10. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (Modular)It's nearly impossible for me to listen to Tame Impala without thinking of the Beatles and getting a bit nostalgic about classic rock. On Innerspeaker, there's no shortage of psychedelic jams; Zeppelin, Hendrix are all invoked here. And surely some of the credit for this big "classic" sound is due to Flaming Lips producer David Fridmann. Remember that supposed garage rock revival in the early 00s? Tame Impala's high octane riffs and melodic vocals wouldn't have sounded out of place during this retro revival, but their Aussie rivals (i.e., the Vines) would have fled for the hills.
"Solitude is Bliss"
9. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (Merge)Read my initial review.)
"Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
8. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me (Drag City)
7. Future Islands - In Evening Air (Thrill Jockey)
6. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (4AD)favourite of the year); on Halcyon Digest, the band's feet are firmly planted. The ambient diversions and transitions have all but disappeared. Instead, we get a more diverse display of Deerhunter's best qualities. At times it's a pretty heavy record: mortality, aging, and transcendence are, as usual, heavily mined themes. Bradford Cox still seems preoccupied with obscure stories of religious affectation ("Revival" and "Helicopter"), while secondary songwriter Lockett Pundt aims for arena-rock with "Desire Lines." Cox & co. have yet to disappoint with their songwriting, but it's the stylistic moves and the instrumental additions (like the wicked saxophone solo on "Coronado") that make Halcyon Digest a great record.
5. Beach House - Teen Dream (Sub Pop)"Zebra," sung by the P22 Chorus). No record this year was as soft around the edges, as warm or as comforting. Teen dreams make for the best kind of nostalgia; Beach House present them with all of emotion and none of the regret.
4. The National - High Violet (4AD)Read my initial review.)
3. Menomena - Mines (Barsuk)Read my initial review.)
2. Balmorhea - Constellations (Western Vinyl)
1. Women - Public Strain (Flemish Eye / Jagjaguwar)Read my initial review.)