+ BEST IN INDIE / MISC. 2010 +


23 Abr 2011, 8:15

After much pestering, I've relented. Hope you folks are happy. Here is my Best In Indie / Misc. 2010 list.

Those who are actually interested, feel free to comment, criticize, and suggest any albums that you may have heard that I might have missed in any genre. Also, feel free to post your fave albums of 2010. There are so many great albums out there that it's impossible to hear them all.

I'm open to any listening suggestions!

Also, if you are interested in other genres of music aside from those covered in this journal, feel free to visit my other journal entries covering the Best of Heavy Metal (link) and Neofolk / Martial / Neoclassical / Etc.(link) in 2010.

Enjoy! :-]

Anathema - "We’re Here Because We’re Here"

Without question, We’re Here Because We’re Here is one of the most magnificent and beautiful records that I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Anathema are a band that I have been enamored with for over fifteen years, and I can attest with confidence that they are distinctly among the most underrated acts in music today, perhaps even possessing the distinction as the most underrated. With an astounding discography of legendary releases, such as Judgment, Alternative 4, and A Natural Disaster already behind them, the future could not be more promising for the brilliant and contemplative artists that comprise this band.

The ethereal and poignant magic Anathema effortlessly breathes life into on We’re Here Because We’re Here cannot be overstated. Moreover, the urgency and unspoken positivity (a shift from the bands more melancholic themes) have a propensity to envelop the listener in an almost virtuous ambiance, particularly on tracks like "Summer Night Horizon," "Dreaming Light," "Everything," and "Angels Walk Among Us" - all of which are absolutely breathtaking and at times nearly transcendental. My only hope for the band is that they refrain from torturing their fans with another extended down period between masterpiece records.

Highly Recommended!

For fans of: Antimatter, My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Blackfield, Porcupine Tree, Lunatic Soul.
Homepage: www.anathema.ws

O. Children - "O. Children"

Great debut!

“Now, little child, don’t be scared about the terror outside, just lie in bed, don’t you cry about the sails in the night”
- Bring Me a Prayer

O. Children are exactly what music needed. Their sound is a gloomy kaleidoscope of coalescing melodies comprised of early gothic rock (Bauhaus & The Sisters of Mercy) post-punk, and modern indie-rock. The production on the record lends an almost vintage 4AD tenor without sounding dated, and the baritone behind the microphone for O. Children is remarkably characteristic of Mr. Cave, of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. O. Children easily inspires a multitude of repeat listens, and the album is absolutely addictive in every way. Outstanding tracks such as "Malo," "Ruins," and "Radio Waves" find themselves lodged in the frontal lobe of your brain - you can’t get this out of your head once it’s there, but most of all - you won’t want to. While the band is still firmly rooted in the post-punk revival centered mostly around East London, O. Children is hastily compelling post-punk, gothic, and indie fans the world over to take notice of their darkened tapestry of superb art rock for a new generation. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

For fans of: R O M A N C E, S.C.U.M., Demontré, Soviet Soviet.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ochildren

Hurts - "Happiness"

Great debut!

Hurts, with their dark suits and oil slick hair, are a relatively enigmatic duo who are channeling the sonic persuasion of a new romantic ethos that is prepared to take the world (mostly Europe) by storm. Happiness was an absolute synthetic singles factory, primed with a multitude of 1980’s inspired electronic and new wave hits for a new generation of listeners. I thought that I was rather obsessed with their Wonderful Life EP, but that was merely a precursor to the addictive frenzy that enveloped me once Happiness effortlessly took over my listening patterns.

The release inundates the listener with a melodic and at times melancholic deluge of hook-laden tracks such as "Wonderful Life," "Sunday," "Stay," "Unspoken" and others. Happiness is a release that at times I had to convince myself not to listen to merely so I could provide attention to the stacks of things awaiting my ear in other genres. Yet, however enslaving an aural-methamphetamine for the senses it may be, it could very well turn out to be a victim of its own success. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this release to those who enjoy quality European pop-music with a 1980’s new wave refinement.

For fans of: Depeche Mode, Daggers, White Lies, IAMX, Delphic.
Homepage: www.informationhurts.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ithurts

Swans - "My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky"

Swans Are Alive. Long live Michael Gira. Long live Swans.

