Top tens for 2010: It's a Trap!
Not everything in the picture above is officially a 2010 release, but they are all various things I picked up this past year and would recommend you do the same, should the opportunity present itself. Bonus points to anyone who can name every record pictured! Anyhow, as I was saying, there was quite a lot of really good music released in 2010, but at the same time, very few crossed the line into greatness. This year, only three albums made the cut.
Dear Euphoria - This night will flee (/)
A deep and richly satisfying listening experience that speaks of love and emptiness and the vast space between, with each repitition revealing new insight. Beautifully haunting.
Masshysteri - s/t (/)
The perfect pop-punk album. RIP.
Okkultokrati - No light for mass (///)
Apocalyptic visions set to a soundtrack of the rawest metal/punk sludge. A zeitgeist-defining album of unmatched ugliness.
Susanne Sundfør - The brothel
I still get goosebumps every time.
Underachiever - This is where I lost the ability to love
Faster Katt - Demo 2010
The notion of a demo is almost completely lost in this digital age, but there are still those who carry the torch, preferring to test the waters with honest, rough-edged recordings before commiting to any sort of "official" release. In 2010 I listened to way more, way better demo/self-released material this year than any big-name releases, so this list could be a lot longer, but these two stuck with me the longest.
Other Records Worth Mentioning
Like I said at the top, there really were a lot of really good albums this year. Here's a few more that might not rate as high as the three above, but are all well worth your time:
The Bear Quartet - Monty Python ()
BQ's endless restlessness and constant desire to innovate remains one of their greatest assets, but it also means that they sometimes miss the mark. Still, the band remains one of Sweden's all-time greats, if not the greatest.
Darkthrone - Circle the wagons ()
The opposite of BQ in that the band is continually regressing, but very similar in the approach that they continually churn an almost overwhelming amount of quality material.
Enforcer - Diamonds (/)
Too goofy to be truly great, but guaranteed to stay in steady rotation for years to come.
Johan Helte - Sara, ()
On the cusp of greatness. Ask me again about this record in six months.
Kimono - Easy music for difficult people ()
My sleeper pick of the year. It's hard to cite exactly what's so gripping about this record, I just know that I keep listening to it regularly.
Monzano - By this time last year everything will seem younger (/)
Another one on the cusp. Not sure anymore if I permanently burned myself out on these literary indie gents from Norway or if it's one that'll come back to me after some time apart.
Britta Persson - Current affair medium rare ()
More than a few exceptional moments (see "Toast to M" for example), but not enough cohesion.
Robyn - Body talk ()
There's a reason this is on everyone's list.
Säkert! - Facit ()
A good album that simply hasn't connected with me as much as I had hoped.
The Tallest Man on Earth - The wild hunt ()
Another one that made a lot of year-end lists for good reason.
Tiger Tape - I woke up in Hökarängen (/)
My favorite indiepop album of 2010.
Plus a few more names: Ikons, Haust, Slöa Knivar, Lapko, Fun, Meleeh, Moto Boy... and let us not forget all of the amazing reissues from such as Pan-Thy-Monium, Crypt of Kerberus, Uncanny, Furbowl and so on. So yeah, lots of good music. No complaints!