These are my favorite releases of the year. Don’t like it? Tough. Comment or something.
10. Uffie – Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
I had been highly anticipating this new Uffie record, and when it came out I realized that I didn’t care that she wrote some of the songs when she was eighteen. It just quenched my thirst for pissy girl rap. Especially since Ke$ha had came out and I wouldn’t stop complaining that she was a weak obnoxious version of Uffie. Hate Ke$ha.
9. Gold Motel – Summer House
Gold Motel is kind of a bittersweet thing for me. No more The Hush Sound, which breaks my heart. I never got the chance to see those guys live. So anyway, Greta Morgan (Salpeter) of The Hush Sound started this band when they went on hiatus. Bob Morris, her ex-bandmate, is finally releasing a record with his new band, Stamps, sometime soon. Anyway, this record is great summer pop, and I suggest that you take a listen if you were ever barely a fan of The Hush Sound, or like songs that should be played at house shows with pianos.
8. Best Coast – Crazy For You
Not gonna lie, I have a crazy crush on Bethany in Best Coast, but their music ain’t bad either. I remember hearing “All Summer” back in July, a song commissioned/sponsored by Converse and written by Kid Cudi, Bethany from Best Coast, and the guitarist from Vampire Weekend. Her part in that song blew me away, so I started listening to more Best Coast, and fell in love. This record is precious. That’s all I can think of to say. But not in a condescending way. I dunno. Just play “Boyfriend” and catch yourself singing along even though it may not make sense depending on your sexuality.
7. Bad Books – Bad Books
Would anyone expect me to not like this? It’s Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine. Don’t really know what else to say.
6. Childish Gambino – Culdesac
Years ago I remember seeing on Wikipedia that the guy from “Bro Rape” was also a rapper under the name “Childish Gambino”. I didn’t think it was worth my time. About a year ago, Donald Glover put out a mixtape entitled, “I Am Just a Rapper” where he rapped over indie songs, as he was working on the first season of the NBC show Community. It must be cool to blow up on television while you’re blowing up musically. He put out this album of songs for free on the internet. And we sucked it up. I like to think of him as a less annoying, more intelligent Lil Wayne.
5. Drake – Thank Me Later
Oh Drake. I also remember seeing that Jimmy from Degrassi rapped under the name “Drake” on Wikipedia. I didn’t think it was worth my time. Again, a little over a year ago I heard people getting so hyped over Drake, and I was not impressed. Then I heard “Best I Ever Had”, and I really hated it. I downloaded his mixtape, So Far Gone, anyway just in case. Months later, in early 2010, I found myself into it. When Thank Me Later released this summer, I realized that I had lost my shit, and could not stop playing the record well into October. I was often heard telling people that I would play “ONLY DRAKE ALL NIGHT” at parties. I wanna bring that back.
4. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
I don’t wanna talk about Gorillaz forever, so I’m gonna try and be short. I love Gorillaz…like a lot. I own all of their full-lengths, all of their DVDs, and their book, Rise of the Ogre. I am a little obsessed. I check their wikipedia/website every few months, hoping that their story has advanced in any way. Following Demon Days, I waited not so patiently for a new record…constantly searching for information. Five years later we received Plastic Beach. It’s fantastic. Just trust me. I only preordered two records from amazon.com this year, and this was one of them. I had to have a physical copy. I have lost my place. Oh! AND THEY RELEASED A FIFTEEN TRACK RECORD THAT DAMON ALBARN WROTE ON A F*CKING IPAD WHILE THEY WERE ON TOUR! FOR FREE!!! That’s enough. just go to thefall.gorillaz.com if you’re interested. Anyway, yeah. I love Gorillaz.
3. Sleigh Bells – Treats
I cannot, will not stop playing this record. I am in love with Sleigh Bells. I am in love with Treats. I am in love with Allison from Sleigh Bells. I want to just sit on stage and watch Derek and see what he does live. Need more Sleigh Bells, but for now…this will do. It’s super crunchy aggressive electronic noise rock. So damn delicious. Don’t worry about your speakers blowing, it’s mastered. Oh! And check out the music video to “Infinity Guitars”. It makes you wonder why there aren’t videos to all of their songs. Oh, and makes you question why you’re so aroused by the end of it.
