Year in Music 2010


24. Dez. 2010, 20:22

This year there were some incredible releases. My favorites were:

1) Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself : I absolutely love Xiu Xiu, and I have for a while. Seeing them live a few years ago with Thao with The Get Down Stay Down was a pretty incredible show. This album has continuously rocked my ear holes since it's release in February. The video for the title track is intense and hard to watch, but beautiful at the same time. Xiu Xiu also put out a single of Razor Scooter/Sashay Away that's pretty incredible. Check it out. I love every track on this album, but definitely check out Dear God, I Hate Myself and This Too Shall Pass Away (For Freddy).

2) OFF! - First Four EPs : This set was just released and already I'm loving it. Old school style punk that's hard and fast, the longest song being only 1:33. The line up features Black Flag/Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris, Dimitri Coats, frontman for Burning Brides, Steve McDonald who's the bassist for Redd Kross, and Rocket from the Crypt/Hot Snakes drummer Mario Rubalcaba. Check out: Black Thoughts and I Don't Belong.

3) Devo - Something for Everybody : DEVO'S BACK! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 20 YEARS! This was quirky and (s)punky and everything I love about Devo, updated for 2010. Prior to it's release, Devo played this album continuously for a roomful of cats (For real, check out the recording here. Check Out: Human Rocket and March On, the album's closer.

4) Envy - Recitation : This album is incredible. I had never heard of Envy before, but this album was getting hyped on some post-rock blogs as well as some punk blogs so I knew I had to check it out. Envy melds post-rock and screamo beautifully to create a sonic experience that is at times sad, at times really epic, and at times both. Check out: Rain Clouds Running In A Holy Night and Dreams Coming To An End.

5) The Glitch Mob - Drink the Sea : Another group I had never heard of before this year. A friend of mine turned me on to this and I loved it. One of my biggest regrets (musically) of this year was not being able to see them live when they were oh so close (damn you dining hall making me sick *angry fist shake*). Excellent glitchy IDM. I recommend: How to Be Eaten by a Woman and Drive It Like You Stole It. Oh yeah, and the entirety of Drink The Sea Part 2: The Mixtape.

6) Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz : Looking at my top artists, it's no surprise that Sufjan made this list. This album did take some time to grow on me, and really it wasn't until I saw him live that I really understood the album. (It was also one of my favorite shows of this year.) He gets a bit more anthemic on this album than he has in the past, and he ends with a beautiful 25+ minute track, which is longer than a lot of the punk albums i listened to this year. This combined with his EP, All Delighted People made for a great year musically for Sufjan Stevens. I recommend: Too Much and I Walked.

7) The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt : My exposure to The Tallest Man on Earth happened one beautiful day this summer when I was in the mountains with two friends. It was an epic day, and as the sun was going down a storm was rolling in and we could see it working its way towards us. Tallest Man was playing in the background and I loved it. I had heard of him but never listened to him before. He's a Swedish artist who plays beautiful folk music and who has an excellent way with words. He also puts on an incredible live show. I don't really know what to say except that you should definitely check out: King of Spain and Burden of Tomorrow.

8) Sleigh Bells - Treats : Upbeat noisy electronic pop duo that plays catchy tracks that I can't help but love. Also, i love female vocalists (who seem to be lacking from this list this year, hmm....). Especially when they're noisy and distorted and a bit aggressive, yet pleasantly so. I guess "in your face" is a better term than aggressive. Check out: Rill Rill (which is probably the biggest track from this album) and Straight A's.

9) Blue Water White Death - Blue Water White Death (though Jamie Stewart posted a blog entry in which it's called "Gall" lp : This group is the result of the collaboration of Jamie Stewart from Xiu Xiu and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater. They took "the name of a 1971 documentary that follows a team of increasingly reckless explorers on a shark-finding quest to Australia’s aptly-named Dangerous Reef" (according to the label, Graveface Records. It was recorded during the week between Christmas and New Years last year, when Jamie Stewart was misdiagnosed with cystic fibrosis and thought he could never make music again. Hauntingly beautiful album. I recommend: Grunt Tube and Gall.

10) Kaki King - Junior : I've been a fan of Kaki King for a few years now after a friend of mine turned me on to her. She's a beautiful guitarist who in recent years has incorporated more and more vocals into her albums. And who knew, she's also an incredible vocalist! Emotionally, this album jumps around, as does the energy on each track. It's hard to pick just two recommendations from it, but check out: Communist Friends and Death Head

So that's my top 10. Which can fluctuate a bit.
Some honorable mentions for this year are:

Former Ghosts -New Love : Collaboration of Freddy Ruppert of This Song Is a Mess But So Am I, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, Zola Jesus, and Tearist. Experimental and beautiful.

Jónsi - Go : I love Sigur Rós and I love Jónsi. My favorite concert I ever saw and will probably ever see was Sigur Rós. This was more pop than even Sigur Rós' latest album. Definitely enjoyable and replayable.

M.I.A. - /\/\ /\ Y /\ . I don't know why everybody was shitting on this album. Sure it's not as good as her other albums, but it's still pretty dope. Meds and Feds is a stellar track, and there are plenty of other gems on this album

Noisia - Split the Atom : Awesome DnB, breaks, and dubstep. enough said.

Steve Vs. The Volcano - Hardcore Punk from MA - really aggressive punk rock.

Future Islands - In Evening Air

Fang Island - Fang Island

Wavves - King Of The Beach

I'm sure I'm forgetting some, there were a lot of great releases this year. But those are the ones that stood out for me. Not to mention there were a whole bunch of singles/EPs/electronic releases that I can't possibly go through everything that I might have had on-again off-again love affairs with this year. I also spent most of my year listening to leftovers from 2009, such as Wingnut Dishwashers Union's Burn the Earth! Leave It Behind! and Converge's Axe to Fall (SO.FUCKING.HEAVY!).

What were your favorites?


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