So it’s December. A time to rejoice in the good that we see.
And a time for ‘Best Of…’ lists, obviously.
We’re not going to over burden your brain cells with hundreds of different lists or anything like that. We’re just giving you one list. The most important one. The Top Albums Of 2010, of course. So here we go then…
1. First Aid Kit – The Big Black And The Blue.
Without doubt our favourite album this year was the stunning debut from Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg – aka First Aid Kit. The Big Black And The Blue is an exceptionally well crafted folk record that would stand comfortably side by side with the great and the good of the genre.
The songs are gorgeous and the harmonies are exquisite.
First Aid Kit have given us a truly incredible record.
2. Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
California gave us another great band this year as Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg and his high school friends released one of the years most beautiful albums.
It sounds like summer, love and youth all rolled into one.
Avi Buffalo’s self titled debut really is a wonder.
3. Chris T-T – Love Is Not Rescue
We’re used to Chris T-T writing songs about politics or simple observations of the world around him. With Love Is Not Rescue, however, he opted to step way out of his comfort zone and in doing so, delivered his most honest, brave and personal record to date. At times it feels uncomfortably close to snooping through someones diary but the end result is his finest album yet and easily one of the best records of the year.
4. Vampire Weekend – Contra
Perhaps not as instant as their debut and certainly less radio friendly at times, Contra was still more than capable of cementing Vampire Weekend’s place as one the most unusual bands of today. Mixing genres together left, right and centre the New York boys didn’t disappoint with the notoriously ‘tricky second album’.
5. Sky Larkin – Kaleide
Another band that smashed the shit out of their ‘tricky second album’ was Sky Larkin. They delivered the kind of record that everyone was hoping they would after their promising debut. Kaleide is Sky Larkin growing bigger, better, more confident and a fuck load louder than before.
6. Best Coast – Crazy For You
When Best Coast released Crazy For You they gave us an unofficial soundtrack to summer. Short, fuzzy, woozy songs about boys, television, and Snacks The Cat that seldom stretch further than 3 minutes and 4 bar chords, cannot help but sound glorious on a summer’s day.
7. Warpaint – The Fool
Warpaint delivered the last great record of 2010 when they released The Fool last month. It’s staggering musicianship, song structures and angelic vocals cemented its place as one of the best records of the year. It has that useful quality of sounding better with each listen.
8. Neverever – Angelic Swells
Angelic Swells, the debut from Neverever, seemed to sneak under the radar upon its release and, rather bizarrely, looks to have stayed there. I say ‘bizarrely’ because this is an amazing record. Mixing ’80s guitar stylings with ’60s-esque vocals and enough hooks to keep you coming back time and again, Neverever delivered a real gem with this effort.
9. Robinson – England’s Bleeding
Andy Robinson and his band also managed to dodge the radar with England’s Bleeding, a hugely enjoyable listen that mixes Billy Bragg-esque lyrics with some gorgeous Americana style tunes – all tied together by Robinson’s incredible voice.
All in all a very promising debut.
10. Operator Please – Gloves
Australia’s Operator Please followed their fun, reckless, slightly messy debut with Gloves, which took them in a hugely different direction.
Remember the shock when you first heard ‘Zero’ by Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs?
Well, Operator Please have delivered a record that will make you feel that all over again. Everyone was expecting another guitar heavy record and instead we got something to shake your arse on the dance floor to – and it’s fucking brilliant.
So there it is then, our 10 favourite records of the year.
To hear the records just click on the album names to be redirected to that album on Spotify (with the exception of Avi Buffalo and Operator Please who’s respective albums are not on Spotify yet)
Also for a Spotify playlist featuring a few songs from each of these records just click here
Enjoy your Christmas,
See you on the other side x