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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 Deadly Syndrome

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”)


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.”)

Via Audio

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")

Sea Wolf

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")

Let's Go Sailing

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")

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons

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")

St. Vincent

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")

The Twilight Sad

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")

The Field

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")


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”)

Copyright 2007 XPN

Bruce Warren
Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.