30. Shit Robot – From the Cradle to the Rave
29. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
28. Vampire Weekend –Contra
27. The Redneck Manifesto – Friendship
26. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
25. Sam Amidon – I See A Sign
24. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
23. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
22. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
21. Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner
20. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
19. Villagers – Becoming a Jackal
18. Warpaint – The Fool
17. Perfume Genius – Learning
16. Mount Kimbie –Crooks and Lovers
15. Best Coast – Crazy for You
14. Sleigh Bells – Treats
13. The Cast of Cheers – Chariot
12. Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
11. Four Tet – There Is Love In You
10. Beach House – Teen Dream
Beach House’s third album is by far their best, and most accessible work. Teen Dream is an instantly enveloping, rich and beautifully woozy collection of songs lifted up by Victoria Legrand’s stunningly atmospheric vocals. Hazy never sounded so comforting and reassuring.
Listen at Spotify.
9. Chilly Gonzales – Ivory Tower
The self-styled Canadian via Europe musical genius and entertainer, Chilly has long helped out other more famous friends like Feist, Peaches, Jane Birkin and Tiga. On Ivory Tower (which was accompanied by a limited run film release of the same name), Chilly finally became the focus and did so brilliantly while espousing the virtues of being a new European, providing his own tongue in cheek twist on rap braggadocio and piano-led instrumentals all buoyed by production from Boys Noize.[Buy: iTunes]
8. Solar Bears – She Was Coloured In
The Dublin / Wicklow partnership of John Kowalski and Rian Trench bypassed the local musical ecosystem and went straight to labels that inspired them this year. Previously unknown, the duo released their debut album through Planet Mu in September and went on to pick up plaudits from international and online press like Fact Magazine, Dummy, Altered Zones, State, this blog and much more. She Was Coloured In is a luscious mix of analogue and digital, with cinematic influences, electro flourishes and a gentle ambience washing over it throughout leaving a very visual listening experience.
Listen at Spotify.[Buy: iTunes | Planet Mu ]
7. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
Kansas City-born Monae set out into 2010 with a grand plan. After out-Princing Prince with her BET Awards performance, marking herself out with a pompadour hairstyle, spats and one of the songs of the year in ‘Tightrope’ she dropped a sparkling debut album of hip-hop, R&B, soul, blues and future funk. The album may be concerned with a messianic android who is sent back in time to free a secret society but this just signifies Monae’s big ambitions. Pop star of the year 2102.
Listen at Spotify.[Buy: iTunes | JMonae.com ]
6. Foals – Total Life Forever
Who knew? The band who were known for shouting catchy nonsense like “Cassius it’s over” or “My Hummer!” grew a heart and made one of 2010′s most surprising records. This was the sound of five Oxford boys who deliberately stopping playing their instruments as fast as they could and injected space, restraint and a new palette into their music. The result was really something beautiful, that you could also dance to.[Buy: iTunes]