Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Top 30 Songs of 2010

This list is immeasurably harder (for me anyway) than an album list. My favourite song of the day changes every two seconds, trying to rank the best songs of the past 12 months borders impossible. As mood varies so does song preference, it’s difficult to pluck songs out of their albums and try to list them irrespective of mood. With that in mind here are my top 30 songs of 2010…well the 30 I’m the mood for today anyway.

30. MIA – XXXO

29. How to Dress Well – You Won’t Need Me Where I’m Goin’

28. Delorean – Real Love

27. Kendal Johansson – Blue Moon

26. Big Boi ft. Big Rube – General Patton

25. Crookers ft. Carie – Have Mercy

24. Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill

23. Nouveaunoise – Panaka

22. Mount Kimbie – Before I Move Off

21. Glasser – Apply

20. Flying Lotus – Zodiac Shit

19. Two Door Cinema Club – Undercover Martyn

18. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

17. Liars – Scissor

16. Caribou – Odessa

15. Kanye West – Power

14. Warpaint – Undertow

13. Baths – Animals

12. Nas & Damien Marley – As We Enter

11. Tinie Tempah

10. Beach House – Used to Be

9. Crystal Castles – Celestica

8. Das Racist – Hahahahaha jk?

7. Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis

6. Sleigh Bells – Tell’em

5. Kanye West – Runaway

4. Four Tet – Angel Echoes

3. Tanlines – Real Life

2. Foals – Spanish Sahara

1. Baths – Lovely Bloodflow

Top 30 Albums of 2010

30) Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
29) Zola Jesus – Stridulum II
28) James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the Morning
27) Warpaint – The Fool
26) Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
25) Glasser – Ring
24) Nouveaunoise – Paraphrase Accolade
23) Liars – Sisterworld
22) Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
21) Enemies – We’ve Been Talking
20) Villagers – Becoming a Jackal
19) Das Racist – Sit Down, Man
18) Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
17) Surfer Blood – Astrocoast
16) Solar Bears – She Was Coloured In
15) Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers
14) Foals – Total Life Forever
13) How to Dress Well – Love Remains
12) Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
11) LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening

10) Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

The Outkast member who didn’t sing Hey Ya, if that’s how Antwan Andre Patton, aka Big Boi, was destined to be remembered, then his latest album shows scant regard for fulfilling destiny. From melodic slow-burners like Be Stilland ‘Hustle Blood’ to feel good floor fillers ‘Shine Blockas’ Sir Lucious Left Foot boasts a diversity so often lacking in contemporary hip-hop and never takes a step out of place.



9) Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Every now and again an album will come out that is so widely popular that to openly admit to not being a fan would amount to social suicide. While I did and still do enjoy listening to 2004’s Funeral it never blew me away the way it did so many. Six years and one average album later the Canadian outfit have produced a gem. Reflecting on a suburban upbringing and questioning the desirability of today’s hi-tech, hi-speed society, Win Butler and co create a blend of melodic poignancy and upbeat enthusiasm, applying their customary subtlety and variation.


8) Caribou – Swim

Daniel Victor Snaith wanted to create an album with a water-like quality when recording Swim. While only he can judge can compare his final work with his target, the rest of us can enjoy one of the most creative albums of 2010. From the jolting bass of opening track ‘Odessa’ to the haunting, swirling cymbals of curtain closer ‘Jamelia’, Snaith has produced an LP that ebbs, flows, soars and jigs, remaining at all times utterly engaging.



7) Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner

Inspired by the solitude endured whilst in Japan, Lucky Shiner is about as introspective as electronic music gets. This much is apparent from the contrast between optimistic opener ‘You’ and the last track of the same name which strikes a much more desolate note. Though Panda claims to write his tunes quickly there’s not so much as a hint of  rush in the album which has numerous highlights and in ‘Snow & Taxis’ boasts one of the most compelling songs of the year.



6) four tet – there is love in you

In a year which has produced an army of good electronic albums you get the feeling four tet aka Kieran Hebden did his fair share of inspiring. It’s somewhat fitting therefore that London born musician can lay claim to one of the albums of the year. there is love in you bares utmost fidelity to Hebden’s
post-rock/electronic influence. Each song takes the listener on a unique journey, slow-building and intricate.



5) Sleigh Bells – Treats

Sometimes artists come around with a sound so huge, it reminds us that music is not confined to the boundaries of whatever fade or genre is currently doing the rounds. Sleigh Bells burst onto the scene in 2010 with the massive anthem ‘Crown on the Ground.’ Obnoxiously loud and abrasive effects-laden guitar matched by a crashing, stop-start beat creates a whole new style of danceable alternative bliss




4) The National – High Violet

These New Yorkers have for years been the darlings of a sizeable and devout cult following. Such is the quality and appeal of High Violet that no number of brass instruments could keep The National from tipping into the mainstream. By their fifth studio album, the band have progressed to a level of understanding and cohesion which must be the envy of the indie/rock scene. Berninger’s unwavering baritone vocals set against atmospheric instrumentation give’s each track an undeniable presence.



3) Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Full review here.

His biggest, boldest and best to date. From ultimate party anthems ‘All of the Lights’ and ‘Power’ to the unravelling stories ‘Blame Game’ and ‘So Appalled’, the album doesn’t put a beat, swear or loop wrong. The big question is can he match it?



2) Beach House – Teen Dream

Teen Dream is a collection of songs so emotional, so delicate that it’s almost rude not to give every second of this LP undivided attention. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been making beautiful music as Beach House since 2004. Teen Dream exhibits an appreciation of musical craft which hinges on the vocal range of Legrand. It’s music with obvious power, just calling out for inclusion in the right cinematic venture.




1) Baths – Cerulean

Full review here.

As the glitch-hop sound became more widespread and more one-dimensional one man emerged with a vision, creativity and musical intelligence to stand out among the rest. 21-year-old Will Wisenfeld wasn’t afraid to branch out beyond the loops and off-time beats made popular by the likes of Flying Lotus, and add minimal piano, guitar and heartfelt lyrics. The result is Cerulean, a breathtakingly original and diverse album which grows more and more engaging with every listen.

Playlist: Music Library – Week Starting 6th December

The Music Library is an alternative music show which airs on Flirtfm 101.3, Galway’s alternative student station Monday-Friday between 8 and 9 am. I take charge of the tunes on Mondays.

Not Squares – Release the Bees
Explosions in the Sky – The only Moment we were Alone
Beach House – Zebra
Zola Jesus – I Can’t Stand
Cap Pas Cap – Friends
Yeasayer – Madder Red
Efterklang – Step Aside
four tet – sing
Teebs – Humming Birds
Lorn – Cherry Moon
Gold Panda – You
Marina and the Diamonds – I am not a Robot (Clock Opera Remix)

The last two tracks got cut off from the podcast which can be found here.

‘Tis the Season for Sleigh Bells

One of the best bits of festive cheer to come my way this December is the news that the wonderful Sleigh Bells are coming to Ireland. The experimental rock duo play Dublin’s Whelan’s on February 18th. Tickets are €16.50 plus booking fee. The New York outfit eluded many European festivals this summer their performance was the talk of Primavera 2010.

Video: Solar Bears – Dolls

A terrifically trippy animation to accompany one of the Irish songs of the year off one of the Irish albums of the year, She Was Coloured In.