New (to me) music discoveries

I recently found somebody’s list of the top 20 albums of 2010. As I’m always rather behind the times, I didn’t get a chance to sample those I was unfamiliar with until this weekend. This is the list:

  1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
  2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  3. The Black Keys – Brothers
  4. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
  5. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
  6. The National – High Violet
  7. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
  8. Beach House – Teen Dream
  9. Broken Bells – Broken Bells
  10. Vampire Weekend – Contra
  11. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
  12. Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
  13. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
  14. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot – The Son of Chico Dusty
  15. Sleigh Bells – Treats
  16. Caribou – Swim
  17. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
  18. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
  19. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
  20. Jonsi – Go

I went through all twenty albums, listening to two or three songs from each. I’m already a fan of Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons and Sufjan Stevens, and I added The Tallest Man on Earth (rather Dylanesque) and Jonsi (ethereal and joyous, maybe less moody than Sigur Rós?).

I was still unmoved by Arcade Fire. I’d heard a lot of praise for The National, too, but I found them pretty banal. Plus, the singer is a total mumbler.

In any case, here are a couple of videos from the new-to-me artists. I am, uh, unclear if the Jonsi video is official or fan-made.

It’s interesting that Kristian Matsson, the man behind The Tallest Man on Earth, is Swedish. He sounds like he’s from Kentucky.


  1. Alexis, put me in that group too. I’ve been watching Sleigh Bells for awhile now, not because of their music, but because the guitar player’s name is Derek Miller, so he’s been showing up in my ego-searches.

  2. I haven’t heard a single artist from this list save for Arcade Fire. And I do not care to listen to them either. But the guy in Tallest Man – doesn’t he look like Ewan McGregor in that still from the video?

  3. Hi Darren,
    Great list – we continue to have remarkably similar musical tastes. A couple of lesser-known bands that fit into the genres above that I think you’ll enjoy. Both are on Merge Records and have a similar sound:

    The Love Language

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