For fans of: Michael Gira, Jarboe, The Body Lovers, Coil, Current 93, The Angels of Light, The World of Skin.
Homepage: www.swans.pair.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/swansaredead

Deerhunter - "Halycon Digest"

I began as a modest, yet curious fan of Deerhunter when first investigating with amusement their debut Turn It Up Faggot and unexpectedly enjoying the lush textures of guitar-laden psychedelia that drove that record home. I have followed their progression ever since. However, never did I believe that they would record an album that bewildered, confused, and entranced me as much as Halycon Digest. The album itself is an erratically chaotic mélange of electronic music, the ghosts of Motown, late-60's fuzz, nausea-inducing psychedelia, and a straight-up rock homage to the Velvet Underground and others. While the shorter tracks on the record are arguably the most memorable, it is the calm isolation of the longer tracks that I usually find most appealing and out of the ordinary.

In some strange way, there is something inherently disconcerting, yet amusing about Halycon Digest which I still can't quite explain. Perhaps it’s the mere fact that I enjoy a record that is already culling the backlash and wrath from their imbecilic and fickle Pitchfork reading hipster audience, or maybe it's because this record really is overrated? Either way, I'll be listening to Halycon Digest for quite some time.

For fans of: Atlas Sound, Avey Tare, Women, No Age, My Bloody Valentine.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/deerhunter

Les Discrets - "Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées"

Great debut!

This is a release that very well could have been among the finalists in my metal countdown. However closely resembling the nuances of the more melancholic sub-genres of heavy metal Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées may be, I decided to include it here because, well, I had to include it somewhere. Les Discrets is a relatively new shoegaze/metal project, fueled by the inventive and multi-talented artist Fursy Teyssier, who tactfully managed to set the Les Discrets sound apart from many other shoegaze/heavy metal scabs currently littering the underground.

In fact, outside of the success of Alcest, I'm not quite sure what caused the epidemic of shoegazing black metal bands out there, but most lack any semblance of originality, and nearly all are mediocre at best and unlistenable at worst - on Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées, this isn't the case. While the chord progressions are relatively simple and have been done a multitude of times before by actual shoegaze bands, Les Discrets manage to avoid the cliché quite successfully. In crafting their richly rewarding wall of sound, Teyssier and co. infuse the brooding and mysterious into each track. The erudite listener will recognize the expertise required to produce the melancholic and organic breadth of despair that flows seamlessly into an emotive expanse of sonic warmth that is Les Discrets. This is excellent stuff.

For fans of: Alcest, Amesoeurs, Airs, Cold Body Radiation, Joyless.
Homepage: http://lesdiscrets.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/lesdiscrets

Crystal Castles - "Crystal Castles"

The sophomore release from Toronto electro-trash band Crystal Castles surpassed any expectations I might have had. I enjoyed their debut, but if you were to ask me prior to their sophomore release if Crystal Castles could actually remain interesting and viable while sticking solely to their original sound, I might have said no. With Crystal Castles II, they have proved that they are capable of evolving while remaining true to themselves, and in a very productive way.

While their debut was arguably more abrasive with its deafening tawdry of dime-store keyboards, pummeling 8-bit house beats and the occasional rape-whistle shrieks of vocalist Alice Glass, their new release seems more mature, less disorganized (not that chaos is always bad), and a bit more listenable. This is readily audible on the terrific and moving single "Celestica" where Glass actually shows us that she can sing, and on tracks such as the memorable "Empathy," and the outlandish vocal harmonies flaunted in "Vietnam." Yet, while Crystal Castles have experienced a major progression with their sophomore release, there is still one thing remaining: if only Ethan Kath and Glass could convince Robert Smith to become a permanent member of the band.

For fans of: Kap Bambino, Health, White Ring, Salem, Klaxons.
Homepage: http://crystalcastles.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/crystalcastles

Grinderman - "Grinderman 2"


Listen to this.

For fans of: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party, The Boys Next Door, Tom Waits, Dirty Three.
Homepage: www.grinderman.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/grinderman

Tzolk’in - "Tonatiuh"

The Ant-Zen label is simply among finest when it comes to discovering bands that are entirely unique and decidedly explorative. With their sophomore release from the collaborative project between Empusae and Flint Glass, Tonatiuh provides a ideal illustration of what consummate artists can produce in terms of unbridled and transcending atmosphere. While absolutely cutting-edge, contemporary, and firmly within the electronic medium, Tonatiuh inexplicably taps into the primal subconscious and primitive memory-form of the listener, evoking an ambiance of tribal sensibilities and the archaic instinct of the natural struggle between ancient civilization and nature. With Tonatiuh, Tzolk’in have achieved something unforgettable and exceptional and their work certainly deserves a wider audience. With any luck, this excellent release will provide it.

