Last year we got our top of the year lists out early.
This year it seemed like everyone was trying to get their lists out as early as possible to capitalize on the potential traffic or whatever it is people compete for. We decided to sit back and let the year finish before commenting on it (read: we were super lazy).
None the less, here’s our picks for the best albums of 09′ Here’s to hoping you get 18% more lay in 2010.
20. Don Cash – Freshy Fresh
Don Cash really does wear his sunglasses at night. This album was released as a free download, then on itunes, then re-mastered and re-released without some of my fave songs on it and there’s still talks of re-mastering it again and a label signing and release… Either way, this is a great album with some next level jams.
19.Tiga – Ciao!
Tiga’s collaboration with all his producer pals (James Murphy, Soulwax, Gonzales etc) made this album ironically transcend being just a dance album (mindless headfuck) and gave it some depth. Tiga was huge in the first part of the year as the anticipation for the album grew from the first couple of singles. Then it all seemed to die down… Not that I would ever steal anything but they were super tight fisted, blocking album leaks and maybe it hurt the album? I have no idea, maybe I’m B.S.ing but I feel like this album should have been bigger. I also wish Tiga would do more performances with a live backing band. Seeing him dj all of his hits was, um, err, mehhh. I also want to see more of his alter persona come to life.
18.Metric – Fantasies
I’ll probably catch lots of flack for this but… Whenever a band gets big in Canada there’s sometimes a bit of backlash from the people who think we live in a tiny little fish bowl and despise the band for making it big while other more “authentic” bands don’t get recognized. I can’t see this happening in the US where there is much less of an identity crisis (albeit other ish). In 2009 Metric decided to go their own independent route, ditched their label and management and blew up worldwide by making a great pop record that’s a solid listen from start to finish. But then again, they are not noise punk.
17.Little Girls – Concepts
Josh McIntyre crafted this gem late at night, solo in his bedroom. He started a myspace under the anonymous moniker, “Little Girls” (which btw is code for “little girls”) to gauge peoples reaction to these sonic experiments. So far the response has been quite positive.
16 .Mountain Man – Mountain Man
You can’t find this album on the internet for free anywhere so you should pony up the $5 pay what you want minimum for this lesser known gem. For fans of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Chamomile tea.
15. Kap Bambino – Blacklist
I must be honest, I’m not an OG Kap Bambino fan. Apparently they made their sound a little less hardcore and a bit more poppy with this album. Their hybrid punk/electro blend is something completely new to my ears. It kiiiind of picks up where Crystal Castles left off. Still bummed I missed their live show. I think I’m too old to go out on Sundays.
14. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
It hasn’t come out yet officially in NA. It’s out in England and I have British citizenship. 2009 was huge for them, they have won over a lot of new fans with their on point four part harmonies and the general charm of five dudes playing their hearts out.
13. Handsome Furs – Face Control
Everybody’s fave indie rock couple lay down some guitar over drum machine loops and craft a solid follow up to Plague Park. Bow wow.
12. Yacht – See Mystery Lights
Along with adding another member, signing to DFA has been a good thing. It sounds like they added a little more New York post punk disco to their landscape and reigned in the sometimes overly experimental bits. Pyschic City was definitely one of the songs of the year.
11.Antony and the Johnsons – The Crying Light
I really didn’t know what to think of Antony’s voice at first, it was quite shocking. It felt like a surprise reach around, if that’s something politically correct enough to say. But, the more I listened to it, the more I fell in love with the unique voice from which he speaks from and with. Their live show was one of the best of the year. Pretty much *tear* worthy (not that I would ever cry though). Do not fear the surprise reach around.
10.Peaches – I Feel Cream
Peaches oh Peaches, how I love thy teaches. This is what Lady Gaga is ripping off and toning down for a mainstream audience. That and maybe a lil Gwen Stefani… Peaches is chick power to the infinite. The best live show of the year. All of this summed up a lot better, here.
9.Matt and Kim – Grand
Watching Matt and Kim play is like seeing two kids having the time of their life and enjoying every minute of it. They just look so gosh darn humble you want to hug them. While their previous self titled effort was a little too annoying / earnest / catchy / mehhh, “Grand” is an 11 track pop gem.
8.Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Speaking of bands whose year it was, these Frenchies served it up like gour-met pate. They should almost lay low for a year to let things cool off. On the other hand there are so many hits on this album they should probably keep working it.
7. Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
Bringing the psychedelic back to the dance floor. Neon Indian makes me want to do acid and chill in a tent while watching bizarre projected patterns on the wall while practicing witchcraft.
6.Wild Beasts – Two Dancers
Falsetto bitches! I swear I hear a little Morrissey in here, that and a lot of lyrics about girls and wild forest fornication parties that I want to be at.
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
“Waaaaaaah too electro!”. “What ever happened to the old YYYs?!?” Go listen to Fever to Tell and reminisce. It’s called progression and trying something new out. Besides, I swear I can’t hear the difference, I’m no electro racist. I think it worked and the YYYs are even more popular than ever. Whether that’s a good thing or not is your call. For me they are definitely one of the defining bands of the decade.
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Top ten lists with MPP at number #1 are soooo boring. diss.
3.Fever Ray – Fever Ray
This album grew on me all year. I think I was a little put off wanting it to be a bit more dance’y and Knife-like. As the great economic recession of 2009 wore on I began feeling more and more like a sad little goth boy turning to my trusty Fever Ray album for comfort. Also one of my fave live shows of the year.
2.The XX – xx
The XX came out of nowhere with this debut album. I don’t know whether it had to do with Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s whispery voices or the playful male / female back and forth or the above mentioned goth factor? It’s the perfect mix, incorporating electronics with more traditional instruments creating a somewhat electronic beat driven album that even the indie kids can dance to.
1. Japandroids – Post Nothing
How could we not champion the home town heroes? They are on to even better things. Post Nothing was not their debut and they have not peaked. Have you heard the new song they are playing in their set?? Hot damn. These sweethearts worked their butts off on this and earned everything 2009 has brought them. Hopefully they find some time to write some new songs about girls and summer while touring their butts off.