2010 was a year of many great new artists/debuts. It is also a notably good year for instrumental and hardcore albums. There were a handful of disappointing sophomore records; however, with that being said, my favourite album (and possibly some of the finest music ever created) came from a sophomore release. Please take a look at the following list and like previous years, I encourage you tell me your favourite albums of the year, I look forward to all your comments!
Ps, I took elements from the top 30 cover art to make the banner above, how many can you spot? ...There are some very Hidden ones!
#30 Holy Fuck: Latin
My top 30 list opens with Latin, one of several great instrumental albums of the year; but unfortunately, it is also one of only two Canadian albums on this list (you can probably guess the other one.)
#29 The Soft Pack: The Soft Pack
A fast pace, upbeat album full of catchy, positive and carefree surf rock songs, "Answer to Yourself" is definitely one of the best songs of 2010!
#28 White Guilt: White Guilt
Very loud and abusive to my eardrums—love it!
#27 Emeralds: Does It Look Like I'm Here?
Peaceful, calming and atmospheric, what standouts for me is the weird sci-fi like effects throughout the record.
#26 Everyone Everywhere: Everyone Everywhere
Great straightforward melodic indie rock record, sounds like The Promise Ring.
#25 No Age: Everything in Between
Same old same old... still loud, still energetic... and still awesome!
#24 Salem: King Night
Melodically dark and mysteriously distorted beats, a highly additive record.
#23 Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: The Social Network Soundtrack
Another instrumental album on the list. The 19 tracks on The Social Network Soundtrack is surprising engaging.
#22 Foals: Total Life Forever
A wonderfully epic, moody and stylish album with some very memorable tracks—"Spanish Sahara" is one of my favourite songs of the year!
#21 Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
The first Arcade Fire album to entre my year-end list. It took me a long time to like this band and it began with The Suburbs/Month of May 12-inch, two of the best tracks of 2010.
#20 65daysofstatic: We Were Exploding Anyway
An insanely hyper, intense and explosive album full of killer guitar melodies and crashing drum beats... so good!
#19 Brutality Will Prevail: Root Of All Evil
Holy shit, what a year for hardcore music! Drone metal build-ups and hardcore deliver. Root Of All Evil is this year’s Monoliths & Dimensions for me.
#18 Wavves: King Of The Beach
A clever mix of pop, punk, and psychedelic makes for some of the catchiest and most memorable songs of the year. "Idiot", "Post Acid", and "Take On The World" are among my favourite tracks of 2010.
#17 The Tallest Man On Earth: The Wild Hunt
Another collection of delightfully genuine folk songs from Kristian Matsson. For some strange reason, I love making breakfast to this album... actually, Shallow Graves as well! Conclusion: Matsson makes great breakfast making albums!
#16 Cats and Cats and Cats: If I'd Had An Atlas
Unpredictably youthful and raw as well as catchy as hell hooks make If I'd Had An Atlas an ultra exciting and refreshing indie rock record.
#15 Anamanaguchi: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game (Original Videogame Soundtrack)
45 minutes of chiptune/classic 8-bit music mixed with killer riffs and dance beats = wickedly fun!
#14 Villagers: Becoming A Jackal
Fantastic and unforgettable lyrics make for an absolutely beautiful record.
"My love is selfish/How it separates the earth/It takes every shiny stone but leaves the dirt/For the cowards in the corner who just don't know what they're worth" —by far some of my favourite lines of the year!
#13 The National: High Violet
Another acclaimed band I only got into this year. High Violet is additively mesmerizing for its gloomy mood and Matt Berninger’s tender vocal—I often have this album on repeat.
#12 Titus Andronicus: The Monitor
I got really interested in American Civil War after watching Glory many years ago. Titus Andronicus’ concept album about the Civil War once again sparks my interest in the subject. The Monitor is grand and celebratory with Decemberists-like stories and Gaslight Anthem-like punk attitudes... it is really fucking good!
#11 Devlin: Bud, Sweat & Beers
Devlin’s debut is full of clever wordplays, emotional lyrics and stories—it is fascinatingly poetic! Bud, Sweat & Beers is one of the gloomiest albums of the year, but it also features one of the most inspiring tracks in "Finally".
#10 Los Campesinos!: Romance Is Boring
All the classic Los Campesinos! goodness + the band’s best song writing to date!
#9 Ceremony: Rohnert Park
Classic straight hardcore sound combine with the perfect dose of experimentation—Rohnert Park is without a doubt, one of the best hardcore albums I've heard in recently years.
#8 Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest
The most accessible and arguably one of the best releases Bradford Cox has ever created. As always, I found something relatable in Cox’s lyrics; but it is the comforting and soothing melodies that make Halcyon Digest an astonishing record. I pretty much never want this album to end—that sudden stop in "He Would Have Laughed" kills me every time.
#7 Professor Green: Alive Till I'm Dead
This long-await debut is full of classic Prof. Green humourous and cocky attitude, Alive Till I'm Dead is unbelievably fun and entertaining, a near perfect pop record.
#6 Band Of Horses: Infinite Arms
Surprise of the year! I didn’t care for this release at first; in fact, I was sent an advanced link from Sony and didn’t even bother to download it. Months after the album was released, I finally listened to it because my friend gave me his CD. I fell in love with it and bought it on vinyl. Infinite Arms is a prefect marriage of pop, rock and folk sound. Some of my favourite songs of the year ("Blue Beard", "On My Way Back Home", "Evening Kitchen") are taken from this album.
#5 Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore: Dear Companion
The central idea behind Dear Companion is to express the members' love for nature—in particular the Appalachian Mountains. Not only is the album remarkably gorgeous and moving; it is an environmentally conscious as well.
#4 Avi Buffalo: Avi Buffalo
Avi Buffalo is one of my favourite new bands of 2010 and their S/T debut is youthful, pure and genuine. It is full of catchy melodies and brilliant lyrics.
My favourite video of 2010:
#3 Perfume Genius: Learning
Absolutely gorgeous! There is something comforting through the darkness, sadness and delicateness of Mike Hadreas’s songs. Learning is the most beautiful record of the year!
#2 Pulled Apart By Horses: Pulled Apart By Horses
Being a long time fan of the band through their amazing collection of 7-inchs and EPs, this was a long-await debut that ended up being everything I expected plus more. An insanely high-energy record, it is loud, heavy and aggressive... and fuck yes—there is even a song about Link (Zelda)!
#1 These New Puritans: Hidden
Hidden was the first album I recommended in 2010 and it was also by far the best and my most listened to album of the year. In a year where I was disappointed by a lot of follow-ups, Hidden is the one album that completely surpasses its predecessor, which is pretty impressive consider that Beat Pyramid was my third favourite album of 2008. The first time I head the album, I was blown away by the mysterious atmosphere, the killer rhythms and drumbeats, the grand sound and incredible production. It is uniquely modest for its colossal stature. Hidden is the most innovative/my favourite album of this year; in fact, it is one of the best albums I have ever heard!