The Walkmen were one of my discoveries of the year. I'd previously dismissed them as "that band that did the The Rat", a song which I love, but which I'd always assumed was by a band that couldn't top it. I was wrong. Lisbon (and You & Me before it) is a solid album by a band who've mastered their own brand of jangly rock music. Great lyrically, great musically, just great throughout!
4. Sharon Van Etten – Epic
Before December rolled around I thought I had my Top 5 of 2010 sorted. Then I heard 'Love More' by Sharon Van Etten on the All Songs Considered podcast and I was immediately compelled to seek out the album. Epic is a cathartic, rainy day of an album. Van Etten uses her music as a form of therapy (in the same way a lyricist like Mark Oliver Everett does) so these songs are mostly acoustic tales of heartbreak, bitterness, and regret. It's all fantastic, and at a sweet seven tracks it never outstays its welcome. …