10. The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers
Given that Heavenly’s stable has included artists as prone to pop star gestures as Doves, The Vines, and Saint Etienne, it’s a bit startling to consider that the label’s best-selling LP is The Magic Numbers. Weightless and rather conventional in its prettiness, the album pillages the songbooks of Stuart Murdoch, Sufjan Stevens, and the more conservative side of ’60s pop and folk. Yet in 2005, there was something novel about the modesty of this quartet’s music, which came across as a mellow rejoinder to the knottier charms of mid-2000s freak folk. And humble as The Magic Numbers was, it now appears to have presaged the earnest, homespun direction indie folk would soon take, both for better (Fleet Foxes) and worse (Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers).