It's never an easy task to try and put together a year end best of list, as for myself it's an ever changing thing depending on moods, situations and locales. But I know it's safe to say that throughout the past year these were the albums that I came back to the most, and that left the biggest impressions. Without further rambling here's my 20 favorite albums from 2009.
20. Times New Viking- Born Again Revisited
"No Time, No Hope"
19. We Were Promised Jetpacks- These Four Walls
"Quiet Little Voices"
18. White Rabbits- Percussion Gun
17. Loney Dear- Dear John
16. The Bony King of Nowhere- Alas My Love
"Alas My Love"
15. Sharon Van Etten- Because I Was In Love
14. Langhorne Slim- Be Set Free
"I Love You But Goodbye"
13. Old Canes- Feral Harmonic
"Little Bird Courage"
12. Dinosaur Jr.- Farm
11. Noah & the Whale- First Days of Spring
10. There Will Be Fireworks- self titled Brilliant debut from this young Scottish band. At times melancholy, sometimes explosive, but a deeply cinematic disc that can leave you stunned.
9. Dark Was The Night compilation (various artists) I was hesitant to include this one on the list being that it's a compilation disc of various artists, but without a doubt the album was stacked with great songs and amazing artists ranging from Bon Iver and The National, to Yeasayer and Arcade Fire. It was truly one of the albums that I went to the most during the course of the year.
"So Far Around the Bend"- The National
8. Fever Ray- self titled
A dark and bone chilling solo debut for the Knife's, Karin Dreijer Andersson. Full of great tracks, but be sure to watch the accompanying videos for an extra creep factor.
"When I Grow Up"
7. Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix An album that I was admittedly very very slow to come around to, but at more than one friend's urging, one that grew on me more and more with each listen. Contained probably two of this years catchiest singles in 'Lisztomania" and '1901."
6. A.A. Bondy- When The Devils Loose One of the great underlooked songwriters out there. Expanded his sound on this sophomore disc with a full band, the result of which is a folk album perfectly made for your next road trip.
"When The Devils Loose"
5. Handsome Furs- Face Control An album that I was very late to the party in getting familiar with, as I got turned onto it late in the year. That said, it was a disc that instantly stood out on it's first listen, sounding as original and fresh as anything I've heard this year, and I haven't been able to put it down since.
4. Matthew Ryan -Dear Lover If you've missed out on Ryans first 11 albums then you have a lot of catching up to do. On his latest disc he continues the trend of crafting intimate songs with stellar songwriting, something that some of todays music is often missing.
3. Fanfarlo- Reservoir Impressive debut from this UK band led by Swedish frontman, Simon Balthazar. Forget all the Arcade Fire comparisons you might have heard, this band stands out well on their own with this warm and uplifting debut.
2. The Rural Alberta Advantage- Hometowns
Born out of the RAA"s singer/songwriter Nils Edenloff's exodus from Edmonton, Alberta to Toronto in 2003 that not only inspired the band's name but led to the fruit of this passionate and energetic disc. For the percussion work on the album alone it's worthy of a top nod.
1. The Wooden Sky- If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone Hands down my favorite album this year, a gorgeous richly textured LP from start to finish. I fell in love with this disc from the minute I heard the lead single, which also happens to be my favorite track of the year, the moody slow building, "Something Hiding For Us in the Night."
"Something Hiding For Us In the Night"