Now that June is nearly over, we’re just about halfway through 2010. How did that happen? And what about all that great music you’ve been hearing about for months that you never quite got around to checking out? Never fear: Our rundown of 25 notable albums from the first half of the year will help you catch up. Of course, lists like this are always controversial and incomplete. So if you don’t see your favorite release, don’t flip out — just add to the collection by leaving your picks in the comments.
Yeasayer – Odd Blood (Secretly Canadian)
Why: Many preferred the eclectic, spiritual strains of the band’s debut All Hour Cymbals, but we remain true believers. Yeasayer’s version of pop is compelling, complex, and catchy, with a surface that’s absolutely flawless.
Harvey Milk – Small Turn of Human Kindness (Hydra Head)
Why: Because people who say they don’t like metal haven’t heard Harvey Milk.
Download: A Hydra Head mixtape featuring Harvey Milk’s “I Know This Is No Place for You”
Titus Andronicus – Monitor (XL)
Why: In a year when blog hype has been dominated by the whatever-dude ramblings of chillwave practitioners, Titus Andronicus gives us hope for the future of indie. Their music is grand, anxious, and earnest, with lyrics that actually have something to say.
Watch: “A More Perfect Union”
Beach House – Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
Why: Beach House’s melodies are slow, languid, and expansive — just like the perfect summer afternoon. Plus, as the band has said, Teen Dream is their baby-makin’ album.
Download: “Walk in the Park”
Sleigh Bells – Treats (Mom + Pop)
Why: “Former Poison the Well guitarist Derek Miller made a radical musical shift when joining forces as Sleigh Bells with vocalist Alexis Krauss — whose own teen-pop past belies the visceral sounds of the band. Finding the meeting point between melody, noise, and all-out enthusiasm, Treats plays like a rabble-rousing cross between the Go! Team, Crystal Castles, and [M.I.A.] herself.” — Doug Levy, Daily Dose
Download: “Tell ‘Em“