Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members' top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio DJ Craig Reptile.
(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members' picks.)
Craig Reptile's Top 10 of 2010 (in no particular order):
Autolux – Transit Transit (tbd) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Suckers for shoegazer should celebrate this release from Autolux, while those unfamiliar with the genre of fuzzy, woozy guitars and ethereal, wispy vocals should find a compelling and wide-ranging introduction here.
Pomegranates – One of Us (Afternoon) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
From sped up tape sounds to ambient guitar squalls, this record never fails to surprise and inspire. If you dig The Jesus and Mary Chain, Blonde Redhead, Animal Collective, Crocodiles, Neon Indian, Serena-Maneesh, Brad Laner, and labelmates The Poison Control Center, you should dig this.
Sambassadeur – European (Lubrador) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Ambassadors of Swedish orch-pop have returned with lush, fully fleshed out instrumentation, featuring melodies that bridge the girl group sound a la Phil Spector and the ambitious approach of 80's post-New Wave anthem producers.
Club 8 – The People’s Record (Labrador) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
More Swee, but this time afrobeat and Latin American rhythms and energy dominate each song--like listening to 10,000 Maniacs’ In My Tribe at 78 speed, it’s a rush of rapid rhythms and rumbling bass, with angular latticework guitar parts and soaring soprano singing.
The Soviet League – The Soviet League (Angel Oven Records) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
This sounds like Brian Eno and Roy Orbison meeting XTC alteregos Dukes of Stratosphear. Utterly mind-blowing. If this is the future, I want to be a part of it.
Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love (Matador) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I guess twee orch-pop is not for everyone, but I can't imagine anyone not loving this record. But anything's possible. Every cut is a winner in my book (the one I'm writing about love, 'natch).
Dreamend – So I Ate Myself Bite By Bite (Graveface) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
A lovely and haunting symphony of banjos and crickets from Ryan Graveface's latest project. It may have been a bad dream, but it sure sounded beautiful to me.
Darling – Lights That Last Forever (Cardboard Sangria) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Try as I might, I could not find a bad song on this Chicago group's first full length release. This is pure power pop for 2010 people, and it's full of anthemically awesome surprises.
Azure Ray – Drawing Down the Moon (Saddle Creek) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I loved the record before seeing this lovely female duo at a sold out Schubas, and love it even more now &ndash never has sad been so beautiful.
The Thermals – Personal Life (Kill Rock Stars) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
It may not be their most rocking release, but Hutch's lyrics have never been better or more . . . personal. I still believe he's the Chuck D of indie rock.
5 Favorite EPs of 2010:
California Wives – Affair (Self-Released)
Chaperone – Cripple King (Self-Released)
Verma – Verma (Plustapes)
Pilot Cloud – Diaspora (Acoustic Firework)
Atmosphere – To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EP's (Rhymesayers Entertainment)