The Null Device

Records of 2010

And as another year comes to an end, here is the obligatory list of records of 2010. Note that this time, the word "record" has been interpreted somewhat more liberally; as well as the usual CDs and occasional 7", some of the entries here are digital-only releases, and some were (and are) free to download. (The Null Device is not a rockist institution; we do not privilege traditional media or models of recorded music distribution for their own sake.) In any case, all of them were worthy of notice in 2010. And the records are, in alphabetical order: With honourable mentions going to: Beat Connection, Surf Noir EP (a nice piece of Balearic pop, not too far from Air France), The Bedroom Philosopher, Songs From The 86 Tram (mainly for Northcote (So Hungover), the last word on Melbourne hipsterdom), Best Coast, Crazy For You (yes, she only does one thing, but she does it well; it's more solid than the kooky backstory suggests), Dean & Britta, 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol's Screen Tests (the Velvet Underground influence is unsurprising, the use of Autotune, not so much), The Depreciation Guild, Spirit Youth (their second album; anthemic shoegaze-meets-chiptune; the version of Dream About Me manages to improve on the already superb single version), DOM, Sun-Bronzed Greek Gods (another EP that surfs the chillwave with its layers of knowingly anachronistic 80s synths, ringing guitars and oddly androgynous vocals, this time assembled into party-rocking anthems for the American Apparel set), Faux Pas, Noiseworks (it may share its name with an Australian mainstream band of the 1980s, but it's not a piece of ironic pastiche, but rather an album of solid electronica; somewhere off the ambient end of house, and leaning towards dubstep in places), Peter Peter Hughes, Fangio (a concept album about a racing driver's second career as an international assassin; it sounds like New Order meets Ennio Morricone and works better than one might expect), Momus, Hypnoprism (Momus' latest album is a combination of glitchy cut'n'paste, knowingly old-fashioned vocals, surreal imagery and apposite observation; the title track and the superb The Charm Song are highlights), The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Say No To Love 7" (between their first album and the singles from their upcoming second album, this is the Pains at their Field Mice-esque best; the Pains are the band people think The Drums are), The School, Loveless Unbeliever (the first full-length album from the Cardiff indiepop band; classic 1960s girl-group sound put together with Spectoresque precision; The School are the band people think The Pipettes are), Still Corners, Don't Fall In Love 7" (the A side is 60s-style pop with a Lynchian noir aesthetic, and the B-side, Wish, is a slice of sublimely æthereal dreampop not that far from Memoryhouse; judging by the band's live shows, their new album, coming out some time in 2011, is one to anticipate), Still Flyin', A Party In Motion (mostly for the two versions of Victory Walker, which may well be the last word on hipster-oriented yacht rock), Twin Sister, Color Your Life/Vampires With Dreaming Kids EPs (this intersection between chillwave and indie-pop is a grower; the euphoric All Around And Away We Go and the smooth-sailin' I Want A House are particularly notable). Not to mention this year's notable rereleases: Blueboy's three albums, rereleased with EP tracks and extensive liner notes on él Records (I imagine it's what Keith Girdler would have wanted), and The Bodines' much-underrated C86-era album Played, rereleased by Cherry Red.

If I had to choose a record of the year, it'd probably be Betty And The Werewolves.

There are 2 comments on "Records of 2010":

Posted by: datakid pineappledonut.org Fri Dec 31 03:41:21 2010

*Rubs hands with glee*. Watches bank balance disappear into the iTunes coffers...

Posted by: datakid pineappledonut.org Fri Dec 31 07:34:28 2010

As my partner just noted - iTunes really needs an affiliate program so you could get some credit for those sales.

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