Albums of the Year 2009

I decided not to limit myself to the arbitary round figure of 10 since there are more than 10 albums worthy of a mention. It’s also hard to put them in order of preference, so I’m going to take the easy way out by stating up front that Waxing Gibbous by Malcolm Middleton is my album of the year and everything else came a very close second. Links go to the album on Spotify where available, otherwise to the bands Myspace.

Malcolm Middleton – Waxing Gibbous

And So I Watch You From Afar
Balls as big as watermelons. This album sounds like Mogwai if you hacked out all the quiet bits with an axe and then surgically grafted even more loud bits on. A good thing.

Lord Cutglass
Ex Delgados man Alun finally released his much touted solo album this year under the Lord Cut-Glass moniker. Pretty much encompassing everything I loved about the Delgados in it’s relatively brief running time.

Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
Set aside ten minutes of your life and listen to Olympians in it’s entirety on the link above. When I first heard it, I tweeted that they could actually be the saviours of music.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
In last years top ten, I mentioned that I had just heard the pre-release of this and thought it was going to be the album of this year. Certainly, it’s the one on this list that’s seen the most blog hype but it pretty much justifies every word spoken about it. Not as good as Strawberry Jam but still a complete belter of an album

Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs

Dark was the Night

Yes it’s waaaay to long but to complain too much would be churlish when you consider that A) it’s a charity album and B) it contains exclusive tracks by pretty much all my favourite acts…Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens (sounding like Rufus Wainwright here), Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Beirut, Stuart Murdoch, Yo La Tengo and loads more.

Flaming Lips – Embryonic

Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

The song, Charlie Darwin was the real standout on the ever excellent Rough Trade Counter Culture compilation at the start of the year and when the album finally dropped in September, it was more than worth the wait. Not quite this years Bon Iver but not too far off.

Yahweh – Tug of Love

The List described them as the missing link between Arab Strap and Boards of Canada. So much more than that but as confident a debut album as you could possibly want.

You Already Know – Stop Whispering

In many ways, this album complimented the And So I Watch You From Afar album. They are both different albums and both worthy of being on the list on their own merits though.

The Daredevil Christopher Wright – In Deference to a Broken Back

Produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, the album as reminiscent of early Elephant 6 recordings like Neutral Milk Hotel (more of which below) and Of Montreal (back when the wanted to be the Beach Boys rather than the Beegees)

Beer Jacket – Animosity

Jerri

Mumford & Sons

Andrew Bird – Noble Beast

Sufjan Stevens – The B.Q.E.

Honorary mention to albums I discovered this year that came out before now:

Neutral milk hotel – In The Aeroplane over the Sea

I normally pride myself on having a fairly good musical knowledge and being reasonably up to date with all the good bands. I’ve also been a big fan of a few other Elephant 6 collective bands since the late nineties. Somehow though, it took until the middle of this year for me to hear this album, which was originally released 13 years ago! And incredible it is too.

Angil + Hiddntracks – Oulipo Saliva

Would be album of the year if it weren’t for the fact it came out last year. Probably soundtracked my year more than any other. Written entirely without E’s. Either the letter or the note.

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