Stereogum's 20 Most Overlooked LPs Of 2010

There were more albums released in 2010 than could fit on all the lists released in 2010. (And there were many lists.) With that in mind, and certain ’10 records still ringing in our ears, we put our heads together and thought about some of last year’s favorites that, for some reason or other, didn’t make it onto our official Top 50 Of 2010 — or the year-end lists of many others. (As with last time, the best metal records, overlooked or otherwise, can be found elsewhere). Please note the following’s in alphabetical order. We’ve included an MP3 for each so you can refresh your memory and your iTunes collection. In most instances, we’ve made the case for each in posts throughout 2010, which you can access by clicking the artist name. So here are 20 sleepers from 2010 worth your download and time. Feel free to shout out yours.

Beach Fossils - Beach FossilsBeach FossilsBeach Fossils (Captured Tracks)

Blessure Grave - Judged By 12 Carried By 6Blessure GraveJudged By Twelve, Carried By Six (Alien8)

Buke And Gass - RiposteBuke And GassRiposte (Brassland)

Andrew Cedermark - Moon DeluxeAndrew CedermarkMoon Deluxe (Underwater Peoples)

Crocodiles - Sleep ForeverCrocodilesSleep Forever (Fat Possum)

Darwin Deez - Darwin DeezDarwin Deez – Darwin Deez (Lucky Number)

Everything Everything - Man AliveEverything Everything – Man Alive (Geffen)

Extra Life - Made FleshExtra LifeMade Flesh (Lo Recordings)

Frog Eyes - Paul's Tomb: A TriumphFrog Eyes -Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph (Dead Oceans)

Harlem - HippiesHarlemHippies (Matador)

High Places - High Places Vs. MankindHigh PlacesHigh Places vs. Mankind (Thrill Jockey)

Mountain Man - Made The HarborMountain ManMade The Harbor (Partisan)

O Paon - CoursesÔ PaonCourses (Ô Paon)

Prince Rama - Shadow TemplePrince RamaShadow Temple (Paw Tracks)

PVT - Church With No MagicPVTChurch With No Magic (Warp)

The Russian Futurists - The Weight's On The WheelsThe Russian FuturistsThe Weight’s On The Wheels (Upper Class)

Shearwater - The Golden ArchipelagoShearwaterGolden Archipelago (Matador)

The Soft Moon - The Soft MoonThe Soft MoonThe Soft Moon (Captured Tracks)

Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell PromisesSun Kil MoonAdmiral Fell Promises (Caldo Verde)

Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate MyselfXiu XiuDear God, I Hate Myself (Kill Rock Stars)

Who did we miss?

Comments (145)
  1. Props for putting Frog Eyes on this list. They always seem to get overlooked despite being one of the most consistent and interesting bands around. Paul’s tomb was a solid album bookmarked by two of their strongest songs yet. One of the few bands to score a 9.1on Pitchfork (for their second album, the astounding The Golden River) and kind of fall by the wayside afterwards. I guess their sound can be a bit overwhelming, especially at first, but it always pays off in the end.

    • I finally saw Frog Eyes last year. They were opening, and Mercer was sick, but they still managed to pull off one of the sets I saw year.

      • Absolutely Frog Eyes needs more attention. You want to talk about unique, interesting, boundary pushing bands? Let’s talk about Frog Eyes and Carey Mercer. I really believe that keeping them off any top 50 albums of the year list, any on the internet, is a mistake.

        Also I would point out Blackjazz by Shining. An excellent, well-produced experimental metal album that includes free jazz influences. A must listen for 2010.

  2. One overlooked artist for the past two years has been Tesla Boy. I’m not sure how they’re doing in Europe, but they haven’t made any splash in North America so far.

  3. Built to spill….
    Their 2010 album remained fairly unnoticed.

  4. I do remember thinking how strange it was that the Sun Kil Moon album completely flew under the radar. I hardly read one word about it all year.

    • Huge Red House Painters fan here, but saw Sun Kill Moon in the fall and nearly fell asleep. Which in turn, led to me totally sleeping on the album (on purpose). The only more boring show I saw this year was Blitzen Trapper.

  5. Man, Romance Is Boring isn’t even good enough to be overlooked?

    (Yes, I’m going to keep harping on this)

  6. Quasi – American Gong was my top album of the year. I have not seen it on a single best of 2010 list yet. Tragic that this one slipped by or that no one paid attention.

