Friday Top 10: Austin Albums of 2010

It’s that time of year folks, the time when we THINK we know what’s the best of the best.  In a year where some old faces reemerged, and some new faces joined the scene, we had a hard time narrowing things down, but these are our favorite Ten Albums by Austin bands in the year 2010.  If you think we’re wrong, we’re cool with you voicing your opinion, but be nice, these are just one group’s opinions.

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New Tracks from Asobi Seksu

Clearly 2011 is going to be huge year for music, at least as far as releases go in the first half.  We have another addition, that of Asobi Seksu; the band will be releasing their latest album, Fluoresence, on February 14th, via the good people at Polyvinyl. This first single kind of has this furious moment from the beginning, almost with a driving rhythm, but this is before Yuki’s voice begins to really take flight, allowing the rest of the track to soar off into the horizon.  Give “Trails” a listen, and get prepared for yet another noteworthy release when the new decade kicks off.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/02-Trails-1.mp3]

Download: Asobi Seksu – Trails [MP3]

Return of Cody Chesnutt

You might have forgotten about this guy, or maybe you never heard him in the first place.  Make no mistake about it, despite his eight year absence, Cody Chesnutt still maintains one of those voices that warms your soul, as good R&B should. He’s just released his Black Skin No Value EP, and the only single out right now is under a minute long, but if you listen carefully, you can hear the talent this guy has, and it makes everything he does, somehow important in my world.  Come on now, he broke by hanging with the Strokes, then toured with the Roots, so it’s not like listening to R&B will hurt your street cred.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/03_The_Quiet_Girl_Who_Eats_Alone.mp3]

Download: Cody Chesnutt – The Quiet Girl Who Eats Alone [MP3]

New Music from Wye Oak

Having been a long time fan of Wye Oak, of course I was looking forward to this track, and any ensuing goodness they had to offer up.  But, when the song appeared on TheGum I had no idea just how good it was going to be.  Jenn’s voice sounds phenomenal here, and part of me has this tingling feeling I got when I first heard “Zebra” by Beach House last year.  If that’s any indicator, then Civilian, the new album out on March 8th from Merge is going to be one incredible animal.  Just listen to that squalling feedback near the end! It’s like steamy sex in the woods, then Sonic Youth reckless abandon. Yes, I realize that might be a bit redundant, but go with it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/05-Civilian-1.mp3]

Download: Wye Oak – Civilian [MP3]

New Music from The Babies

Last April I brought you all news about the Vivian Girls/Woods side-project, The Babies, and at that point in time, it was rumored to be sort of a one off, kind of just a fun release amongst friends.  But, as these things inevitably go, the group had so much fun writing together that they continued to pump out tracks, leaving us with the upcoming album, The Babies, on February 8th of next year. It’s going to be sort of a combination between bedroom pop and lo-fi grittiness, and in our minds, that sounds exactly like this new single, leading us to believe this could be one hell of a good time in 2011.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/thebabiesrunmeover.mp3]

Download: The Babies – Run Me Over [MP3]

New Tunes from Oh No Oh My

It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard a word about the forthcoming album from local Austinites Oh No Oh My.  But, we now know the band will be releasing their new record, People Problems, on January 18th.  While their last effort had a lot of disjointed folk attributes, it seems that the boys have cleaned out the closet here.  Their first single, “Walking Into Me,” has a bit more straightforward pop appeal, going right for the emotional appeal, though moderate guitar strumming in the background, and other tinkering instruments, still allows the band to keep their quirky attitude intact. We like that, and that makes us anticipate this release even more.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/01-Walking-Into-Me.mp3]

Download: Oh No Oh My – Walking Into Me [MP3]

Introducing The Vaccines

Every once in awhile the British press will actually get something right.  They’ve been all over The Vaccines, expecting huge things from the group in 2011, even though the band have little more than a demo to their name. There is, however, this one incredible single featuring two great tracks.  The first track is titled “Wreckin’ Bar,” and its this amped up tune that blows by you in less than 1.5 minutes; catchy to boot. Then, there’s the below single, “Blow It Up,” which draws out the listening experience a bit more, giving a bit of angular guitars and hollow swirling vocals to the masses.  As of right now, I’m super excited about this band and their promise.  I’ll not get too over myself until they actually put out something more substantial, but for now, it’s nice to meet you guys.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/02-Blow-It-Up.mp3]

Download: The Vaccines – Blow It Up [MP3]

New Music from Strawberry Whiplash

You know how much we love Matinee Recordings, one of the best, if not the best, small labels around right now.  They’re releasing a special gift for their fans, The Matinee Holiday Soiree EP, and its filled with exclusive holiday tracks from five of the bands on their roster, including my personal favorite Math and Physics Club.  You also get to hear this new Strawberry Whiplash track, which despite having a holiday theme, doesn’t sound too far off from the splendid pop this label has been churning out for some time. You can preview it Here, then head over the the Matinee site to get your hands on your very own copy.  This is the perfect gift for your pop loving friends; its reasonably priced, and filled with good tunes.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/straw03.mp3]

Download: Strawberry Whiplash – Santa Needs a Holiday [MP3]

New Tunes from Fergus and Geronimo

You can’t deny the buzz of a band, and right now we’re stil supporting local Texas act Fergus and Geronimo.  In preparation for their new record, Unlearn, which will be released by our pals over at Hardly Art on January 18th, just a two days after my birthday. This one’s a little bit less post-rock jam, and a little more grab-your-lady-swing, though the vocals still have that throaty yelping quality.  As of right now, expectations couldn’t get any higher for this band’s debut, and with songs like this one, you know we’re all on board too.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/03_Powerful_Lovin.mp3]

Download: Fergus and Geronimo – Powerful Lovin [MP3]

New Tunes from Balmorhea

Austin’s favorite, well one of the many, instrumental band, Balmorhea, are releasing some new tunes for you to grab. The Candor/Clamor 7″ is hitting the streets on Western Vinyl, and it shows a newer sound for the group.  They’re including new instruments, such as marimbas.  It definitely makes them sound a bit more exciting, although part of me wants to see them just get really dark and mess things up, but that’s just one man’s love for discordant instrumental moments.  All in all, the band continues to show interesting progressive moves forward, making this an interesting purchase, as it will clearly document the band’s exploration of new sonic territory.  Never a bad thing.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/WV80.CL4M0R.192.mp3]

Download: Balmorhea – Clamor [MP3]

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