Seattle indie-rock act The Head and The Heart was one of KEXP's favorite discoveries in 2010.
Seattle indie-rock act The Head and The Heart was one of KEXP's favorite discoveries in 2010. Caitlyn Mirete
Despite all the talk about the demise of CD sales and the struggles of record stores, 2010 was another amazing year for music itself. Artists who came into the year courting high expectations — Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, The Black Keys — came out if it having delivered excellent albums. New artists, like Janelle Monae, emerged with high-profile debuts that justified the buzz. And just when you thought we might be nearing the bottom of the barrel of significant reissues and "from the vaults" rarities, we get Bob Dylan's The Witmark Demos and Bruce Springsteen's The Promise, featuring 21 previously unreleased songs from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions. That's like having two brand-new Springsteen albums from his most vital period — not bad!
Simply put, this was an exciting year for music lovers. Keeping up with the slew of independent releases is hard, I know, but that's where KEXP comes in. If the following releases haven't crossed your path in 2010, they're all worth discovering on your never-ending quest for new, great music.