  7. the thermals “personal life” was a really solid release, and provided some of 2010′s catchiest pop-punk songs, definitely overlooked

  8. EVERYTHING EVERYTHING! Yes, one of the best, freshest of 2010.

  9. Javelin – No Mas. i just got this record and no one really gave it much thought. i think it’s great!

  10. Future Islands – In Evening Air……………… hands down

    • Oh, agreed on that — excellent album. Huge oversight.

    • Big Time. Future Islands are amazing. Anyone that enjoyed ‘In Evening Air’ should definitely check out the ‘In The Fall EP’. It’s worth it for the expanded version of “Tin Man” (one of the ten best songs of the year) alone, but the other three tracks are worthy additions to the catalog.

  11. Adebisi Shank – This is the second album of a band called Adebisi Shank

    More fantastic ideas in one song than most bands have across a whole album

  12. Definitely agree on The Soft Moon and Prince Rama. I just managed to listen to them towards the end of 2010 and I was quite impressed with both. I like the former’s coldness; it makes for perfect winter listening. I love the latter’s left-field vibe and general uniqueness. Highly recommended.


  14. Sun Araw – On Patrol

    or was it just too out there for most? I listened to Sun Araw pretty consistently this summer and feel “On Patrol” definitely deserved some more praise in 2010. But I guess since it was only a double album and not a triple album the accolades go to Joanna.

    For the record I think a Sun Araw triple album would be amazing.

  15. Tokyo Police Club – Champ. Great album.

  16. I feel like the only person who had Balmorhea’s “Constellations” and Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore’s “Dear Companion” at the top of their 2010 list. both were crazy amazing

  17. Candy Claws?

    • Yes, Candy Claws. What a dense, expertly constructed and well-paced album.

      I mean, I get why it was overlooked, it does take some patience, and you can’t really listen to it on speakers, but I think it deserved a ton more recognition.

  18. Los Campesinos! and Shout Out Louds got put on the Pay No Mind list for some reason this year. Two of my faves of the year, but released/leaked so early that everyone forgot…

    I’ve seen The Radio Dept on a couple lists, not sure it made any of Gum’s…

  19. Did The Apples In Stereo stop being cool?

  20. A Sunny Day in Glasgow
    The Radio Dept
    Girls EP
    Avi Buffalo
    School of Seven Bells
    Here We Go Magic

  21. Past Lives put out a great debut last February. Everyone forgot about it.

    • I know… That album was a jam! I hope they continue to do more work since they are the better band to come out of the Blood Brothers breakup…

  22. Spencer Krug’s solo project: Moonface – Dreamland EP: Marimba & Shit-drums was a really great work. A little out there for most, but it deserved more talk than it received. An impressive song/EP.

  23. I thought this would be when my millionth suggestion of The Head and the Heart would finally get noticed… But with them just signing to Sub Pop back in November and re-releasing their debut on Tuesday, I guess you’ll just count them as a 2011 discovery, right?

  24. In Evening Air by Future Islands was my favorite album of the year. I also thought Delta Mirror, Big K.R.I.T, Ty Segall, and thee oh sees were great as well

  25. Oops, I saw them last year and in ’09, not ’08.

  26. Seriously still no love for Josh Ritter. That’s just a huge tragedy. Also where is Tunng, Avi Buffalo, and Matt Costa,

    • Almost forgot Junip. They had a great album as well. Surprised they didn’t make anyone list this year (not as much as Josh Ritter though).

    • I’m really starting to think conspiracy on this one. Josh is just universally ignored by the online music community. Seriously, it’s not like he gets bad reviews. He gets zero reviews. ‘So Runs the World Away’ didn’t even get enough reviews to be listed on Metacritic. There’s just nothing.

      He has nearly 6 million plays on LastFM. He’s put out six very good albums. Albums that were unique and fit together as an album in a masterful way. He’s adventurous as a song writer and challenges himself to make dynamic music with some of the best lyrical ballads in modern music. He has great stage presence and charisma and plays sold out shows across America. He tours with people like Andrew Bird and they share the billing. This isn’t some no name indie flash in the pan wannabie.

      Yet he is almost completely ignored. It’s almost criminally libel the disrespect he gets.

