good in 2010
December 30, 2010
Herewith another end-of-year compilation and, like every year, good in 2010 doesn’t represent a definitive countdown of the best tracks of the last twelve months: it’s a track list for a compilation that covers some great music released across that period. (CD-Rs in the post to those on The List soon.)
You can listen to all of it in sequence here…
… or dip into it track-by-track below. Tomorrow I’ll publish a mix of deeper, darker stuff from 2010. Enjoy.
1. Lay In A Shimmer by Pantha Du Prince
The opening track of close to 94‘s sixth favourite album of the year (Black Noise), Lay In A Shimmer does what it says on the tin.
2. Odessa by Caribou
Opener and single from Swim, 2010’s fourth best album by this blog’s estimation, Odessa is kooky disco par excellence.
3. We Want War by These New Puritans
Bold baroque pop from Southend-on-Sea from the #10 album of the year according to close to 94.
4. Aminals by Baths
Baths, a.k.a. Will Wiesenfeld, broke through this year with his debut album, Cerulean, a highly-praised mix of hip-hop beats and sun-drenched Californian song-writing.
5. Tracers by Scuba
With Triangulation Scuba served up one of a small handful of thoughtful dubstep releases that appeal as much to the head as to the feet. Full album review here.
6. Move On by Lali Puna
A highlight from the so-so album released back in April by the German electro melancholists. Full album review here.
7. Mirrorage by Glasser
Glasser is Cameron Mesirow, a one-woman orchestra who performs on conventional instruments and those of her own invention. She also writes and sings beautifully. Can someone have too much talent? Check out her debut album, Ring, to find out.
8. Losing My Patience by Shit Robot
Great band name, though Shit Robot isn’t actually a band. It’s the alter ego of Marcus Lambkin, an Irish DJ, producer and member of James Murphy’s DFA stable of acts (see track 10). This track features Hot Chip vocalist Alexis Taylor, which is nice.
9. Vessel (Four Tet Remix) by Jon Hopkins
This year, as ever, Four Tet gave as much to listeners as remixer as he did as creator (his There Is Love In You album was a welcome return to form). This beautiful re-rendering of a track from Jon Hopkins‘ 2009 album Insides is what you hear if you look up with word sublime in the dictionary.
10. Home by LCD Soundsystem
The last LCD Soundsystem album? That’s what I call quitting while you’re ahead. From close to 94‘s #02 album of the year, Home is just one of a brace of James Murphy’s immaculately loose electro-punk cuts on This Is Happening. After listening to it you feel younger but wiser. Weird, huh?
11. Afraid Of Anyone by The National
Grown-up rock can either be grippingly stirring or crushingly dull. The National, naturally, stay firmly on the side of the former. From their universally lauded album High Violet, this track shows why the band, ten years in, are as strong as ever.
12. We Used To Wait by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire were back in 2010. Back as in they released their first record since 2007’s Neon Bible, and back as in The Suburbs (from which this track is taken) more than made up for the (relative) disappointment of that release after the revelation that was their debut LP Funeral.
13. The Mall And Misery by Broken Bells
Broken Bells is name of the collaboration between Brian Burton (the producer-star better known as Danger Mouse, one half of Gnarls Barkley) and James Mercer (lead singer of US indie band The Shins). As such it could either be spectacularly good, or spectacularly bad. It is not bad at all.
14. Enchanting Ghost by Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens indulged the world with not one but two substantial releases this year. The first, the hour-long All Delighted People EP – from which this track is taken – was a wonderful blend of Stevens old and new (full review here). The second, the dizzying album The Age Of Adz, I haven’t yet fully digested.
15. The Course by Wildbirds & Peacedrums
It’s becoming an annual tradition to include something by Wildbirds & Peacedrums on this compilation, though last year they made it there via an administrative error. No such nonsense this year: their album Rivers, itself comprised of two EPs – Retina and Iris – was 2010’s seventh best. And that’s official.
16. Natural Tune by Efterklang
The quiet compilation closer is this year provided by Danish art-indie ensemble Efterklang, whose latest album, Magic Chairs, saw them return to a more intimate staging of their music following their triumphant tour of previous album Parades accompanied by full orchestra.