2011 HAS BARELY STARTED, AND… OH, SURPRISE! GOODMORNINCAPTN ISN’T QUITE DEAD YET. LET’S CELEBRATE AND HAVE A QUICK LOOK BACK AT WHAT EXCITED OUR EARS IN THE LAST YEAR, COMPLETE WITH LINKS, MP3s AND VIDEOS. SET YOUR EARPHONES AND FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS, AS THE FIRST PART OF OUR TOP 30 RECORDS OF 2010 HAS US TRAVELLING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN NORTH AMERICA AND NORTHERN EUROPE.
Gentle lullabies from Norway -ideal to loosen up on your couch at night while petting your kitten (and writing your end-of-year top list)
Crystals by Silje Nes
Roaring shoegazing from Montreal to slowly awaken.
> Listen to The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night on Spotify.
Let’s now head down to sunny California and witness Dawn McCarthy’s possessed folk invocations.
Listen to a clip from “Housekeeper“ from “Light of a Vaster Dark“:
With a slightly reduced line-up (now only one guitar, 2 violins, contrabass and drums), Silver Mt. Zion seem more focused and inspired on this racy imprint, their 6th full-length in 10 years.
I Built Myself A Metal Bird by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
A pick whose presence in this selection has been highly debated. All tasteful considerations apart, the psychedelic back-to-the-eighties aesthetics of the album may be quite enjoyable and somehow much representative of 2010.
25) WILL STRATTON – “New Vanguard Blues” (self-released)
The young American singer-songwriter recorded and mixed his 3rd album over 48 hours before making it available through the Internet 2 weeks later, with a simple yet charming result.
After 2 much praised solo records, Berlin piano-wunderkind Nils Frahm joined forces with cellist Anne Müller for a post-classical record which in its best moments has us dream of Rachel’s classy compositions discretely but insidiously deconstructed by Oval’s digital experiments.
Listen to “Let My Key Be C (Thriller Edit)” from “7fingers“:
Thomas Meluch, better known as Benoit Pioulard, released his 3rd album for Kranky, filled as usual with ethereal, cloud-like layers of evanescent guitar, DIY rythms and lost voices.
Sault by Benoît Pioulard
> Listen to Lasted on Deezer.
22) OVAL – “O” (Thrill Jockey)
9 years after Ovalcommers, Markus Popp undoubtedly proves us that his heart clicks again.
Bradford Cox delighted us in the Fall of 2009 with his second solo record released under his Atlas Sound moniker, and once again did not disappoint us with the latest Deerhunter album.
While their fellow Danes Efterklang got poppier and brighter on Magic Chairs, Under Byen persist in exploring dark and twistedly beautiful territories.
Listen to title track “Alt Er Tabt“:
Co-produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, Big Echo, which has turned out a deserved break-through for its creators, is an uplifted and nicely orchestrated pop record, graced with the spontaneity of youth and a pleasantly retro sound.