For fans of: Empusae, Flint Glass, Geomatic, THIS MORN’ OMINA, Totakeke, Ah Cama-Sotz.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/tzolkinmusic

Jónsi- "Go"

Great debut!

Jónsi Birgisson, angelic-voiced frontman of Sigur Rós has achieved far more than I thought he might when it was announced that Sigur Rós would be on "indefinite hiatus" for the foreseeable future. Jónsi & Alex, a music and art project he did with his boyfriend Alex Summer, and his first work outside of Sigur Rós, failed to pique my interest as it was extremely sparse, and relatively pedestrian. That was followed by a genuine solo album, Go which not I thought was absolutely fantastic. Although meeting the incredibly high standard of Sigur Rós is a difficult thing to live up to, the lushly inventive orchestrations and the always transcendently moving vocals of Jónsi himself resulted in Go fittingly becoming a definitive success. Highly recommended to those who enjoy the ethereal and otherworldly in their music.

For fans of: Sigur Rós, Jónsi & Alex, Frakkur, Parachutes, Amiina, Kjartan Sveinsson.
Homepage: http://jonsi.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/jonthorbirgisson

Fredrik - "Trilogi"

The sophomore release Trilogi from Fredrik captured my attention during a point in 2010 when I couldn't be bothered to listen to anything in this style. Building upon NaNaNi, their accomplished debut, this is a relatively underrated project that very well could be saving their magnum opus for a later date. To be sure, it's not an easily digested release, and it generally requires an actual investment on the listener's part to fully appreciate the plethora of warm and melodic harmonies interwoven with the multitude of lush arrangements on the album. There is a great deal to be discovered on Trilogi, and even after numerous listens, the record still provides the adventurous and exploratory feeling a listener might feel the first time the vocal harmonies from "Vinterbarn" ascend from your stereo speakers. The lyrics on the record are in English, but most of the track titles found on Trilogi are in Swedish. My recommendation: Get everything Fredrik, The LK, and lindefelt have ever done. You won't be disappointed.

For fans of: Solander, Alcoholic Faith Mission, The LK, Sin Fang, A Weather, Heather Woods.
Homepage: http://www.frdrk.org
MySpace: www.myspace.com/fredriktheband

The Dead Brothers - "The 5th Sin-Phonie"

With their fifth album, the frenzied gypsy-folk funeral orchestra of The Dead Brothers return with the rollicking and sophisticated mystery that is The 5th Sin-Phonie. For those unfamiliar with the bourbon-soaked and soot-covered ghastly hymns of the German-Swiss mindfuck that is The Dead Brothers, try to envision a morose concoction of 1980's-era Tom Waits, early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and even the goth-monolith Bauhaus, whose classic anthem "Bela Lugosi's Dead" the band pays homage to with great success. These influences all melt in a slow-burn recital of dark whispers and possessed vocals accompanied by a maelstrom of accordion, cello, strings and brass. The 5th Sin-Phonie is a mysteriously sprawling and eccentric release that feels as if you're entering a goth-club saloon (if one existed in the 1800's) on a Western Frontier filled with vampire-gypsy musicians playing a jig. It's fucking weird, and I like it.

For fans of: Beat Circus, Reverend Glasseye and His Wooden Legs, Delaney Davidson, The Tiger Lillies.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/wwwdeadbrotherscom

Parallels - "Visionaries"

Great debut!

Absolutely indebted to the 1980's, Parallels outstanding debut Visionaries finds former Crystal Castles drummer Cameron Findlay joining forces with the enigmatic and foxy-voiced Holly Dodson. Out of the dozen tracks on the record, there is absolutely no filler, and each song boasts an infusion of electronic hooks and hypnotic dance beats that are dangerously addictive. One aural facet of their sound that sets them apart from many of their contemporaries is that rather than utilize today’s technology, they went full analog with lends an artistic authenticity and integrity to their debut. Visionaries, is not exactly the most innovative or original release, and it certainly won’t be heralded as a great work of art, but the neon-lit new romanticism of their pensive, disco-infused electro-pop is unmistakably awesome.