      • Josh Ritter!! Wholeheartedly agree. So Runs The World Away is prob his second best album, behind Animal Years. ‘Folk Bloodbath,’ ‘Change of Time,’ ‘The Curse’ – fuck, almost every song on the album is pitch-perfect (except ‘Lark’ – woof, big misstep there).

        It is strange – his lack of love on the interwebs. The Frames, Andrew Bird, Swell Season, even Stephen King heap praises on the guy, and people don’t even know who he is. (“wait – John Ritter does music?”)

        But I see a long, fruitful career in the future for Mr. Ritter, so here is hoping he gets every good thing he deserves.

  27. Murdocks – Distortionist
    Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo

  28. Shellshag “Rumors in Disguise” is my favorite LP of 2010.

    Built to Spill
    Defiance, OH
    forgetters (not an LP, but 2x 7″)
    Mutoid Men

  29. Darkstar
    Massive Attack
    Neil Young
    Madlib’s Medicine Show

  30. Harlem=YES, rest…god knows. But wouldn’t B&S Write About Love qualify? it’s not in ANYONES top lists even though it’s gorgeous in that classic scot pop perfect sheen kinda way, no?

  31. The frog eyes record definitely deserved more than it got; the song ‘violent psalms’ might be the best set of lyrics this year. The foals cd, too..i thought alabaster, what remains, and a number of other tracks off that record were seriously jamming, plus they were superb live. And the Krug ep was really something special and ambitious–I’m really excited to see if a full length follows it this year and what type of sound will come with it. Finally, did Grizzly Bears’s Chris Taylor’s solo outfit CANT put out a proper album? I really enjoyed the single ‘Ghosts’.

  32. I don’t know how to feel about Darwin Deez… I think I’m just skeptical because my friend was doing some very similar music 3 years ago.
    Ahhh well, such is life.

  33. I know rock & roll isn’t cool right now, but J Roddy Walston and the Business S/T is by far the most overlooked record of the year in my book. Barely mentioned by anyone other than smaller music blogs.

  34. Avey Tare – Down There
    of Montreal – False Priest
    Local Natives – Gorilla Manor (although i haven’t listened to it much recently, more in the first half of the year)

  35. I agree with the comments about Los Campesinos! & Tokyo Police Club, who both put out great records last year, and i couldn’t agree more with the inclusion of Harlem on your list, Hippies was the best, one of my favorite albums/biggest surprises from last year.

    That being said- and i know he was #15 on your list and i think #30 on p4k’s- in regards to the rest of the lists out there, i think Love King was totally overlooked for being as stellar as it was.

  36. Surf City – Kudos

  37. Going to toss out my top of last year, The Love Language’s “Libraries,” as a sorely and sadly overlooked gem of an album. Perfect from start to finish. Love the Beach Fossils and Harlem as well. Both stellar.

  38. Pomegranates – “One of Us”
    The Radio Dept – “Clinging to a Scheme”
    Happy Birthday – “Happy Birthday”
    Freddie Gibbs – “Str8 Killa”
    Nobunny – “First Blood”

  39. Great calls on Harlem and Darwin Deez Stereogum. Stereogum commenters mentioning Future Islands, Moonface, Big K.R.I.T.& Tokyo Police Club are also doing great. But why does no one ever mention Dr. Dog’s Shame, Shame?

  40. Avi Buffalo and Miniature Tigers!!!!!!!

  41. The magnetic fields left off again…

  42. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

  43. How about 65daysofstatic’s We Were Exploding Anyway?

  44. OH. MY. GOD.
    The Depreciation Guild’s “Spirit Youth” was one of my favorite albums this year, but it was somewhat ignored. I also bought “Constellations” by Antarctica Takes It!, and thought it was pretty good, but there was next to no buzz.

    my second favorite album of the year actually! And did I mention they’re giving it out for free?
    Definitely worth Stereogum’s time.

  46. Nice to see the Crocodiles… they put out a good album this year, but their first one is still the best.

    I second/third Avi Buffalo
    and nominate The Soft Pack (formerly the Muslims)

  47. I’d say Phantogram’s Eyelid Movvies – unforgivable omission! – and Autolux’s Transit Transit, probably overlooked because it was similar to their last, still pretty good album.

  48. PS I Love You was tight. Tight like that IBM computer on Jeopary.

  49. So let me get this straight. First, Broken Social Scene doesn’t make the top 50 cut and then doesn’t even make this sleeper list as well. I just don’t get it. The album was great!

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