Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top 20 Albums of 2009

In retrospect this year has been fairly interesting with a varied mix and no consistent theme although quite a few coming from NYC.

This is my top 20 albums in no particular order. If you think I've missed a great album, please let me know.

Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

Bear in Heaven is a Brooklyn-based rock band formed by Jon Philpot. The sound of the band incorporates influences from psychedelic music, electronic music, krautrock.

Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms

An elusive new project from composer Alan Palomo from Vega. Forged after a hazy winter gathering in Texas, this initial batch of tracks were the result of field recordings, record samples, a collection of bizarre synth sounds.

Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Wild Beasts are a 4 piece band from Kendal, United Kingdom now based in Leeds. Their second album, Two Dancers, was released on 3 August 2009 to widespread critical acclaim.

The Gasoline Brothers - Tsk

The Gasoline Brothers are utterly lazy. They’ve kept silent for two years and now they expect us to be in awe about their new album Tsk!?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz

Yeah Yeah Yeahs is an alternative rock band formed in New York City, New York. Their music melds genres ranging from new wave to art punk and garage rock using heavy guitars, synthetic sounds, and screaming, erotic, bluesy vocals.

Isis - Wavering Radiant

Formed in Boston in 1997, Isis is a band that combines ambience, atmosphere, and aggression to form a unique style of metal music. Isis draws from post-rock, which leans away from the traditional elements of choruses, verses, repetitive vocals, or fast/repetitive riffs.

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

Dirty Projectors are an experimental pop group led by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dave Longstreth which formed in 2002 in Brooklyn, New York.

Built To Spill - There Is No Enemy

Built to Spill is an indie rock band based in Boise, Idaho, United States. The band is best known for its catchy guitar hooks and the unique voice of frontman Doug Martsch.

Atlas Sound - Logos

Atlas Sound is the name of a musical solo project of Bradford Cox, the lead singer of Atlanta five-piece Deerhunter.

The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come

The Mountain Goats is the musical project of singer-songwriter and guitarist John Darnielle. The New Yorker magazine referred to him as “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist”. In its June 2006 issue, Paste magazine named Darnielle one of the “100 Best Living Songwriters”. Darnielle’s lyrics are literate and filled with imagery that reference classic literature, religion and mythologies, pop culture, art and history.

Tortoise - Beacons Of Ancestorship

Tortoise’s almost entirely instrumental music defies easy categorization, and the group gained significant attention from their early career. The members have roots in Chicago’s fertile music scene, playing in various indie rock and punk groups. Tortoise was among the first American indie rock bands to incorporate styles closer to krautrock, dub, minimalism, electronica and various jazz styles, rather than the standard rock and roll and punk that had dominated indie rock for years.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, a New York four-piece who play dreamy shoegaze with boy/girl vocals, blissful melodies and blistering drums.

St Vincent - Actor

Annie Clark (born 28 September, 1982) is an American multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who performs under the moniker St. Vincent. She was a member of The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens’ touring band. Her second album for Beggars Banquet, entitled “Actor”, was released on 5 May, 2009. It was written entirely by Clark and produced by Clark and John Congleton of The Paper Chase.

Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

Patrick Wolf is an English singer-songwriter from London. Wolf mixes electronics and samples with a wide range of instruments including viola, keyboards, ukulele, and percussion, all of which he plays himself to form a fusion of jazz, folk and electronic music.

Florence and the Machine - Lungs

Florence + The Machine formed in 2007 in London, England. The band is the recording name of singer/songwriter Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music for her voice; Florence Welch is the band’s only constant member.

Florence doesn't like having an embedded link on Youtube for public use and the video links here so I may aswell come out and I say that the album is great but I'm not a fan of You've Got The Love. Phew, off my chest.

Fever Ray - Fever Ray

Fever Ray is the solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson, who is one half of the Swedish electro act The Knife (the other half is her brother Olof Dreijer).

Dan Deacon - Bromst

Dan Deacon is a Baltimore, Maryland-based electronic music composer/performer. He attended the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in Purchase, New York, where he played in many bands, including tuba for Langhorne Slim and guitar in the improvisational grindcore band Rated R. He completed his graduate studies in electro-acoustic and computer music composition.

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains

Cymbals Eat Guitars are an indie rock band from Staten Island, New York, United States. They consist of Joseph Ferocious (vocals, guitar), Matthew Whipple (bass, vocals), Brian Hamilton (keyboards, vocals) and Matthew Miller (drums). They have released one album, “Why There Are Mountains”, which has received glowing reviews since its January 2009 release.

Bibio - Ambivilance Avenue

Bibio is the recording name of British music producer Stephen Wilkinson. A resident of West Midlands, England, Stephen Wilkinson developed a passion for experimental music during his time at Middlesex University in London, where he studied “sonic arts”. He developed his own style of music, drawing from contemporary experimental electronica bands such as Boards of Canada, and incorporating field recordings and found sounds.

Bat for Lashes - Two Suns

Bat for Lashes is the work of British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist Natasha Khan.
Khan was born in Hertfordshire, England on 25 October 1979. Khan graduated in music and visual arts; while at university her experimental work was influenced by artists such as Steve Reich and Susan Hiller, and she produced multi-media work centred on sound installations, animations and performance.

Hilarious how my two 'mainstream' choices of Florence and the Machine and Bat for Lashes have restricted embedding the video which you will have to watch directly here.

Stay obscure folks!

I hope you enjoyed the Top 20 and checked out a few songs. See ya next year!

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