Fat Cat Archive

2010 – Top 18

GoodMorninCaptn - Top 2010 Part 2 - feat. Heartland, Innundir Skinni, Cardiac Malformation, Des Larmes..., Rivers, Creatures..., Teen Dream, Learning, My Father...AFTER THE TOP #30 TO #19 RECORDS, LET’S KEEP ASCENDING THE STAIRS OF 2010 WITH THE SECOND PART OF OUR FAVORITE RECORDS, MOSTLY POP AND FOLK, WITH SPARSE JAZZY OR NOISY TOUCHES.

SWANS - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (artwork: Beatrice Pediconi)Perfume Genius - LearningBeach House - Teen Dream (Sub Pop/Bella Union, Jan. 2010)
18) SWANS – “My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky” (Young God Records)

12 years after “Swans Are Dead”, Michael Gira’s noble bird turns into a Phoenix and resuscitates with a strikingly powerful album.
Eden Prison by Swans

> Listen to My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky on Spotify.

17) PERFUME GENIUS – “Learning” (Matador / Turnstile)

The sensitive Seattle singer-songwriter delivers a sincere and troubling debut, directly from his bedroom to yours.

Listen to title track “Learning“:

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Perfume Genius – “Look Out, Look Out” directed by Patrick Sher
(Alternative link to watch the video on YouTube)

> Listen to Learning on Deezer or Spotify.

16) BEACH HOUSE – “Teen Dream” (Sub Pop / Bella Union)

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have perfected their suave melodies on their 3rd album, enchanting fans and critics alike.

Listen to “Norway“, from “Teen Dream“:

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> Listen to Teen Dream on Deezer or Spotify.

Clogs - The Creatures in the Garden of Lady WaltonWildbirds & Peacedrums - RiversThomas Mery - Des larmes mélangées de poussière
15) CLOGS – “The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton” (Brassland)

For the first time, the instrumental quartet has invited some distinguished friends over to sing along: Sufjan Stevens, Matt Berninger (from The National, with whom Clogs share one of their founders and masterminds, Bryce Dessner), and most notably Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) all take turns and grace the lush and brilliant compositions with their unique vocal presence. Not the least of its qualities, Clogs‘ fifth album is nicely packaged in a beautiful hommage to Douanier Rousseau by Hvass&Hannibal, also known for designing record covers and directing a video for Efterklang.

Listen to “On The Edge“, featuring Shara Worden, from “The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton“:

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> Listen to The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton on Deezer.

14) WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS – “Rivers” (Leaf Label)

Wildbirds & Peacedrums‘ third album is the reunion of 2 EPs, Iris and Retina, where the Swedish duo mixes its warm, soulful voice and tribal rythms with the Icelandic avant-garde. Rivers indeed was recorded by Ben Frost and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with an Icelandic chamber choir arranged by Hildur Guðnadóttir.


Wildbirds & Peacedrums – “Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood” directed by Patrik Instedt

13) THOMAS MERY – “Des larmes mélangées de poussière” (Ohayo Records /BS Records)

Thomas is back with a beautiful EP, the poetry of which we love to get immersed and lost into. A nice preamble to his new full-length album to be released in 2011.

Ça by Thomas Mery

> Listen to (and/or buy) the EP on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Deezer, or Spotify.

> Read our review and listen to 2 songs from Thomas Mery’s live session au salon.

Thus:Owls - Cardiac MalformationsÓlöf Arnalds - Innundir SkinniOwen Palett - Heartland
12) THUS:OWLS – “Cardiac Malformations” (Hoob Records / Almost Musique)
A few more Swedes (and a Canadian) in our top, with Thus:Owls, the dark cabaret pop of which has rocked us the whole year.

Listen to “Climbing The Fjelds Of Norway” from “Cardiac Maformations“:

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> Listen to Cardiac Malformations on Deezer or Spotify.

> Read our Review of Cardiac Malformations.

11) ÓLÖF ARNALDS – “Innundir Skinni” (One Little Indian)

Björk’s protégée and Múm collaborator Ólöf Arnalds releases a lovely new album produced by Kjartan Sveinsson (Sigur Rós), at times heavily orchestrated with uplifting choirs, and at times stripped down to only Ólöf’s high-pitched voice and simple strings.


