I know it's only January, but this is by far the best album of the year so far. The chances are it might still be up there come the end of the year.
Following on from the brilliant Harum Scarum from 2008 and 2011's standalone single "You Don't Look At A Tidal Wave, A Tidal Wave Looks At You", comes 2013's Freakish. The music was actually recorded in 2011, so the duo are probably bored of it by now and on their way to recording something even better.
And the album pretty much picks up where the last one left off - influenced by early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and containing occasional glimpses of post rock - but this time much more expansive, embracing more keyboards and an extra sheen to the production, without losing any of the dirty guitars from previous outings. Gideon continues his black comedic outlook on life, but being much more likely to recount some long forgotton playground tale gone wrong rather than a Nick Cave-esque murder ballad. And now Viva (The Shark) gets to sing on two songs too - the wonderful vocoder overload of "Poor Boy", and closing track "Friday 13".
They are also one of the best bands I've ever seen live - particulary to see Viva bring the elegance of her previous life as an olympic gymnast to her drumming and multi instrument playing. I know this photo (the gatefold inner sleeve) might be posed but, seriously, this is exactly how they look on stage.