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Five Albums From The First Five Years
Linda Perhacs, Parrallelograms (reissue), 2010
A record collector’s gem allowed to slip out of print twice: first, after being almost completely ignored upon its 1970 release, and again after an initial reissue was lost in the shuffle of early 00s freak-folk enthusiasm. Mexican Summer’s lavish double-vinyl reissue from 2011 is the weighty monument that this influential cult singer always deserved.
Washed Out, Life of Leisure, 2009
More than any other document of the late-00s chillwave boom, this EP somehow made a fuzzed-out, emotionally numbed version of 80s radio pop seem like the sound of the present. Ernest Greene has since grown into a dependable album artist, but this is his time-capsule moment.
Best Coast, Crazy For You, 2010
Though Bethany Cosentino’s Best Coast was initially lumped in with 2010’s glut of overly nostalgic beach-farers, her direct music seems now like an advance warning for the crisp, clear pop still gaining dominance in indie circles. (One hell of a half-step towards Haim, if you will.)
Oneohtrix Point Never, Replica, 2011
Replica is a boldly experimental electronic album that provides a base-level stillness that’s easy to get lost in. A pensive, devastatingly pretty record partly made from unrecognizable bits of 1980s television commercials, it’s the best example of the label’s left-field breadth.
Autre Ne Veut, Anxiety, 2013
Arthur Ashin’s slow-moving emotional collapse is developed further on his second record as Autre Ne Veut. Anxiety subverts genre influences that have historically valued smoothness above all else. He sounds broken into jagged little pieces. It’s perhaps the single most accomplished product of all the weirding that R&B’s undergone in the 2010s.