Friday, December 18, 2009

Ryan H.: Best albums of 2009

1. Ben Frost “By The Throat” By far the most immediate and emotionally riveting album this year. Somewhere in the margins of post-classical, drone, and noise, Frost’s post-apocolyptic dread is underpinned by some gorgeous works of classical music.

2. Why? “Eskimo Snow “I conquered my own childhood silence/ and now the world is mine, lit with confessional marquees”. On his most un-hip-hop and sobering record of his career Yoni Wolf & Co. can still stop me in my tracks with a single turn of the phrase.

3. Leyland Kirby “Sadly, The Future is No Longer What it Was” Four + hours of beautifully composed, nostalgic waves of synth based drones and elegiac neo-classical compositions.

4. The Antlers “Hospice” This album cornered me on a road trip and I still haven’t gotten over it. The narrative is so haunting, the delivery totally heartfelt (I mean it), and the emotion so raw... even if it does follow
a prototypical indie rock song trajectory.

5. Cass McCombs “Catacombs” Man, I love this album. It will always remind me of this summer after I got married. Cass McCombs is probably the best songwriter we have today. There said it.

6. Dirty Projectors “Bitte Orca” Believe the hype. Hyper-complex song arrangements, diva-like backing vocals, and a
decided populist appeal. Dirty Projectors are on the short list of amazing bands making moves towards greater accessibility without sacrificing artistic integrity.

7. German Shepherd “Alpine Melodies” By far the best guitar-based drone album of the year. German Shepherd buries his warped guitar sounds deep underwater and still manages to release his most lucid album yet.

8. Animal Collective “Merriweather Post Pavilion” Once again, believe the hype. Quite simply the most joyful and accessible album of the Collectives career. You love it and you can’t deny that.

9. Do Make Say Think “The Other Truths” Celebrating 10 years of crafting the incredibly uplifting Canadian post-
rock, Do Make pick up right where they left off and pen some of their most effortless, cathartic songs to date.

10. Swan Lake “Enemy Mine” Finally a supergroup that doesn’t disappoint, composed of Canadian indie-rock powerhouses Casey Mercer, Spencer Krug and Daniel Bejar. Darker, woozier than Beast Moans Casey, Spencer and Daniel all end up sounding like themselves with spectacular results

11. Animal Hospital “Memory”
12. Evangelista “The Prince of Truth”
13. Antony & The Johnsons “The Crying Light”
14. Sunset Rubdown “Dragonslayer”
15. Grizzly Bear “Veckatimist”
16. Silver Antlers “Black Blood of the Earth”
17. Lightning Bolt “Earthly Delights”
18. Sister Suvi “Now, I am Champion”
19. Lake Mary “S/T”
20. Aarktica “In Sea”
21. Jasper, TX “Singing Stones”
22. Years “Years”
23. Russian Circles “Geneva”
24. MONO “Hymn to the Immortal Wind”
25. Navigator “Bad Children”

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