NPR logo

KCRW's Best L.A. Bands Of 2010

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/131709333/131964101" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
KCRW's Best L.A. Bands Of 2010

KCRW's Best L.A. Bands Of 2010

The Los Angeles music scene churned out some of 2010's best albums. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto

The Los Angeles music scene churned out some of 2010's best albums.

iStockphoto

Southern California is a prime breeding ground for artistry. But, for the last few years, it's seemed like the newest sounds were based on the East Coast, particularly Brooklyn.

That is, until 2010.

Los Angeles has had a year like no other for new music. From our thriving underground beat scene (which produced Flying Lotus) to Best Coast (which reveled in the SoCal sounds that capture our life of sunshine and beach days), L.A. artists were behind some of the best albums of the year. KCRW plays music from all over the world, but our playlists were consistently topped by local artists all year. We're proud of our hometown, and happen to think its music scene was 2010's best.

KCRW's 5 Best L.A. Bands in 2010

Best Coast

Best Coast, 'Crazy For You'

  • Song: Boyfriend

Best Coast's slacker anthems are short, sweet and wildly infectious. Topics range from boyfriends to stoner boredom and youth angst, but each song is set to garage-rock bliss and a sun-bleached state of mind.

YouTube
Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus, 'Cosmogramma'

  • Song: Computer Face // Pure Being

Born out of the Los Angeles underground, Flying Lotus is charting new directions in modern music with his avant-garde fusion of hip-hop, jazz and psychedelia. Cosmogramma is an invigorating listen that's challenging to the ear, yet strangely funky.

YouTube
Autolux

Audience No. 2

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/131709333/131949265" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Autolux, 'Transit Transit'

  • Song: Audience No. 2

Autolux's new album is enormously compelling, with Beatles-esque song styling, Sonic Youth-style guitar and a brooding atmosphere. This is a great album for the occasional gloomy, gray days we get in L.A.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Transit Transit
Album
Transit Transit
Artist
Autolux
Label
RED Distribution
Released
2010

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Fitz and the Tantrums

Pickin’ Up the Pieces

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/131709333/131949258" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Fitz & The Tantrums, 'Pickin' Up The Pieces'

  • Song: Pickin’ Up the Pieces

The current retro-soul revival may have started with the likes of Gnarls Barkley and Amy Winehouse, but L.A.'s Fitz & The Tantrums excelled this year with great songs and energetic live shows. The classic themes of heartache bring this band to life, while the chemistry between Fitz and female vocalist Noelle Scaggs is palpable.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Pickin Up the Pieces
Album
Pickin Up the Pieces
Artist
Fitz & the Tantrums
Label
Dangerbird Records
Released
2010

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Ozomatli

Love Comes Down (Anne Litt Remix)

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/131709333/131972038" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ozomatli, 'Fire Away'

  • Song: Love Comes Down (Anne Litt Remix)

Fire Away was a return to form for one of L.A.'s great bands. The band celebrated 15 years together this year and continues to blend myriad influences. Our recent Soundclash Remix Project featured a handful of our DJs taking Ozo songs to task. Anne Litt went beyond traditional definitions of a remix by having the vocals re-sung by the local a cappella group Sonos.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Ozomatli
Album
Ozomatli
Artist
Fire Away
Released
2010

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Support KCRW

Stories like these are made possible by contributions from readers and listeners like you.