List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 20-11

Part six of my best albums of 2010 list. Here’s 20-11…


Joanna Newsom
Have One on Me

Overblown and almost impossible to listen to it one sitting, Joanna Newsom’s third studio album shouldn’t work. However, when Newsom releases a record, everyone sits up and takes note. Although it’s a triple album, it’s Newsom’s most accessible to date, and a perfect starting point for new listeners before they take in the masterpiece that is Ys.


The National
High Violet

Another amazing album from one of the most consistent bands today. When people look back at the 00s (and the 10s) and search for career artists, the National will be one of the automatic choices. High Violet stands alongside the rest of their catalogue, and contains some of their finest singles yet. And the deluxe version is even a worthwhile investment too.


Cathy Davey
The Nameless

The Nameless reaffirms Cathy Davey’s position as one of the finest vocalists around, and improves on her first two records in every way. Away from a major label, Davey is now free to try out new things, there’s less restriction, and this allows her to experiment a little more, growing in confidence all the while.



When Sigur Ros singer Jonsi announced a solo album, I must admit, I did not expect much. I thought it would be one of those records where the singer produces stuff that the band never would have accepted as a whole. However, Go takes the Sigur Ros framework and produces a breezy collection of tunes. Less earthy than his band’s albums, these songs show off Jonsi’s range as both a singer and a songwriter, and show us that we need not worry if Sigur Ros ever decide to call it a day.


Solar Bears
She Was Coloured In

One of the most refreshing albums of the year, Solar Bears’ debut record sounded like the work of a band who had been around for years, and were reaching the top of their game. A shimmering light of a record, it was like the soundtrack to the kind of science fiction films only your dreams can create. A phenomenal debut.


Joe Pug

After two fantastic EPs last year, Joe Pug finally released his debut record, Messenger. One of my most anticipated albums of the year, it more than lived up to the expectations formed by the gorgeous laid-back folk musings of his earlier work. Lyrically amazing, Pug saved the best for the album with the tremendous war ballad ‘Bury Me (Far From My Uniform)’.


Be It Right Or Wrong

Kilkenny drummer-cum-multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Hickey upped his game on his second album. It was poppier and rockier than his debut, while still staying close to his electronic roots. A fantastic contemporary sounding Talking Heads, this is the kind of album Bell x1 wished they had made with their David Byrne-aping Blue Lights on the Runway.


Ham Sandwich
White Fox

Before White Fox, Ham Sandwich were one of those bands that other people liked, but I just didn’t see what the fuss was all about. With White Fox, they became one of my favourite Irish bands. They have a strong ear for a great melody, and can make a hook out of nothing, and in ‘Ants’ made one of the best songs of 2010.


State Champion
Stale Champagne

State Champion are the best band you’re not rocking out to. And Stale Champagne is the best album you didn’t hear in 2010. A tremendously dirty rock album, its home-produced charm is guaranteed to appeal to fans of the Dead Weather, and anyone who just likes to trash about to old-school rock and roll. Deciphering the lyrics is often a challenge, but that will just keep you coming back for more.


We’ve Been Talking

Never outstaying its welcome, the nine track debut from Enemies was a wonderful guitar album. Upbeat math rock may not sound like it’s for everyone, but this album has oodles of charm and will win over even the most reluctant listener. I saw them live at the HWCH launch, and they’re every bit as good in person as on record. Not just one for the future, but one for right now.

Read more:

Related posts:

  1. List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 40-31
  2. List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 50-41
  3. List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 30-21
  4. List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 100-76
  5. List: Irish Acts’ own favourite Albums of 2010 Part 2


  1. jake reed

    pug is one helluva new comer. haven’t heard anything this good in a long long time. jr

  2. He’s fairly amazing alright. Only going to get better.

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