Andrew Belle recently dropped by the Daytrotter Studio and laid down a stunning cover of Counting Crows “Colorblind”. If there are any of you indie music fans who have yet to bookmark the Daytrotter site and visit it daily, you are missing out on a fantastic resource for new music. Not only will you get to hear new versions of songs you might already know, but there plenty of times like this when an artist will pull out something from left field that will prolly never get recorded anywhere else. Andrew was last featured on The List a year ago when I posted ‘Static Waves’, his duet with Katie Herzig. Head over to his website and give him a listen.
With that little rant outta the way, I’ve culled through everything I tossed out over the past 12 months, tried to keep it real by touchin’ on all the food groups, and finally come up with a pretty good mix of indie, guitar-strummin’, singer/songwriter, power-poppy, electronica and alt-rock goodness. And I gotta say, it was bloody hard this year to keep it to only ten choices! Each year, it always amazes me at the sheer quality of the music I stumble upon that quite frankly, most people will never even hear! Cee Lo may get 50 million YouTube views and Kanye is washing the road grime off of his Lamborghini with Cristal, but I’m still gonna champion these performers because they’re turning out music I can actually listen to!
So even though this will undoubtedly be looked upon by some as yet another full-of-shit Top Ten list…I give you…..
The Damn Ugly Photography Top Ten Songs From 2010!!!
10. JOHANNA AND THE DUSTY FLOOR
Love Is A Breakable Thing
The theatrical, Joy Division-like fuzzy vibe these guys have working must have been catchy, ‘cuz a lotta you wrote thankful notes to me back in February and said you coughed up a few bucks to buy the EP. You can follow INU over at Inu Music.
It was indeed a very bad day when Audrye Sessions announced a few months back that they were packing it in…we were crying like babies here at The List…but back in May when Ryan sent me this song we were amped by the frenzy of fun ‘Bad Day’ laid down and so looking forward to more from would end up being the final ‘sessions’. But Ryan assures me his new EP will be out this month and you all know I’ll have a taste when it becomes available!
I loved Portishead, so it was natural I was gonna love Phantogram. The sad, drowsy guitars, the scratchy backtrack and even Sarah Barthel’s voice that’s a dead ringer for Beth Gibbons…’When I’m Small’ had me swaying side-to-side back in January. Check out Phantogram over on MySpace
6. ANDREW BELLE (featuring KATIE HERZIG)
I first found out about Andrew Belle after seeing Katie Herzig (#3 on the list this year) in concert and ‘Static Waves’, the duo they did together, showed up on The List in October. You can follow Andrew Belle on his MySpace Page or over on his website
The first time I heard ‘Changing Your Mind’, it gave me an ache in the back of my throat…the kind of heartfelt ache that convinced me even back then that it was bound for the end of the year list. You can’t fake this kind of soulful singing. Check out Bob Schneider on his MySpace page.
I never knew when I went to see Brandi Carlile I’d come away with a bunch of CD’s from Katie Herzig, but that’s why we go to see live music, right? You never know who’s gonna pop up and grab you! Katie is a special talent and you can follow her on her website or over on MySpace
There was far less electronica on The List this year, but my love of dream-pop and the fact that this song stayed at the very top of my iTunes folder all year ensured it a spot near the top of this years list. And I could listen to Alejandra and Claudia Deheza trade off harmonies all day and night! Get more SVIIB on MySpace or on their Website
Over the past few months, Nadia has become BFF’s with The List…we even shot her new album cover package…so ya can’t be too surprised to find her sitting on top of this years heap, and nobody deserves it more! She’s such an amazingly gifted songwriter and that strong, expressive voice can melt even the hardest heart. Her second album, The Ocean Master, is due to be released this Spring…in fact, she and Harvey are in Wales mixing the record it as I type this…so please, head on over to her facebook page for more information.
So last week I drove 135 miles to see Brandi Carlile play at Infinity Hall up in Norfolk CT, and as good as Brandi was (and she was very good!) I left the concert with a handful of CD’s from the opening act…Katie Herzig. How this singer and (Grammy nominated) songwriter has stayed off my radar is a mystery, but now that I own the entire Katie Herzig songbook, that is no longer an issue! Each song I listen to reveals some new emotion…heartache, angst, lust and joyful happiness…it all flows from her in a euphoric wave that’s giving me goosebumps. In a soft, but strong, soprano, she delivers her smart, poetic lyrics without becoming overwrought or sappy…this is lyrical storytelling done well.
The two songs today are from different albums; the first is off of her last release of new material, ‘Apple Tree’, and the second is a reimagined acoustic version from ‘Live In Studio: Acoustic Trio’, a collection of her earlier songs recorded entirely unplugged. Check out more of Katie on her website or over on MySpace and for yet one more version of ‘Wish You Well’, check out this video of her singing it with Brandi…..