Yes, it’s listy-time! It’s all redundant now, as I’m sure everyone’s already picked their favourite albums of 2010 already, or would rather do a little bit of noughties-navel-gazing, but so what? Here’s a selection of my favourites that you were no doubt all listening to way back in 2010-1AD, and if that weren’t the case, here’s your chance to rectify that pronto. So, without further ado…
01: Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Sounding both very much of its time yet beautifully antiquated at the same time, Veckatimest is an album worth getting wrapped up in over and over again, and remains rewarding on each listen.
02: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul
Okay, so technically not a 2009 release on account of it not being actually released (sort of), but if you know where to look, it is great collaboration with many a formidable special guest, particularly from David Lynch who provides vocals on two of the very best tracks.
03: The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
Like an alien distress signal captured by government scientists in the 60s and only just released into the public, it’s a distorted rambling affair but as utterly captivating as ever.
04: Franz Ferdinand – Tonight
Third time out for the Franz boys, and it’s another batch of fun, cool, catchy body-jittering toe-tappers. You groovy cats, you! Easy to take for granted, but really, I don’t think they’ve yet to put a (dancing) foot wrong.
05: Handsomeboy Technique – Terrestrial Tone Cluster
The only new Japanese album I think I listened to this year! Eek! But it’s a formidable follow-up to his excellent debut. Drifts off a little towards the end, but for the most part, exceptionally lovely.
06: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
Ticks a lot of boxes with an emphatic YES in ways that are not immediately obvious, but instantly gripping. Kick-ass tuneage.
07: Hank Pine and Lily Fawn – North America
The long-awaited continuation of the titular characters’ quest through the American gothic fairytale (via Canada), it eschews much of the story-telling in favour of consistenly high quality ditties.
08: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
The critical masterpiece of the year, there is much to savour on this album, and with every listen, it’s easy to sink even deeper into the marvellous sounds contained within.
09: Wild Beasts – Two Dancers
Two distinctive voices + a bunch of great tunes = stirring stuff.
10: Discovery – LP
Blippy and electronic, yet warm and sunny, it’s a joyous affair that sounds like pop from the not too distant future. And the future is now, kids!
Special mention as well for Compilation of the Year which was Dark Was The Night, a magnificent snapshot of contemporary North American folky-indie with a mix of new tracks, covers and traditional standards, and all for a good cause. And because I’m great, I’ve created a Spotify playlist sample of the above (substituting tracks from a few of my also-rans for those unavailable), something I’m thinking of doing more regularly (yay, playlists for all). Hear it yonder.
Any more recommendations or suggestions for ones I’ve missed more than welcome!