For fans of: Fan Death, Parralox, The Golden Filter, College, Tesla Boy.
Homepage: http://parallels.fm
MySpace: www.myspace.com/parallelsfm

Killing Joke - "Absolute Dissent"

Absolute Dissent could be considered, for some, the perfect Killing Joke album. The first recording featuring the original line-up since 1982’s Revelations, their odd combination of post-punk, new wave, metal and industrial sounds as innovative and hard-hitting as ever. As with most Killing Joke records, their sound is a myriad of different elements, with tracks like "European Super State" sounding almost dance-influenced, while others such as "This World Hell" are absolutely heavy and unremitting. Suffice to say, Killing Joke fans will be anything but disappointed when they hear the coalescing of the bands eighties sound and the sonic characteristics of their later material.

Perhaps the best track on Absolute Dissent is the absolutely epic "The Raven King" - a tribute to the band’s longtime bass player Paul Raven, who died in 2007. It was this unlikely and tragic event that resulted in the reunion of the band, as they agreed to reform while meeting at Raven’s funeral. The result of their reformation under heartbreaking circumstances is arguably the finest album in the Killing Joke discography, and comes highly recommended.

For fans of: The Damage Manual, Ministry, Fields of the Nephilim, New Model Army, Bauhaus.
Homepage: www.killingjoke.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/killingjokeofficial

John & Jehn - "Time For The Devil"

Yes, this release was inspired by a parable which views the Devil as a Dionysus-style liberator. That should clear up any doubt as to whether or not this French duo wasn't already unquestionable cool. With Time For The Devil, John & Jehn managed to merge dark indie rock with a keen Euro-centric retroactive style that is undeniably French, perhaps even recollective of an even darker Serge Gainsbourg, but on Prozac. Proving that they are more than merely a French-regional phenomenon, Time For The Devil was is an absolute success for the band. Now I want more.

For fans of: LoneLady, Hatcham Social, Wild Palms, Curry & Coco, Battant, French Cowboy.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/johnjehn

School of Seven Bells - "Disconnect From Desire"

What first attracted me to this band was the fact that they initially paid homage to the legendary ethereal brilliance of Cocteau Twins (who I'm a huge fan of) and the great Kate Bush on their marvelous debut Alpinisms. They have deviated from their debut's sound on Disconnect From Desire, and while I assumed I wouldn't enjoy any further material as much as I did the material on Alpinisms, I was mistaken. The album, audibly harking back to the glorious 80s, offers a more stripped-down direction, albeit with a mixture of stronger vocals and an electronically inventive sonic-configuration that the band can call their own. A successful departure, while not totally isolating themselves from their past, Disconnect From Desire is a confident step forward for the band. Great album!

For fans of: Glasser, Asobi Seksu, Phantogram, Active Child.
Homepage: http://www.sviib.com
MySpace: /www.myspace.com/schoolofsevenbells

Heimataerde - "Unwesen"

Elektronischer Ritter oder ritterlicher Elektroniker? Egal! Ashlar von Megalon treibt auch ohne Etikett erfolgreich sein „Unwesen“ und führt uns mit dem gleichnamigen Album erneut ohne Fehl in eine längst vergangene Zeit. Eine Zeit, voll düsterer Geschichten, geprägt vom Kreuz, mangelnder Zahnhygiene und Männern in Strumpfhosen. Natürlich wird hier alles feilgeboten, was eine gute Stampfelektro meets Mittelalter-Platte so ausmacht. Der Bass bumst, die Texte sind eingängig, Samples gibt’s obendrauf und melodisch wird dem Hörer hier auch nix vom Discounter vorgesetzt, was natürlich nicht zuletzt an den immer wieder gekonnt eingebrachten mittelalterlichen Strukturen liegt, die in Verbindung mit den harten Elektroelementen ungezügelten Bewegungsdrang auslösen. Wer schon immer mal wissen wollte, was der Ritter von Welt beim Morgenlauf im MP3-Player hatte, dem sei „Unwesen“ dringend empfohlen!

For fans of: Wynardtage, X-Fusion, Reaper, Painbastard, Feindflug, Centhron.
Homepage: www.heimataerde.de
MySpace: www.myspace.com/heimataerde

Broken Bells - "Broken Bells"

Great debut!

