End 2010

Republicans take back the house

Sufjan Stevens
The Age of Adz
Sufjan and B&S release new discs on the same day. Good day for downloading here at tunefilter hq. That said, Sufjan should have stuck to the states theme. We're pretty sure that Indiana, Ohio, or whatever state he would have done next would have been a better effort. (Oct '10)
Belle & Sebastian
Write About Love
B&S has mostly been about trying to find the perfect pop song. 2003's Dear Catastrophe Waitress, and now this disc (which, BTW, is better than aforementioned disc), confirm that this is the end all be all. Trouble is, God Help the Girl, Stuart's side project, is beating them to the punch. (Oct '10)
Cynthia Lin
tbd. (Oct '10)
Dark Dark Dark
Wild Go
Nice album. Sounds like they're making a new genre here - "indie caberet". The disc starts off slow, but gets into full swing with Heavy Heart. (Oct '10)
Phantom Band
The Wants
This is what a rock band sounds like. (Oct '10)
Jugtown Pirates
Little Red Box
Old timey music from a neighborhood (Haight/Ashbury) band. We got them to play the Cole Valley Fair (we were the music coordinator) in 2011 and they were a hit.
Matthew Dear
Black City
We find a lot of Dear's songs to be too repetitive and a little souless. These charasterics are also present in this work, but when one of his songs hits (e.g., Pom Pom on Asa Breed or Honey on this disc) amazing things happen. More of those amazing things happen on this disc than his last - although they take a more sinister form here. (Aug '10)
Breathe Owl Breathe
Magic Central
Michigan trio making some sublime music. Andréa's background vocals and chello playing really make this band. This album is not necessarily their best songs, but "Swimming" is a gem ... and they get an extra 1/2 point for their surprisingly engaging live show. (Sept '10)

Mid 2010

The iPad, the first successful consumer tablet, is launched.


King Baldwin
Castle of Love
These SF locals demonstrate some skillful songwriting and musicianship - as well as some great deep throaty baratone vocals - on their debut. (June '10)
Blue Giant
Blue Giant
We thought Viva Voce lost steam about two albums before Kevin and Anita did, but we love the new direction they're taking with this one. Perhaps they should launch a new band every 3rd year and only do first releases? This album is a winner. (July '10)
Olafur Arnalds
... And They Have Escaped The Weight of Darkness
Post-classical piano and violin compositions for sootheing yourself to sleep on redeye flights to the east coast. (June '10)
Moon Food
Just some solid singer / songwriter tunes here, but we like Unbunny's naselly voice and think the hooks in the songs - especially in We love Young Men Are Easy Prey are catchy. (June '10)
Perfume Genius
Beautiful, slow, haunting songs as one guy struggles with his sexuality in front of a mic and piano. (June '10)
Stealing Sheep
What If The Lights Went Out
Lovely music from three girls from Liverpool. We're still bumming we just missed them perform live in London when we were there on a business trip in early '11. (May '10)
Jane Weaver
The Fallen by Watch Bird
Beautiful lifting, droning pychedelic folk concept album for winter days that get dark early. We are in love with it. (May '10)
Hear's to Taking it Easy
Brooklyn country music. This, their sophomore disc goes way more country than the first. (May '10)

Beginning 2010

Signs that the great recession is easing up

Plastic Beach
Nice production, and there are areas that really shine here, but all said, we're just not crazy about the disc. (Mar '10)
Some energetic songs here, a tinny sound, and not a lot of warmth ... but some quality songwriting. (Apr '10)
Broken Bells
Broken Bells
Strong disc that does a great job blending traditional rock songs with electronica a la Damon Albarn. No one stand out song, but just about all of the songs are solid. (Mar '10)
Head First
As they've done in the past, with this disc Goldfrapp returns back to disco area - just look at the album cover if you needed further proof. However, unlike with BlackCherry, this time it doesn't work so well. (Mar '10)
Shady Retreat
Mellow americana. (Mar '10)
Black Sands
Orchestra, exotic lands, a little more uptempo than chill. (Mar '10)
Daniel Durrett
Hello, Inner Sunset
We were impressed with this: electronic rockers, slowly cresendoing walls of sounds and textures, tribal chants, film scores. We were blown away watching him perform this live with a guitar, mic, ipad, and loop pad! Unfuckenbelievable. (Feb '10)
The Courage of Others
Mellow folksy rock that would not be out of place when played at a renaissance fair (Feb '10)
End Times
Pretty straightfoward stuff from Eels. The slower stuff on this disc has more character than the more rocking stuff. (Jan '10)
Vampire Weekend
That first Vampire Weekend album was so nice, lets just do it again. (Jan '10)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?
Credit to Anton for keeping at it and trying new things musically, but the only thing here that really succeeds is with Felt Tipped Pictures of UFOs, when he throws out the rock song pretenses and programmed drums and just gives us a lovely soundscape. (Jan '10)
Julianna Barwick
Haunting, screetching, fleeting vocs with very little instrumentation ... perfect for cold, lonely nights (Jan '10)