Welcoming some more casual subject matter to my blog… I present my favorite albums of the 2010s (so, all time at this point).
Hot Chip – Why Make Sense? (2015)
This album is flush with confidence and chugs along patiently, the perfect backdrop to homework. It’s incredibly cohesive but still varies nicely down the record. The last song on the A-side, the namesake “Why Make Sense” is my favorite. The B-side of covers by and of Hot Chip is great too. Not to be missed, the cover of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” is capped off by a bit of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.”
Moddi – Set The House On Fire (2013)
This album by Norwiegan prog-folk soloist Moddi will always be close to my heart. Eleven introspective tunes are perfection in sequence. Lilting lullabies like “House by the Sea” contrast with the buzzing energy of “The Architect”. This album reminds me of the feeling of being engrossed in a good book. The wonderfully organic-sounding live strings, accordion, piano, and guitar meld with keyboard and a diversity of percussion to accompany Moddi Pal Knutsen’s gentle voice
Teleman – Family of Aliens (2018)
After discovering Teleman, every song on their 2018 album gradually wormed its way into my favorites. There’s a nice mix of wistful and plain fun. This British band has a specific Bauhaus aesthetic that is reflected in their music – restrained and spacious, with lots of focus on the piano and synthesizer. The lyrics are cryptic but in a friendly, atmospheric way.
St. Vincent – Actor (2009)
An early one of St. Vincent’s many eras. This lovely, poetic album has an enduring beauty – deceptively sheer, usually with a scalding guitar solo at some point. I listened to Actor on repeat on my first summer living alone, on countless lonely subway rides. I think it inspired some much needed confidence.
Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About The Car? (2017)
Declan McKenna’s first album won the hearts of teenagers across the world, including mine. It boasts a ton of bangers, from the lovely opener “Humongous” to the advanced “Isombard.” Although he calls it a bit of a hodgepodge, I think it’s hard to beat in cohesiveness. It’s not something I listen to weekly anymore, but it’s always a good time to return to. I have a “Paracetamol” shirt, but my favorite might still be “Why Do You Feel So Down” by merit of the highly relatable bridge.
Lime Cordiale – Permanent Vacation (2017)
Despite more somberly themed tracks like “Underground” and “Walk Over Everything I Do”, this album is really just a great time. The Australian Leimbach brothers turned the public onto their debonair, surf-rocker style over a decade of persistence, and it paid off. Super distinctive melodies, vocals (oo-ooh-yeah!), and brass set apart any Lime Cordiale song. At least 4 of the 13 tracks deal with being the spurned man, and are all delivered with convincing charm.
Parcels – Parcels (2018)
More Aussies! This critically acclaimed, eponymous debut needs few words from me. It’s almost intimidatingly good. These self-proclaimed EDM-haters are bringing the 70s back in style, with unfussy vocals and funky basslines. My favorite is “Everyroad”, an 8:35 masterpiece with a narrative that reveals itself through chopped-together clips of interviews of anonymous Berliners. Fun fact: “Everyroad” also includes vocals by Flore Benguigui of L’Impératrice.