The time is finally here where we announce our favorite albums of the year. Yes, it took a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of relistening, but in the end we figured it out. Trust us, it was no easy task this year. Take a peek at what kept our interest in 2010.
This will forever be known as the album where SSLYBY fully matured. Working with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, the band produced a stunning record full of pop hooks and catchy lyrics. The result, Let It Sway (Polyvinyl), one of the greatest pieces of work our ears have heard by any indie band in a long time. We loved it so much we made a tribute video celebrating the record which you can watch below. Congrats SSLYBY!
A nearly flawless album, the VW boys started off 2010 with a burst of energy that continued througout the year. Neck in neck with the Yeltsins, Contra (XL) also shared the tale of a too-good-to-be-true indie band growing up in the public eye.
Another record that was running with the big boys on this list, The Morning Benders released Big Echo (Kanine) early in the year and exploded like no one could ever have imagined. It’s ab out time. They deserve it. This is one of the catchiest albums we heard this year and it never gets old.
Of Montreal are always evolving. That is what we love most about the band. False Priest (Polyvinyl) takes them to a whole new level, dabbling in R&B and dueting with Solange Knowles. We may have been skeptical at first but it quickly won over our hearts and the dance floor.
Everyone’s favorite “IT” band of the year produced a promising debut album called Astrocoast (Kanine). We followed the boys around CMJ 2009 and knew they were about to blew up huge. We were right, and now Surfer Blood has taken over the world.
A chilling record filled with reverb and haunting vocals proved to be just the thing for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Before Today (4AD) stunned the indie music world and makes us wonder what the next Ariel Pink chapter has to hold.
A thriving piano backed by a guitar and drums made an unexpected assault in the indie world this year. Everything Under the Sun (Yep Roc) dropped jaws quickly this year and had Jukebox the Ghost playing with big name bands and appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Much different from their first record, The Love Language stunned us with a near perfect record, Libraries (Merge) this year. There was a lot of buzz about this album and as the tracks leaked, we could feel the greatness building up. We were right.
Without a record label in the U.S., We Are Scientists broke through this year with Barbara. They haven’t changed too much since the last time we heard from them, which is a good thing. They still have their driving 80’s vibe, W.A.S. charm and brilliant tunes.
This was an unexpected treat this year that had us putting Magic Kids on repeat. Memphis (Goner/True Panther) often has a lo-fi and retro vibe, and that is what really makes it special.
The rest of the list….
11. Miniature Tigers – “Fortress”
12. Matt Pond PA – “The Dark Leaves”
13. Wavves – “King of the Beach”
14. Sufjan Stevens -“Age of the Adz”
15. Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”
16. Free Energy – “Stuck on Nothing”
17. Javelin – “No Mas”
18. Best Coast – “Crazy for You”
19. The Drums – “The Drums”
20. Tokyo Police Club – “Champ”
21. The New Pornographers – “Together”
22. Spoon – “Transference”
23. Hot Hot Heat – “Future Breeds”
24. Kids of 88 – “Sugar Pills”
25. MGMT – “Congratulations”
26. Harlem – “Hippies”
27. Broken Social Scene – “Forgiveness Rock Record”
28. Born Ruffians – “Say It”
29. Caribou – “Swim”
30. Interpol – “Interpol”
If you missed The Morning Benders’ shows in the US and unfortunately cannot afford a Christmas/New Years’ vacation in Australia where they are headed next, this may not quite be enough to counter the disappointment, but it can at least provide you with one extra tune you can impress your friends with. New York City electronic duo The Golden Filter have remixed the Californians’ ballad “Excuses,” off their album Big Echo (Rough Trade). In this shiny new arrangement, Chris Chu’s voice is complimented with Golden Filter singer Penelope Trappes’s for an eerie, echoed beginning. It quickly transitions into a steady beat that replaces the original song’s twirling guitars. Instead, a never ending keyboard loop will have you entranced, so much that the abrupt breaks in the song will have you disoriented, until you realize they were just there to let you catch your breath before another round of frenetic dancing.
You can download this remix for free on The Morning Benders’ website HERE but make sure to get a first listen below:
The Morning Benders have recently added a slew of more tour dates to their ever growing schedule. The band already announced a few months ago their plans to play a number of dates, but now the tour has expanded all the way to next year. The Morning Benders’ newest release, Big Echo (+1/Roughtrade), which came out earlier this year, has been a turning point in the band’s career. The shows will feature the group as headliners as they travel through the United States, Europe and Australia. Take a look at the tour dates below. If you miss out on these shows you should reconsider your love of music.
The Morning Benders Tour Dates:
09-11 Berlin, Germany – Berlin Festival
09-12 Heidelberg, Germany – Karlstorbanhof
09-13 Cologne, Germany – Luxor
09-14 Utrecht, Belgium – Tivoli de Helling
09-16 Aarhus, Denmark – Vox Hall
09-17 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser
09-18 Gothenburg, Sweden – Pustervik
09-19 Oslo, Norway – John Dee
09-21 Haldern, Germany – Haldern Bar
09-22 Dresden, Germany – Beatpol
09-26 Winterthur, Switzerland – Sazhaus
09-27 Eindhoven, Netherlands – Effenaar
09-28 Brussels, Belgium – AB
09-29 Paris, France – Nouveau Casino
09-30 London, England – Borderline
10-09 Dallas, TX – Kessler Theater
10-10 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-12 Tempe, AZ – Clubhouse Music Venue
10-13 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
10-14 Los Angeles, CA – Music Box
10-15 Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
10-16 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore
10-18 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
10-19 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10-20 Vancouver, British Columbia – Venue
10-22 Boise, ID – Neurolux
10-23 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10-25 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
10-28 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
10-29 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
10-31 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
11-02 Newport, KY – Historic Southgate House
11-03 Columbus, OH – Basement
11-05 Toronto, Ontario – Mod Club Theatre
11-06 Montreal, Quebec – Cabaret du Mile End
11-07 South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
11-09 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
11-10 Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall
11-11 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
11-12 Washington, DC – Black Cat
11-18 New York, NY – Webster Hall
12-30 Hobart, Australia – Falls Festival
12-31 Lorne, Australia – Falls Festival
01-02 Busselton, Australia – Southbound Festival
01-06 Brisbane, Australia – Sunset Sounds Festival