So, here we are. It was such a shitty task of narrowing all of 2009's greatest into 15 tracks... BUT! I chose my personal favorites. Feel free to discuss via the comment section. ALSO! CLICK ALBUM ART FOR A LINK TO EACH SONG.

15. "Cousins"/Vampire Weekend- kicking the list off with a track that rounded the year out, the newest single of Vampire Weekend's "Contra" is sort of what you'd imagine it to be: minus the math-y guitar, bouncing bass, lightning-fast snare rolls, and killer bells. Still a little bit of Paul Simon, but in a totally refined manner.
14. "Mickey Mouse"/Wavves- I know what you're going to say: "Fuck Wavves". We all know Nathan Williams is a huge douchebag (read anything about him from 2009 for proof), but one thing is for sure: jipping Animal Collective and enlisting Hella's Zach Hill was the best choice the faux-beach punk could make. With a joyous, hazy feel permeating the whole track, "Mickey Mouse" is bound to make listeners rethink Wavves. Only time will tell if he pulls through, though.

13. "That Room"/the Twilight Sad- Scotland's proclaimed sad band (get it?!) is more than what the title suggests: the band should be retitled "the Twilight most depressing band on earth". I guess that's not too clever, but "That Room" finds the Scots dropping their shoegaze roots for a repetitive piano line, following through with a slow burner that would make any (ordinary) emotive person weep. Victory for the Twilight Sad.

12. "Sound Guardians"/Lightning Bolt- Rhode Island's resident noisemakers continue to fuck skulls on their newest album. Opener "Sound Guardians" kicks the album off with a preview of what's to come: a wonderful mixture of bizarreness and brutality.

11. "It Ain't Gonna Save Me"/Jay Reatard- Nashville "shitkicker" turns down the lo-fi for his new album. Sounds like a downward spiral, right? If so, then take a listen to the album's first single. Maintaining his punk ethos and sound, while adding a more accessible tone, Reatard and company deliver a bipolar diatribe about the sky shitting on me, how all is lost, and that there is no hope. On one hand, he knows there's nothing to do: but he'll still find ways to fight it.

10. "Generation Locust"/the Sinbusters- Local garage monsters deliver a live favorite off of their 6 song sampler. With buzzsaw guitar and piercing Casio (yes, piercing Casio), the Sinbusters tear through this 2.5 minute shitfest with reckless abandon, leaving all around with a sense of destruction, confusion, and the attitude that the Mill City is an upcoming scene to be reckoned with.

09. "Norway"/Beach House- Leading single off the forthcoming "Teen Dream". Beautiful, somber, and somewhat epic, "Norway" is a great preview for one of 2010's competing "best of" albums.

08. "False Jesii pt. 2"/Pissed Jeans- This song makes me want to absolutely fucking destroy everything and everyone. Period. Pissed Jeans remind me quite a bit of the Jesus Lizard, except this makes me want to beat up more people, and shoot up less junk.

07. "Deadbeat Summer"/Neon Indian- Summer of 2009's biggest fad? "Glo-fi", "chillwave"... no matter what silly name you apply to these summery movement, the bottom line is that Neon Indian's breakout single is something completely original. Warped cassette tapes mixed with broken synths, thrown through a magic lo-fi filter. Disregard the imposters- this reflection on an uneventful summer is the real deal.

06. "Sun Was High (So Was I)"/Best Coast- This summer saw the explosion of the 'genres' chillwave and glo-fi... putting aside those titles, a lot of music that came out this summer actually reflected the feeling of hanging around during those three months. Best Coast, an offshoot of Pocohaunted, fills her first single with fuzzy distortion, soaring (fuzzed out) vocals, and an undying sense- and love- of summer.

05. "Two Weeks"/Grizzly Bear- I think this could be the most beautiful song of the year. Off the impeccable "Veckatimest", kickoff single "Two Weeks" is filled with gorgeous harmonies, twinkling organ, and an absolutely horrifying music video. Brooklyn has found it's golden boys. Don't deprive yourself.

04. "Snookered"/Dan Deacon- Bromst's centerpiece song; eight full minutes of contemplative synth, lamenting lyrics, and features the most batshit vocal breakdown of the entire year. With virtually no chipmunk vocals to be heard, this shows a more serious side of Deacon, with a song that cements him as an electronic wizard more-so than an absurdist dude from Wham City.

03. "Walkabout"/Atlas Sound ft. Panda Bear- Sampling the Dovers' "What Am I Going To Do", Bradford Cox learns the ways of Panda Bear's beat matching, and invites his teacher to sing with him. The result is nothing short of breath-taking: over the bubbling, ethereal sample, Cox and Panda Bear trade lines about growing up, and remembering what you want(ed). Absolutely gorgeous pop music- nothing more, nothing less.

02. "What Would I Want? Sky"/Animal Collective- I think this very well might be the guide on how to write a perfect song. Broken down into two pieces, the beginning is both looming and exotic, with bubbling synth put over sparse breakbeats. This builds and builds, and drops just as quickly as it came in. Enter the Grateful Dead sample, with Avey Tare and Panda Bear trading vocals about cheering up a bit over some of the most accessible (and ethereal) music Animal Collective have made to date. Yes, please!

01. "Lust For Life"/Girls- The catchiest song that I have heard all year, by far. Girls is primarily the child of Christopher Owens, whose background involves his mother becoming a prostitute, religious cults, and a whole lot of pill abuse. So when he says "Now I'm just crazy... I'm fucked in the head", you know that he means it sincerely. With sublime, California beach production backing Owen's lament on the loss of love (and a normal life), this song is not only the catchiest debut single of 2009- it actually, in a funny sort of way, has some substance.


Ali said...

The Twilight Sad!

So good!

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