Q: Is anything lamer than a blogger doing a top 10 list halfway through the year?
A: No.

However, as of tomorrow, the calendar strikes June, the halfway month of the year and the time for bloggers to compile absolutely pointless half-year lists. Allow me to be the first. I apologize in advance for its LOL indie predictability, but hey sometimes the whiny white guys can bring it.

10. The Clientele-God Save the Clientele
God Save the Clientele is a quintessential Clientele record, slow, dreamy, jangled guitars and beautiful melodies. More upbeat than their past efforts, The Clientele have loosened up and created the ideal summer, beach record. 60s psych-poppers to the core, The Clientele haven’t moved much further than their original Love, The Zombies and The Kinks influences. And I for one am completely okay with that.

Download:
MP3: The Clientele-“Bookshop Casanova”

9. Panda Bear-Person Pitch
I find Animal Collective arguably the most overrated band of the decade, so I was expecting Person Pitch to be another weird, unlistenable record with few tunes, a whole lot of reverb and enough braying to wake up every wild animal collective in a 12 mile vicinity. And sure, this record has enough wankery to satisfy even the most experimental-leaning types , but at its core it’s pure pop, an album filled with enough moments of sonic genius to satisfy even the biggest Animal Collective naysayers. Namely me.

Download:
MP3: Panda Bear-“Bros”


8. Spoon-Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Ga Ga Ga Great. Or at least ga ga very good. Sorry, but someone needed to make that lame joke. Either way, this might be my fourth favorite Spoon record and yet still it’s gotten non-stop play since it leaked a few weeks back. There might not be a more consistent songwriter in rock than Britt Daniel.

Download:
MP3: “The Ghost of You Lingers”


7. The Shins-Wincing The Night Away
The best record that will probably be ignored come list-making time, mainly because a) it’s not cool to like the Shins anymore and b) this record leaked about 14 years ago in Internet time.
But it remains a great record from a great band and one that will only continue to get better the further away it gets from the stratospheric hype that accompanied its release.

Wincing the Night Away Review

Download:
MP3: The Shins-“Phantom Limb”

6. The National-Boxer
The hype is real. Just like Alligator, Boxer might not click till about the 7th listen. But when it does, watch out.

Boxer Review

Download: MP3: The National-“Fake Empire”

5. Souvenir-64
This year’s token pick for the record no one but me cares about but I’m going to put it on my list anyhow. Seriously, all you bloggers out there need to get on the Souvenir bandwagon. You might not be all that crazy about it but I can guarantee your girlfriend will love it. Read Dom Passantino‘s outstanding Stylus Recommends Review. Picture Annie backed by Fujiya & Miyagi. Download these tracks. Put them on a mix CD. As long as they don’t get too popular and end up on a Zach Braff soundtrack, everyone wins.

Download:
MP3: Souvenir-“Accident a Londres”
MP3: Souvenir-“Les surfeurs”

4. Besnard Lakes-Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse
In a year where My Morning Jacket didn’t make a record, this is the next best thing, brooding stoned psychedelic guitars and flickering campfire harmonies sounding like the unholy mathematics of Jim James + Brightblack Morning Light/ Divided by Low. Blame Canada.

Review of the Besnard Lakes’ incredible live show

MP3: The Besnard Lakes-“And You Lied To Me”

3. LCD Soundsystem-Sound of Silver
Blah blah blah bloggers are sheep, blah blah, could this be any trendier of a pick? blah, blah, couldn’t you be any more creative? The answer of course is no. This album fucking rocks. It actually makes me want to dance. Okay, that’s a lie, but its the closest any electronic album has ever came.

Sound of Silver Review

Download:
MP3: LCD Soundsystem-“North American Scum” (left-click)

2. El-P I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
I wrote a really long review about this record and it’s pretty much impossible for me to summarize its magnitude in just a few words. However, I think Zilla pretty much aptly summarized it in the comments section when he declared: “El single handedly makes me care about Def Jux and indie hip hop again. I’ve listened to it all the way through about 8 times, driving to and from work. By the time it’s over, I wanna light shit on fire, make out with an 18 year old, cry inside a prison cell, and listen to BDP.”

I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead Review

Download:
MP3: El-P-“The Overly Dramatic Truth”

1. Dungen-Tio Bitar
I imagine, somewhere in Sweden, stoned 13 year olds tag “Gustav Estjes is God” on the Walls. If they don’t, they should. In its all its trippy psychedelic glory, Tio Bitar is catnip for stoners. Easily, the best artistic statement made by a man named Gustav since that Eiffel fellow decided to build himself a tower.

Review of Tio Bitar


Download:
MP3: Dungen-“Gor Det Nu”
MP3: Dungen-“C Visar Vagen”

Honorable Mentions:
A Sunny Day in Glasgow-Scribble Mural Comic Journal; Andrew Bird-Armchair Apocrypha; Apostle of Hustle-National Anthem of Nowhere, Art Brut-It’s a Bit Complicated, Black Moth Super Rainbow-Dandelion Gum, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!-Some Loud Thunder, Dalek-Abandoned Language, Dr. Dog-We All Belong, Electrelane-No Shouts No Calls, Elvis Perkins-Ash Wednesday,Menomena-Friend and Foe, Of Montreal-Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, The Good, The Bad & The Queen-S/T, The Twilight Sad-Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, The Field-From Here We Go Sublime, Wilco-Sky Blue Sky

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