the Best Songs of 2009

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm

It’s been another great year for music and I know there is a ton I missed out on. Feel free to inform me of any omissions you deem egregious. Every year, there are a handful of life-changing songs I hear for the first time in the weeks immediately following the posting of this list. That’s the breaks. Let’s start with an arbitrary number…like 85.

85. Wild Beasts – All the Kings Men
84. Cage the Elephant – Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
83. Brendan Benson – Eyes on the Horizon
82. Cherbourg- Goldmine
81. Cursive – From the Hips
80. Muse – Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2
79. Mew – Introducing Palace Players
78. Say Anything – Eloise
77. We’ll Make it Right – Some Say
76. Company of Thieves – Oscar Wilde
75. Coconut Records – Any Fun
74. Bombay Bicycle Club – Always Like This
73. Fever Ray – When I Grow Up
72. J. Tillman – Marked in the Valley
71. Modern Skirts – Radio Breaks
70. Jookabox – You Cried Me
69. Sleigh Bells – Ring Ring [mp3]
68. The Elephants – Take It!
67. The Shivers – Just Didn’t Need to Know
66. Fink – Sort of Revolution
65. The Gossip – Love Long Distance
64. Hey Champ – Gold Dust Girl
63. When Saints Go Machine – Pick Up Your Tears and Run
62. Ohbijou – Wildfires
61. Julie Doiron – When Brakes Get Wet
60. Flight of the Conchords – Hurt Feelings
59. The Clientele – I Wonder Who We Are
58. Julian Velard – Love Again for the First Time
57. Decibully – Prom Jam
56. Vega – Well Known Pleasures
55. Antony and Bryce Dessner – I Was Young When I Left Home
54. Beirut – Mimizan
53. Discovery – So Insane
52. Jeremy Enigk – Late of Camera
51. The Uglysuit – Chicago
50. Gregory Alan Isakov – Big Black Car [mp3]
49. Mae – The House That Fire Built
48. Nathan Phillips – Thunder Bay, Ontario
47. The Dodos – Fables
46. Will Stratton – Who Will (demo version) [mp3]
45. Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land
44. Freelance Whales – Starring
43. Mute Math – Pins and Needles
42. The Longcut – Tell You So
41. Washed Out – Belong
40. The House Floor – All Aboard/My Little Wooden Room (LOL)
39. Grizzly Bear – While We Wait for the Others
38. White Denim – Regina Holding Hands
37. Chris Merritt – I Don’t See You Here [mp3]
36. John Mayer – Edge of Desire
35. Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner – Big Red Machine
34. Telekenesis! – Coast of Carolina
33. The Swell Season – Two Tongues
32. Dan Black – Let Go [mp3]
31. Bowerbirds – Northern Lights
30. The Big Pink – Dominoes
29. Ola Podrida – Donkey
28. Wheat – I Want Less
27. Bon Iver – Brackett, WI
26. the Whitest Boy Alive – 1517
25. Of Montreal (w/ Jon Brion) – First Time High
24. My Sad Captains – Ghost Song
23. Iron & Wine – Love Vigilantes [mp3]
22. Wild Light – California On My Mind
21. Miike Snow – Burial
20. Patrick Watson – Beijing
19. Illinois – The Open Door
18. The Temper Trap – Fader [mp3]
17. Lake – Don’t Give Up
16. Richard Swift – The Atlantic Ocean
15. Dirty Projectors – No Intention [mp3]
14. Sunparlour Players – Battle of ’77 [mp3]
13. Slaraffenland – Away
12. Local Natives – World News
11. Free Energy – Free Energy – With this much energy, this kind of filthygood energy, one would think that one might pay a whole hell of a lot to get one’s hands upon such energy. Nah. This stuff is free, overflowing, and making out with the wind.
10. Hungry Kids of Hungary – Old Money – Famished kids from Australia blend ’60s pop, unstoppable hooks in another ’09 gem.
9. The Dream – Rockin’ that Shit – Atlanta’s The Dream is rockin’ that synth like…he rockin’ that synth like…he rockin’ that synth like…sorry, the hook is so sticky I can’t get it out of my cheek. Good luck. [mp3]
8. Dark Mean – Happy Banjo – I haven’t had a lot to be sad about this year, thanks in part to songs like this one.
7. Fanfarlo – The Walls Are Coming Down – Maybe it’s a little too Balkan for someone other than Beirut to be sounding like. But maybe it’s even better.
6. Devendra Banhart – Baby – For this cute snapshot on his major label debut, a usually-polarizing freak-folk icon was as likeable as apple pie and vanilla ice cream. [mp3]
5. Animal Collective – My Girls – Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s not true. The less obvious thing is why they aren’t #1 on every list on earth. One might expect the clouds to open and Animal Collective to just ascend directly into heaven as the final seconds of 2009 wind down to nothing. They’ve had that kind of year.
4. Volcano Choir – Island, IS – Outside of this song, Unmap is a lesson in expecting the unexpected out of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (read: confusion/potential disappointment). For this 4:08, however, the collaboration between he and electronic-oriented Collections of Colonies of Bees was everything it should have been and more. [mp3]
3. David Bazan – Curse Your Branches – An impeccably penned lament, reflecting on a forced upbringing. “All fallen leaves should curse their branches for not letting them decide where they should fall. And not letting them refuse to fall at all.” [mp3]
2. Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings – “Sleepyhead” and “The Reeling” might have garnered the early buzz, but this track is Manners‘ triumphant high point. [mp3]
1. Phoenix – Lisztomania – They may not lyrically deep enough to please every critic, might be too popular, etc. But it’s hard to imagine a band with more impeccable pop sense, living in this enjoyable moment more convincingly. [mp3]

  1. Big ups on the inclusion of “Beijing” and especially “Bracket, WI”.

    Dan Black’s a quality find.

  2. Love Dan Black’s song
    check his Weird Science new mixtape.
    Very good Tunes!!

  3. You can also check Dan Black Symphonies feat. Kid Cudi video premiere on IFC

    Sounds good!!

  4. […] my lists for 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006. LikeBe the first to like this post.▶ No Responses /* 0) { […]

  5. […] my lists for 2010,  2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. ▶ No Responses /* 0) […]

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