Choosing a favourite album of the year, or even 10, is a tricky thing. A lot of music comes and goes over the course of 12 months. Some sticks around, some just drifts away and some gets neglected for a while before being rediscovered later like a brand new find. What was magical in the new year can grow tiresome by summer, whilst tricky listens gradually let you in after months of listening. And naturally, whatever get’s picked today, it will all be different in a year or five’s time.
So, in no particular order, here are my albums of 2010. To hear a selection of songs, there’s a special ‘That Vital Spark’ mix on 8tracks which I hope you enjoy.
High Violet – The National
Total Life Forever – Foals
Here’s To Taking It Easy – Phosphorescent
The Winter of Mixed Drinks – Frightened Rabbit
Harlem River Blues – Justin Townes Earle
Halcyon Digest – Deerhunter
Swim – Caribou
North – Darkstar
Teen Dreams – Beach House
The Fool – Warpaint
‘High Violet’ has given me the most pleasure. A great album, continuing a run of great albums, from a band now gaining the recognition and respect they deserve. I don’t mind if no-one’s heard of a particular band, but I do mind if they stop making music because no-one’s listening. The National’s breakthrough this year should ensure they keep going for while yet. Which is nice.
‘Total Life Forever’ is the record I’ve listened to most, sumptuous, joyous, thoughtful and groovy. There’s never a wrong time to give it a spin.
‘Here’s To Taking It Easy’ has made me smile the most; from the title on. Great songs (many of them quite poignant), set-off by great instrumentation including plenty of unashamed country-style slide-guitars and twanging banjos. Brilliant.
Everything else is well worth seeking out too. If you are in the mood for something more challenging try ‘Hidden’ by These New Puritans, and if you want something from further afield check out any of the new Soundway collections.
Finally, to see what everyone else has been listening to and enjoying in 2010, check metacritic’s poll of polls.