To celebrate the half-way point of 2010, this week Paste staffers are counting down their favorite albums of the year (so far). Check out all of our lists here, and share your own favorites in the comments.
As editor of an entertainment magazine that spends as much time on music as Paste, I often get asked what I’m listening to. Lately, I’ve been pointing a lot of people to Frightened Rabbit and Mumford & Sons. But that just scratches the surface of stuff that has me excited this year. Here are 10 that don’t even include great releases from LCD Soundsystem, Phosphorescent, Josh Ritter and plenty of others I’m sure I’m forgetting. Listen to a track from each in the playlist below.
10. Beach House – Teen Dream
I didn’t know I needed a new dreamy pop album on my iPod until I heard this.
9. Free Energy – Stuck on Nothing
The aptly named boys from Philly are the best bar band since The Hold Steady.
8. Janelle Monáe – The Archandroid
She’s amazing live, and now she’s got a full album to tide me over between shows.
7. Sleigh Bells – Treats
This album absolutely sounds like the future of music.
6. The National – High Violet
Apparently I’m release-date challenged. I originally thought The XX was 2010 and The National wasn’t out yet. Mea culpa. I’m fixing my list.
5. Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
This album has the office divided, but I fall squarely in the camp that loves its ‘70s So-Cal vibe.
4. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks
I can’t get enough of either of this Scottish band’s first two albums—or the live album that came out in between.
3. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
We may have matched them on the soccer pitch in South Africa this year, but England has out-Americana’d America this year.
2. Jonsi – Go
The Sigur Rós frontman sounds like he’s having more fun than ever.
1. Preservation Hall Jazz Band – An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall
Guests Tom Waits, Yim Yames, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller and Ani Difranco sound even better with some legendary New Orleans brass.