Happy 2011! Now what was I listening to last year? Well, I’m going to blog about this not once but twice. This post is all of the stuff I loved that was actually new in 2010. My other post is for everything that was old, even if only by a year but more often than not by several decades.
I’ve made a Spotify playlist in my finite wisdom which you can hear by clicking on this. If you don’t have a Spotify account go and get one already, though I will link to YouTube and a couple other services below as necessary to give alternatives. I remember the bad old days when I’d say what I liked then some poor soul would ask for a copy and I’d have to work out how to share music in a quasi-legal fashion. Hurrah for progress!
Spoon – Written In Reverse
I’m going to start by cheating. This I actually heard first in late 2009 but I like it too much to skip it. Spoon’s latest album Transference has moved on their sound nicely whilst hanging around in the same groove that’s served them well. I’ll forever associate this song with a chaotic day which wound up with me having to give my boss’s presentation at couple hours notice. It was a day of downpours, stiff challenges and a pretty handy fast bike ride home in the midst of a downpour. Screaming Arggggggggggggggggghhhhhh whilst riding along just firmly lodged the song back in my head at the time.
AND IT WON’T LEAVE (not that I’m complaining)
Meursault – Crank Resolutions
The second Meursault album did cause a bit of a ruction in bits of the web I read over the rather more ragged production. It has to be said that at low volumes it does make the songs a bit more unengaging, so this is never going to work in the background at work or in a shop. But when you need to hide in headphones or relax with your hifi then you just disappear into the sound field and it’s glorious.
Sleigh Bells – Run The Heart
Sleigh Bells OR RATHER SLEIGH BELLS SEEM TO SPECIALISE IN THE LOUD AND OVERDRIVEN SOUND SOMEWHAT. Of all the tracks this has stuck with me best as the multitracked Ahhs seem to fit nicely over the buzzy guitar. I fear this just appeals to my not so inner going with the flow indie hipster but the album is just fun.
Lady Gaga – Telephone
For me Lady Gaga used to be what I listenned to in the office along with Scooter to ensure that I left when I was working late on something tricky. Telephone changed that because I realised I actually quite liked the overblown glory of it. You can watch the official video but I have to admit that it was watching the Chatroulette version that finally made me realise the genius. Don’t watch that if you’re squeamish.
Fan Death – The Constellations
Alex likes chronically hipster girl duo with electronic and string backing. SHOCK. Fan Death may have turned up about a year too late and got overlooked but I actually found myself listenning to their album a fair chunk against my expectation. Veronica’s Veil and Reunited remain very very good songs as well.
Crystal Castles – Not In Love (Robert Smith Mix)
Crystal Castles and Robert Smith is a pretty killer combination. Though in a way it’s a shame this isn’t a duet. Easily the best thing Crystal Castles have ever done. And maybe Robert Smith as well… much as I love Friday I’m In Love.
Edwyn Collins – Humble
Many things were bad about the world in 2010 but Edwyn Collins being able to record such a great album as Losing Sleep was one of the great things.
Brian LeBarton – Threshold (8 bit)
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was in many ways the film I was waiting for but in other ways not. This chiptune version of Threshold showcased all that was right in musical form about the thing. Simplistic, fun, referencing so much I’ve always loved and yet being new and shiny in it’s own way.
The Moulettes – Bloodshed In The Woodshed
Now strictly, this isn’t a new song as I’ve ranted and raved about Modernaire on here before and they had it as a sultry electro number that remains one of my favourites. Now that Ruth and Hannah are focussing on The Moulettes they’ve reworked it and it’s now more of an epic folk song, where it works better with the lyrics and melodrama taking the focus. Fans of The Decemberists should give the album a spin. Well, anyone should really. The only loss is the miming of every murder method including “hit you with a big rock” which was always fun live. But I guess Hannah’s hands are rather full what with the Cello and all now. Going a Gathering also well worth a watch on that youtube link.
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – In Motion
Another film soundtrack moment, this time for The Social Network which was easily my favourite film of 2010 for all that I also saw Jeff Jarvis give a good 10 second rant saying it was NOTHING like Zuckerburg in real life. The film gave me many flashbacks to my university days and that sense that if there were more time and money then someone’s crazy idea might take off in the labs one day. Also it gave me a flashback to being told I should listen to Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails. Well, at least one of those is dealt with now. Everything about this is right.
Kelpe – Margins
I spent a lot of 2010 listening to very retro sounding music that wasn’t quite of 2010. Kelpe meanwhile seemed to be in the same place with this wonderful summery yet retro track dominated by some heavy percussion and a strong bass line. The only thing wrong with this was that it turned up in September and thus failed to soundtrack my summer.
Jam On Bread – The Pros And Cons Of Having A Beard
“They like to call me jesus/Which I thinks a bit off/I’ve got a bit of facial hair/but I’m not the son of god”
It’s hard sometimes having a beard y’know. Daily oppression, weird looks and food getting stuck are just some of the upsides but as Jam On Bread correctly points out it’s the messianic comparisons that are most irritating. Sometimes. On the other hand I quite liked being The Ginger Messiah. You’ll either hate this or be a beard fetishist/owner.
Pagan Wanderer Lu – Even The Cacti
“When you’re working spreadsheets for the man it’s hard to feel you’re part of a divine plan”
Good old Pagan Wanderer Lu (PWL) has been one of my key musical fascinations for a few years now, this didn’t make the latest album which I loved BUT for a myriad of reasons this album offcut is what grabbed me the most by the end of the year. Probably just the rising synth line and the note about failing to consume fruit (and yeah, consume rather than eat, that’s the point isn’t it). Maybe just me on this one.
Daft Punk – Derezzed
The Tron2/Twon soundtrack didn’t yield a large number of gems BUT this is easily the best thing Daft Punk have released since Discovery. FACT. Would have like the full chiptune version though.
Now you can all bemoan my musical taste in the comments. I’ll redeem and/or further damn myself with the Not from 2010 songs of 2010 in a week or two.