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Thursday, December 17, 2009

fave songs of 2009


23. jim o’rourke “the visitor”
this is the only track on the album, so i won’t post it. 38 minutes long. an all-instrumental piece of whimsy and melancholy.

22. taken by trees “watch the waves”
this love song uses asian percussion and classical flourishes to create an original sound.

21. no age “you’re a target”
an all-out, loud as hell piece of melodic resentment

20. robin guthrie “some sort of paradise”
a beautiful ambient guitar song with great chord changes.

19. the flaming lips “silver trembling hands”
i love the increasingly weird direction these guys are taking. there are no proper verses or choruses here, just a great theatrical rock sound.

18. dirty projectors and david byrne “knotty pine”
the chord melody with no words is a nice trick.

17. cass mccombs “you saved my life”
expert execution of simple instrumentation and song structure. best line: “i can’t blame you enough/but i’m indebted to your mercy and your love”

16. papercuts “future primitive”
a hot head-nodder in the style of an indie rock zombies.

15. yeah yeah yeahs “soft shock”
an uncheesy pop turn. super synth melody over the chorus.

14. swan lake “spider”
destroyer didn’t release a record this year, but this one fills in nicely.

13. daniel rossen “waterfall”
a judee sill cover from the grizzly bear singer/guitar player. mostly just him and a guitar. talented bastard.

12. the dodos “fables”
a simple song from their sadly neglected second record.

11. wilco “you and i”
the feist duet. “you’re the deepest well i’ve ever fallen into”.

10. m. ward “hold time”
i love this lyric: “i wrote this song just to remember the endless, endless summer in your laugh”

9. atlas sound “walkabout (feat. noah lennox)”
a crazy inventive song constructed from a short looped sample. “criminals” is another really great song from this record.

8. kings of convenience “me in you”
from their latest album which sounds pretty much just like their others. hard to deny the sound the guitarmonies these dudes cook up, though. sounds a lot like their song “misread”.

7. bullion “time for us all to love”
a hip-hop instrumental in the style j-dilla, rivaling his best work.

6. bill callahan “jim cain”
callahan seems more at peace and self-assured since his days as smog. i imagine this song is about him releasing records under his own name, but i’m sure it’s not.

5. grizzly bear “cheerleader”
from my favorite album of the year. the arrangement is so spare, but does so much. the singing is amazing especially in the choruses.

4. washed out “feel it all around”
i love the super saturated sound this guy gets. it’s like a slowed down 80s r&b track under a pleasant cloud of tape hiss.

3. junior boys “bits and pieces”
this record should have gotten way more attention. so many effortless dance moments, so much inventive songwriting. this track is a total banger.

2. beach house “norway”
does it matter when a song comes out any more? by the time this song hits stores, tons of people will have already heard it, so i’m gonna put it in this list anyway. you’ll be able to get the record in january, but i’ve heard it already and i love it. rhythmic breathy vocals and bended note guitar verses. like a quiet my bloody valentine.

1. animal collective “my girls”
this song still blows me away. it puts you in a trance with circular chants and builds to that great “yeah!” as the drums kick in. then you realize you’re nodding your head like crazy and have goosebumps thinking about the song’s lovely sentiment. “summertime clothes” could easily be on this list too, but one it enough.

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