Reviler Most Underrated Artists of 2010
Everyone has that favorite band that just doesn’t get the love from the masses that you think they should. You know the one. The band that gets infinate repeats on your stereo but gets radio silece from most music fans. Below are the bands that the Reviler writers thought were not give the kudos they rightfully deserved in 2010.
Jon Behm (Reviler)
This was a fantastic, if little heard, offering from the veteran Chilean rapper
This album is so much better than it has gotten credit for
Another excellent piece of baroque psychedelia from Bill Baird.
Another gem from the still very much undiscovered Kiwi
5. Local bands
This was a banner year for Twin Cities artists – so many absolutely amazing new releases that it was hard to settle on a top ten.
Still beating this drum, year after year. La La Land wasn’t quite as good as Parc Avenue, but then again Parc Avenue was one of my top 10 records of the 00’s.
Peter and the Wolf is highly underrated and his mid career switch to a cross dressing funk artist was unsurprising excellent.
Seeing this group at the (now defunct) Eclipse Records with like 10 people was both exciting and disappointing. Each record they have released has been better than the last and their dream pop is captivating and timeless.
I won’t lie and say I am a huge hip hop fan and had pretty much given up on the genre, but Krit’s new album (Big Krit Wuz Here) was one of my favorite records of the year.
A small, indie rapper from Chicago who just can’t seem to get on anyone’s radar. The worst part is he seems like such a nice, down to earth guy.
1. Sade – Soldier of Love
Definitely a welcome return album from Sade since Lover’s Rock. Hopefully she doesn’t give us as lengthy a hiatus as next time.
2. Bilal – Airtight’s Revenge
Pretty much a similar case as Sade, but after being shelved and bootlegged, he comes back with one of his most promising projects. Even better and more riskier than his debut.
3. Celph Titled & Buckwild “Nineteen Ninety Now”
Buckwild had beats laying around from 1994 that never got used, no matter what D.I.T.C. member or rapper he approached. Until Celph Titled stumbled upon them. And gave us something for the ages.
4. The Foreign Exchange – Authenticity
Chalk up another one to Phonte and Nicolay and team, for giving us yet another amazing effort.
Sure, this was all about a viral single no less. But the rest of these songs deserve to be recognized without contention.
Jeremy Hovda (Reviler)
The Books are certainly not for everyone, but for those who get their unheimlich, found-sound art, there’s nothing like it.
Pallet is major reason Arcade Fire are who they are, but his own ornate, baroque-pop has yet to get the attention it deserves.
There’s nothing flashy here, just well-crafted country, gospel and blues. The boy definitely got his daddy’s songwriting genes.
4. Four Tet – There is Love in You
Kieren Hebden is a name you should know, if you don’t already. Check him out.
Maux Boyle of Black Moth Super Rainbow put out a solo record of some of the most uniquely vibrant ambient music (not to mention it’s already a genre dominated by men) ever put to tape earlier this year and nary a soul noticed. And yet when Brian Eno resurfaces with his instrumental work in late 2010, suddenly the indie majority cares.
Some members of the post-hardcore outfit Daughters got together to create an album as Fang Island, deciding that they wanted to simmer down on the screaming and double kick drum for a while, and craft a pop-rock record with more raucous intensity than the entire Arcade Fire catalog times a thousand. Pitchfork even gives it the Best New Music honor and yet I doubt anyone will remember this flawless album during list-making season.
3. El Ten Eleven – It’s Still Like A Secret [Self-Released]
The album title is not a coincidence — after getting an unfair promotional shake for their infectious and impossible-not-to-like debut from once-label heavyweights Bar/None, the instrumental duo from Texas has gone it on their own ever since. Now on their fourth full-length, the twosome has refined their playful style of looping guitar rock to the point where their mastery in the field wouldn’t dare attract any refutations, and yet, their existence is still very much like a secret.
4. Japanther – Rock ‘N’ Roll Ice Cream [Menlo Park]
Possibly the very definition of quirky cult band, NYC’s Japanther have spent almost a decade amassing collection after collection of strangely beautiful noise pop recordings, but still haven’t really broke out. This is especially a travesty in 2010 considering the sudden popularity of similarly scuzzy artists like Ariel Pink and Zola Jesus.
5. Cepia -Cepia [Cepia Music]
Releasing your album in December is hard enough to garner any attention from the more-ADD-every-year press, most of whom have already decided upon their top ten whatevers in time for Turkey Day, as if the last five weeks of the year were merely a buffer or transitory stage before the whole cycle begins anew. On top of this, add to local electronic artist Cepia’s disadvantages that his last stint with the notable label Ghostly International didn’t pan out, possibly because his style isn’t flashy or pulsing like your Gold Pandas or Matthew Dears of the world, and you have the ultimate 2010 underdog.
Matt Linden (Reviler)
Their newest album One Of Us is easily the best indie rock release of the year and they are part of the local Afternoon Records family. People need to start taking notice of these Ohio natives
A little-known band out of San Diego. Introspective lyrics and some of the biggest indie rock hooks ever produced. Fans of Saddle Creek’s Criteria and Kurt Vonnegut should take a listen.
3. Witch House: Balam Acab, Dream Boat, Holy Other, White Ring, Salem
Super dark and super weird. Get freaked out.
4. Reading Rainbow
Their debut album Prism Eyes completely blew me away. I’m still trying to figure out why no one is listening to them.
Not a specific band, but a great place for small/D.I.Y. indie bands to sell and distribute their music. Bandcamp allows bands to create their own page and offer music at a price of their choosing – usually free downloads or pay-what-you-want approach. More bands and critics should start taking notice of the power and beauty of Bandcamp.com.
Writer / co-founder