Top Ten Albums of 2010 (So Far)

Top Ten Albums of 2010 (So Far)

This has already been a stellar year for alternative and indie music albums, with excellent releases by the likes of Owen Pallett, The Besnard Lakes and Avi Buffalo bringing  much joy to us at Neon Filler. The year has been so good that already we’ve easily come up with a solid top ten. Those on it are going to take some beating as the year progresses.

The year has also seen a welcome return of quality British music, with Sunderland’s Field Music and Brighton’s The Miserable Rich among the pick of the home grown entrants on our list.

Here’s our top ten so far, based on those who achieved our rare 9/10 accolade in our reviews section and the pick of the 8/10s. Special mention must go to those that just missed out  such as The New Pornographers album Together, The Fall’s Your Future, Our Clutter and Beachhouse’s excellently dreamy Teen Dreams.

1. Field Music Measure

Measure, a double album no less, sees the band move on yet another level. There are aspects of the sweeping, mazy songs on their eponymous debut as well as the jerky, more structured pop of second album Tones of Town, but a whole lot more has been added. Led Zepplin, Fleetwood Mac, even ELO, XTC, The Move and 10cc are thrown into the mix.

Field Music

2. The Miserable Rich – Of Flight and Fury

Of Flight and Fury is the second album from Brighton’s The Miserable Rich and it picks up from where their excellent debut left off. Part of Brighton’s Willkommen Collective they are the most compact and focused of the bunch.

The Miserable Rich

3. Owen Pallett – Heartland

With the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Arcade Fire’s Jeremy Gara involved, Heartland is at times pure Brian Wilson  as it effortlessly takes in aspects of classical music, electronica, pop and indie-cool.

Owen Pallett

4. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt

Swedish folk singer Kristian Matsson, who takes to the stage under the name Tallest Man On Earth, must be bored to tears with being compared with early Bob Dylan, especially when in many respects he is actually better than the great man at the same stage in his career.

The Tallest Man On Earth

5. The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night

After the first 30 seconds of opening track ‘Like The Ocean Like The Innocent’ I was sceptical. I’ve heard enough meandering drone rock to last me a lifetime, but nine minutes later at the end of the track I was a convert. This is music with genuine substance and power.

Besnard Lakes

Besnard Lakes

6. Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago.

When the end of the world comes, as pollution lays waste to the Earth, Shearwater’s leader singer Jonathan Meiburg will be on a nuclear  ravaged tropical island somewhere screaming bloody murder in his haunting baritone at the corporations and politicians. This indie/folk/rock album is powerful stuff.


7. Surfer Blood – Astro Coast

As debuts go Astro Coast is already a modern indie classic. Full of  a marvellous mix of riffs, indie rock influences such as  Sonic Youth and Pavement, passionate singing and some neat tricks as well. It is all that is good about the best of modern US indie rock.

Surfer Blood

8. Broken Bells – Broken Bells

Opening track and lead single ‘The High Road’ kicks things off beautifully and is a sign of the good things to come. By the time you’ve listened to ‘Vaporise’ and Mercer’s surprisingly good falsetto on ‘The Ghost Inside’ you know that Burton and Mercer have produced something worthy of an end of year best of list.

Broken Bells

9. Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo

Barely out of high school Avigdor and his band Avi Buffalo are quite rightly on the cusp of deserved success.  The right music, the right faces, the right attitude at the right time.

Avi Buffalo

10. Fang Island  – Fang Island

Imagine if you will Bill and Ted’s band Wyld Stallyons, but better, speeded up and backed by members of Primus, Faith No More and The Descendents. It’s a heady mix of humour, power chords and squealing solos that Fang Island pull off with aplomb.

Fang Island

Compiled by Joe Lepper and Dorian Rogers