Crystal Castles is an experimental electronic music band from Toronto, consisting of producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass. Known for their chaotic live shows and their melancholic lo-fi home productions, they have been a favorite of mine since the release of their first full-length, Crystal Castles, back in 2008.
The band’s second album, also titled Crystal Castles but known as Crystal Castles II, was released this year and was one of my favorites of 2010. This is another one where it’s hard for me to pick just one. I really love Violent Dreams and Celestica, but I can’t resist the single version of Not in Love, for which Robert Smith lends his one-of-kind vocals.
Crystal Castles – Not In Love (ft. Robert Smith)
More Crystal Castles here.
Purchase on iTunes.
I stumbled upon this next pick very recently, thanks to the oh so great Hype Machine.
Amos the Transparent is a Canadien rock band from Ottawa and the brainchild of songwriter Jonathan Chandler. The band just released the Children’s EP, A is For Amos, which includes a fantastic, Fisher-Price meets Playskool instrumentation, version one of my favorites, Lemons (aka BigFishLittlePond).
Amos the Transparent – Lemons (aka BigFishLittlePond)
More Amos the Transparent here.
Purchase on iTunes.
Canadian musical collective, Broken Social Scene, were back this year with their latest, Forgiveness Rock Record.
The album features guest appearances by Feist, Emily Haines (Metric), Spiral Stairs (Pavement), and Sebastien Grainger (Death from Above 1979), and also marks the first time Amy Shaw, Haines, and Feist have been recorded on the same song (Sentimental X’s). My favorite track from the record (right now) is All to All, which iTunes describes as a weightless female vocal and synth dancetrip.
Broken Social Scene – All to All
More Broken Social Scene here.
Purchase Forgiveness Rock Record
Casiokids is a Norwegian electro-pop ensemble from Bergen, formed in 2005. NME described the band as “the best thing to come out of Norway since black metal” and have been compared to fellow Norwegian artists The Whitest Boy Alive, Royksopp, and Annie.
2010 saw the release of Topp stemning på lokal bar, which included the hit single Fot i hose. While Fot i hose is a great track, my favorite track from the album is most definitely Finn bikkjen!
Casiokids – Finn bikkjen!
More Casiokids here.
Purchase Topp stemning på lokal bar on iTunes.