Initially, I hesitated on checking out Broken Bells, primarily due to the fact that James Mercer (lead singer of The Shins) was involved. I’ve never been much of a fan of The Shins, so I understandably had my doubts about his new project Broken Bells. A bit of advice to those who are either The Shins fans or were refraining from checking out Broken Bells: This album is very different from Mercer’s other material.

Broken Bells is heavily infused with an assortment of computer-enhanced instrumentals, which is admirably balanced with an impressive vocal performance by Mercer. Surprisingly, Broken Bells was far more complex and layered than I had been expecting, and the intricacies, combined with the venerable talent of Mercer and Danger Mouse makes for an entertaining listen. This is a pop record in every sense of the word, and tracks like “Your Head Is On Fire,” “The Ghost Inside,” and “The High Road” are entirely addictive. This duo of tested veterans delivered one of the better “indie-rock” debuts of 2010, and if you haven’t heard it yet, their 2011 EP Meyrin Fields isn’t so bad either.

For fans of: The Shins, Yeasayer, Local Natives, Fleet Foxes, Miike Snow.
Homepage: www.brokenbells.com

The Third Eye Foundation - "The Dark"


Bliss. Matt Elliot’s a modern musical genius.

For fans of: Matt Elliot, Manyfingers, This Immortal Coil, Flying Saucer Attack, ANBB, Hood.
Homepage: www.myspace.com/thethirdeyefoundation
MySpace: www.thirdeyefoundation.com

The Depreciation Guild - "Spirit Youth"

If King Diamond’s 1987 release Abigail is the quintessential heavy metal gothic-horror concept album, The Depreciation Guild’s Spirit Youth would represent the other side of the coin as the greatest gothic romance album to date. These songs call out images of running through dark houses and snow, oaths of love, pining, bittersweet memories, and lots of dreaming. Simply pigeon-holing this album as easy as a The Pains of Being Pure At Heart side-project runs the risk of dismissing one of the best releases of 2010.

The Guild’s first full-length release, In Her Gentle Jaws, was unique in that it seamlessly melded 8-bit Nintendo tracks with guitars in such a way that it caused the attentive listener to appreciate how deftly the two styles were fused. With Spirit Youth the synthesis of style advances far enough along that casual listeners may never detect the chiptunes 8-bit foundations, the addition of shoegaze influences, or the string-theory like connection between the songs via their lyrics. However, what everyone will immediately notice are the incredible chord changes that set each song apart from one another. The song structures are enough to grab anyone’s attention as they hook you throughout and, like paging through a good book, compel you to listen to the next song.

Spirit Youth takes time to fall in love with. To further the gothic romance analogy, when you first meet the material you might find it ugly or slight (my own initial experience with the album was disappointment). The slight vocals of Kurt Feldman aren’t something to try after listening to Pontiak, and the lack of a bass guitar makes it challenging to rock out to. However, like the arc of Jane Eyre’s relationship with Edward Rochester, the more time you spend with the material and get to know it, the more you will find it difficult to live without. Multiple listens of “A Key Turns” and further exploration of the other tracks should reveal the same conclusion about Spirit Youth.

For fans of: Sweet Trip, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Soundpool.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thedepreciationguild

Subheim - "No Land Called Home"

Subheim’s 2008 debut album Approach was nothing short of magnificent. However, since then, there have been many stylistic changes to their sound. In a deviation from their prior soundscape of mechanical and darkened ambiance, No Land Called Home has far less of an electronic presence, and far more vocals than ever before. The electronic element that is still present coalesces with a kaleidoscope of acoustic instruments, infusing an added element of authenticity and evocative warmth to each track, which results in a far more intimate listening experience than Approach. Bolding moving forward with their distinctive resonance, Subheim represent the perfect harmony between foreboding and creative electronic elements, melancholic acoustic sounds via instruments like cello, violin, and clarinet, all coalescing into a depressive harmony of beauty and introspective bliss.

For fans of: Stendeck, Blackfilm, Undermathic, Totakeke, Nebulo, Boy Is Fiction.
Homepage: www.subheim.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/subheimmusic

Massive Attack - "Heligoland"

If you haven’t already heard of Massive Attack, you probably wouldn’t read a proper review of their newest work anyway. That said, Heligoland is an first-rate album, but in reality would probably land somewhere between “good” and “excellent” on the star-scale. However, I bumped it up to “exemplary” due to the inclusion of Hope Sandoval on "Paradise Circus." No explanation needed. If you haven’t heard it already, get your hands on Heligoland now.

