10. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax [Shock]
Simple, solid, honest and raw, Eddy Cuz’s third LP has cemented them as Oz’s finest purveyors of erudite garage rock.
9. The Ruby Suns – Fight Softly [Sub Pop]
More than just an Animal Collective stopgap, Fight Softly is a jubilant technicolour synth-pop dream, ingeniously splashed with hazy reverb, intricately layered vocals and a marvellous melding of world music rhythms and electronica.
8. Best Coast – Crazy For You [Popfrenzy]
29 minutes of woozy, swoony, sandy, syrupy, Californian surf pop gems dripping with teenage love, longing and hilarious little lines.
7. Scissor Sisters – Night Work [Polydor]
Gayer than Will and Grace’s Jack with all the pomp and spectacle to match, Night Work is a rock-hard record of relentless glow sticks-in-the-air anthems bursting with bombastic stadium-sized percussion and wickedly raunchy rhymes. It’s even got a splash of spoken word from Sir Ian McKellen thrown in for good measure. Hot.
6. Kyü - Kyü [Popfrenzy]
The two Sydney lasses have released one of the best songs of the year in Pixiphony and the rest of their dark yet joyous experimental pop debut resonates with the same urban warrior woman vivacity.
5. The Roots – How I Got Over [Def Jam]
On top of the insightful execution of socio-political, environmental and economic invective, one of the greatest testaments to The Roots’ brilliance is their seamless amalgamation of disparate musical elements. Jim James of Monsters of Folk, Joanna Newsom and Dirty Projectors blend in as flawlessly as John Legend.
4. The Leisure Society - The Sleeper [Pod]
Save It For Someone Who Cares is reminiscent of the Babar theme. Need I go on? I will, to say this tender, bittersweet and beautiful record of Brits doing Americana, with its glorious harmonies, pastoral themes and ornamented arrangements (kalimba and ukulele were made for each other), is one of the year’s most magical.
3. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record [Spunk]
I thrashed this record in the first half of the year then caught their set at Splendour; spinning it after seeing them live elevated the once exuberant listening experience to euphoric heights. The instrumental Meet Me in the Basement is ecstatic.
2. Grinderman – Grinderman 2 [Mute Records]
“I keep hanging around your kitchenette / And I'm gonna get a pot to cook you in / I stick my fingers in your biscuit jar / And crush all your gingerbread men”. Nick, you bad, bad man. You and your boon companions have done it again.
1. Steve Mason – Boys Outside [Domino]
As Justin Hook espoused in August, “Throughout it all Mason’s biggest weapon shines – a luxuriant, ghostly textured voice more open and honest than ever before. Boys Outside already sounds like a lost classic.” Thanks a million, Hook.