Trials + Tribulations

Best Albums of 2010
December 7, 2010, 10:40 am
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10. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

Nobody knew they needed this record this year. Most people assumed Sufjan might come back with folksy banjo tunes to please the post-O.C. crowd. But his sometimes jarring song structures and instrumentation set the stage for his revealing honesty which shines through at every moment.

♫ Vesuvius

9. Beach Fossils – S/T

This was my go-to summer album this year, and I love spinning it to remind me that summer will be back again. Everything about this album shimmers.

♫ Golden Age

8. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Maybe my most anticipated album this year? After hearing “Power” I knew Kanye was back in full-force, and his album is one of his best. The samples are thoughtfully chosen and his lyrics are so open-hearted and honest that it’s hard not to love him, even with all of his faults.

♫ Lost in the World (ft. Bon Iver)

7. Twin Shadow – Forget

I was a late-comer to this record, but was struck by George Lewis Jr.’s beautiful voice and the perfect 80s-harking guitars and keyboards.

♫ Slow

6. Delorean – Subiza

One of the most eagerly-awaited albums of the year, Delorean came through with track after track filled to bursting. Each song is so joyous and moving, and the drumbeats and samples and guitars are so perfectly sewn together to make this a fun record to put on when you’re home alone and need to dance.

♫ Grow

5. Small Black – New Chain

I was genuinely surprised by this album at first spin. Album opener “Camouflage” is a gorgeous tune, and they keep it going on the whole album. The hazy ambiance is poppy enough to put a spring in your step without making you think too hard about how you’re moving. It’s easy to just sway and bob your head a lot while listening to this one.

♫ Camouflage

4. Hot Chip – One Life Stand

This album was a lot more cohesive, stylistically speaking, compared to Hot Chip’s previous efforts. It’s an easier listen, and gels together as a whole instead of some songs sticking out in good or bad ways. Again, some of their most heartfelt songs to date, and their sound just keeps getting tighter and better year after year.

♫ Alley Cats

3. Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me

I don’t know how many times I’ve sat through this two-hour album listening enraptured as Joanna strings these tunes together, sometimes plucking, at other times cutting entirely. Have One on Me has some of her most beautiful songs yet, all wondrously orchestrated and arranged.

♫ Does Not Suffice

2. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening

With all the hubbub about this being LCD’s final full-length album, it seems like people actually ignored the album itself. They were too busy worrying about the future of James Murphy’s pet project that they didn’t cherish what we have right now. From opener to finish, This is Happening is a joyful, funny, intelligent dance record better than any other put out this year.

♫ Home

1. Beach House – Teen Dream

What more can be said about this album? Every song is as near perfect as anything Beach House will ever do. Although I wore the album out early on in the year, going back and listening to it I love it just as much as when it first came out.

♫ Walk in the Park

Church Song
December 4, 2010, 5:35 pm
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Miracle Club – Church Song from their upcoming EP on Mexican Summer.

24 Hour Happy
December 3, 2010, 2:01 pm
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Fool’s Gold signees The Suzan all the way from Japan threw together this mix for International Tapes, and it’s a really fun mix to get your weekend started. Unless you’re writing papers and reading half of Moby Dick over the weekend like I am. Still haven’t found the right soundtrack to that sort of weekend. Anyway, definitely check this out. Lots of great tunes.

♫ 24 Hour Happy

1. Liquid Liquid – Optimo
2. The Suzan – Home
3. Count & Sinden f. Mystery Jets – After Dark
4. Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
5. Telepathe – So Fine
6. El Guincho – Palmitos Park
7. 2NE1 – Try To Follow Me
8. f(x) – Nu Abo
9. Frank Chickens – We Are Ninja (Pizzicato 5 Remix)
10. The Go! Team – Lady Flash

My House
December 2, 2010, 5:37 pm
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Hercules & Love Affair are back, giving us a preview of their new album Blue Songs, which features a lot of new vocal talent. Gone are Nomi Ruiz and Antony who, admittedly, may have brought the band the fame they have in the first place. I don’t know about this track, it reminds me a lot of Kim Ann Foxman’s solo single “Creature” and feels different from anything off their first album.

Give it  a listen and see for yourself.

♫ My House

Volume On
December 2, 2010, 12:34 pm
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Tanlines are currently on tour in Europe, where they just released their first album/compilation Volume On. The CD-release (ignore the misleading album cover above) features many songs already released in other places, and some that aren’t. You can stream the whole thing over on SoundCloud NOW (because you’re not from Europe, obviously).

♫ Tanlines – Volume On

Give Into the Night
December 1, 2010, 11:27 am
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♫ Azari & III – Into the Night (CFCF Remix)

Sorry to keep posting on these guys but this is just too good.