OurVinyl took a look at band’s who has their first LP released in the year of 2010 and discussed who the “best” are, not in terms of just what their first album was like, but in terms of how they were received by the public and how we feel they are going to succeed moving forward into 2011 and beyond. Some choices might seem obvious, while others may surprise you.
1: Mumford and Sons: The first LP from Mumford and Sons, “Sigh No More”, was released in the US in February of 2010. Quickly news spread of this album’s unique folk-rock sound, and of their stunning live shows. Quickly they were taken onto festival schedules all over America and Europe for the summer of 2010. But the reason why this band is a such a stunning new act was through the life-affirming, love-centric, and philosophical nature of their lyrics and sound. They have challenged our generation to think about popular music in grander ways than we are accustomed to, and have done so successfully. And on top of that they have yet to create a song that is even “okay”, each one is marvelous, it seems that so far they cannot error. They have transcended their genre and sound, garnishing substantial respect and praise from people of all ages and genre-inclinations. The sky is the limit with these guys.
2. Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros: Even though they recorded, and made available, their breakout LP “Up From Below” in 2009 – it wasn’t until 2010 that it was released nationally for all to buy/hear. And quickly after their set at Coachella, word spread of this band that looks and sounds like a southern California late 60’s incarnation, and of their astounding live shows – in which audience participation and a feeling of communal enjoyment were central aspects. With a little help from some commercial placements of their unthinkably catchy 40 Day Dream and Home, they quickly appeared on everyone’s radar, and haven’t fallen off since.
3: Drake: Drake released his first album, “Thank Me Later”, in June of this year. And by the end of summer he was headlining festival’s and witnessed his album go platinum. Drake’s appeal lies in his ability to fuse R & B and aspects of southern bounce rap into something digestible for the masses – but without selling out to them. Of course having the endorsement of, and mentorship, of Lil Wayne helps. A lot. But still he has earned his spot as one of hip hop’s biggest names, in half a year, and that’s impressive.
4. Broken Bells: While Broken Bells emerged as a band in 2010; their members are not new to the game. Composed of Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and James Mercer (aka the former lead singer of The Shins), the band was expected to get some attention. However; with their first, self titled LP, they have combined Brian’s ability to create delightfully toe-tapping beats with James’ mastership of subdued melodies into something quite impressive. You can expect for these guys to steadily gather more and more attention and accolades.
5. The Naked and Famous: This 5 piece band from New Zealand released their first LP “Passive Me Aggressive You” this past September. And they did something that no band from New Zealand has done in years – reach the no. 1 position in their own country. Slowly word has started to creep across the Pacific of the albums stunning combination of rock, noise, ‘untz’, and creatively effected voices & melodies into songs that pulse and breath with energy. Not all of their songs are quick-paced, but even when they slow things down they employ a thick and heavy momentum. Their dance-friendly singles are going to get them known, their other songs are what will bring them respect. Expect them to “blow up” in 2011.
Fistful Of Mercy: This 3 piece band is comprised of Dhani Harrison (song of George), Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur. So it’s no surprise that there is some real talent here. Their songs could be described as unhurried minimal acoustic rock, but with a real emphasis on infusing emotion into their songs. Who knows if this band is at heart a side project, or a long-term band, but with the success of their LP “As I Call You Down”, released just only in September – they have many hoping it’s no side project at all.
Surfer Blood: Combining elements of psychedelia, surfer pop, and indie-rock this band debut LP, “Astrocoast” introduced a new style of music to many indie fans who don’t live near a warm wave-filled coast line. This band may never climb the pop charts, but have nonetheless guaranteed that a substantial following of people will be clamoring for their next release.