My TOP 11 Most Enjoyed Acts of 2010
I have listened to a lot of music this year. Heck, I may have listened to more music this year than any other year! A lot of that music was fantastic and I listened to it over and over again; but what bands or musicians did I spend most of my time devoted to while I’m doing homework, exercising, or just lounging around? Well I’ll tell ya right now! Here are the Top 11 Most Enjoyed Acts of 2010
Before 2010, I liked Deerhunter. They had good songs that if they came up on shuffle I wouldn’t immediately switch off of the song in hopes of a better one. Songs like “Nothing Ever Happened” and “Never Stops” are great, along with Bradford Cox’s solo work as Atlas Sound. He even made my Best Albums of 2009 list last year with Logos, and Best Songs of 2009 with “Walkabout (feat. Panda Bear)”! But with their most recent release, Halcyon Digest, their appeal grew to massive heights.
The biggest selling point of this album is the song Helicopter, which is my #5 song of this year. It’s a pretty good song, it doesn’t really matter that I listened to it 35 times in a row one day, but you know, no big. Another song on the album, “He Would Have Laughed” is a tribute to garage rocker Jay Reatard who died this year at the age of 29 of a drug overdose. It is a very touching, but optimistic song, highlighting his life with good vibes. Their album is pure gold, stretching from lo-fi pop tunes to chilling melodies; this album is a must.
10. Fang Island
I have been covering Fang Island since pretty much the beginning of Warm Visions, and they are still one of my favorites of the year. If you missed some of those articles, they describe their sound as “everyone high-fiving everyone”, and that is exactly what it sounds like. Their entire album is a thrill ride on a dragon shooting lasers out of it’s mouth into a cloud of radioactive storms that rain striped lightning. As a start, of course. This album is super motivating and will make all of your small acheivements in the day feel like you scaled the entire Great Wall of China in an hour, backwards while on fire. Quite the ego boost.
9. Big Boi
Prior to hearing Big Boi and his tasty raps, I did not like hip hop that much at all. I thought it was all senseless silly making that had to do with killing people, drugs, and being the most intimidating person in the music business. After I heard Big Boi’s “Shutterbugg” I erased all of those stereotypes, and dove into the world of hip hop.
Big Boi’s debut album, “Sir Lucious Left Foot… The Son of Chico Dusty” is a great record, in my Top 20 of this year, it definitely deserves it. The unique sound of his raps set him apart from the other rappers and make him more accessible, more real. Some real, pumping music, I would definitely pick this up if you are a fan of hip-hop, or not a fan of hip-hop! In the end, you’ll come out liking this a lot more than any other hip-hop you’ll find.
8. Beach House
Ever want to listen to something that makes you instantly bliss out when it hits your ears? Look no further than Beach House and their beautiful new LP (my #2 of this year!). The beautiful voice of Victoria Legrand and the guitar work of Alex Scally make this duo a force to be reckoned with. For the first half of this year, Teen Dream was the bulk of what I listened to. I only bought two songs at first: 10 Mile Stereo and Zebra. Those two songs are some of the best songs I’ve heard all year, and it made me buy the entire album a few days later.
I have seen them twice now, the first being last year when they opened for Grizzly Bear and then this year at the Pitchfork Music Festival. The first show I didn’t really know Beach House that well but I still enjoyed the show. Then at Pitchfork, I was really excited to see them because of Teen Dream, a fantastic album that you are required to own. If you don’t own it you are seriously missing out on some blissful enlightenment.
Gorillaz has been one of my favorite bands since the release of Demon Days in 2005 and I had been anticipating the release of their new album for quite some time. I had no idea it was going to be as good as it is. Their new album grew on me quickly; at first I only liked certain songs and was expecting that sort of Gorillaz vibe from the other albums. But after more listens I found that the sound put out on this album is more professional than their others; more refined. That Damon Albarn didn’t go for cartoons making music but people making music! Sure it still had the whimsical feels of being sung and played by cartoons. Either way, I was not disappointed at all with this album and I’m pretty sure it’s my #4 of this year, which is saying something!
6. Kanye West
It’s Kanye West: the Great Entertainer. How can you not enjoy his music?
5. Janelle Monae
It’s not often that you hear music like Monae’s in this day and age. Usually it’s computer-generated garbage that evokes images of trashy clubs filled with disgusting shirtless men and women that wear dresses (if you can call them that) that are so tiny they look like they could burst at any second, especially by the way they are dancing. What is up with dancing these days? It’s disgusting! Okay, old man rant over, now time for talking. Why can’t we get back to the funky rock of the past and boogie the night away?
Thankfully, Monae’s music does not evoke images of trashy clubs, but of an episode of soul train if it was played in an utopian future society in another universe that plays funky soulful pop music that is not only inspiriational but fantastic and user-friendly. This isn’t totally complicated music that will deter possible listeners away, this is totally danceable music paired with a great voice. Janelle Monae made one of the biggest splashes of 2010, and I can’t wait for more of her material.
4. Crystal Castles
With their release of their second album, Crystal Castles II, this band has successfully established a place in a slot for favorite bands. The beautifully haunting synths paired with Alice Glass’ delicate voice is a combination that melts the listener. But then, the synths get sharp and Glass’ voice gets manic and the music becomes completely danceable. Their aforementioned album is GREAT, and is highly recommended for all that read this.
3. Die Antwoord
What can I say about Die Antwoord that isn’t good? Sure, their raps are over the top and obscene, but somehow I keep listening. Ninja and Yo-Landi entice the listener with a unique sound that not only confuses the listener but also pumps them up with a sort of foreign fury. Listening to the music makes me feel energized by the abrasive raps and beats that they provide, along with the videos as well. The videos are always ridiculous, even in interviews they seem to have the same character going on.
I found out about Die Antwoord when one of my friends posted their video, “Zef Side” on another one of my friend’s wall. I watched it, being the creep that I am, and was slightly appalled at the video and I didn’t watch it for awhile after. Eventually I watched it again and I started to find it very funny and appealing (not that one part, but you know) and I started to watch more of their videos. Soon I began to really enjoy the music and I listened to it while I did college apps this year, which was an interesting experience to say the least. If you want something totally different from the average hip hop scene, check out some Die Antwoord.
2. LCD Soundsystem
I love LCD Soundsystem. At the beginning of the year, I hated LCD Soundsystem. I thought Murphy’s voice was awful and I thought all the songs were really bad, actually. Then I saw the video for Drunk Girls, and I started to come around. I still wasn’t convinced, but then I bought the songs “All My Friends” and “Losing My Edge” and that was what won me over. I just love the sarcastic tone that Murphy emits through his voice and how the lyrics are so bitingly ironic towards hipsters; it just gets me!
1. Sleigh Bells
Probably the most motivating thing I’ve ever heard, this band encourages me to exercise or move around, be productive, something! I had never been a huge fan of noise rock or pop until this album, where the slightest bit of distortion blasting guitars and screaming-ish vocals turned me off automatically. Eventually they really grew on me, and they quickly developed into one of my favorite bands, sounding completely different than everyone else that dared to step in their path.
I saw them this summer at the Pitchfork Music Festival and I can safely say that it was one of the most invigorating shows I had even been to and there were only two people, a drum machine, and a whole lot of amps on stage! Their abrasive static sound has found a safe place in my musical heart and I will listen to them every time I exercise now. Thanks Sleigh Bells! Now I can lose some weight!
Alright dawgs, who were your most enjoyed artists of this year! Comment below! Thanks!