Is it too late for my year-end lists for 2009? I don’t care. It was a tough year for music for me. My iPod broke back in April right before I left Jersey, so I didn’t consume nearly as much music as I did in ’08. But whatever. Here you go – my favorite albums that were released last year.
10. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
So right out of the gates, I’m breaking my own rules. This album really came out early 2010 (is it even out yet?) but I listened to it solid through the month of December. If this were really an ’09 album, it would probably be in my top two. And yes, I reserve the right to keep this album in the running for next year’s list. In any case, “Odd Blood” totally melted my brain. Here’s a weird video:
9. Beirut – March of the Zapotec / Holland Real People
This is a double EP album (is that a thing?) with the first disc being more traditional sounding Beirut (european or mexican traditional folk music with tubas and violins and whatnot). But the second disc is what I really like. It sounds like head the old “Real People” demos – which is basically Zach crooning over his own digital beats. “No Dice” and “My Night With a Prostitute from Merseilles” are my favorites.
8. The Very Best – The Warm Heart of Africa
This is a great fun record with a lot of fun African beats. I wish I knew more about it, but I don’t. They did a song with Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend which is fantastic. Check it out and see if it doesn’t make you just a bit happier.
7. Discovery – LP
Did someone say Vampire Weekend? This is an experimental electronic type of project with one guy from VW and another guy from Ra Ra Riot (sorry, I’m too lazy to look up the names.). Similar to Postal Service I guess if Postal Service cheered up a bit and wasn’t afraid to get silly. Sorry no video, but you can listen to a song:
6. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Great album from a great Frenchy band. You’ve probably heard this song on a car commercial, and I have too. It’s an amazing tune and the whole record is equally good. Buster gets all happy when I play this in the car and says “Hey! I know this song!” When you’re done with the video for 1901 below, check out this amazing fan video for “Listzomania” featuring Brat Pack kids rocking out. so fun.
5. Moneybrother – Real Control
I’m really glad Moneybrother came back with this record after being disappointed with their last one. “Real Control” is catchy all the way through. If you’re not in the loop Moneybrother the unkown (at least in the US) solo project of Anders Wendin (ex-Monster). I’m a major geek for this guys’ music. He’s awesome. A lot of classic soul, rock, whatever. This song below has a bit more of a late 70′s reggae / ska vibe (which is about as Jamaican as I got all year).
4. New Moon Soundtrack
Ok, before you judge me as a 13 year old girl (or 20-something housewife) for this, hear me out. I’m not a Twilight fan. I don’t feel like that’s even necessary to state. But, this album is amazing. If this soundtrack were a compilation under a different name, it would receive a lot more credibility. Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Lykke Li, Death Cab, etc. Great all the way through and not a track I don’t like. Don’t judge me.
3. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Karin from the Knife’s solo project that is even darker and creepier. I totally love this record. And I gotta say, seeing her live was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
2. Passion Pit – Manners
I love this record all over the place. At first I thought it was electro-dancey then I thought it was more indie-rocky, then I stopped worrying and just loved it for what it was. Lots of layers going on here. Great lyrics, great melodies… Sure you could say it’s over-produced, but that doesn’t bother me at all. It sounds fantastic. I was disappointed watching some live clips of them, as the vocals are so stacked on the album, it just didn’t hold up live. Well, I’ll find out at Coachella.
1. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
A favorite of many is also a favorite of mine. Lots of moods and textures and stuff. Definitely not the most accessible album of the year (nor the least accessible for that matter), but it sure grew on me pretty quick. You know it. You love it. I don’t need to say anything else. Here it is.