Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Favorite Albums of 2010

This is my list of Best Albums of 2010 that I did for CHIRP Radio in December of that year...
  1. Sleigh Bells – Treats (Mom & Pop Music)
     The debut album from duo Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss is a hail storm of big, visceral, static-and-feedback-soaked fun, both anchored and elevated by the sugar and spice of Miller’s catchy-as-hell hooks and Krauss’ assured, flirty vocals.
  2. Delorean – Subiza (True Panther Sounds)
    Waves of sunny, pastel happiness from the Spanish former punk-rockers. It’s been said that great music transports you to other places. Whenever I listen to this album I want to be somewhere in southern Europe dancing on a beach.
  3. Laetitia Sadier – The Trip (Drag City)
     This solo effort from Stereolab's lead singer is an expertly crafted, urbane, emotionally open Euro-pop that reflects the melancholy of life without ever becoming maudlin.
  4. Avey Tare – Down There (Paw Tracks)
     Music as (swamp) water. Listening to Animal Collective or one of its members, I usually get the feeling I'm hearing something intensely personal, expressed digitally. Avey Tare’s solo album is no exception, as is his relentlessly unique uses of rhythm and song structure.
  5. The Depreciation Guild – Spirit Youth (Kanine)
     Sweeping, romantic guitar-and-synth dream-pop peppered with old-school computer blips. "Dream About Me" was my favorite single from this past summer.
  6. Reds and Blue – Son of the Stars (Addenda)
     Hip and groovy dance floor post-punk with a distinctly New Wave pop feel, due in no small part to Ellen Bunch’s sharp, slinky vocals.
  7. Azure Ray – Drawing Down the Moon (Saddle Creek)
     Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor use electronics and acoustic guitars to weave graceful and passionately intimate confessions, with vocals that only occasionally rise above a whisper.
  8. To Rococo Rot – Speculation (Domino)
    The Berlin trio with the palindromic name conjures up an engrossing collage of deep beats and atmospheric grooves, continuing post-rock’s style of meditation and experimentation.
  9. Various Artists – Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers: Alternative Takes on Congotronics (Crammed Discs)
    Various Western World artists explore and interpret the urban tribal music of Kinshasa, Congo, and create a kaleidoscope of unique hybrids that never lose the spirit of the source material.
  10. Blue Giant – Blue Giant (Vanguard)
    A vibrant blend of contemporary pop-country and alternative folk that alternates between thoughtful ballads and driving, anthemic jams.

Honorable Mentions

  • Korallreven – "The Truest Faith" + "Loved-Up" + "Honey Mine" + "A Dream (Mix Tape)" (Acephale)
     To me, this Swedish duo’s hypnotic, celestial tracks don’t sound like the “Next Big Thing” as much as “The Next Step” in electronic music, where melodies, samples, effects and grooves all melt together until they become indistinguishable.
And Some more outstanding singles from 2010...
  • Coltrane Motion, "I Forgot There Was a War On"
  • El Guincho, "Bombay" (including the [NSFW] video)
  • How to Dress Well, "Ready for the World"
  • The Radio Dept., "Heaven's On Fire"
  • Twin Shadow, "Savannah Howel" and "Slow"
  • Laura Veirs, "Sleeper in the Valley"
  • Warpaint, "Undertow"
  • Zola Jesus, "I Can't Stand"

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