Monday, January 3, 2011

Best Music of 2010

A friend of mine has passed on these lists to me for the past few years. It's something that I know really look forward to at the end of the year. As you can see, it's got some great variety, and you can always spend a month or few trying to check out all of this stuff. If you want to see the full 100, or the past few years lists, go to his site.

1. The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme
Expanding the sounds explored on the preceding EPs, they combine Thurston Moore samples and infectious synth hooks to evoke the emotions of the Swedish winter. It was a long time coming, but sooo worth it.

2. Foals - Total Life Forever
Many people wrote them off saying that much like Bloc Party the follow-up would be weaker and more poppy. With this they didn't quite top Antidotes but managed to successfully move in a new direction; incorporating new sounds whilst maintaining the raw energy that garnered their initial fanbase.

3. I Am Kloot - Sky At Night
One of the most underrated bands ever. John Bramwell is a genius and writes such honest, emotional songs. Produced by the guys from Elbow; it contains more horns and orchestral sounds than previously. Apart from the re-recorded 'Proof' everything works amazingly well.

4. The National - High Violet
Can they ever make a wrong move. Such amazing songcraft. Wish I was this talented.

5. Gayngs - Relayted
Was a favourite all through the year, the songwriting is ace, the production is amazing and the smooth it makes for a perfect Sunday arvo chillax. supergroup feat some past end year list favs Dosh, Bon Iver,

6. Four Tet - There Is Love in You
This is my favourite Four Tet album so far, its works far better as an entire work than any thing he has done previously.

7. Goldheart Assembly - Wolves And Thieves
Sadly been overlooked or written off as 'british fleet foxes' wannabees. This observation is so misguided; yes they like folk and have beards but they are actually crafting something quite distinct. This is something credible for all the mumford & sons haters. Rejoice!

8. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Any album that features both Gruff Rhys and Snoop Dogg was always going to be awesome.

9. Caribou - Swim
As someone who was a big Manitoba fan I've been following his stuff under Caribou with great interest by never really convinced ..until now. This is the best stuff Dan Snape has ever done.

10. Cherry Ghost - Beneath This Burning Shoreline
If they were american they'd be one of the biggest indie rock bands in the world. But thankfully their not, and just go about making amazing sombre records that reward people that actually bother to search them out

11. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
Even though some of the songs have been around for years, the fact that they were on obscure cassettes that only obsessed people like me listen too probably makes the re-recorded 4AD ones sufficiently new. Lo-fi goes Hi-fi-ish. Its fucking ace so grab it!

12. The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
Yet another Swedish album. This is so heartfelt. I know people hate his voice. But screw them the power and honesty of these songs is enough for me. He is fucking amazing live as well, though he did start crying...*hugs*

13. The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
After two incredible records there is a lot to live up to. So they go and create a masterpiece, that uses restraint to deliver its power. It rococos!

14. Parades - Foreign Tapes
A diverse band that have the ability to write post punk gems like 'Dead Nationatle' only to soften slightly into the floating piano led perfection of Hunters. This album is worth getting just for the experimentation and exploration of sounds. Our favourite australian album this year.

15. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
The last LCD album is considered a critical masterpiece, which I'd largely agree with. But imo this is better. The 80s influences are not contrived or overtly derivative, merely used to guide the record stylistically. Pop perfection.

16. Sally Seltmann - Heart That's Pounding
The contrast between this and her albums as New Buffalo is stark. An entire album of classic pop anthems. It's amazzzing get it already

17. The Ancients - The Ancients 2
I really like Jon Mitchell's stuff with Mum Smokes so was hanging out for this. It doesn't disappoint with loads of lazy Sunday arvo style indie-pop tunes. suuuch a Melbourne band

18. Errors - Come Down With Me
The debut was so strong I had doubts about this but its even stronger! If you love the new Holy Fuck album get this its similar in style and just as good. Oh and after 5 years of waiting finally caught then live and it was one of the best gigs this year.

19. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Crap yes. Bradford Cox is such a weird dude, but spose most genius' peeps are. As you'd expect their tender pop is hidden amongst some hazy ambience.

20. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
FlyLo FTW!

21. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
A bunch of soaring psychedelia that draws you into a maelstrom of blurred sound. More rounded and warm than previous records.

22. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
She is ridiculously talented. Another album of clever, witty folk.

23. Sianna Lee - Phoenix Propeller
Dark, beautiful, considered contemporary pop. Probably the most cruelly neglected australian release this year. (Ex Love Outside Andromeda frontwoman)

24. Cloud Control - Bliss Release
I liked Gold Canary but didn't think the album would live up to it, but not only does it do that it tops it. Their own brand of folk rock sounds like a lost gem from years gone by.

25. Houses - All Night
This has been criminally overlooked. Much like Memory Tapes last year, it is understated blissful synth pop or dare I say it chillwave urghh

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