The fourth part of my excellent series where Irish artists pick their favourite albums of 2010. Check out the previous parts if you missed them:
Part 1 – The Dirty 9s, I Am Not Lefthanded, Bat Kinane, MilanJay, Solar Bears
Part 2 – Captain Kennedy, Ham Sandwich, James Vincent McMorrow, We Are Losers, Yeh Deadlies
Part 3 – The Cast of Cheers, Drunken Boat, The Holy Roman Army, Pearse McGloughlin, Terence Rowlands
- Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
Most people couldn’t produce this much amazing music in a lifetime, yet Joanna does it in one album, albeit a huge one and that means it doesn’t really work like a conventional one, you end up creating your own little albums within it. It’s an overwhelming wealth of ideas sewn together beautifully. I know a lot of people hate her voice but I think it’s gorgeous. She’s also probably my favourite lyricist, all whimsical and poetic one minute then heart-renderingly direct the next. And that harp. That bloody harp. (Daniel)
- Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Churns together jazz, hip hop, Aphex Twin, 8-bit, even some classical stuff to create this amazing, druggy worm hole of an album. The way all the tracks are weaved together makes it nearly impossible to not listen to the whole thing once you start. No one is making beats as weird and brilliant as Fly-Lo. (Daniel)
- Liars – Sisterworld
Awesome rhythm and sound textures are what we all know Liars for. This album is packed full of dark, evil and haunting songs laced with Liars’ signature droney, rhythmic and driving sounds. Sisterworld is definitely more accessible than previous albums, but definitely not less exciting. (James)
- Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid
This is a stupidly ambitious album, especially for a debut. She covers so many genres, the length is epic and it’s got a convoluted concept behind it, but somehow, she manages. No idea how, but she does. Her voice is probably the main reason. She’s got the voice of one of the best soul sistas from the old days, but can adapt it to do folk or rock or whatever she damn pleases and it always sounds incredible. (Daniel)
- Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
For about two week after I got this, all I wanted to do was listen to it really loud and when I couldn’t do that, I invariably would just shout loads of the lines at people. He knows he’s the best and says it quite often, but he also is really candid about how much of a douchebag he is. It’s huge and daring and brilliant. (Daniel)
- LCD SoundSystem – This is Happening
Ridiculously easy to listen to – the epitome of involuntary head-bopping music. Great to hear on any night out! Brilliant live! Perfect mix of upbeat happy tunes with the more mellow, chill out ones!
- The Drums – The Drums
Resisted liking this for a while, but after a few listens realised it’s actually great! All the tunes are super catchy and great for a sing along, thus making it the perfect driving album! Also has a good summery feel to it.
- LaFaro – LaFaro
Right from the opening riff of Tupenny Nudger, the debut album from LaFaro throws you around the room like a raggy doll until you fall in the corner with the harmonies of Party Hardy Marty! still ringing around in your head. A serious ‘full tilt’ rock album!
- Hole – Nobody’s Daughter
Pure cheese, but perfect to throw on when you want to get your 90′s groove going. Loser Dust is a great tune to get you hyped up to head out on the town! Courtney’s sounding more than a bit rough but still a guilty pleasure!
- Adebisi Shank – This is the Second Album…
Throw this album on and no matter what the day throws at you, you’ll manage to have a complete beamer smile through it all. Favourite tracks would be Masa and Micromachines. This should be bottled and sold as a recession remedy.
- O Emperor – Hither Thither
We have to declare an interest here (our Phil is related to their Phil), but this is a great album from a band that make us jealous every time we see them play. “Don’t Mind Me” and “Sedalia” are two of my favourite songs of the year. (Tim)
- Caribou – Swim
We should all be grateful that Dan Snaith has finally given in to the ‘dance music’ demon that’s been lurking on his shoulder for the last few years. House and Techno grooves have replaced his earlier 60’s, psychedelic leanings, and as a result he has reached a much wider audience. A treat for headphones, some bangers for the club, and a breathtaking full band live show; it’s fun to do bad things! (Neil)
- The Morning Benders – Big Echo
Beautiful melodies and harmonies throughout. Every song is a winner for me. As for the production its another slam dunk or homerun or touchdown..depending on which American sport floats Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor’s boat…..Its quite simply deadly! Lovely dreamy sounds washing through some very pleasing arrangements. I particularly like the sound of the drums and guitars on this record. The first two tracks stand out and especially the spector-esque wall-of-sound approach to Excuses. (Phil)
- Twin Sister – Colour Your Life
Slightly cheating here as it’s an EP but I haven’t listened to any other record as much this year. “All Around And Away We Go” is the song of the year for me. I was also the first Irish person to order it according to a nice little note from the record company! (Simon)
- The Walkmen – Lisbon
Builds beautifully on what they did on ‘you & me’. Heaps more of the heart-head longing spectrum of lyrics wound into emotive sung and screaming vocals, jangly reverbed guitar and drum rawness all encased rough edge. A hot whiskey and mistletoe. (Geoff)
- Villagers ( Becoming A Jackal )
- Vampire Weekend ( Contra )
- Midlake ( The Courage of others )
- The Redneck Manifesto ( Friendship )
- Field Music ( Measure )
- The Black Keys – “Brothers”
Gritty modern blues-smiths, great angst, stronger on the song front than their competition ”The White Stripes” definately myfavourite this year.
- The Dead Weather – “Sea of Cowards”
The second adventure from this rock and roll hybrid, cool brittle sounds, dirty, sexy vocals, full of feel and grit, lo-fi at it’s best, like a musical enema. Love it. Highlight “Hustle and Cuss”.
- Daft Punk – “Tron”
Love it, modern retro, heard it first watching the film, I love the retro sounds put into a new light like a modern Bladerunner soundtrack. Cool!
- Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – “Hawk”
A beautiful album of sorrow and joy. Country, blues and stomp like a great soup. Try the title track “Hawk” at full volume and get your bones rattled.