Vote for The Best Break-Through Band of 2010 – Beach Fossils, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, Two Door Cinema Club, The Drums, Best Coast

The Local Natives stand out for their infectious tropical pop sound and superb musicianship

After five polls, each including 10 selected break-through bands of 2010, IRC readers and visitors have voted for their Top Ten Break-Through Bands of 2010. Of the 50 bands altogether, we simply included the top two finalists from each readers’ choice poll.

Now, IRC readers and visitors are voting for the Best Break-Through Band of 2010. Browse through and listen to songs from the top ten bands, and cast your vote at the end of this post. On January 22nd, the results of the Readers’ Choice will be revealed. There is also the Top 50 No. 1 Songs of 2010 playlist and poll that has been up for about two weeks now, and some of the results, are fantastic. Listen to all the tracks and make your vote now, and come back to vote in this poll, or vice versa.

The bands are Beach Fossils, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, Two Door Cinema Club, Freelance Whales, The Drums, Best Coast, Broken Bells, Bikini, and Horse Feathers. So as not to indicate any favoritism, we’ve combined all five polls’ two top winners in the chronological order that each poll appeared throughout 2010.


In a tally of 1,000 unique* votes from IRC readers and visitors, the California indie rock band Local Natives beat out a bunch of other bands for ‘Break Out’ Artist of 2010 (So Far). Approximately 23% of poll participants selected Local Natives out of 10 pre-selected artists.

“Sun Hands” Local Natives from Gorilla Manor (only $5 on Amazon – limited time offer)

Local Natives on MySpace


The runner up, for Florida ‘beach rock’ sensation Surfer Blood, placed a distant second with 13.7%. The dynamic musical duo Sleigh Bells garnered 13.2%, and Canada’s Crystal Castles – another duoand Brooklyn electro-haze pop artist, Neon Indian, pretty much tied (CC taking it by one vote) to round out the Top 5.

“Catholic Pagans” Surfer Blood from Astro Coast (click title to purchase from AMZ for only $5)

“Swim” Surfer Blood from Astro Coast

The Drums have been picked by a huge margin by readers in the latest polling of the ‘break out artist of 2010 (So Far)”. Of the ten choices, Freelance Whales came second to The Drums, with rather low scores for the remaining eight artists in the poll.

For the past six weeks, hundreds of people have been taking our latest group of polls in a quest to find the ‘break out’ band of 2010 (so far). In the first round of ten bands, Local Natives were picked by 1,000 readers over nine other hot bands, including Surfer Blood, Crystal Castles, Sleigh Bells and Neon Indian.

In this latest poll, featuring another ten artists, 309 people voted. It was strikingly apparent from the first 100 votes that The Drums and Freelance Whales were the real competition of the latest poll. After 200 votes, the margins remained relatively the same, with The Drums receiving an impressive 43% of the vote.  This is not surprising considering the huge amount of blog love and mainstream press accolades The Drums having been enjoying, especially in the month’s leading up to the June release of their terrific debut.

“Forever & Ever Amen” – The Drums from The Drums (only $5!)

“It Will All End in Tears” – The Drums from The Drums

“Let’s Go Surfing” The Drums from The Drums

“Saddest Summer”  – The Drums from The Drums

Brooklyn’s Freelance Whales followed rather far behind The Drums with 18% of the total votes. The remaining 39% of the vote was divided up among the other eight bands in the poll: in fact, placing far behind Freelance Whales, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Villagers both took 7%; Warpaint, Smith Westerns and Washed Out with 5% each; Wild Nothing and Ganglians (4%), and Magic Kids (3%).

“Hannah” – Freelance Whales from Weathervanes (only $5!)

“Generator First Floor” – Freelance Whales from Weathervanes


Last May, the Brooklyn buzz band Beach Fossils released their self-titled, debut LP to the open arms of adoring critics and admiring bloggers. The band had been building momentum in late 2009, but with their multiple, packed appearances during South by Southwest 2010, and the release of their acclaimed debut – one which has already made a number of top albums of 2010 lists – the band are on a roll.  Check out these tracks if you somehow haven’t heard of Beach Fossils yet.

“Face It” Beach Fossils from Beach Fossils

“Youth” Beach Fossils from Beach Fossils

Nigel Diamond and Olivier Olivier met at Canada’s Glen-Lyon Norfolk School of music, and began to collaborate as Bikini. Just a couple of week’s ago, we were unable to find a MySpace page for New York experimental indie band, Bikini. But a lot has happened in just the short period of time.

Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, Bikini released their debut EP, RIPJDS, which includes the awesome singles featured here, “American Mourning” and “ACheerleader.”

