Off Beat Music Guide

Best of 2009 December 7, 2009

Filed under: Best of 09,Music,Uncategorized — bethstephenson84 @ 12:32 pm

This may be a little premature since there are a few more weeks in 2009, but I feel confident enough in my picks to believe that any music that comes out in the next three weeks probably won’t affect my list that much.

This was a really solid year in music. We saw several seasoned artists and bands make the albums of their career this year, and we also saw a lot of experimenting with sound which made for a very eclectic sounding 2009.  Bon Iver followed up his acclaimed 2008 release For Emma, Forever Ago with several small, yet amazing efforts in 2009.  Grizzly Bear continued their streak as Indie kings with their dazzling album Veckatemist. And everyone chipped in to make Dark Was the Night one of the best albums of the year.

There aren’t really any big surprises here if you keep up with the blog, but there are a few changes in the Top 5 from my picks earlier in the year. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

Best Albums of 2009

  1. Dan Auerbach- Keep It Hid
  2. The Decemberists- The Hazards of Love
  3. Elvis Perkins in Dearland- Elvis Perkins in Dearland
  4. The Dirty Projectors- Bitte Orca
  5. Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
  6. Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  7. Dark Was the Night- Various Artists
  8. Bon Iver- Blood Bank EP
  9. Passion Pit- Manners
  10. Camera Obscura- My Maudlin Career
  11. The Dead Weather- Horehound
  12. Alberta Cross- Broken Side of Time
  13. Noah and the Whale- The First Days of Spring
  14. Mew- No More Stories Are Told Today I’m Sorry They Washed Away No
  15. Andrew Bird- Noble Beast
  16. Patrick Watson- Wooden Arms
  17. M. Ward- Hold Time
  18. The Middle East- Recordings of The Middle East
  19. St. Vincent- Actor
  20. The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack– Various Artists
  21. Peter Bjorn & John- Living Things
  22. Kid CuDi- Man On the Moon: The End of Day
  23. The Avett Brothers- I and Love and You
  24. Dead Man’s Bones- Dead Man’s Bones
  25. Brandi Carlile- Give Up the Ghost

Best Songs of 2009

  1. “Blood Bank”- Bon Iver
  2. “The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid” The Decemberists
  3. “Two Weeks”- Grizzly Bear
  4. “My Last Mistake”- Dan Auerbach
  5. “Lisztomania” Phoenix
  6. “Useful Chamber”- Dirty Projectors
  7. “James”- Camera Obscura
  8. “Roslyn”- Bon Iver (Twilight: New Moon Soundtrack)
  9. “Pursuit of Happiness”- Kid CuDi (featuring MGMT)
  10. “Chains, Chains, Chains”- Elvis Perkins in Dearland
  11. “Real Desire”- Dan Auerbach
  12. “French Navy”- Camera Obscura
  13. “Sleepyhead”- Passion Pit
  14. “Song Three Blues”- Alberta Cross
  15. “The Hazards of Love IV (The Drowned)”- The Decemberists
  16. “Anonanimal”- Andrew Bird
  17. “Stillness Is the Move”- Dirty Projectors
  18. “The Reeling”- Passion Pit
  19. “Beach”- Mew
  20. “Nothing To Worry About”- Peter Bjorn & John
  21. “Treat Me Like Your Mother”- The Dead Weather
  22. “Hours Last Stand”- Elvis Perkins in Dearland
  23. “Foreground”- Grizzly Bear
  24. “For Beginners”- M. Ward
  25. “Big Red Machine”- Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner
  26. “The Darkest Side”- The Middle East
  27. “I Cut Like A Buffalo”- The Dead Weather
  28. “Not A Robot, But A Ghost”- Andrew Bird
  29. “Daylight”- Matt & Kim
  30. “Say Please”- Monsters of Folk

8 Responses to “Best of 2009”

  1. Hey Beth, I just found your blog how neat it is! You have some swell taste in tunes. I’ll subscribe.

  2. nolando Says:

    Love your list – here’s mine:

    Best Albums of 2009

    My faves:

    AA Bondy When the Devil’s Loose (Fat Possum)
    El Michel’s Affair Enter the 37th Chamber (Truth & Soul)
    Other Lives Self Titled (TBD Records)
    Nick Cave and Warren Ellis White Lunar (Mute)
    The Whitest Boy Alive Rules (Bubbles)
    Do Make Say Think The Other Truths (Constellation)
    Lee Fields and the Expressions My World (Truth & Soul)
    Wax Tailor In the Mood For Life (Le Plan)
    Freelance Whales Weathervane (Self Released)
    Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glass Note)
    Fanfarlo Reservoir (Atlantic/WEA)
    Patrick Watson Wooden Arms (Secret City Records)

    Honourable Mentions:

    Bowerbirds Upper Air, Céu Vagarosa, Gregory Alan Isakov This Empty Northern Hemisphere, Frank Fairfield S/T, Molina & Johnson S/T, Quantic & His Combo Barbaro, Royal Wood The Lost and Found EP, Vieux Farka Touré Fondo, The XX XX

    • bethstephenson84 Says:

      You have a solid list! I feel a little guilty about a couple of artists that didn’t make my list just for the sheer fact that I was behind in listening to them, like The xx and Fanfarlo. I feel pretty certain they would have both made my list if I’d have spent more time with their albums. The same goes for A.A. Bondy. I only started listening to his album after I saw him live about a month ago. Killer album. There are a couple of albums on your list that I am unfamiliar with, so I will have to do my homework and get back to you on them!

  3. natalie Says:

    florence + the machine?
    mumford and sons
    the temper trap
    i know you hate them but animal collective really deserve a mention
    what i would add to an otherwise solid list

  4. bethstephenson84 Says:


    I totally dig Florence&The Machine (especially the song Cosmic Love) and The Temper Trap. And if I’d have extended my list by just a little, they would have definitely made the cut.

    As for Animal Collective, I don’t want to come across as hating them. I just don’t understand them or their hype. In all honesty, I have actually grown to like their song “My Girls,” but the album experience as a whole was a bit underwhelming for me. I admittedly don’t really get this new wave of psychedelic bands and I think critics jump the gun by calling this the greatest band/album out there solely because they are currently uncategorizable. I think that with the end of the true indie era upon us, people are scrambling for something to replace it. Perhaps it is this genre, but I’m personally holding out for some authenticity.

    But anywho, thanks for posting and I’m glad you approve of the rest of the list. Sounds like you have good taste in music. Haha.


  5. […] not a secret that I am a die-hard, they-can-do-no-wrong kinda fan of The Black Keys. Dan Auerbach’s album Keep It Hid was my favorite album of last year. But I just really enjoyed my hour and a half with […]

  6. […] I know it’s a bit of a faux pas to put this list out before the year is out, but I did it last year and still stand by those picks so I’m putting my list out there world (or just my 2 […]

  7. […] And here we are a couple of years later, ready to move on. And it feels as though the Bon Iver boys are right there with us, writing our soundtrack on Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Over the past 3 years, Vernon has given us hints about the direction he would take with this album. The Blood Bank EP eased us into a bolder sounding Bon Iver and the title track easily became my favorite song of 2009. […]

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