My #1 Album of 2010 is going to leave a few of you scratching your heads. However, this choice, was a very personal one for me.
Music is my biggest passion. When an album or song strikes an emotional chord in my life, it’s a great album. I’m never preoccupied with what tops everyone else’s lists at the end of the year. I create my annual list based on the albums that made me feel unexplainable joy, pain, or comfort. In 2010, I needed comfort and White Hinterland’s ‘Kairos’ made me feel comfortable more than anyone else.
Portland-based Casey Dienel is the brains behind White Hinterland and creativity is something Casey possesses in spades. One only has to follow her on Twitter to realize that fact: She’s quite the avid cook and loves to pass on all sorts of fun recipes for all of us to try. But, obviously, I’m not here to promote Casey as a cook….I’m here to help expose you to her criminally underexposed album, Kairos.
I purchased Kairos last Winter after hearing her song ‘No Logic’ on another blog and haven’t looked back since. The album has received no less than 3 full spins per week on my iTunes, thanks to its unique blend of trip-hop, jazz, R&B, tribal beats, and lounge music. Casey lyrics are sung beautifully and with conviction; which is something I always look for in an artist.
The first time I listened to the album with headphones on, I knew I was listening to something special. Every song is full of layers, interesting sounds, low-fi beats and lyrics like this one from Moon Jam: ‘I am afraid of so many things, but I do not fear the future.’ Might sound simple to many of you, but on a personal level that one line sums up my 2010.
Personally I burned through so many demons this year and I remember listening to that lyric when I first bought the album back in February. It was an emotional time for me and I remember thinking to myself ‘I wish I could stop being scared and look forward to the future.’ Upon hearing that lyric, I made it my goal to try and feel excited for the rest of my life. Well here we are at the end of 2010, and I’m finally on that path. As I said before, I was searching for comfort and that lyric motivated me to find it.
So, while ‘Kairos’ may not be for all of you, I do highly recommend it to fans of creative, chill, thought provoking music. The album continues to reward more and more with every listen. I’ve now played the album close to 200 times this year, so I should know.
If you don’t buy the whole album, Download these: Icarus, Moon Jam, No Logic, Cataract, Huron
Bonus: Download White Hinterland’s angelic cover of Monica’s ‘Don’t Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)’