This year in music was possibly one of my favorite in a very long time… I have been thinking long and hard on exactly why this is. As I went back through 2010 I noticed that my favorite albums were some of my best friends throughout the year. I could relate to them. I listened to them when I needed a shoulder to cry on, when I needed something to calm my soul or even to just hang out and enjoy their company. This group of albums below has been a major part of my life this year. I enjoy every single track, and that I truly feel each has become the soundtrack for my life in 2010.

It has been another fantastic year at Untitled Records, it brings so much joy to my soul when I know that you have found something new here that you absolutely love. It is fun to discover new music together week after week. Happy Holidays and here’s to new music and concerts in 2011. xX

My top 6 albums of 2010 in selected order along with a group of honorable mentions:

Mumford & SonsSigh No More

Little Lion Man (Explicit Lyrics)

I awaited the arrival of this album in the states for what felt like an eternity. Almost a year later their music is everywhere and they have 2 Grammy nominations.  I don’t think I know one person who does not enjoy their passionate, banjo-playing, folk-rock. The album is filled with romantic and heartbreaking songs that you fall in love with over and over again. I listen to this album on repeat for days and days. I love it just as much as I loved it when I first listened to it, which is why it is my #1 album of the year.

Arcade FireThe Suburbs


The Suburbs is a very close second, so close I went back forth for days if it was indeed my favorite. I fell in love with the soaring indie rock about growing up in the suburbs. I feel it is their greatest album to date, and one that demonstrates a clear progression and maturity of their music. I was never the biggest fan of Arcade Fire, but over the years they have won me over and I consider them to be one of my favorite bands right up there with Radiohead, which is quite an honor.

Beach HouseTeen Dream

Silver Soul

It is all about the dreamy indie-pop dripping with atmospheric melodies along with the unique vocals of Victoria Legrand that has put this 3rd full length album in the #3 spot. It was not love at first listen, but it was certainly a steady progression into my 2010 favorite albums over the course of the year building steam as it went. It is also my favorite album to date from this Baltimore based band. I felt they really came into their own on Teen Dream, they have found their clear place at the top of all the dream-pop in this world.

Laura MarlingI Speak Because I Can

Blackberry Stone

The sophomore album from this young songstress blew me away when I first heard it, and it still does. Marling’s music has matured greatly on this album. She’s an old soul who creates stunning poetic folk music that flows out of the speakers with such grace and beauty I never want it to end. I Speak Because I Can is my favorite female singer-songwriter of 2010 as well as the last couple of years, hands down.

StarsThe Five Ghosts

Dead Hearts

This is not too much of a surprise, I think I have made my complete love for Stars very well known. Seeing them tour Five Ghosts this year at the Wiltern really solidified it for me. I love their whimsical booming indie-pop and I love the themes of their albums, the concise collection of songs they put together consistently year after year = Love.

The NationalHigh Violet

Terrible Love

The 5th studio album from The National is a collection of beautifully devastating indie-rock songs. This is the first full length album from The National that I have loved from beginning to end. Hight Violet is an explosion of atmospheric melodies and poetic lyrics about love, tragedy and life that resonates in my soul. I put this album on and I let it repeat. Gorgeous from beginning to end.


I hesitated to add a honorable mention list… However it is entirely necessary because the following albums are a great collection of songs that I have loved over the year but on every album there was at least one or two songs that I just didn’t care for. Therefor below are my almost favorites!

Broken Social SceneForgiveness Rock Record

Blonde RedheadPenny Sparkle

Shout Out LoudsWork

Dead Heart BloomStrange Waves

Frightened RabbitThe Winter of Mixed Drinks

Dark Dark DarkWild Go

Charlotte GainsbourgIRM

Dr. DogShame, Shame


11 Responses to “Favorite Albums Of 2010”

  1. mjrc on December 24th, 2010 2:02 pm

    great list! i haven’t gotten into mumford and sons yet, although i like what i’ve heard of them. and i haven’t heard enough of high violet to make any decisions about it.

    love the arcade fire and dead heart bloom, but you already knew that! thanks for sharing such wonderful music all year. i agree that it was a pretty good year all in all.

