Giant Balls of Electro-Pop Magic
In the past I have typically leaned folk for you folks here at the Muffin. This year I landed square on my ass in the electronic-pop camp and I feel enlightened.
As to my process in separating the wheat from the chaff here at the end of 2010, I stand firmly with the belief that these 5 selections are unfuckwithable. Thats right, not to be effed with, not for their musicianship, for their relevance, for their epherema, or for their simultaneous sticking power. This music captures a piece of 2010 as it relates to my life, but also as it relates to the fabric of indie music. Fine examples of a genre I will gladly explain to coming generations.
1. Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz
Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul
My anticipation for the new Sufjan Stevens album was a dam and my love gushed forth like a broken levy upon its release and there isnt enough terrible poetic analogy in infinity to describe how much this album exceeded my expectations. After about the 6th play in a row of Impossible Soul, I realized that I had been lying in a bed for 3 hours listening to just one song. Each song revealed itself to me as a strong act in and of itself. However, seeing the happening that was the Sufjan show on the Age of Adz tour brought the whole thing together as a story in a way that I hadnt even grasped upon so many listens. The best album of the year, undoubtedly. It keeps giving.
2. The Books: The Way Out
The Books Beautiful People
The Books obsession got started w/ the release of one promotional track, and that was Beautiful People! I killed it on repeat, played it for all my friends and freaked out over its understated ingenuity. It was just kind of perfectly weird and beautiful. I downloaded their full discography, read a million online articles and consumed their blog. These artists quickly climbed my personal listening charts. I was a devoted fan before The Way Out hit shelves and I gobbled it up as soon as it did. Another HUGE experience getting to know a work of art, that was fantastically garnished with the opportunity to see the live performance. Loved that the musicians, masters w/ their stringed instruments (and uncanny sampled video work) were content to perform along with their electronic work, and state plainly that some songs were un-playable.
3. Vampire Weekend: Contra
Vampire Weekend: Giving Up the Gun
I was nervous for this sophmore release. I wasnt sure they would pull it off again. Ive been further exposed to the genius that is Rostam, obsessed with him, soaking up everything he puts out online or touches. His personal style made itself clear to me this year listening to these songs, the songs of Discovery, Boys Like US remixes and his work on the Ra Ra Riot album. He is truly an artist worth emulating. Inspiring!
** my FIRST time listening to some of these songs was in the Village recording studio as they were being laid down for an MBE performance!! amazing experience.
Gayngs: The Last Prom on Earth
I spent a lot of time sitting on my balcony this year, staring up into the sky and making up elaborate stories about the space jelly beyond the container that protects us and our earth. Im not worried about how silly you think that is, or how silly you think the soundtrack is.. Aliens love an RnB influence. If you cant understand this you might have to resign yourself to the fact that you arent advanced. Meanwhile, Ill be slow dancing in another galaxy and making 12 helix DNA babies to the super sexxxxxxxxed tunes of GAYNGS.
Jonsi – Sinking Friendships
The falsetto made its impression upon me this year, emerging in more and more acts. but no one touches the style that Jonsi puts out. This solo effort captured me with the first eeeeeeeeeeeeYooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo that I heard.