat'
My late night album of choice at the moment. Although this is essentially a collection of music made around the time of Grouper's 2008 album 'Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill', it is much more than leftovers, and may actually be my favourite of her releases. It is a haunted but actually quite beautiful, album.

Matmos 'The Marriage of True Minds'
A concept album from the outset, 'The Marriage' is the results of their attempt to telepathically communicate their intentions for this record to their subjects, who then reported any images or sounds they thought they received. Sound bites are dotted throughout the record by way of signposts. This isn't an easy listen, but it is a rewarding one, and the powerful production brings out some unsettling sounds like the crunches of percussion, screeching violins and a lot of sound effects (splashes, sheep, etc).

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 'Push the Sky Away'
I was skeptical about a post-Mick, never mind post-Blixa, Bad Seeds, but this album is easily worthy of the name. It hangs together remarkably well as a set, and comes across as an autobiographical gentler work - with a strong sense of place, absolutely rooted in Cave's adopted home of Brighton.

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy 'What the Brothers Sang'
my review (the 405)
Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables) and Bonnie Prince Billy re-interpret some of the lesser known Everly Brothers songs and create a fine album.
"..the way their voices entwine and breathe life into a legendary act often by-passed by today's music fans makes What the Brothers Sang very worthy of your attention."

Girls Names 'The New Life'
The second album from the Belfast band, on which they change direction away from the jangle-pop of their debut, towards a richer post-punk inspired sound. Echoes of bands like the Cure and the Chameleons, although it has enough strong ideas and songs to shake-off any copyist accusations. Poised for great things I hope.

Eat Skull 'III'
I must admit I thought Eat Skull had gone, given the four year gap since their last new material. 'III' comes across as a more accessible record, less discord, more pop, but still delightfully skewed. Potentially one that could win them new fans.

Veronica Falls 'Waiting for Something to Happen'
Simply the purest indie-pop album of the year so far. The punk-goth hints of old have been sidelined in favour of classic indie-pop, and the songs just shine, thanks to a sympathetic production job. Much much better than I expected.

Caitlin Rose 'The Stand In'
I'm not a huge a fan of Americana but this is a record which transcends genre. Strong tunes, superb playing and an impressively assured vocal delivery make this one of the best records of its kind that I will hear all year.

Apparently their name is an acronym for "fuck it dog, life's a risk", and this is best rowdy punk record I've heard since Metz's debut last year.

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