  2. Agnes on December 25th, 2010 3:28 am

    Have never been an Arcade Fire fan until this year when The Suburbs came out. I love this album, although I must confess to frequently listening to the first 10 tracks only and then going back to the start and repeating. For some reason the latter part of the album doesn’t really do it for me. Sacrilege I suppose. It did make me have another crack at Funeral though, an album I’d never been able to get into that I now love completely. So that’s something.

    Re The National – my love for this band is solid and continues to grow, although High Violet took me aaaaaaaages to get into. I reckon it took a dozen listens before I finally started to get it. Adore it completely now of course. Brilliant album. And I’m seeing them live in Melbourne in a couple of weeks time – can’t wait!!

    Mumford & Sons were on my top list last year (it came out here in 09) and I still love it but I haven’t listened for a while.

    Can’t comment on the others since I’ve not heard them, although Laura Marling has never really grabbed me I must say. Have downloaded the Stars track though and will be sure to have a listen tomorrow when I’m lazing about watching the cricket on the telly and doing generally stuff all. It’ll be grand!

    Merry Christmas!

  3. mjrc on December 27th, 2010 4:23 pm

    agnes–i do the same thing with the suburbs. in fact, i think they should have cut it off at no. 10 and then it would have been perfection!

    i just listened to the national song you had up the other day and i really liked it, much more than bloodbuzz ohio, so i might have to get the whole thing.

  4. Erin on December 27th, 2010 10:04 pm

    Thanks for doing this! Awesome list. I downloaded a bunch from your picks yesterday. iTunes should give you a cut ;) No really, I appreciate you taking the time to pass on so many of your music finds. Finding a new post from you always makes me happy :)
    Happy 2011! Bring on the amazing music!
    -erin :)

  5. Richard on December 31st, 2010 5:11 am

    Well we agree on 2 at least ( I would say almost 3 but Mumford & Sons came out here last year).

    It’s been interesting to see how many people like the Arcade Fire and The National albums. I don’t know why but I just don’t get The National and would love someone to explain them to me. I don’t hate them but just find them a bit dull if I’m honest.

    As for ‘The Suburbs’, well again, it’s not bad, it’s just too long and too mid paced to make it a great album. There are good individual songs but for some reason the whole thing just doesn’t hang together for me.

    Will have to check out the Stars album. I’m not at all familiar with them.

  6. jc on January 1st, 2011 10:36 am

    Happy New Year Rachel.

    Your blog remains among the best-written and most informative out there. I promise I’ll do my best to vist more often in 2011.

    PS : Love the list with one exception. I just havent been able to take to Mumford & Sons. I have tried…but I just cant do it.

  7. Rachel on January 2nd, 2011 4:20 pm

    Thank you all for the comments! I have loved reading your thoughts over the last week. xoxo

  8. aviva on January 2nd, 2011 7:16 pm

    So happy to see these, and totally agree about M&S :)

    Arcade Fire & The National are also stellar albums, haven’t given much time to Beach House yet but I should.

    I think you should spend some time with The Avett Brothers too – excellent stuff this year. I know it’s gotten awfully trendy, but Florence & the Machine put out one of the best albums this year as well, IMO. Rachel – happy 2011 and I look forward to every single post this year, it’s one of the very first blogs I check each day and you’re responsible for some of my best and favorite music in my collection. Thank you!

  9. Rachel on January 2nd, 2011 7:27 pm

    Thank you so much aviva, that means so much to me.

    The Avett Brothers are a great group that produce some really great music. I just haven’t fallen head over heals in love.

    Florence + The Machine, Lungs remains one of the best selling albums in 2010, but it was released in 2009. One of my favorite albums for sure!

  10. aviva on January 5th, 2011 4:03 am

    Sad living on a little island in the Pacific where I’m lucky to hear of new music via blogs & satellite/internet radio – I get it all LATE. (Lame excuse, I thought F&tM was 2010, DUH.)
    Keep on keepin’ on, sister…music is MY life!

  11. harvey on January 8th, 2011 10:40 pm

    I definitely agree with your list especially Sigh No More, The Suburbs and I Speak Because I Can. Those are my top 3 favorite. Never tried the other albums, I guess The National – High Violet is a good try.

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