1. LCD Soundsystem- This is Happening– Clear choice for #1 due to its ability to rattle windows, ravage headphones, and contain more songs in my top 50 of 2010 (#2 Home, #24 All I Want, #46 Dance Yrself Clean) than any other album
2. Cotton Jones- Tall Hours in the Glowstream– This record completely caught me off guard. The way that it blends Americana with soul acted as a sno cone in July and completely moved mountains for me this year. I obviously like sno cones. I’m willing to bet you do too.
3. Beach House- Teen Dream– Oh, Victoria Legrand, I don’t think Oysseus would’ve been able to withstand your voice.
4. Phosphorescent- Here’s to Taking it Easy– Twangy, heartfelt, and honest. This album starts on a high note and doesn’t let up until it’s finished. .
5. Titus Andronicus– The Monitor– This band and this record make me nostalgic for the times when I used to ink up my Chuck Taylors with punk rock bands and their lyrics.
6. Futurebirds- Hampton’s Lullaby– Coming out of Athens, Georgia FUTUREBIRDS are a many headed monster that utilize their surroundings well by blending the boogie and soulful aspects of southern rock with the experimental and reverb heavy elements of the alternative music that sprouted there. Songs like opener “Johhny Utah,” “APO” and closer “Hamptuhn’s Lulluby” are full of those head clearing southern/country/swampy/gospel guitar moments that are as raucous as they are beautiful.
7. The Radio Dept.- Clinging to a Scheme– Another record that came out of nowhere or found its way to my ears courtesy by CJ Foeckler. These Swedes make a unique blend of dream pop with hushed backbeats and bells. It’s not quite dark but it often danceable. At some points the production is a little muddy and there’s some interspersed noise but it’s the kind of noise my ears crave.
8.Woods– At Echo Lake– Effect ridden and dark imagery laden folk rock rock that sounds like it could’ve been recorded under water, At Echo Lake was my dark horse for #1 album of the year after the leak. Super catchy and creative, this album will be a steady burner for years to come.
9.Vampire Weekend- Contra– I had a pretty negative first reaction to this album, but repeated listens from January until the ice melted allowed me plenty of time to reevaluate our first meeting. Possibly the album that I listened to the most, cut up or in full, I found that ‘Contra’ blended all of the savory elements of their s/t debut with the programmed pop wizardry of VW producer and band member,Rostam Batmanglij’s other project, Discovery.
10.Strand of Oaks- Pope Killdragon-Catching my personal top ten two years in a row, Timothy Showalter aka Strand of Oaks, flat out knows how to write a song. On his second effort, heartfelt words are still the nucleus of his work but this time around he’s updated his resume with tall tale telling, bone chilling metal instrumentals, and a slew of synth sounds that couldn’t be found on Leave Ruin. Nice work, friend.
11. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
12. The Black Keys- Brothers
13. Horse Feathers- Thistled Spring
14. Sharon Van Etten- Epic
15. Sufjan Stevens- The Age of Adz
16. Lower Dens- Twin-Hand Movement
17. Harlem- Hippies
18. Four Tet- There is Love in You
19. Yeasayer- Odd Blood
20. The National- High Violet