For fans of: Tricky, Portishead, Archive, Hooverphonic, Sneaker Pimps, UNKLE.
Homepage: www.massiveattack.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/massiveattack

The Naked and Famous - "Passive Me, Aggressive You"

Great debut!

Exceedingly hyped, but Passive Me, Aggressive You surprisingly lived up to all of it. Since debuting at number one in the band’s home country of New Zealand, the accolades have been pouring in ever since. The album’s first single, “Young Blood,” won New Zealand’s Single Scroll Award, and the band was also nominated for the BBC Sounds of 2011 poll. Shortly thereafter, The Naked And Famous followed that up by winning the Philip Hall Rader Award at the Shockwaves NME Awards, and the rollercoaster for the band has yet to let up. I wondered if they were worthy of all the praise being heaped upon them, but after hearing Passive Me, Aggressive You, it’s undoubtedly evident that the hype is justifiable. Rather than go into a track by track synopsis, I will merely say that it’s an entertaining and strong album throughout, something that is exceptionally unusual not only in the mainstream, but also in the “indie” scene. At any rate, Passive Me, Aggressive You was one of the best debut releases in the genre, and the quality of such a debut speaks volumes for the bright future in store for the band.

For fans of: Kids of 88, Gypsy & The Cat, The Vaccines, Wolf Gang, The Joy Formidable.
Homepage: www.thenakedandfamous.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thenakedandfamous

Women - "Public Strain"

Wiry, metallic, clanging, unapologetically dissonant and still somehow sweetly melodic in a trebly, spiky Post-Punk sort of way, Women, a Canadian noise quartet with experimental tendencies, produces a sound caught in the gap between claustrophobic savant squalls and hooky pop confections. Nowhere do these poles come together more dramatically than on "Black Dice," a standout track from their eponymously titled debut. At first the song sounds like a classic nugget of mid-sixties lo-fi garage-pop, until the melody slowly and subtly starts to warp as if being played on a broken record player. And this is the curious conceit of the debut: pop songs flicker in the light before being whisked away into caverns of impenetrable (and sometimes irritating) noise.

The album cover for the band's second album, Public Strain, couldn't be more apropos of the music contained within: a stark, dark-lit snowstorm punctuated by the burning glow of poetic beauty. This time, the pop songs no longer descend into the caverns of noise; rather, they provide the blurry outlines that give vestiges of form to the spectral dissonance. Simultaneously beautiful and exceedingly bleak, it's hard to shake the feeling that Women are really on to something original when listening to a song like "Venice Lockjaw," with vocals sounding as off kilter as they do haunting- imagine The Clientele cross-bred with The Velvet Underground. Women produce a singular sound well worth multiple spins for those with ears to hear.


For fans of: Male Bonding, Young Prisms, No Joy, Wild Nothing, Minks.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/womenmusic

Polarkreis 18 - "Frei"

Frei is simply a great German electronic-pop release, lush with orchestrations and hooks but with a contemplative and at times even melancholic essence about them. I'm really not sure if they'll ever break-through Stateside - for a variety of reasons, some not music related - but if you enjoy innovative, addictive electronic pop music with a Euro-sensibility, this is for you.

For fans of: Bodi Bill, Slut, Fotos, Roman Fischer, Anajo.
Homepage: http://polarkreis18.de
MySpace: www.myspace.com/polarkreis18

And now...

