Review Of 2010 – Songs, Gigs, Gubbins

So here we are then. The last part of my review of the year. Hope you enjoy. (Parts One and Two are here, and over there)

Songs of the year

Avi Buffalo – Truth Sets In

On first hearing, I thought this song was pretty good. On second, third, fourth, all the way up to the hundredth, I thought this song was the best I heard all year. I adore it. The lines “Witchcraft seems to unload and say\That you don’t love me anymore” are just wonderful. Truly, if you don’t like this, you don’t like music.

MP3: Truth Sets In by Avi Buffalo

Buy “Avi Buffalo”

Bright Spark Destroyer – They Already Know

A song of the year from an unsigned band? Off their first EP? How come? Because it’s great, that’s why. The moment, about 2 minutes in when singer James Ellis suddenly sings an impassioned “And if you say you love me”1, tears my heart open each time I hear it. If it doesn’t do that to your heart too, then truly it is made of stone.

MP3: They Already Know by Bright Spark Destroyer

Buy their stuff here.

The Morning Benders – Excuses

Borne aloft on a wave of hype, I expected big things of this record. The album didn’t quite reach those expectations, but this song did. Even more lovely in its acoustic form, here:

MP3: Excuses by The Morning Benders

Buy “Big Echo” (CD)

Local Natives – Wide Eyes

Borne aloft on a wave of hype, I expected big things of this record. The album didn’t quite reach those expectations, but this song did. What? Oh. “Airplanes” is damn good too, in case you’re interested.

MP3: Wide Eyes by Local Natives

Buy “Gorilla Manor” (CD/MP3)

Paul Thomas Saunders – The Death Of A Sports Personality

Haunting and quiet. I want to hear lots more from this chap. How he’s not got himself signed to Big Evil Record Company is beyond me.

MP3: The Death of a Sports Personality by Paul Thomas Saunders

Check out more of his stuff here.

The Songs Off The Disappointing Albums That Made You Remember Why You Loved The Band To Start Off With

Broken Social Scene – All To All

There’s always one truly great song on every BSS album (think “7/4 (Shoreline)”, “Churches…”). “All To All” is this year’s incarnation. Lisa Lobsinger comes of age.

MP3: All to All by Broken Social Scene

Buy “Forgiveness Rock Record” (CD/MP3)

Band Of Horses – Older

Saw them perform this live back in 2008, and hearing it again wonderful surprise. Hokey, sure, but marvellous. If only the rest of Infinite Arms had been so good.

MP3: Yeah, right, do I look that stupid?

Song of last year that I didn’t hear till this year (1)

Neko Case – People Got A Lotta Nerve

Great enough, and then the ascending vocals on the middle eight propel this song into whole new worlds of brilliance. So it came out last January. That’s January 2009. So?

MP3: People Got A Lotta Nerve by Neko Case

Buy “Middle Cyclone” (CD/MP3)

Song of last year that I didn’t hear till this year (2)

James Blackshaw – Cross

Astonishing. That’s the only word I can use for this song. Watch the video below of him playing this live, in a dusty park in Spain (possibly), and wonder how much time he’s spent learning to play this well.

Cross by James Blackshaw

Buy “The Glass Bead Game” (CD/MP3) (And you should)

Song Title Of The Year

Swans – You Fucking People Make Me Sick

Brilliant. The song’s not half bad either.

Gigs of the year, in reverse order

3. Russian Circles at Underworld, Camden

Small, packed out club – check. Devoted, slightly mental fanbase – check. Astonishing post-rock, post-metal music from just three blokes, who seem to have channelled the sound of the coming apocalypse to greater effect than anyone before, even Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

2. Swans/James Blackshaw at Koko, Mornington Crescent

Ow, my ears. And please stop staring at me like that. Preceded by oh blimey, how is he doing that? And can you all please shut up and listen?

1. Tortoise at Koko, Mornington Crescent

My word, I wish I’d been to see this lot in the past. I had a stupid grin all through the set, and still having it now typing it. The sound that aliens would make if you played them jazz.

Honourable mentions: Mastodon, Iron and Wine, Jason Lytle, The Xx, The Besnard Lakes, Joanna Newsom. I’ve been to a lot of great gigs.

Albums from 2010 That I Haven’t Really Listened To Yet And Might Be Good

The Walkmen – Lisbon
Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago

Considering I’ve loved albums by these two bands in the past, I really should listen to their new ones, shouldn’t I?

John Grant – Queen Of Denmark

Only given this one listen and am slightly intrigued, but having Midlake in full-on Minor Key Flutey Doomy Bollocks Mode has put me off a bit so far.

Which brings me to:

Albums From 2010 That I Was All Disappointed With, You Know (Redux)

Oh, Midlake, how could you?

And that’s it. If you’re lucky/unlucky, I’ll post something after the food and drink extravaganza that is Xmas in L&L&Family Towers. Hope you all have a great one, and don’t forget – a turkey isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for Boxing Day too, so stop stuffing yourself, eh?

1 Yep, I know that the first two songs are about broken love and all that, but aren’t the best songs?

Leave a comment


  1. Mark Narraway

     /  December 28, 2010

    Wow, love that PTS song!

  1. Play It All « Loft And Lost

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