Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Longer gets longest and then stops.

Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu Steps Ahead (Strut)

I feel like Jim Jarmusch is party responsible for Astatke's renaissance since he included him on the Broken Flowers soundtrack. Last year MA collaborated with the Heliocentrics, but this record is all his...

The Mynabirds - What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood (Saddle Creek)

The title may be painful, but the music is anything but.

The National - High Violet (4AD)

Another record that seemed like it would have a guaranteed spot in the Top 20 - "Runaway" did end up making my top songs list though.

Ô Paon - Courses (TAUS)

Geneviève Castrée makes bewitching music and beautiful artwork.

Oh My Darling - In The Lonesome Hours (Independent)

Great full-length follow-up to their debut EP fulfils the promise and then some.

Pop Winds - The Turquoise (Arbutus Records)

Between Grimes and Pop Winds, Arbutus Records was a label that put itself on my radar in a big way in 2010.

The Radio Dept. - Clinging To A Scheme (Labrador)

While I'll have to wait until 2011 for my favourite Swedish pop band, Acid House Kings, to release a new record, The Radio Dept. filled the vacancy quite nicely.

Secret Cities - Pink Graffiti (Western Vinyl)

Debut full-length from this psychedelic dream pop quartet (from Fargo, no less).

Slow Six - Tomorrow Becomes You (Western Vinyl)

Western Vinyl, delivering two in a row. Another label with such a great roster of acts.

Stars - The Five Ghosts (Soft Revolution)

When the 2010 Polaris shortlist was announced I did a little exercise at trying to guess the 2011 shortlist - The Five Ghosts was included.

Stornoway - Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

This makes two Oxford, UK acts that made the longlist.

Storsveit Nix Noltes - Royal Family-Divorce (Fat Cat)

I had the pleasure of reviewing this for Uptown without knowing anything about SNN before I hit 'play' on the disc. Great discovery.

Sumsun - Samo Milagro (Moamoo)

No surprise that something this sunny and joyful came from the beaches of Florida. Former North Carolinan Judson Rogers took his talents to West Palm Beach.

Sun Airway - Nocturne Of Exploded Cyrstal Chandelier (Dead Oceans)

I'm grateful that sometimes records I enjoy catch on with programmers at the station - Sun Airway actually did fairly well and managed to crack the Top 101 of 2010.

Tunng - And Then We Saw Land (Thrill Jockey)

I'd have to go back and check, but I don't think there's been a year without at least one Thrill Jockey artist making the longlist or Best Of - such an unassailable label.

Twin Shadow - Forget (Terrible Records)

I didn't know about the Grizzly Bear connection until I was looking at Twin Shadow's entry on AllMusic in preparation for this post, but it makes sense that an album with a link to that band would resonate with me.

Typhoon - Hunger And Thirst (Tender Loving Empire)

As if Portland not only has a beautiful climate and a forward-thinking approach to urban planning - they also have great bands like Typhoon to make me momentarily consider relocating. Just momentarily though - Winnipeg, you're stuck with me.

Vampire Weekend - Contra (XL Recordings)

Maybe in a few years we'll try to distance ourselves from the love we heaped on Vampire Weekend for their debut and sophomore records, but let's be honest: this was one of the most anticipated records before it was released, and we loved the shit out of songs like "Horchata."

Vijay Iyer - Historicity (Act Music)

Amazingly, not the best jazz record of 2010 in my view - to find out what is, check out my Top 20 on UMFM on New Years' Eve or come back here after the 31st.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rivers (The Control Group)

Few bands make me scratch my head as much as Wildbirds & Peacedrums - I honestly can't figure out why more people don't know about them / aren't into them. They've got curious, engaging music, intelligent lyrics, they're photogenic... what's holding them back?

Women - Public Strain (Flemish Eye)

Okay, now you're really wondering what the hell is on my Top 20 when something as obvious as this failed to make the cut...

Woodpigeon - Die Stadt Musikanten (Boompa)

Ah Woodpigeon - je t'aime. Happy to announce that they'll be gracing the newly renovated UMFM recording studio sometime this spring to record a live session for TGIFR - expect me to blog the shit out of that.

Yukon Blonde - Yukon Blonde (Bumstead/Nevado)

This BC band makes perfectly crafted AM pop. While I long for the return of KY58, this record will have to do.

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