“American Mourning” Bikini from EP RIPJDS

“ACheerleader” Bikini from EP RIPJDS


Over 1,000 people in the past few weeks have picked indie supergroup Broken Bells and Irish rockers Two Door Cinema Club as the top two break-through bands in IRC’s latest poll to find the top, new indie rock bands of 2010.

The latest poll results follow two previous polls that sought the same answer. For each poll, we’ve picked ten bands that are clearly radar, buzz, and bands to watch in 2010. In the first poll, readers overwhelming picked Local Natives and Surfer Blood, and in the second poll, The Drums almost took the whole enchilada at 43%, with Freelance Whales trailing far behind at 18%.

With 30 featured break-through bands featured so far, the latest poll clearly demonstrates how popular supergroup Broken Bells have become since their debut, self-titled LP was released in March.

“The High Road” Broken Bells from s/t debut

Irish band Two Door Cinema Club have taken North America and Europe by storm in the past five months, especially following a number of impressive, high-energy and filled-to-capacity shows during South by Southwest in March.

“Do You Want It All”Two Door Cinema Club

In the fifth and final poll for the Best Breakthrough Band of 2010, readers overwhelming selected Los Angeles lo-fi surf rock pop trio Best Coast with 42% of 520 votes. The band was started by songwriter and front woman Bethany Cosentino (formerly of Pocahaunted) and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. After going through a couple different drummers, the duo officially signed on former Vivian Girls member Ali Koehler as drummer.

After a couple of successful EPs in 2009, Best Coast released their debut LP, Crazy For You, in July 2010, and it quickly became a hit, so much so that the album even peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Top 200.

The LP was released on the indie record label, Mexican Summer. Apparently, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) are fans of Best Coast.  Here are some of our favorite Best Coast tracks, but first here is the band’s newest track that was recorded with Wavves and released last month and included in our new Christmas Songs playlist.

“I Got Something For You” Wavves & Best Coast – Nov. 2010

“Boyfriend” Best Coast from Crazy For You

“Sun Was High (So Was I)” Best Coast from s/t single, 2009

In the latest poll in Break-Through Bands of 2010, Best Coast won by a landslide.


At a distant second place is the one-man chillwave star, Twin Shadow (12%), followed by Horse Feathers (10%) in third place.  Even though Best Coast are such a huge new breakout band of 2010, we’re surprised that such huge new talents like Cloud Nothings and Twin Sister only registered 6% of votes apiece to round our the Top 5.

We have to say that for this latest poll, it was expected that Best Coast would take the top spot – we just didn’t realize it would be with such a steep landslide. Then again, Best Coast have been selling out shows from coast to coast, and packing in crowds at music festivals as well as garnering approval from their contemporaries, the mainstream press, bloggers, and most importantly, fans. Can’t wait to our fingers on the next Best Coast release – you can bet you’ll hear about it first on IRC.

Twin Shadow Does The Drums and Hooray for the Earth

Nowadays in the indie music mixers world the name George Lewis Jr. might not be immediately recognizable, but when follow-up and say he is the man behind Twin Shadow, most indie followers know who that is.  Not only did he place No. 2 to Best Cost in this latest poll (No.5), he also did a recent remix of Hooray for the Earth’s “A Place We Like” and The Drums’ “Me And The Moon.”  Twin Shadow’s terrific debut, Forget, is one of the best debut’s of the year.

“A Place We Like”- Twin Shadow with Hooray for the Earth vs. The Drums

“Slow” Twin Shadow from Forget

Cast Your Vote For Break-Through Band of 2010

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  1. Love The Drums. If you want to check out a band that has a similar sound then check out Sydney band Circle.

  2. Yeah! Stoked to see Local Natives getting the love…that’s SUCH a great album. If anyone is a big fan and in the So Cal area, Local Natives are playing Disney Concert Hall in LA on Feb 26th (disclaimer/FYI: I work with LA Phil). I am so excited for this one.

    I’d have to also vote for Broken Bells…another amazing album of the year.

  3. The Best Break-Out Indie Rock Band Right Now is New Zealand indie outfit ‘The Naked and Famous’.

    The Best Indie Albums of 2010 were:
    1. Vampire Weekend – Contra
    2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

    Most Unique Artists of 2010 were:
    1. Neon Indian
    2. Gold Panda

    The most disappointing band/album of 2010:
    1. MGMT – Congratulations

    MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR 2011 – THE STROKES!!! 22 March 2010. My birthday. No jokes. Destiny. I was just as shocked. My favourite band of all time are releasing their new album on my Birthday. It must be some sick joke from the Indie Universe. But it is not.

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