15. Glasser - Ring - Tremel (MP3) / Jamie XX Remix (MP3)
Glasser is the stage name of musician Cameron Mesirow, who worked with renowned producer Ariel Rechtshaid to create her debut album, ‘Ring’ for a September 2010 release. Her previous recordings had been rare and home recorded, initially with Apple’s Garage Band software. After dropping a UK only release on Young Turks in 2009, her track Tremel picked up a Jamie XX remix, and as I wrote in my short album preview from this August…
“The result is beautiful, almost spiritual synth pop, with balaeric house synths and brooding electronic strings… [which combined with]…the lack of direction or adjacence of the vocals to the music adds a strong tendency towards psychedelia which the recordings never quite escape”
14. Lissie - Catching A Tiger - In Sleep (MP3)
A bit of a guilty pleasure, and I know i’m not alone on that one - Lissie Maurus blends dreamy teenage Americana with 80s classic rock and soul for her uplifting and emotionally complex debut album ‘Catching A Tiger’. She’s completed a UK tour, done a famous duet at Great Escape Festival 2010 with British pop star Ellie Goulding, and won the hearts of many with her youthful and illustrious take on an unfashionable but nevertheless hugely accessible genre. Tracks like ‘In Sleep’ have a stadium rock touch in the bass and ballad ‘Everywhere I Go’ is stark and empty - showing off the incredible power behind this Rock Island singer-songwriter’s vocal. Paste Magazine named her their #1 New Solo Artist Of 2010, and This Music Wins blog had nothing but positive words to offer - read my June review here.
13. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker - Desire Be Desire Go (Early Alternate Version) (MP3)
Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker is a monumental effort - the tracks are progressive and psychedelic, disorientating and 60s-inspired, finding comfort in lengthy and unpredictable surfer jams awash with jarring, effect-laden bass and guitar lines - all bound together with little more than loose percussion and ambient, drone-like soundscapes. Perfectly in keeping with the drug-induced psych effect, the songs are unmistakeably Beatles, and incorporate elements of incredibly challenging chord-sequences and timings without losing sight of the normalities of popular song-writing. Innerspeaker’s songs are near-epic in length, challenging, catchy and weaved within them is the unmistakeable murmur of psychedelic rock which never once departs. From the Rough Trade Bonus CD, i’ve included an early version of Desire Be Desire Go as well as album track ‘Expectations’ (MP3) (if you’re reading) to fuel your listening habits.
12. Villagers - Becoming A Jackal - I Saw The Dead (MP3)
Villagers is the solo project of Irish acoustic musician Conor J O’Brien, who’s Mercury Prize Nominated debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’ was released in 2010 to critical acclaim. Here’s what I had to say in my August album review:
“Opener “I Saw The Dead” is poetic as it is creepy, launching the listener into the midst of an eery piano arrangement before tempting further with almost theatrical lyricism – “Have you got just a minute? // are you easily led? // Let me show you the backroom // where I saw the dead // dancing like children”. Lyrics are not so much sung as tauntingly spoken (particularly in this song), and in more of the laboured instalments “Becoming A Jackal” showcases vocals occasionally close to a slightly more sinister version of namesake Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes)… Villagers’ long awaited debut sounds as if every minute they spent in the studio was thought out and agonised over, and as a result, “Becoming A Jackal” is worth every second of the time it took to create. Every track has its merits and drawbacks are few and far between; rarely is encountered such perfectly crafted songwriting and subtle development in folk music. Highly recommended.”
11. Cloud Nothings - Turning On - Hey Cool Kid (MP3)
Teenager Dylan Baldi’s Cloud Nothings project has emerged from one whirlwind of hype and shot straight into another one - since releasing his debut album Turning On he’s signed to Carpark Records, released a split EP with label Bridgetown Records’ Kevin Greenspon, and recently announced a split 7” and tour with chill-wave maestro Toro Y Moi (who also features on this list). There’s no denying that his scratchy bedroom pop, self-recorded effort has been making waves this year and its easy to see why - Hey Cool Kid is a laid-back guitar pop anthem which i’ve posted enough times already on the blog, once more can’t hurt.
The rest of the list will drop this week, and if you want to stay updated on its results then follow This Music Wins on Twitter,Tumblr, and Facebook and subscribe via email by putting yours in the box in the sidebar.. Tell me how much you disagree with me in the comment box below!
Read # 20-#16 here.
To read the final leg, (#10 - #1), click here.