Teeth of the Sea – Your Mercury - Rocket
Follow ups are always difficult, thankfully I’m not familiar with TOTS’s debut album and so thought this was the best debut this year. It isn’t a debut. But it is one of the best of the year. Get John Carpenter, Steve Reich, Goblin, Circle and Monolake, stick them in a blender with a pinch of psychedelic salts and transfer the ensuing nasty goo into a jewel case and your getting there. Don’t forget the shoe-gazey slants. Wonderful.
Future Islands – In Evening Air – Thrill Jockey
Forefront of the exciting Baltimore scene, a near perfect post-punk and dare I say pop music album. Some might be split on Sam Herrings somewhat jarring vocal performances but its that sound that has us paying attention.
James Blake – Klavierweke E.P – R&S
So the hype for 2011 gets bigger and bigger and the pessimists get more and more material. Whatever you’re opinion of what his future holds, this E.P manages to make minimal compositions sound acutely complicated, the bare bones elements combining perfectly. Album due in a few weeks? I’m still listening to this.
Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here? – Editions Mego
Best release to date from Emeralds in their cd-r and tape only littered recording career. Even calling this their best puts it head and shoulders above most other pretender’s efforts. Moving away from the sounds that their earlier work has been tagged as, this is emotive electronic music rooted in pops better sensibilities.
Twin Shadow – Forget – 4AD/Terrible Records
George Lewis Jnr’s work as Twin Shadow is rooted in that 80’s new-wave/synthpop sound….a theme that pretty much defined 2010. Thing is when it is done right it can’t be beaten. Obviously by ending up in our top releases of 2010 Lewis did it correctly. ‘When We’re Dancing’ almost makes me just do that everytime I hear it. I don’t think I could handle another full length in the same vein but for 2010’s standout pop moment we sure are thankful.
Second offering from the Londoner and will hopefully go down as a modern classic if people can come around to its difficult but rewarding structures. Had the pleasure of catching him performing most of this material live last October and what resulted was one of the most energetic and infectious performances of any artist this year, electronic or not. The future of house? Hold on it isn’t house, is it?