Home > blogs > Staff List: Inertia’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

Staff List: Inertia’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

Top 10 Albums of 2010

Merry List-mas, everybody!
‘Tis the season for the world to unite and join together in the curious practice of  arranging its musical opinions into ranked, sequential hierarchies. And us hapless music tragics at Inertia are no exception.

We just had to take the opportunity to reflect upon the amazing year that was 2010 and all the killer records we managed to put out. From the lo-fi surf bangers to sweeping indie epics and infectious radio pop, 2010 saw a new generation of stars arise and a host of established favourites release the most accomplished albums of their careers.

So here we are. We’ve made a list. We’ve checked it twice.
And while there were too many amazing records to name, here are our very favourites – as voted and annotated by Inertia staff.
(Note: Also head below to find out how to win five of these titles!)

The Besnard Lakes 10. The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night [Jagjaguwar]
Jade says: Every now and then a record comes along that gives you goose bumps with every listen. Listening to this album is like being in a wonderful aural dream – the band takes you on a powerful journey with their cohesive collection of experimental indie rock – each track seemingly better than the last. A mini opus of an album.
(Buy Album / Buy iTunes)
Darwin Deez 09. Darwin Deez – Darwin Deez [Pod]
Pam says: This year Darwin Deez wrote a new chapter in the blossoming love story between indie and pop. The jangly, upbeat “Radar Detector” filled indie club dancefloors, then spurred on festival singalongs in six states when the band visited in September for Parklife. Meanwhile, Darwin’s whimsical videos and the bands’ coordinated dance moves were beaming out of grubby laptop screens and into hipster hearts in homes around the country. This album’s destined for more heavy rotation this summer, with breezier tracks like “Bad Day” and “DNA” dominating road trip stereos along highways to our north, south, east and west!
(Buy Album / Buy iTunes)
Twin Shadow 08. Twin Shadow – Forget [4AD / Remote Control]
Micah says: ‘Forget’ is an impressive debut for George Lewis Jr (aka. Twin Shadow), whose sound is an eclectic collage of pop, disco and new wave. Although ‘Forget’ sounds like the stuff you’ve heard of before (Bowie collabo with Midnight Juggernauts anyone?), Lewis leaves a lasting impression that would make you feel giddy and warm with nostalgia. You need this album in your life. (Micah)
(Buy Album)
Sia 07. Sia – We Are Born [Monkey Puzzle]
Mark says: Standing alongside the Ke$has and Gagas, 34-year-old Adelaide-native, Sia Furler, was an unlikely candidate for breakout superstardom when she dropped her fifth album, ‘We Are Born’, earlier this year. Yet, despite all odds, the record became one of 2010′s definitive statements in bubblegum. Effervescent, infectious and witty, with razor-sharp hooks and soaring vocals, it made pop music feel unusually relatable. Thanks for staying one of us, Sia. All hail the People’s Pop Star.
(Buy Album / Buy iTunes)
Justin Townes Earle 06. Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues [Bloodshot]
Gadget says: What is there to say about Justin Townes Earle that hasn’t already been recorded in the music history annals? Well, to put it simply, this is his most varied album so far. It a little melancholy; but with damn catchy classic RnB and Country underneath stories of drinkin’ and drownin’ (literally), it’s hard not to like it. Can not wait for the tour in March. You should be excited too.
(Buy Album)
05. Best Coast – Crazy For You [Popfrenzy]
Mark says: Following years of New York dominance, Bethany “Best Coast” Cosentino really put California back on the map in 2010. Whether she was singing about boys, sunshine, weed or her talking cat, her effortless combination of peachy romance and slacker surf pop made ‘Crazy For You’ an essential listen. Sweet, naive and adventurous, this is a record to come-of-age to: first loves and first kisses and all that. You’ll never forget your first time.
(Buy Album / Buy iTunes)

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti 04. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today [4AD / Remote Control]
Nathan says
: 2010, for mine, sees the Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti takes out the top album/track, ‘Before Today’/”Round and Round” combo. Once past the complete freak out of conjuring females to donate their breast milk to the “Round and Round” video clip to violently making out with blokes during his set’s, Ariel Pink is a modern day auteur of freak folk. ‘Before Today’ is just a sick album that’s different, unusual, throws radical tangents and completely tweaks your neck in a way that no other album will this year.
(Buy Album)
Deerhunter 03. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest [4AD / Remote Control]
Alex says: Returning from a brief hiatus with their fourth full length “Halcyon Digest”, Deerhunter emerge with their most intricate, unique effort yet; truly cementing the band at the heights of indie royalty. While retaining the organic, shoegaze sounds of albums past, Halcyon Digest embraces pop music at its swooning, striking and summery best.
(Buy Album)
The National 02. The National – High Violet [4AD / Remote Control]
Janine says: I fell in love with this album from first haunting listen. It’s dark yet never gloomy and perfectly melds smart, often witty lyrics with reverb drenched guitars, distinct pianos and even orchestral sounds. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better – they released a killer 8 track bonus disc with previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions and live recordings and will be touring here in early 2011 for shows that are not to be missed! There’s a distinct reason why this one is in everyone’s top 10 list this year, make sure you find it out for yourself.
(Buy Album)
Beach House 01. Beach House – Teen Dream [Mistletone]
Ant says: When I first heard Beach House’s Teen Dream in January this year it was a Sunday morning and I was a bit hungover. It was the perfect soundtrack to that morning and I have been in love with this record ever since. There’s a lot to say about the sound – beautiful vocals and harmonies, haunted slide guitars, the keyboard drone that kinda reminds me of a slightly broken merry-go-round organ, the abstract lyrics left open to your own interpretation yet always uncertain.  If you like Grizzly Bear you’ll possibly be a fan (the bands have even worked together before), but don’t get me wrong – Beach House are doing their own thing here and these songs are  brilliantly original. This record is a must listen.
(Buy Album / Buy iTunes)

…and, because somebody always wants to know what just missed out, here’s the rest of our Top 20.

20. Vampire Weekend – Contra
19. Unkle – Where Did The Night Fall
18. Bear In Heaven – Beast Rest Forth Mouth
17. The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack
16. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
15. Crocodiles – Sleep Forever
14. Gonjasufi – A Sufi & A Killer
13. PVT – Church With No Magic
12. Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
11. Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here

That’s it. See y’all in 2011.


We’ve shown you ours, now its time for you to show us yours.

Your 2010 albums, that is.

To go in the draw for one of three CD prize packs containing the acclaimed 2010 albums from Sia, Darwin Deez, Besnard Lakes, Justin Townes Earle and Beach House, simply leave us a comment below, telling us your favourite Inertia album of 2010 and why (in 10 words or less).

Entries must be in before 12pm midday next Wednesday 22nd December.
Make sure to leave us a contact e-mail!