Small Black // “New Chain” : 2010.10.25
genre noise bliss pop punk
sounds like glass helicopter rides through sun rays. the punks are taking ecstasy. broken glass being vacuumed in slow motion. mixed media gallery show opening party. beach pop delayed through thick atmosphere. new year’s eve 2025.
notes music as art as music.
verdict squaring off nose-to-nose with Tame Impala for album of the year.
Wild Nothing // “Gemini” : 2010.05.25
genre jangle brit pop
sounds like bike rides through fern forests. John Hughes proms. casettes from ’86. stargazing and sprinklers. Manchester alleys. May Day heat lightning.
notes proving once again that derivative is not a bad thing.
verdict blissfully in love.
see also this superb Kate Bush cover
Wavves // “King of the Beach” : 2010.06.13 : Fat Possum
genre psych pop power punk
sounds like resting your head on the sea bed of nails. flight of the navigator space wars. bmx spraypaint. white album noise pop. supersonic sleighbells. helium high fives.
notes if it takes a nervous breakdown to make an album this incredible, I hope he has a few more.
verdict the opposite of a sophomore slump—a triumph of noise an pop.
For those who love Supergrass but wish it had more Beatles more Jarvis and more Welsh.
Twin Sister // “Color Your Life” / “Alternates” : 2010.03.30
genre avant folk pop
sounds like philosophy on a cereal box and a walk on slippery rocks. ice cream on the sleeping porch. ghosts in the graveyard. fireflies at dusk. miniature light shows.
notes these guys and gals are not only sharing their music, they’re giving it away along with stems and alternates and open access to their process.
verdict favorite new band of 2010.
The Morning Benders // “Big Echo” : 2010.03.09 : Rough Trade
genre power baroque
sounds like wall of Roccoco. air conditioning and soft carpet. calling for the captain ashore. tea kettle whistles, water glass percussion and kitchen sink acoustics. a platter of ripe fruit.
notes I don’t feel I’m being over the top when I say it reminds me of a good Beatles album. it’s quite obvious this was produced by Chris Taylor.
verdict best album of the year?
“Cold War” :
see also : this incredible video
cymbals eat guitars why there are mountains
genre noisegaze pop punk
sounds like (forgive me) pavement covering modest mouse, built to spill and deerhunter at the same time. rainbow bunnies hopping through overgrown weeds. white noise surfing. flying in and out of thunderstorms in an atmospheric airport lounge. glittery topographical scrapbook maps. the moments halfway between wakefulness and violent dreams.
notes one of the most impressive self-released debuts I’ve heard—the lead guitarist/singer blows me away.
verdict invigorating, passionate, artistic reboot of tried and true indie rock tropes—excellent from beginning to end.