My Brightest Diamond 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

Women first at Point Ephémère this week

My Brightest Diamond – Dragonfly

Shara Worden, whom we’ve heard alongside Sufjan Stevens, before she took her own solo path under the moniker of My Brightest Diamond, feels like a dragonfly and dreams of flying away. Mabe you could help her by attending her Point Ephémère gig in Paris tomorrow, to listen to her crystal-clear yet powerful voice, coupled with nice songwriting skills and a highly endearing personality.

We’re already quite excited about the announcement of A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, her 2nd album to be published on June 17 by Asthmatic Kitty, and for which Shara cites influences from Tricky, Tom Waits and Maurice Ravel, as well as Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s movies and Alice In Wonderland.

Tujiko Noriko – 普通の日 (Dead Earth)

No wonder we are starting to see Tujiko Noriko more and more frequently booked at some of the best Parisian venues, as the Japanese-born singer and composer chose to live in our land of magical baguettes, as one can guess from the TV samples heard in her “Dead Earth“.

For us awaken Earthlings, the fairy Noriko-san will showcase her nursery rhymes, between well-written melodies and sharp experiments, Wednesday April 23rd at the  Point Ephémère, as part of the feminine festival Les Femmes s’en mêlent.