2. Toro y Moi – Causers of This
Okay, so I’m super biased here, but it IS an amazing record. And every single track is a jam. There are no skips on this one. So play the f*ck out of it. All the time. And if you haven’t heard it, shame on you. All of the shame.
1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Okay, so this is predictable, but do I care? No. This is without a doubt the best record of the year, and if you disagree, I wish you no harm, but you have some serious issues. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked all of the songs, but now that I’ve played it repeatedly for about a month, I can tell you that this record is seamless, and a perfect apology for the abomination that is 808s & Heartbreak.
States – Line ’em Up
Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
The Rocket Summer – Of Men and Angels
Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
The links provided will direct you to a site where you can download/listen to each band. Some for free, some for pay.
10. The Fluorescents – Ex Libris
More bias, but still. It’s a great live recording, and hypes me up to hear the full-length they’re working on. It’s one of my most anticipated records for 2011
9. Coma Cinema – Stoned Alone
I really do like Coma Cinema. I also like Coma Cinema music videos. Like the video to “Blissed” on Stoned Alone. It’s beautiful…and haunting. Check it out, and download both of Coma Cinema’s records for free. Also, new one due out in 2011. Also on my anticipation list.
8. Death of Paris – Death of Paris
Just some of my drinking buddies. Blake’s cool instrumentation matched with Jayna’s fire hot vocals makes their recordings and live shows super fun and very well balanced. That sounds cheesy, but it’s what I think. I will always be down for some electropop. Through my clothing and iPod.
7. Kingslyn – Drunken Country Course
Let’s be honest: when will an Erich Skelton project not be on a year end list of mine? Exactly.
Awesome live. Awesome recorded. Just check it out.
6. American Parts – The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
Post-Attalaya, still intriguing and moving. Blake kills it. I was at the first American Parts show (#hiptothetip) and it was amazing. I wouldn’t say that I was surprised, but I was definitely enthralled. See American Parts live whenever you can.
5. Calculator – Classic Acid
Yes. I know they released one after this, but this is my list, so shut up. I love this EP. If I’m outside at a Calculator show, I will leave a conversation/drop a cigarette to run back inside and hear most of the tracks from this record. NOT SAYING THAT I WOULDN’T FOR THE NEW ONES, but I can definitely be heard yelling “THIS IS MY JAM” during “Playground Bones” and “Classic Acid”. The new Calculator song that was released on Christmas Day is also my jam, so grab it while you can.
4. All Get Out – Burn Hot the Records
Summer 2010. See a blue Mercedes with the windows rolled down. Hear Will and I yelling/blasting “Burn Hot the Records”. I played “Bring It Home” for my friend Kayla, and she wouldn’t stop playing it on repeat for about a week. It almost got obnoxious, but then she stopped. That’s a good thing. Because she would’ve ruined All Get Out for me. And that would’ve really pissed me off.
3. Junior Astronomers – I Just Want to Make a Statement
I just want to make a statement. Drinking buddies. Super good friends. One of my favorite bands. Junior Astronomers is all around amazing. Anytime I see them play, I get soooo hype. Definitely one of my favorite bands to see play. Also, anytime they come on shuffle, I immediately feel like I’m at a live show. This EP is full of jams. Raw, live feeling jams. Download and see. I mean, It’s free after all.
2. The Restoration – Constance
Oh man. I love the Restoration, and it’s no secret. I mean, we dressed up as them at Music Crawl this year. Here’s why I love this record, and the Restoration in general: If you were to tell me that I would listen to and enjoy a band that writes and dresses AND PLAYS FULL SHOWS as though they are in the late 1800s I would frown at you. Then it happened, and I loved it from the beginning. Goes to show you that scenarios that start with “If you were to tell me…” are total horsehockey. Is that a term? Whatever. I like the Restoration a lot. Second favorite local record of the year.
1. Valley Maker – Valley Maker
I love Valley Maker so much, that I tried to find a church that I liked after listening to it for a couple weeks. I failed, but that’s not the point. I really like this record. I find it to be an amazing spiritual journey as well as an amazing musical journey. Every time I listen to it, I find something new that interests me. And I’m psyched that Valley Maker is a full-band now. It can only get better. Which means that amazing things are in store for our ears.
CherryCase – CherryCase
Calculator – En Shape
Hip Young Gunslingers – Hip Young Gunslingers