Another bonzer year for new music, had to whittle 75+ albums into this top 40. So, as usual, even though there is an order, just to be on here means the album is a winner and you should buy it.
The band names are links to Last.fm so you can actually hear them. Get clicking!
(EDIT – and Robbie has done a Spotify playlist, whoop! Click here!)
40. Toro y Moi – Causers Of This
Floaty, like a cross between Animal Collective and MGMT.
39. Gifthorse – Mountain Of Youth
Thrumming and My Morning Jacketish indie rock. Standout is ‘Missionaries.’
38. Monty – 2010
Swedie pop, sugary and lovely. SCREAM MY NAME!
37. Kero One – Kinetic World
Solid hip hop from Cali. Niiice lyrics.
36. Zeller – Turbulences
Intense and scary in places, bassy and messy. Love it. Not really dubstep but you’ll probably like it if you like a bit of WOOB.
35. FACT – In The Blink Of An Eye
Love this band, such fucking energy! Listened to this in the car loads!
34. Darker My Love – Alive As You Are
If you love Buffalo Springfield or CSNY or mid-period Shins, you’ll probably love this. Harmonies, tunes!
33. Chaos Theory– Retaliation
Love the riffs on this. Unapologetic, hard-hitting metal. Does it every time for me.
32. Eagle Scout – New Hands
Twiddly and tasty, dunno if they’re phc or indie or what. Just know I like their tunes.
31. Citay – Get Together
Yet more Californians – ey, let the rest of the world have a chance, eh? Yeah, psychy, summery goodness. Looong songs!
30. Calories – Basic Nature
‘Orchard Girls’ is a tune of 2010. I love the simplicity of their riffery, the beauty of their economy.
29. Big Troubles – Worry
Oooh, shoegazey noisy and what sounds like classic minimal drum machine programming (but it could be a drummer). NOISE!
28. Kid Liberty – Fight With Your Fists
Pop punk greatness, check ’em out if you like FYS, SYG or suchlike. Dudes.
27. ComputeHer – Modemoiselle
Wow! I just love the way Michelle (she is ComputHer) layers and weaves and winds through her electro world. Class!
26. Discover America – Future Paths
Excellent singer-songwriterness fleshed out into a moving album, maybe a bit like early Say Hi To Your Mom? Certainly touches of Apples here and maybe even Maritime?
25. Anoraak – Wherever The Sun Sets
Oh my… this is such swoony, sweet synthpop. It’s like I’ve found a long-lost Space (of Magic Fly, not the other one) album. If you like synthiness, you’ll probably like this.
24. The Wonder Years – The Upsides
Another great pop-punk album this year. ‘My Last Semester’ is pure class and the lyrical standard is matched by the rest of the album. Really want to hear this shit out in a club!
23. Medications – Completely Removed
I love the interlocking guitar, the meandering melodies and, occasionally, a rush of nervous energy. Check if you like the twiddly.
22. Annuals – Count The Rings
This is almost over-done. ‘Eyes In The Darkness’ is disturbingly layered. Even though it’s such a sweet album, there’s something deeply weird going on. Like a psycho Postal Service. ‘Loxstep’ is genius.
21. Mesak – Dada Wheel
Mesak doesn’t seem to do much but does. I stick the album on and even though the songs are long, before I know it it’s done. Deftly arranged electronic loveliness.
20. Ellen Allien – Dust
I can’t not have Allien in here. She’s never done a duff album. And this one is right up there. If anything, she’s gone a bit more pop with the electroness!
19. Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love
‘I Didn’t See It Coming’ is another tune of the year. I’ve sung that fucker a gazillion times in the car. B&S keep writing pop standards, not just pop songs.
18. I Am Abomination – To Our Forefathers
Metal riffery, squealing solos, thudding kicks, overblown arrangements. I love this! MOAR!
17. Standard Fare – The Noyelle Beat
Any band good enough to be on Waterloo Road deserve a place in here. A bittersweet album overflowing with vulnerable, painful vignettes.
16. Four Year Strong – Enemy Of The World
Dude… really? Do I really have to tell you how much I love FYS? Killer album. ‘Suck’ is pure, refined awesome!
15. Pugs Atomz – The Decade
Intelligent lyrics, devious flows and some right good beats make this a hip hop essential!
14. Pacific – Narcissus
Not as poppy as their debut but a definite journey into sound. Retro synthpop in the same way as Anoraak but Pacific seem to be channelling Sex-era Telex. Which is just dandy with me.
13. Allo Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’
I am biased because, like most people, I’m a little bit in love with Elizabeth Darlin.’ Nevertheless, this is a great album. Full of tunes. Full.
12. We Have Band – WHB
Dancey, slightly silly and great fun to have on in the car and pretend you’re an escaped robot to.
11. His Statue Falls – Collisions
I love this band’s slab-heavy guitar married to ravey synthiness. Check if you like Shikari or similar. Yeah!
10. Anarbor – The Words You Don’t Swallow
‘Drugstore Diet,’ if there was any justice, should have been an international number one. An amazing pop punk band.
9. Best Coast – Crazy For You
Swoony and slightly loony, a bit like a more surfy Giant Drag.
8. 1000 robota – Ufo
Aw, man! I love this album. It’s classic postpunkness with a knowing Krautrock edge. Which is okay, cos they is Germans.
7. Diversion Tactics – Careful On The Way Up
Wonderful UK hip hop. Every time I’ve DJed them, peeps have come over to ask who it is. They’re that catchy. Class lyrics.
6. Faded Paper Figures – New Medium
Not just because they incorporates ‘sous rature’ into their lyrics. A sleeper of an American indie album, shimmery and wonderful.
5. School of Seven Bells – Disconnect From Desire
Finally, people are catching on to this band. With the swagger of ‘Loveless’-era MBV and more than a hint of early Cocteaus, I hope they make it into the proper charts soon.
4. Super Chron Flight Brothers – Cape Verde
It’s albums like this that make me realise why I love hip hop. The pure fun with words, the imagery, the sheer playfulness of these fuckers, you have to get this album. And the excellently-inserted presenter freak-out… oh my! 🙂
3. Huoratron – Prevenge
Massive, dirty, electroness. If you buy only one electronic album this year, please make it this one. It’s dripping in shit and used condoms. Soooo tasty!
2. MC Esoteric – Fly Casualties
My top hip hop album of this year, Esoteric is so eclectic, so omnivorous. Whether it’s Gang of Four or Numan, or Le Tigre, this album demonstrates that hip hop doesn’t need to keep trotting the same old samples out. And then marry that to his lyrics: incisive, heartbreaking, funny as fuck. A classic album
1. Everything Everything – Man Alive
I went to see this band (click here) and even though I already loved the album, it came alive in a special way.
‘Man Alive’ covers such an enormous gamut, both musically and lyrically. Yes, it’s all indie rock / pop but there’s so much else going on here. The harmonies, the integration of the electronics (never showy, always organic), the energy that seeps out of every tiny, non-repeated noise. I hear all those things that the band have put in. And I appreciate them.
They make ‘Man Alive’ the best album of 2010. 🙂