Welcome to NME’s Review Of The Year Part II. At Coachella in April, everyone was waiting for Daft Punk to join Phoenix for their headline set. Turns out the band’s mystery guest was actually R. Kelly. Read Part 1 of our Year In Reviewhere.
April 2013 was a big month for Karen O. and co. On April 12 the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their fourth album ‘Mosquito’ – complete with gospel choir – and on April 28, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of their first album ‘Fever To Tell’.
When Margaret Thatcher died on 8 April 2013 and ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ entered the charts at Number 2, the public was divided. Should it be played on the BBC Radio 1 chart show? In the end the station played a couple of clips of the song and a news report about why it had charted.
Daft Punk released single Get Lucky on 19 April 2013, before debuting their album Random Access Memories in May. Get Lucky won NME Track Of The Year and Random Access Memories was the fastest selling album of 2013 (until One Direction launched their latest album). It was also Amazon’s best selling vinyl record ever.
On 23 April 2013, Grimes posted a blog on her Tumblr about misogyny in the music industry, calling for women to be seen as equal to men and not be sexualised by fans or labels. “I don’t want to be infantilized because I refuse to be sexualised,” she wrote. Chvrches, Deap Vally, Angel Haze all follow suit with similar posts.
Reports of a new Babyshambles album in the works began circulating at the start of 2013. On April 6, new material was confirmed as Pete Doherty joined bassist Drew McConnell and new drummer Adam Ficek to perform fresh song ‘Dr No (Sharks In The Water)’ at La Fontaine in Paris.
Jay-Z and Beyonce caused drama in April when they headed on a trip to Cuba. The visit was highly criticised as the US has an embargo that stops citizens traveling to the country for tourism. Even Obama waded in, joking: “I’ve got 99 problems and now Jay-Z is one”.
The Hives had a stroke of bad luck in April 2013. The Swedish band were ordered to repay £1.9 million to The Cardigans which they hadn’t realised was a loan. Turns out record label Tambourine Studios had lent the money – owed to The Cardigans – to the band without telling them they hadn’t earned it. The Hives are likely to appeal the order.
With the release of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky came the return of Pharrell Williams. The producer also played a crucial role in controversial mega-hit Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’. He spent the remainder of the year working with what seemed like EVERYONE, from Miley Cyrus to Ed Sheeran.
Miguel got in a spot of bother at the Billboard Music Awards on 19 May 2013. The singer crushed a fan’s head while jumping from one stage to another. He took the girl behind the scenes afterwards to check she was okay, but in June it was revealed she might sue.
Hop Farm Festival 2013 was cancelled by organiser Vince Power on 3 May 2013 due to poor ticket sales. My Bloody Valentine, The Cribs and The Horrors were all set to play at the festival. “We are convinced this does not reflect on the artists, it highlights the poor economic climate,” said Vince.
Chris Kelly, half of ’90s hip-hop duo Kris Kross – famous for wearing their clothes backwards – was found dead in his home in Atlanta on 1 May 2013 with a spokesperson for the Fulton County police revealing the cause “may have been a possible drug overdose”.
After first debuting ‘Yeezy’ during a Hudson Mohawke set, Kanye West performed the title track of his album for the first time inside a pyramid at New York venue the Roseland Ballroom.
Cameron D’Ambrosio from Methune, US, was arrested after the horrific Boston Marathon bombing for posting a threatening rap on Facebook that mentioned the terrorist act. 18-year-old “CammyDee” was charged with communication of terrorist threats and held on $1 million bail.
The Stone Roses returned in June 2013. Ian Brown and friends played Finsbury Park on June 7 and 8 and ‘Made of Stone’, Shane Meadows’ film about their legacy, was released on June 8.
On 18 June 2013, Kanye West released his stripped back and divisive ’Yeezus’ album. The release was followed by a rare appearance on Zane Lowe’s radio show to promote the record, during which Kanye announced: “I want to be the anchor of the first trillion dollar company”.
After getting played on cult TV show ‘Girls’, being used in a Samsung advert and getting its own Glee makeover, Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’ reached Number 1 in the Official UK Chart on 30 June 2013.
The Killers played their biggest ever show to 70,000 at Wembley Stadium on 22 June 2013. They followed up the concert by racing across London for a secret tiny gig in Islington.
In June, Rolling Stones headlined Glastonbury for the first time in their 50-year career. They went on to play two sold-out dates at London’s Hyde Park in July before announcing a world tour.