Here’s the first of a year end series, where many Irish acts will be counting down their favourite albums of 2010, both Irish and abroad. I’ll be posting more over the next week or so. Note: I included this under the interview category because these artist lists might get lost in between all my own year end best ofs otherwise.
Check out Part 2 (Captain Kennedy, Ham Sandwich, James Vincent McMorrow, We Are Losers, Yeh Deadlies) here:
and Part 3 (The Cast of Cheers, Drunken Boat, The Holy Roman Army, Pearse McGloughlin, Terence Rowlands) here:
Fergal, The Dirty 9s
- Villagers – Becoming A Jackal
With Villagers and the likes of O Emporer and Cathey Davey coming to the fore, I think that there is an intelligence and quirkiness coming through in Irish music that is adapting to an increasingly discerning listening public.
But when I weight his album up just on very basic criteria, it comes out a winner every time. Great songs, great lyrics, great production, and a truly unique human being in Conor O’ Brien to front it all.
- Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
One one hand this is a sprawling mess of an album, but it is also the musical realisation of Kanye’s genius and his madness.
Kanye thrives on committing career suicide, and this what keeps him as the most interesting artist on the planet.
MBDTF for me continues this trend, and I love him for it!
- James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the Morning
I rarely find an album I can ‘live in’, but when I do, I rarely want to leave! That was certainly the case with this album for me. Beautifully crafted songs and warm organic instruments coupled with James’ previously unheard voice made this one of my albums of the year.
Daniel, I Am Not Lefthanded
- A Record +3 by Laura Stevenson and the Cans – We played with these
guys in a warehouse in the middle of California, it was us, them and
about 3 other people, and they just blew us away – a real kind of
gritty punk sound with Laura’s hypnotic voice floating on top . The
album is a bit folkier than the live show, but still with some
fantastic songs, can’t wait to hear more from them.
- Fire Like This by Blood Red Shoes. This was an amazing second album
from these Brighton indie-punks, a much more mature, confident
sounding record. For a two-piece, they put a lot of different
textures into it, with enough fiery guitar and shouty drums to break
- And for a little Irish flavour, Pete Courtney’s Karma Biscuits is
really outstanding, though it was initially his delightful live show
that charmed us.
- Honorable mentions – i.e. people who have really impressed us this
year, but have not, as of yet, released a full-length album -
Tipperary’s finest (and perpetual IANL recommendation) Bobby Noonan is
currently in the studio, we cannot wait to hear the results. And
Rainy Boy Sleep from Derry whose ethereal, stunning voice is
beautifully blended with guitar loops and textures. Tasty stuff.
- Jinx Lennon – National Cancer Strategy (Septic Tiger)
In my opinion the most relevant songwriter in Ireland today.
- Paul Brady – Hooba Dooba (Proper Records)
One of the best songwriters Ireland has ever produced.
- Glyder – Yesterday Today & Tomorrow (SPV)
Ireland’s most underrated band , set to come back next year with a new lineup.
- Tupelo – Dirty Money (Own Label)
A promising new band.
- Bat Kinane – A lifetime to Kill (Voodoo Bones Records)
Self praise is no praise but I don’t give a fuck!!! I’m proud of it.
- The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire make songs that seem to fit perfectly together, see Haiti off Funeral and Sprawl II off this record. That song was my way into this record and I haven’t been out since
- Glasser – Ring
Beautiful sounding record that draws you into it’s slowly beating heart.
- Treats – Sleigh Bells
Heavy beats, lots of noise, a female vocalist – what’s not to love. An album for bright lights.
- Brothers – The Black Keys
Great vocals, riffs and beats. They got soul.
- Have One on Me – Joanna Newsom
Great voice, lyrics, melodies and musicianship.
John, Solar Bears
- Beach House – Teen Dream
Staggering in every sense of the word. Possibly one of the greatest songwriting duos of the past 20 years. It is definitely an album for lovers. Everything about the record is well judged from the recording to the delivery. I cannot fault any of the ten songs nor would I be inclined to. Feel very grateful to have things like Teen Dream to lean on.
- Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
This is a complete juggernaut. I am really impressed with the sound design on Innerspeaker from start to finish. I was slightly surprised when I first listened to the songs simply because of how good they were. It certainly y stays with you after the closing number. Great vocal hooks and riffs throughout.
- Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
I know they have their critics but I love them. Every since I first discovered them I have been addicted to their aestethic and groove. Her lyrics are overlooked in my opinion. I find them very direct and personable.
- Warpaint – The Fool
Warpaint are a band I have followed for years. Their early demos were lush but this lp is truly engaging. I am really into their melodies and phrasing.
- Caribou – Swim
For me he is a genius of both texture and mood. It is as though each element/sound either translates as submerged or fluid, which of course ties in with the concept. The hooks on it are top class. Especially for Odessa.