Aeon Sable - Per Aspera Ad Astra
Android Lust - The Human Animal
Anna von Hausswolff - Singing From the Grave
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
Belle and Sebastian - Write about Love
Berlin Black And The Shades Of Grey - Burn It Down
Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle
Brandt Brauer Frick - You Make Me Real
Caribou - Swim
Chew Lips - Unicorn
Cindytalk - Up Here In the Clouds
Conjure One - Exilarch
Delphic - Acolyte
Gatekeeper - Giza
God Is An Astronaut - Age of the Fifth Sun
Iris - Blacklight
Jonsi - Go Live
Joy Serene - Joy Serene
Kent - En Plats I Solen
Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Rebellion Der Traumer
Krister Linder - Shrine of Time
Krister Linder - Metropia - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Lost in the Trees - All Alone In An Empty House
Lunatic Soul - Lunatic Soul II
Merciful Nuns - Lib. I
Method Cell - Curse Of A Modern Age
mind.in.a.box - R.E.T.R.O
Minerve - Please
Munly and the Lupercalians - Petr and the Wulf
Murder by Death - Good Morning, Magpie
Nachtmahr - Mädchen In Uniform
Pantha du Prince - Black Noise
Pascal Pinon - s/t
Pretentious, Moi? - Pretentious, Moi?
Rhombus - Open The Sky
Rökkurró- I´ Annan Heim
65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway
Sleepy Trees - Young Joseph
Solar Fields - Origin # 01
Stornoway - Beachcomer’s Windsill
Suuns - Zeroes QC
Tapage and Meander - Etched In Salt
Tesla Boy - Modern Thrills
The Arctic Flow - All the Way Until December (late '09 release)
The Black Ryder - Sweet Come Down (late '09 release)
The Candle Thieves - Sunshine and other Misfortunes
The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath (late '09 release)
The Conquistadors - Citiscapes
The Flashbulb - Arboreal
The Ghost Of 3.13 - ...And So I Watched The Seasons Change
The Juliets - The Juliets
The Love Language - Libraries
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Say No To Love mCD
The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme
Totakeke - On the First of November
Veil Veil Vanish - Change In The Neon Light
Trentemøller - Into The Great Wide Yonder
Undermood - For Bleeding Ears
Warm Ghost - Uncut Diamond
Yeasayer - Odd Blood
Zola Jesus - Stridulum II

Fin ~*

Envíos aceptados
Envíos pendientes
And Also The Trees, Owl, Sweet Robot Love


  • dus-tin

    Cool list, some more miscellaneous albums: Crippled Black Phoenix - I, Vigilante < my favorite from last year, Envy - Recitation, Heaven in Her Arms - Paraselene, Man's Gin - Smiling Dogs < very surprised this wasn't here - seems right up your alley, Olafur Arnalds - ...And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness, The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt

    23 Abr 2011, 12:53
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ dus-tin: Thanks man! This is definitely the list I need the most suggestions in, as "Misc." can basically mean anything out there, and also when it comes to indie-rock, there are so many releases out there that it's impossible for me to listen to the genres I already do plus this one and keep up with everything interesting, relevant, and essential. I completely missed the Crippled Black Phoenix. I remember reading about it and then I just completely forgot about it. Fuck. I've never heard Envy, The Tallest Man on Earth, Heaven in Her Arms, or Man's Gin before. I included the Ólafur Arnalds (which I did really enjoy) with the Neoclassical stuff in the other journal, but it would've been at home here as well.

    23 Abr 2011, 13:05
  • dus-tin

    Ah, my mistake on Olafur Arnalds. And yeah, you really need to hear that Man's Gin album. One of the members is also in Cobalt.

    23 Abr 2011, 13:34
  • SimonMagnus

    im surprised that broken bells are on this list. your top picks are not really outa blue. but the latter picks are quite nice! and still dont dig hurts.

    23 Abr 2011, 15:22
  • cfvk

    i haven't heard of a lot of this stuff, but this is the list i will go through with my wife the most, at least get some quality stuff to listen to when it's not metal(or classic rock).

    23 Abr 2011, 17:34
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ dus-tin: I couldn't ever really get into Cobalt, but I'll let you know how the Man's Gin adventure works out. @ Simon Magnus: I couldn't ignore Broken Bells. I just liked that sound too much to not include it in my list, regardless of how mainstream the record and the people involved happen to me. I don't want to seem like I [i]discriminate[/i] against mainstream music, it's just that most of it is utter shit.

    23 Abr 2011, 20:06
  • SimonMagnus

    i had a chance to see them open for LCD soundsystem and i didnt when i was in LA. kinda regret i didnt

    24 Abr 2011, 4:52
  • Joe_Pi

    Not shocked at 2 out of the top 3. Hurts really had an incredible album. Hopefully they can follow it up. Nice list.

    25 Abr 2011, 14:07
  • Killjoker

    Good list, made some discoveries! Killing Joke´s Absolute Dissent is my fav. album of 2010.

    25 Abr 2011, 18:05
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ SimonMagnus: Balls. @ Joe_Pi: Thanks pal. @ Killjoker: Thanks for the comment! [i]Absolute Dissent is a monster of an album! What were your other faves in 2010?

