I’m a couple of days late, but was just thinking about my fave albums of 2010 and thought it would be nice to document them here for future reference. This “Top 5” list is of music that I acquired during 2010 (not necessarily released this year) and is in a loose order, though it’s hard to distinguish some of them.
Bon Iver — For Emma, Forever Ago: I’m very late to this particular album, but since picking it up earlier this year, this album has resonated with me in a very deep way. Absolutely beautiful and spellbinding. Some may find it a bit depressing, personally I find it quite calming and uplifting.
Fionn Regan — The End of History: I first heard this album at a friend’s party, and managed to pick it up dirt cheap (for $2!) at a record sale shortly after. The rawness of the acoustic arrangements appeals to me much more than his most current album. Some lovely turns of phrase and atmospherically charged moments.
Brian Borcherdt — Torches (Side 2004/05): I downloaded this album for free from Brian’s site based on the recommendation of a friend and was immediately taken by it. Another mellow acoustic set (what is it with me and mellow acoustic male singers this year?) — simple arrangements, but a lovely mood. I’m a much bigger fan of Side 2004/05 than the second album from the sessions, and I’ve since bought his previous album on iTunes with much the same feeling.
Land of Talk — Cloak and Cipher: Ang and I have become fans of this band since getting their previous album Some are Lakes a little while back, and this new album certainly didn’t disappoint. A much more polished affair than Some are Lakes, but still retaining the essence and energy of what I suspect is a great live band.
The Mercury Program — A Data Learn the Language: I found this band after hearing them on the cafe speakers at Berkelouw Newtown. I chased them up on iTunes and grabbed this album (released in 2002) and loved it. Very reminiscent of Pivot (now PVT), though pre-dating Pivot’s debut, and Tortoise. Another great atmospheric instrumental, guitar melody-driven album to add to the collection.
There were also two “notable mentions” that came up for me when compiling the list:
Arcade Fire — The Suburbs: I didn’t really get into this band with their previous albums, but I finally caved into the hype and picked this one up after seeing the wonderful Google Maps mashup “video” that accompanied The Wilderness Downtown. I think that really set the tone as it grounded the songs in my own childhood growing up in a Queensland suburb. There are a couple of misfires on the album, but the standout tracks like Ready to Start make up for them.
Massive Attack — Heligoland: it’s been a while since I felt Massive Attack hit the mark — this one nearly gets there, but not quite. It still has some great tracks on it and I hope is a signal of a return to form — really looking forward to the next one.