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Monday, July 12, 2010

My favorite record of 2010: Sleigh Bells

I've been slacking on listening to new music this year. I think it's because so many of my favorite artists released new albums earlier this year, and they were mostly disappointments. I'm looking at you, MGMT, Gogol Bordello, New Pornographers, the Hold Steady and the National (though I think those last two will grow on me with a few more listens.)

But, inspired by BeckEye's recent post at The Pop Eye, I decided to get caught up this weekend. I downloaded 21 albums, the majority of which came from the NPR list of the top 50 albums of 2010 so far.

I haven't listened to all of them in their entirety yet, but I can say unequivocally that I have a new favorite record of 2010: Treats by Sleigh Bells. It's grating, female-fronted experimental rock, and I can't stop listening to it. Here's the opening track, "Tell 'Em." It's been a long time since a record grabbed my attention within the first three seconds of the first track:

Audio: Sleigh Bells - Tell 'Em

Sleigh Bells are playing the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this weekend (I'll be attending for the second time), so I won't have to wait long to see them live.

Among my other recent downloads, I'm enjoying Janelle Monae, whose record is described as a Kanye-esque R&B space opera. I'm halfway through the record and already I've never heard an R&B record this diverse.

Others I like so far: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Ratatat, Caribou, Frightened Rabbit, Tobacco, Band of Horses and Scissors Sisters. I'll post again when I've gotten through the whole batch.

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