Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009: 30 - 21

Numbers 30-31 of my favorite/the best albums of the year - enjoy!

30: Deastro - Moondagger

Randolph Chabot, the man behind Deastro, is a sci-fi nerd with a love of synthetic-meets-organic electropop music. His debut, Moondagger, is such an excellent album because he takes all his quirks and uses them to create tunes that are unique, heartfelt, and very, very cool. (More from me)


29: Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

Andrew Bird didn't make his best album with Noble Beast, but it may be his most adventurous effort and ultimately, it's a very rewarding experience. It's a sprawling record that has goes in many different directions, and the results are - more often than not - wonderful. (More from me)


28: Tiny Vipers - Life on Earth

Songwriter Jesy Fortino's moniker, Tiny Vipers, may seem like a strange title at first glance, yet her meandering, delicate songs somehow fit such a name. Life on Earth is an emotionally powerful folk album that will certainly be a little sparse for some tastes, but for me it's truly captivating. (More from me)

Dreamer (MP3)


27: Rock Central Plaza - ...At the Moment of Our Most Needing

Rock Central Plaza frontman Chris Eaton is really more of a storyteller than he is a a vocalist, but his roughly sung lyrics find a place in the often ornate yet gritty arrangements of his bandmates, and the result on their latest record is superb. An excellent and unfortunately overlooked folk album. (More from me)

(Don't You Believe the Words of) Handsome Men


26: The Thermals - Now We Can See

The fourth Thermals record is perhaps their most melodic and "pop" effort, but despite a little more introspection and less political commentary, they still know how to make a fantastic punk album. Now We Can See is my favorite from the Portland natives. (More from me)


25: Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

Dan Auerbach made a great album with Patrick Carney as The Black Keys in 2008, then turned around and made another amazing rock record under his own name this year. Of course it kinda sounds like a Black Keys album some of the time, but the breadth of styles here makes this Auerbach's own. (More from me)


24: Rubik - Dada Bandits

Finnish indie-rockers Rubik were one of this year's best surprises for me. Their sophomore effort, Dada Bandits, is an experimentally-minded pop album that came - seemingly - out of nowhere, thrilling me upon first listen and just getting better the more time I spent with it. (More from me)



23: Atlas Sound - Logos

Logos is a great deal more expansive and compelling than its predecessor and just fantastic overall record, making Bradford Cox's Atlas Sound project the most interesting thing he's yet done (an opinion I know not everyone shares). Also, "Walkabout," with Noah Lennox, is one of this year's best tracks. (More from me)

Deerhunter/Atlas Sound homepage

22: Megafaun - Gather, Form and Fly

Megafaun - the group who used to record with Justin Vernon under the title DeYarmond Edison - have let everyone know that they're doing just fine without their former frontman, thank you very much. Gather, Form and Fly is a striking folk record with an intriguingly experimental edge that deserves every ounce of praise it has received. (More from me)

Kaufman's Ballad (MP3)


21: Memory Tapes - Seek Magic

Dayve Hawk's Memory Tapes project finally saw a debut album, Seek Magic, released this year, and what a first effort it is - a beautifully crafted electronica album full of twists, turns, and just generally spectacular music. Not only one of the year's best debuts, but one of the year's more notable albums. (More from me)

Band Blog (with free tunes)