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Girl Germs picks the BEST MUSIC of 2010! (And predicts the musical future.)

December 16, 2010

We at Girl Germs have combed through every lady-band release we could get our hands on this year, and now we bring you…the best of 2010 (according to us). Make sure to tune in from 9 to 11 p.m.on Tuesday as Jenny and Dana will be counting down our top songs of the year and spinning the female artists who we think are going to be big deals in 2011!


1. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone)
2. Warpaint – The Fool (Rough Trade)
3. Janelle Monae – The Archandroid (Bad Boy)
4. Ana Tijoux – 1977 (Nacional)
5. Robyn – Body Talk (Interscope/Konichiwa)
6. Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar)
7. Pink Mink – “Black Door”/”Earthquake on the Loose” [single] (Self-released)
8. Vaselines- Sex with an X (Sub Pop)
9. Sleigh Bells – Treats (Mom & Pop)
10. Corin Tucker Band – 1000 Years (Kill Rock Stars)


1. Charlotte Gainsbourg- IRM (Because/Elektra)
The daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin hits it out of the park with another amazing album, this time taking on Beck as a producer for an edgier, heavier sound. Like her last release, 5:55, I think this one will make it into my permanent rotation.
2. Dark Dark Dark- Bright Bright Bright [EP] (Supply and Demand)
Bright Bright Bright is easily one of my top releases of the year, showcasing this former local band’s exciting and challenging songwriting. This was my bus-ride soundtrack all winter long.
3. Zola Jesus- Stridulum [EP]/Valusia [EP] (Sacred Bones)
A young lady from Wisconsin is the last person you’d expect to adopt a name like Zola Jesus, let alone to make music that sounds like a dark, sparse Siouxsie. She’s one of my new favorites.
4. Joanna Newsom- Have One on Me (Drag City)
The obtuse folk singer with a signature child-like crow broke her four-year silence with an unexpectedly lush triple LP. Have One on Me has some of the year’s best songs.
5. Best Coast- Crazy for You (Mexican Summer)
Twitter feuds and it-girl charges against Bethany Cosentino aside, this album was extremely well done and nearly impossible not to love.
6. Laura Viers- July Flame (Raven Marching Band)
The quietly prolific Viers put out yet another gem this year on her newly minted label, Raven Marching Band. She even took pains to stop by the Radio K studios- baby in tow! This is one of the year’s best-reviewed albums for good reason.
7. Dum Dum Girls- I Will Be (Sub Pop)
The Sub Pop darlings put their own spin on garage-rock revival with their consistent debut.
8. CocoRosie- Grey Oceans (Sub Pop)
The Casady sisters have put out yet another dense, quirky album. Despite a continual rise to prominence and move to Sub Pop Records, tracks like “R.I.P. Burnface” suggest no sign of watering down their own unique brand of weird.
9. Sleigh Bells- Treats (Mom and Pop)
It took a while for this to grow on me (a reaction to too much buzz too soon, perhaps), but when it did, I fell head over heels for it. For an album best-known for its tendency to peak out your VU meter, these irresistible songs come as a pleasant surprise.
10. Marnie Stern- Marnie Stern (Kill Rock Stars)
More guitar-shredding wizardry from New-York based Marnie.
Honorable mention: Janelle Monae’s The Archandroid and Robyn’s Body Talk.

1. Puro Instinct Puro Instinct [EP]
This year I was a complete sucker for spooky yet dreamy shoegaze-reminiscent bands (see my top three picks…). These L.A.-based sisters have made an EP that is the soundtrack to my dreams!

2. Is/Is This Happening [EP] (Guilt Ridden Pop)
Is/Is is tied with Cadette for my new favorite local band. I can’t get enough of the four songs on This Happening, and I’m really excited to hear what they do next. I just realized that we didn’t post the playlist from the episode where they were our guest DJs. Must track that down…

3. Warpaint The Fool (Rough Trade)
I waited with baited breath for this album to come out and it was worth every second. “Undertow” might be the best song ever and the video is extremely well done. Their signing to Rough Trade signals BIG things for these ladies.

4. Black Mountain Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar)
Black Mountain is one of my go-to bands. They blew me away this time with their shift away from prog-influenced epic jams and toward more straightforward rock songs. Webber’s voice is always great, but the way it complements fellow singer Stephen McBean’s on this album is particularly lovely.

5. Marnie Stern Marnie Stern (Kill Rock Stars)
Marnie can do no wrong. She’s insanely talented, not to mention smart, articulate and sweet. Oh, and funny. Not that I’d ever encourage beef among lady musicians, but IF I DID, my money would be on Marnie in this whole Marnie Stern vs. Best Coast debacle.

6. Noun Holy Hell (Don Giovanni)
Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster’s solo debut was more dynamic and nuanced than any of SF’s stuff – but it also rocked just as hard.

7. Scout Niblett The Calcination of Scout Niblett (Drag City)
I rushed out and bought this record when it came out because vinyl is the only way to truly appreciate the simultaneous subtlety and power of her songs. Still kicking myself for missing her the last two times she was in town!

8. Laetitia Sadier The Trip (Drag City)
The Stereolab frontwoman’s solo debut is poppy without being sugary. Hearing her away from the blips and bloops of Stereolab was refreshing, although I love Stereolab’s new record as well.

9. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone)
Sharon Jones = BAD-ASS. I dare you to watch her interview with Stephen Colbert and try not to both love her and be very, very afraid of her. For about a month this spring, “Give it Back” was all I listened to. the Dap-Kings are pretty cool, too.

10. Lullabye Arkestra Threats/Worship (Vice)
Formerly a six-piece complete with horns, this Canadian band has pared down to its husband-and-wife core and its music has evolved into a booming, metal-esque sound that makes it hard to believe they are just a duo. Kat Taylor-Small is one of the best bass players in the biz (see for yourself here). They were kind enough to record an in-studio with Girl Germs in April, and it was amazing to be in the studio while they played!

Honorable mention: Cate Le Bon’s Me Oh My, Indian Jewelry’s Totaled, Phantogram’s Eyelid Movies and Dark Dark Dark’s Wild Go.



Pink Mink
Black Mountain
Total Babe


Puro Instinct
Zola Jesus 

Anni Rossi



First Aid Kit
La Sera
Psalm One
Wild Flag

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