Making Tough Choices - My Personal Top Ten

>> Thursday, 24 December 2009

1. The xx – The xx

The xx deserve the deafening buzz bestowed upon them by the zines this year. Ironic considering they’re such a quiet, introspective and minimalist pop band.

2. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a treasure chest spilling over with delectable pop gems. Thought long and hard about whether this should be my #1.

3. Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

With smart, observant lyrics, wistful tones and overall very solid song construction, the RRA is a band who’ve clearly listened to their fare share of Neutral Milk Hotel tunes. See them live at the West End in February (we'll have a beer together)!

4. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

Dragonslayer is easily the most accessible Sunset Rubdown offering to date, yet is still a challenging and rewarding set of musical suites.

5. Japandroids - Post-Nothing

It’s amazing what you can still do with the economic drums-n-guitar setup.

6. Volcano Choir - Unmap

For the second year in a row, a Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) joint makes my best-of list.

7. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

After being lukewarm to their opening set for TV on the Radio back in May, Bitte Orca surprised me with its impossibly successful marriage of art-rock eccentricities to warm glee club harmonies. “Stillness is the move” is brilliant.

8. Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs

The grandparents of the indie scene still know their way around a song.

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

For the longest time, I thought this record was called “It’s Bliss!” since, well, it comes pretty damn close.

10. Timber Timbre – Timber Timbre

Expect great things from this singularly talented singer-songwriter and his spooky, alluring voice.

Special Jury Prize aka Honourable Mentions:
Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
Still Life Still - Girls Come Too
Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light
Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice

Favourite EP:
Delorean - Aryton Senna EP
Favourite Local Release:
Todd Hunter - Star

On Boxing Day, Haunter, The Angry Dragons and Mike B. help The Lo Pub celebrate its 2nd anniversary.

Jenn Grant is at the Park Theatre on February 9th.

Still to come: my favourite songs and shows of this decade-ending year.

Infinite Playlist: Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light


Young Icelander,  26 December 2009 at 11:16  

Stillness is the Move is definitely one of the best songs of the year.

I'm not a big fan of Volcano Choir though I love Bon Iver.

Anonymous,  26 December 2009 at 19:44  

Well I agree but I about the brief should secure more info then it has.

psychlops,  28 December 2009 at 00:43  

Oh damn, I forgot to send you my list! Yours is good. My faves included Middle Cyclone (Neko Case), Wooden Arms (Patrick Watson), and Noble Beast (Andrew Bird).

And what, no Fantasies by Metric? :-P

Julie,  29 December 2009 at 00:57  

Great picks. The xx are fantastic. And I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Rural Alberta Advantage in February.

Happy New Year!

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