FILTER’s Top 10 of 2010: White Lies
By Staff on December 2, 2010
Ah, the end of yet another fantastic year in music. 2010 was good to us, no doubt about it, and once again we find ourselves on the other side, having made it through a near-endless array of albums—from Teen Dreams to Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasies—all the better for it. Now comes the time when we sit back, plug in and reflect on the musical months in reverse. And as much as we love to put together our own best-of lists, we consider the bands themselves a far more fascinating glimpse at the sounds of 2010. Reaching out to some of our favorites, here FILTER presents a series of artists’ best-ofs running throughout the month of December. We've put in our own two cents on the Top 10 Records of 2010, so be sure to check those out, but for now we’ll turn it over to some of the artists who continue to make every year a highlight.
Kicking everything off this year, is British trio White Lies. In 2010, White Lies toured widely in support of its dynamic 2009 debut, To Lose My Life…, and the odds are great you’ve probably seen them at one point or another, as they made an appearance at just about every major festival, including a headlining gig at FILTER’s own Culture Collide Festival at the beginning of the fall. With a nod to the melodrama of the 1980s and their feet firmly placed in grandiose 21st-century post-punk, Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Brown continue the saga ahead with a sophomore LP, Ritual, due January 18.
Harry McVeigh's Picks
Black Breath, Heavy Breathing (SOUTHERN LORD)
I've got into a lot of metal over the last few years, this is a great album from a band from Seattle. Saw them live a few days ago and it was even better than the record!
The Walkmen, Lisbon (FAT POSSUM)
Lisbon is the tender and beautifully crafted sixth album from The Walkmen. To be honest, like a lot of other people before 2010, I only knew them for their song "The Rat" and I bought this record on a whim shopping in Amoeba in L.A. I'm so glad I did, it’s very rare to find such a simple yet powerful record where musicianship shines throughout.
Spoon, Transference (MERGE)
This is the seventh album from the band, originally from Austin, Texas, and another new discovery for me. This is an intense and very original record, very well crafted by musicians who really know how to play. I look forward to discovering more from their back catalogue.
Charles Cave's Picks
Blonde Redhead, Penny Sparkle (4AD)
I had been anticipating this album since the moment I heard word of its arrival and still think I'll be listening to it in years to come. A perfect marriage of the band’s trademark fractured vocals, delicate guitars and Van Rivers/Subliminal Kids' icy electronics leaves every song sounding nostalgic and tender but more self-assured than their previous efforts. My personal highlight is “My Plants Are Dead.”
Unkle, Where Did the Night Fall? (SURRENDER ALL)
I was only introduced to Unkle on this album after hearing “Natural Selection” on the radio, which features The Black Angels. The album is a great collection of guest appearances and amazing psychedelic riffs and hooks. Mark Lanegan closes the album with “Another Night Out,” which is without a doubt my track of the year.
Deftones, Diamond Eyes (REPRISE/WARNER)
This record took me by surprise. I remember recreating similar scenes from the “Back to School” video when I was at school with all my friends in their White Pony hoodies blaring music out of awful portable speakers and standing on the desks in the classroom playing air guitar. Fond memories. I met this album with little more than curiosity after not being impressed by the bands’ self-titled offering. Just when I thought I was so over this kind of angst-ridden metal, Deftones return with a refined and musical record that I was sucked back into again. My hoodie is long gone, though.
Check out Charles Cave’s Top 10 of 2009.
Jack Brown's Picks
Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (ROC-A-FELLA/DEF JAM)
I was pretty skeptical upon hearing this record, due to the insane levels of hype surrounding its arrival. However, it truly is one of the best hip-hop records ever made. The best lyrics Kanye’s ever written, the production and sampling he's ever created, and the best and most diverse collaboration list I've ever seen. The final tracks, "Lost in the Woods” and “Who Will Survive in America" featuring Bon Iver, are one of the best last tracks on any album I can think of.
Twin Shadow, Forget (4AD/TERRIBLE)
A fantastically soulful record by one of the best new voices in alternative music. It immaculately references mid '80s production, but avoids nostalgia down to the quality of the songs. A very impressive debut record.
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (MERGE)
The third album from Arcade Fire has a much subtler touch than either of its predecessors—the production is reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac in places. It’s vaguely conceptual, which works to its advantage, with all the songs being tied together lyrically. Although its possibly two or three songs too long, it recovers fantastically at the end with” Sprawl II,” one of the best tracks of the band’s career so far.
Violens, Amoral (FRIENDLY FIRE)
A fantastic debut record from one of White Lies’ favorite new bands. Incredible DIY production, and some really forward thinking songwriting. Violens should go on to become a very important band.