    25 Abr 2011, 18:48
  • DreadfulYgg

    Albums you should check out that weren't on your list: Phantogram- Eyelid Movies, Twin Sister- Color My Life, Local Natives- Gorilla Manor, Best Coast- Crazy For You, Beach House- Teen Dream, Flying Lotus- Cosmogramma, Four Tet- There is Love in You, Memoryhouse- The Years (EP), oOoOO- oOoOO (EP)

    26 Abr 2011, 8:47
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ DreadfulYgg: I've heard some of those bands, but none of those albums in their entirety. I'll def be checking them out. Thanks for the suggestions! I appreciate it.

    26 Abr 2011, 8:54
  • speleology

    Here are my favorite gems from 2010 (without order): - Утро - Семнадцатое ноября - ALCEST - Écailles de lune - ARPLINE - Travel Book - DEUX - Agglomérat - FACTORY OF ANGST - Thunder Of Angst - LES DISCRETS - Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées - MASSIVE ATTACK - Heligoland - HUMAN TETRIS - Soldiers EP - MOTORAMA - Alps - DROSERAE - En Abysse EP

    28 Abr 2011, 20:48
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ speleology: Thanks for the comment! There are several of those I haven't heard at all, including Утро, ArpLine, Factory Of Angst, Human Tetris, and Droserae. I'll be sure to check them out!

    28 Abr 2011, 22:31
  • ngelindur

    thanks for your Heavy Metal, Neofolk / Martial / Neoclassical / Etc and Indie / Misc link... well TONS of bands/ music i've never heard before...! if i remembered my 2010... few of them already on your list The Radio Dept, Sufjan Stevens, Twin-Hand Movement, Ólafur Arnalds, Jonsi, Oh No Ono, God is an Astronaut, Arcade Fire, Cats on fire, Deerhunter, Wild Nothing, Tokyo Police Club

    3 May 2011, 11:00
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ ngelindur: Thanks for checking out my journals! I haven't heard of a few of those artists you listed, such as Two-Hand Movement, Oh No Ono, and Wild Nothing, so I'll try to check them out. Again, thanks for the comment! Feel free to post anything else that you may think I should include or give a listen to!

    3 May 2011, 12:38
  • ngelindur

    maybe i'll spend my lifetime browsing your massive library later lol... oh yeah for electronic/ambient/ ethereal etc i'll add Sarasvati, Salyu, Cybo, and Boris (noise ambient) ... i'm not really sure it's 2010 or 2009 album... rarely remember albums year haha

    4 May 2011, 8:05
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Mournheim: Thanks! I haven't ever heard Hidden Orchestra before, sounds interesting. I'll check it out! @ ngelindur: Thanks for the suggestions! I've heard Cybo and Boris before (but not their newest releases, not much of a Boris fan) but I haven't heard Sarasvati or Salyu. I'll be sure to check them out! Thanks again for the comment and the suggestions. You can never have too much music to listen to. ;-]

    4 May 2011, 8:25
  • LadyNightfaLL

    your "best in ..."-journals are awesome. the descriptions of some albums really want to make me listen to the music. so: good job! :D

    7 May 2011, 18:29
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ LadyNightfaLL: Thanks for checking them out! Did you have any fave releases in 2010? If so, feel free to post them. :-]

    7 May 2011, 19:52
  • lml

    Once again thanks for your hard work :D I've just finished -diagonal- reading your three charts and at this moment I'm collapsed. From now on, I'll keep this as a reference for new discoveries :)

    15 May 2011, 21:42
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ ImI: Thanks for checking out my journals! Let me know if you enjoy any of them or if you can think of any releases I might have missed for 2010 that I need to hear. :-]

    16 May 2011, 7:03
  • Lord_Krichian

    lol anathemas new album is an immense pile of crap compared to their beginnings. but i guess ur not a fan

    27 Jun 2011, 10:58
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Lord_Krichian: I'd completely disagree. I am a fan of early Anathema, and while I enjoy that style of death-doom to an extent, as a long-time fan of the band I've never really [i]loved[/i] those records as much as I loved the second incarnation of the band. Anathema's early work, while emblematic of the genre era and a fundamental part of what made them part of the "UK 3" (along with Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride) really wasn't anything special. What Anathema have achieved since then, starting primarily with 1996's "Eternity" has been nothing short of genius.

    27 Jun 2011, 16:54
  • Emannikcufesin

    Thanks for taking the time to compile this list. You have definitely turned me on to some new bands, because of your list I immediately added "O'Children" and "John and Jehn" to my collection. Cheers!

    11 Jul 2011, 4:09
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