Hey! It’s another Best of 2010 List! We almost chose to forgo the usual list-making duties that every writer/blogger/music-lover/mother-and-your-brother goes through at this time of year, but we just couldn’t stop ourselves from giving these locals another lil’ pat on the back for making us rock out, chill out, and groove on a bit more this year.
Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
It should really go without saying that Janelle tops our list (after all, she’s topped countless others, like those of The Guardian and the AP). We’ve been admires of her for an awfully long time, and said of her first full-length album, “There will be references to future worlds, poetic social commentary, sharp sounds mixing every genre from Stax soul to Studio 54 disco to mountain bluegrass to sweet Tin Pan Alley, and so much more than you could every dream of.”
The Selmanaires – An Animated Shadow
The lads released lots of bits and pieces throughout the year, but it was EP An Animated Shadow that saw the longest and most involved release. We said it “sees the band getting even mellower and more experimental, but thankfully still listenable and terribly enjoyable. Lovely stuff.” With founding member Tommy Chung now in New York, we’re interested to see how the band further develops.
Mathis Hunter – Soft Opening
After spending some time as The Selmanaires’ musical wingman (as well as having founded the huge funk collective that is Noot D’Noot, also on this list), Mathis Hunter went it alone to make his own record, and the result was, we declared, “a masterful continuation of the train of thought that makes up his career, not a departure from it.” Soft Opening “makes good on all of Hunter’s already demonstrated predispositions: creative percussion, saxophone, psychedelic soundscapes and haunting guitar melodies.”
Mermaids – Tropsicle
While we have yet to formally review this record on the site – hold tight, it’ll be coming in the New Year – we all agree that the band’s lo-fi jangly garage rock tropicalia is just what Atlanta needs right now.
Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Atlanta music fans’ hands clapped with glee when we were first graced with The Lady Killer‘s infamous single and it’s colorful, text-heavy promo video. “The song is a perfect mix of anger and humor, with universal sentiment and a great melody that jumps out at you,” we said. “Quite simply, Cee-Lo can now lay claim to two of the greatest singles of the 21st century.” And the rest of the album? “It’s finger snapping, booty shaking, love making dynamite.”
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Atlanta’s bizzaro indie rock kings continue their rise in the country’s musical esteems, managing to push genre boundaries while becoming more listenable to the masses.
Weapons of Audio – Bipolar
We loved Weapons of Audio fresh take on the Atlanta sound, mixing a “little hip-hop, some electronica, a bit of pop, some rap, even a little slice of blues” to make for a sharp-sounding debut.
Sealions – Strange Vein
With a few changes in their sound, Sealions have managed to really come into their own this year, with their own special brand of ’80s-inspired electronica. We noticed that they stood out from the crowd with their “sing-a-long harmonies and sharp production.”
Oryx and Crake – Oryx and Crake
We gushed over Oryx and Crake’s “lush orchestral pop that will charm everyone it meets,” and Atlanta saw this band continue to win over fans all over the city.
All Night Drug Prowling Wolves – Make It Right
We declared all you rockers will love the Wolves latest, which is “loud, head-banging, and the best seedy bar music for your inner punk, all while using the most minimal chord progressions as possible.”
Carnivores – If I’m Ancient
We’ve been really warming up to this band, and are happy to see that they are “continuing to wow with their impressive mix of psychedelic garage rock, lo-fi tropicalia, lounge and more.” And it looks like we’re in good company – Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and Tom Ravenscroft (son of John Peel) are both fans, playing Carnivores on their BBC 6 Music shows.
Noot D’Noot – From Ever Since
Atlanta’s own groovy collective move into funkier and funkier territory, while still sounding current and hip as ever.
Judi Chicago – Bright Lights, Fun City
Though 2010 saw the departure of founding member Travis Thatcher to New York, Judi Chicago are promising to keep going strong, with their blend of “bad-boy dance techno meets good ole’ rock ‘n’ roll” that is exemplified perfectly on Bright Lights, Fun City.
Last Chance Runaround – Alter Idem
A much-too-overlooked gem of the under-underground Atlanta music world, Last Chance Runaround released a glorious indie-folk-meets-college-rock album. We were treated to an album that mixed harp and acoustic guitar in a truly unique way, with the harp’s “delicate plucks balancing out the college rock vibe, bringing a lightness to the mulling-over style of the jangly guitar.”
The Constellations – Southern Gothic
Alright, so it is technically a re-release, now that the band is signed to a major label. We were happy that the record was going to get out to the bigger public, with “Every track soaked with creativity, combining funky synth riffs with traditional harmonies and strings sections, which is indicative of [Ben] Allen’s production style.”
Death on Two Wheels – Again For The First Time
With gritty vocals, raw guitar licks and some smooth blues thrown in, Death on Two Wheels continued to wow us with their second EP offering.
Rebecca Loebe – Mystery Prize
We were completely charmed by Rebecce Loebe and “Her crystal clear vocals, occasionally augmented by some sexy, slight scratchiness, drips with sincerity, friendliness, and optimism in the face of adversity” that shone through on her debut album, which has steadily been making its way into the ears and hearts of music fans worldwide over the year.