Best Album of the Past 12 Months (2010)

Avi Buffalo by Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)

Every hipster who wants to be 19 again fell in love with Avi Buffalo's self-titled debut in 2010. Melancholy pop refrains; fragmented lyrics about love, loss and sex; and a gosh-darned-cute teenage cast turned Long Beach singer/songwriter Avigdor "Avi" Zahner-Isenberg's album into the year's best. Naysayers will draw comparisons to the Shins' self-deprecating vocabulary, but falsetto aside, something about Zahner-Isenberg's teenage angst seems way more pure, innocent and adorably endearing. The short, 10-track offering (clocking in at just less than 45 minutes) is perfect for the ADD set and full of deftly written gems that (yes, we'll say it) belie their creator's age. From the perfectly whistle-able melody of "What's In It For?" to the earwormy (and hilarious) "Summer Cum," Avi Buffalo is a keeper—and we're pretty sure the songs will hold up even after Zahner-Isenberg and Co. go to college, have kids and grow more facial hair.


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