What you been listening to?

I’ve been struggling for weeks now to think of my ‘most listened to’ albums of 2010. I loved reading other people’s ‘Top 10 Lists’ late last year and early this year (music, books, films, tv, gigs etc) but I’ve always been reluctant to compile a ‘Top 10’. How do you possibly choose?

2010 was an odd year for me. Lots of changes, forced and chosen. Choosing to take a break and stop working later in the year meant fewer funds for record buying. I also found myself listening to lots of older records from my collection as well as sourcing some of those artists on the ‘wanting to get around to’ list.

An outcome of this was buying far fewer 2010 new releases, possibly half of last years record purchases were older releases. For example I finally bought a stack of Townes Van Zandt albums and would find myself listening to nothing but his music for weeks. I was still obsessed with Kurt Vile but he only released an EP last year so I continued to blast his earlier albums out of the speakers.

Of the new release music I bought a large portion was local, though mostly albums at gigs. It also turned out for some of these artists that I preferred the ‘live’ version to the ‘recorded’ one so the album didn’t get a very high rotation, I went to more local gigs.

So what new music did I listen to the most in 2010? It turns out I could only come up with three albums that fell into the ‘listened to death’ category.

  • Otouto – Pip
  • Wild Nothing – Gemini
  • Warpaint – The Fool

I’d been lucky enough to catch Otouto play at the second Mess & Noise lunchbox series in March. They were good. I think Pip came out in April and I was hooked. Over the course of the year I saw them live a fair bit, always great, but this didn’t tire me of the recording.

A friend Adam put me on to Wild Nothing, knowing my soft spot for shoegaze. Wow. Did I take to this album. I listened far too much for a sane person on my iPod and to the CD. At one stage the disc was on constant rotation in the car for almost a straight month. We joked that it was the perfect summer album, in the middle of our winter!

My final obsession for the year was Warpaint. I first heard them perhaps late September during Transference on 3RRR. I liked them enough to instantly ask who I’d just heard as I missed the back-announce. The album was out a month later and then The Fool became the new obsession.

So there you have it, my incredibly slim list of highest rotation albums for 2010.

2009 was very different. I struggled to reduce the ‘most listened to’ list down to something reasonable, 15 in the end. Mind you, at the rate I was digesting music that year it’s not really a surprise. Something had to give and it looks like last year it did.

For interests sake, here’s the list from 2009.

  • Lawrence Arabia – Chant Master
  • Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle
  • Camera Obscura – My Maudulin Career
  • God Help The Girl – self titled
  • Jayhalks – Music From The North Country
  • Son Volt – American Central Dust
  • The Duke and the King – Everthing Gold Must Stay
  • Crayon Fields – All The Pleasures Of The World
  • Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
  • Justin Townes Earle – Midnight at the Movies
  • Joe Pernice – It Feels So Good When You Stop (book soundtrack)
  • Kurt Vile – Childish Prodigy
  • Ned Collette & Wirewalker – Over The Stones, Under The Stars
  • Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard – One Fast Move & I’m Gone soundtrack
  • The Dave Rawlings Machine – A Friend of a Friend

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