Ghostly’s 110 is a rundown of our favorite albums of the decade. In making the list, we wanted to share the albums we’ve loved over the last 10 years, so fans can compare notes and perhaps make a few new discoveries in the process. The impetus for this list was our belief that a record label is more than just a music distributor–it’s a perspective all its own.
To start, we asked the Ghostly staff for their top 100 albums (no EPs, reissues, or various-artist compilations) from the decade. While there was a stunning consistency within the top 20, there were hundreds of releases that had only one vote. From there, we had to make some tough decisions. Tears were shed and punches thrown, but we ended up with a document that wears the Ghostly seal of approval with pride.
We also wanted to keep our list pure and nepotism-free, so we left off all Ghostly/Spectral albums, as well as any artist who has over a few songs on the label. Of course, this meant we couldn’t include eternal classics like Solvent’s Solvent City, Rafael Anton Irissarir’s Daydreaming, and of course, Tycho’s Past Is Prologue.
In short, it’s been a wild decade. We’ve all seen and experienced so much, and while no one knows what the future holds, we do know that good music will always keep coming. Ghostly’s 110 is also a tribute to the labels and record stores that have inspired us, and the ones that we’ve lost in the last decade.
There are more than a few albums that could have easily made the list, and I wanted to recognize them below.
The Sea and Cake’s Oui (Thrill Jockey, 2000) was an easy contender for top albums of the decade that just didn’t get the votes, perhaps overlooked because of the bands consistent understated awesomeness. A mesmerizing album of subtle grace.
Dungen was a band that seemed to come out of nowhere with Ta Det Lungt (Kemado, 2005), capturing a piece of the global mindshare with this album of puzzlingly perfect rock.
I know E. Lipp is a fixture at ISO50, but Tacoma Mockingbird (Hefty, 2006) is the record that put him on the map. Beautifully conceived synth lines atop classic breaks.
Like a bolt from the (aqueous) blue, Portishead returned with Third (Island, 2008) having lost no steam and having found their new voice–while retaining the haunted, dusty majesty of their early work.