Tuesday, December 21, 2010
SCQ's Top Thirty Albums Of 2010
Every few years we get an anticipated release schedule that looks positively monolithic in scope, where the who’s-who of the indie kingdom and the hottest buzz-bands all have records due out within the same twelve-month span. In the case of Skeleton Crew Quarterly’s specific tastes, 2010 was quickly construed as a déjà-vu of another epic year in music: 2007. Not only did this second-coming mark the return of many 2007 success-stories (such as LCD Soundsystem, Deerhunter, The National, and Arcade Fire) but it also exposed a covert shift in SCQ’s key interests.
In league with some of 2007’s aforementioned class that graduated to stardom, 2010 also established a line-up of releases from artists who’ve taken Skeleton Crew Quarterly’s #1 Album prize in past years. Ryan Adams, who bested SCQ’s 2005 list with Cold Roses, called off retirement to drop Orion and III/IV while the likes of Arcade Fire and Electric President each followed up excellent sophomores (which took SCQ’s Best Album honour in 2007 and 2008, respectively). Then there are returning favourites who’ve narrowly missed the top spot: Broken Social Scene, Deerhunter, The Walkmen, Crystal Castles, Pete Yorn, Matthew Dear, Los Campesinos!, Royksopp…
I’ll end the list there because, curiously, I’m only getting further off topic. None of those acts’ releases made SCQ’s list this year; a solemn fact that speaks to either the quality of their work or, more often than not, the changing tastes of Skeleton Crew Quarterly. Instead, 2010 ushered in a new decade with flurries of fresh, unexpected artists, many of them dedicated to genre-splicing on a far more subtle level. You’ll still see some familiar faces from the SCQ Archive but, make no mistake, this year belongs to the new class.
Happy Holidays and thanks so much for reading/emailing. It has been a great first year here in Ottawa, surrounded by amazing music and all of you regular Skltnz. I appreciate you checking in more than you know.