Ólöf Arnalds – “Surrender” directed by Arni & Kinski

> Listen to Innundir Skinni on Deezer or Spotify.

10) OWEN PALLETT – “Heartland” (Domino)

Owen drops his Final Fantasy stage name but keeps delivering what he does best: light and grandiloquent pop songs for viola and violin loops.

Owen Pallett

> Listen to Heartland directly in the embedded player above, or on Spotify or Deezer.

Read and listen to the first part of our favorite records (top #30 to top #19), and finally (attention, drum roll…) discover our favorite 9 records of 2010

2010 – Top 30

GoodMorninCaptn's Top 2010 - Part 1

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.

Silje Nes - OpticksThe Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring NightFaun Fables Light Of A Vaster Dark

30) SILJE NES – “Opticks” (FatCat Records)

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

> Listen to Opticks on Spotify or Deezer.

29) THE BESNARD LAKES – “The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night” (Jagjaguwar)

Roaring shoegazing from Montreal to slowly awaken.


The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross” directed by Kara Blake

> Listen to The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night on Spotify.

28) FAUN FABLES – “Light of a Vaster Dark” (Drag City)

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“:

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Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra - Kollaps TradixionalesYeasayer - Odd BloodWill Stratton - New Vanguard Blues27) THEE SILVER MT. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA – “Kollaps Tradixionales” (Constellation)

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

26) YEASAYER – “Odd Blood” (Secretly Canadian)

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.


Yeasayer – “Madder Red” directed by Andreas Nilsson

> Listen to Odd Blood on Deezer or Spotify.

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.

> Listen to (and/or buy) New Vanguard Blues on Bandcamp or Spotify.

Nils Frahm & Anne Muller - 7fingersBenoit Pioulard - LastedOval - O24) NILS FRAHM & ANNE MÜLLER – “7fingers” (Hush Records)

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“:

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> Listen to 7fingers on Deezer or Spotify.

23) BENOIT PIOULARD – “Lasted” (Kranky)

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.


Oval – “Ah!” directed by Darko Dragicevic

Deerhunter - Halcyon DigestUnder Byen - Alt Er TabtThe Morning Benders - Big Echo21) DEERHUNTER – “Halcyon Digest” (4AD)

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.

Download Revival (MP3) from Halcyon Digest, or listen to the album on Deezer or Spotify.

20) UNDER BYEN – “Alt Er Tabt” (A:larm Music)

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“:

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19) THE MORNING BENDERS – “Big Echo” (Rough Trade)

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.


The Morning Benders – “All Day Day Light ” directed by Jack Ferry

Listen to Big Echo on Deezer or Spotify.

Keep reading and listening to our top #18 to #10, and finally discover our favorite 9 records of 2010

Weekly Indie News: Lisa Germano, Le Loup, Noah And The Whale, Volcano Choir

Lisa Germano "Magic Neighbor" / Rachel Grimes "Book Of Leaves" / Islands "Vapours" / Le Loup "Family" / Noah & The Whale "First Days Of Spring" / The Twilight Sad "Forget The Night Ahead" / Volcano Choir "Unmpa" / Why? "Eskimo Snow"

Pretty exciting week ahead, with a bunch of new releases out:

LISA GERMANO – “Magic Neighbor“, new album on Young God Records. Listen to “Snow” (MP3).

RACHEL GRIMES – “Book Of Leaves” (Karate Body / Ruminance). First piano solo album from one of The Rachel’s core members. More info and MP3 here.

ISLANDS – “Vapours” (Anti). The Canadians seem to have lost most of what once made them interesting. You may still listen to “Vapours” on their MySpace to prove me wrong.

LE LOUP – “Family” (Hardly Art / Talitres). Much expected follow-up to their 2007 magical debut LP. Listen to “Beach Town” (MP3).

NOAH AND THE WHALE – “First Days Of Spring“. Sophomore album and accompanying film are coming out this week in France (already out in the UK; 2 more weeks to wait for the US release). See the trailer below.

THE TWILIGHT SAD – “Forget The Night Ahead” (Fat Cat).

VOLCANO CHOIR – “Unmap” (Jagjaguwar). Intriguing debut of Bon-Iver-mastermind Justin Vermont’s more experimental band. Listen to “Island, IS” (MP3).

WHY? – “Eskimo Snow” (Anticon).