NPR logo The Top 10 Debuts of 2007, from WXPN

The Top 10 Debuts of 2007, from WXPN

From French electronica and melancholy songwriters to worldly, eccentric indie-rock, here are 10 of the year's best debut albums. In no particular order:

The Top 10 Debuts of 2007, from WXPN

Deadly Syndrome

Eucalyptus

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The Deadly Syndrome

  • Song: Eucalyptus
  • from The Ortolan

Only six months after it formed, Los Angeles-based rock band The Deadly Syndrome released its debut -- and immediately attracted nationwide buzz. The Ortolan is a charismatic collection of songs that bristle with smart arrangements, musical diversity and highly accomplished rock chops. (Listen: “Eucalyptus”)

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Song
Ortolan
Album
Ortolan
Artist
The Deadly Syndrome
Label
Dim Mak
Released
2007

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Justice

D.A.N.C.E.

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Justice

  • Song: D.A.N.C.E.
  • from Cross

The French electronica duo’s debut is a bracing infusion of rave, house and rock music. Owing as much to “The Hustle” as it does to Daft Punk, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. honors just enough of dance music’s past to bring its extreme brand of dance-floor flavor into the 21st century. Overpowered by funk, indeed. (Listen: “D.A.N.C.E.”)

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Song
Cross
Album
Cross
Artist
Justice
Label
Ed Banger/Vice
Released
2007

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Via Audio

We Can Be Good

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Via Audio

  • Song: We Can Be Good
  • from Say Something

The infectious indie-pop debut of Boston's Via Audio was produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno, but no ghosts of Spoon's aesthetic linger over this talented band. At the heart of this collection of versatile songs are Jessica Martins' dreamy, blissful vocals. (Listen: "We Can Be Good")

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Song
Say Something
Album
Say Something
Artist
Via Audio
Label
Sidecho
Released
2007

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Sea Wolf

You're a Wolf

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Sea Wolf

  • Song: You're a Wolf
  • from Leaves in the River

Leaves in the River signals the impressive arrival of singer-songwriter Alex Brown Church. His acoustic gems are built on lush, orchestrated pop arrangements, each rife with melancholy and sharp melodies. (Listen: "You're a Wolf")

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Song
Leaves in the River
Album
Leaves in the River
Artist
Sea Wolf
Label
Dangerbird
Released
2007

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Let's Go Sailing

Sideways

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Let's Go Sailing

  • Song: Sideways
  • from The Chaos in Order

Let's Go Sailing's debut should have been called I'm So Sad But I Feel So Good, because that's how singer and songwriter Shana Levy’s bittersweet and forlorn songs make you feel. The songs on this album are strummy and warm, thanks in large part to Levy's dreamy vocals. (Listen: "Sideways")

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Song
Chaos in Order
Album
Chaos in Order
Artist
Let's Go Sailing
Label
Gr2 Classics
Released
2007

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Ezra Furman

How Long, Diana?

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Ezra Furman & the Harpoons

  • Song: How Long, Diana?
  • from Banging Down the Doors

Ezra Furman comes on with the intensity of artists like Jonathan Richman and Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes. Concurrently maniacal, tender and endearing, Furman conveys confidence that bursts from every note. (Listen: "How Long, Diana")

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Song
Banging Down the Doors
Album
Banging Down the Doors
Artist
Ezra Furman & the Harpoons
Label
Minty Fresh
Released
2007

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St. Vincent

Marry Me

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St. Vincent

  • Song: Marry Me
  • from Marry Me

This impressive debut from Annie Clark -- singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and sometimes member of The Polyphonic Spree -- mines broad musical terrain. Like Kate Bush, Bjork and Jeff Buckley, Clark has crafted a uniquely inspiring collection of songs. (Listen: "Marry Me")

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Song
Marry Me
Album
Marry Me
Artist
St. Vincent
Label
Beggars Banquet
Released
2007

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The Twilight Sad

That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy

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The Twilight Sad

  • Song: That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy
  • from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters

This Glasgow band plays reverb-drenched, emotionally charged pop songs with epic climaxes. It’s an ambitious debut, combining the intensity of emo with the angst-ridden force of The Smiths. (Listen: "That Summer at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy")

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Song
Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
Album
Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
Artist
The Twilight Sad
Label
Fat Cat
Released
2007

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The Field

A Paw in My Face

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The Field

  • Song: A Paw in My Face
  • from From Here We Go Sublime

A chilled-out collection of hypnotic electronica as warm as a favorite sweater during a cold day, the Swedish band The Field has made a record on which simplicity and beauty reign supreme. (Listen: "A Paw in My Face")

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Song
From Here We Go Sublime
Album
From Here We Go Sublime
Artist
The Field
Label
Kompakt Germany
Released
2007

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Yeasayer

2080

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Yeasayer

  • Song: 2080
  • from All Hour Cymbals

Worldly post-rock that brings to mind a cross between Peter Gabriel and TV on the Radio, Yeasayer's music radiates eccentric pop experimentalism with grand results. (Listen: “2080”)

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Song
All Hour Cymbals
Album
All Hour Cymbals
Artist
Yeasayer

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