Modern Mystery’s Top 30 Albums of the Year

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.

1. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Let It Sway”

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!

2. Vampire Weekend – “Contra”

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.

3. The Morning Benders – “Big Echo”

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.

4. Of Montreal – “False Priest”

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.

5.  Surfer Blood – “Astrocoast” 

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.

 6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Before Today”

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.

7.  Jukebox the Ghost – “Everything Under the Sun”

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.

8.   The Love Language – “Libraries”

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.

9. We Are Scientists – “Barbara”

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.

10. Magic Kids – “Memphis”

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”

Modern Mystery’s Top 10 Music Videos of the Year

The Modern Mystery Year End Lists are finally starting, and here goes the first round. We have compiled our Top 10 Music Videos of the Year to share with you.

1. The Morning Benders- Waiting for a War
This video is what introduced me personally to The Morning Benders. ‘Waiting for a War’ is one of the catchiest songs of the year, with a pretty rad video to go along with it. Anyone who feels like they have a dead end boring job certainly gets this video.

2. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Think I Wanna Die
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin make some of the most amusing videos we have ever seen, and ‘Think I Wanna Die’ takes the top prize. In this video our poor little SSLYBY boys are nearly killed by their soon to be ex-girlfriends. At least they seem to be having a good time while shooting it.

3. Miniature Tigers- Cannibal Queen
The Miniature Tigers won our hearts this year with their super amazing debut ‘Tell it to the Volcano’ but to add even more, they put out a hillarious video for ‘Cannibal Queen’.  Charlie as the ‘deranged little man’, Rick as the ‘cannibal queen’. It just makes for a good laugh to a great song.

4. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band- Souled Out!!!
Its nice to see Mr. Conor Oberst not take himself so seriously for once. ‘Souled Out!!!’ is a superb video that shows off Conor and the band joking around. From riding bikes with Jason Boesel, to playing in a fake snow storm, the fun never stops for these guys. Oh, and the song is extremely good too!
5. MGMT- Electric Feel
There is something about MGMT that just makes you want to dance ALL OF THE TIME. ‘Electric Feel’ is no exception. The video itself is a psychadelic dance party that doesn’t want to end. With robot-bears and flaming motorbikes, you won’t know what to watch first.

 

6. Tim Fite- Big Mistake
We love cartoon videos and we love Tim Fite, so the combination of the two for ‘Big Mistake’ is just perfect. I’m not sure if haunting is the right word, but the video is just that. This isn’t Tim’s big mistake, its his art.

7.M83- Kim and Jesse
Not only is the song so ‘1980s’ sounding, but so is the video. When Kim and Jessie are thrown out of their high school gym practice space when they are rolling skating, they head over to the skate park where apparently the feel more comfortable. Though wearing pink velvet skating suits never looks cozy, this video is pretty rad.

8. Los Campesinos- My Year In Lists
Music videos don’t always have to cost a lot of money and be ‘super fancy’. Sometimes the best videos are the most simple ones that get you acquainted with the band’s music. Los Campesinos video for ‘My Year in Lists’ is just that. Closeups of the band and their instruments is beautiful on its own.

9. of Montreal- Id Engager
of Montreal does it again with another artsy inspired video. Having characters sync one into another is beyond perfect for the song. You actually have no idea what the characters will turn into until it happens. Its a beautifully crafted video.

10. Vampire Weekend- Oxford Comma
Vampire Weekend manages to make the video for ‘Oxford Comma’ look like a mini movie shoot. No matter where the scene in the video turns though, it doesn’t distract from the music. Also stay tuned for the right lower corner at 3:23 when some kid totally falls on his ass. Ouch!