Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members' top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio DJ and the President and Founder of the Chicago Independent Radio Project, Shawn Campbell.
(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members' picks.)
The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt (Dead Oceans) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Obtuse but intriguing lyrics, impassioned but challenging vocals, and the ability to hold an audience in the palm of his hand make this the best early Dylan record since 1963.
Allo Darlin' – Allo Darlin' (Fortuna Pop!) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I am forever a sucker for a sweet-voiced female pop singer with a somewhat darker lyrical bite. And unlike so many twee acts, they’re supposed to be great live, so I eagerly await a US appearance in 2011.
Summer Camp – Young [EP] (Moshi Moshi) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
This catchy mini-album has a spaciousness that makes it feel like it recorded from the room next door…it’s a little lo-fi, a little retro 80s, a little mysterious, like music from the college radio station you could never quite tune in when you were 14.
Disappears – Lux (Kranky) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Dark and sweeping, the long-awaited Disappears full-length didn’t disappoint. One slinky and vaguely oniminous track after another, this one may haunt your dreams.
Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer (Elektra) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Even for a lover of all things indie, sometimes a big, shiny, well-produced pop record is just what the doctor ordered, particularly when it features one undeniable song after another, showcased by the fine, soulful voice of Cee Lo Green.
Tennis – Baltimore [EP] (Underwater Peoples) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl sell their possessions, buy a boat, learn to sail, and then release a charming retro pop EP detailing their adventures on the high seas. What’s not to love?
jj – jj No. 3 (Secretly Canadian) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Shimmery and soothing, simultaneously cool and warm, this jj record, like its predecessor, is the perfect soundtrack for a relaxing weekend or a mellow evening with some good friends and a few nice bottles of wine.
V.V. Brown – Travelling Like the Light (Capitol) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
An old school pop-soul record by a female singer with a modern sensibility, with a little more luck, Travelling Like the Light could’ve been 2010’s Back to Black. Alas for V.V., this was not meant to be, but this is still one little party of an album.
Seabear – We Built a Fire (Morr Music) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Carrying none of its homeland’s native chill, Iceland’s Seabear delivers a remarkably warm, cozy record, a soft blanket of indie folk-pop that gently insinuates itself into your subconscious.
Frankie Rose & The Outs – Frankie Rose & The Outs (Slumberland) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be (HoZac/Sub Pop) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
2010 was a great year for girls in garages with close proximity to beaches and loads of Phil Spector productions in their record collections. Take your pick from these, or go with Grass Widow, Reading Rainbow, Super Wild Horses, or any number of other fuzzy, poppy, lady-led gems.
Verma – Salted Earth EP (self-released)
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening (DFA)
Cave – Pure Moods EP (Drag City)
Stornoway – Beachcomber’s Windowsill (4AD)
Magic Kids – Memphis (True Panther Sounds)
Oval – O (Thrill Jockey)
Sam Amidon – I See the Sign (Bedroom Community)
Superchunk – Majestry Shredding (Merge)