2009 - Here are 25 albums, 25 tracks and 10 gigs that stood out for me

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9 jan. 2010, 16h25m

Happy 2010 to all of you!
Here is my top list of 2009 containing albums, track and gigs.
Feel free to share your opinion!
Bram.
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ALBUMS

1/ Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
Mr. Smog made an album that surpassed all his previous efforts. A little gem with lush instrumentations, clever lyrics and a leading role for the warm voice of Bill Callahan himself.
listen to: Too Many Birds / All Thoughts are Prey to Some Beast


2/ The XX - xx
Question: what is left of The XX once you erase all the hype around them? Answer: absolutely the same! Melancholy songs drenched in fuzzy guitars and electronics. Very curious to see them live in 2010.
listen to: Crystalised


3/ Fever Ray - Fever Ray
Karin Dreijer Andersson proves that she can create haunting electronica without her brother Olof too. Love the Charles Burns artwork as well (check out Black Hole if you have not read it yet).
listen to: Keep the Streets Empty for Me


4/ The Temper Trap - Conditions
They are from Australia, they have a smashing album filled with quality songs and if you are into bands like Editors or Bloc Party they deserve to be in your possession. Really!
listen to: The Science Of Fear


5/ The Antlers - Hospice
Former solo project of Peter Silberman whose experiences as a nurse with a dying patient are the concept of Hospice. This results in a gripping album that deserves truly attentive ears.
listen to: Bear


6/ Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
Street Horrrsing is already one of my defining albums of Noughties but on Tarot Sport Fuck Buttons build a bridge from their noise-tronica (The Lisbon Maru) to ingenious trance-like anthems (Flight Of the Feathered Serpent)
listen to: The Lisbon Maru / Flight Of The Feathered Serpent


7/ Monsters Of Folk - Monsters of Folk
Some people think that the uniting of Jim James, Conor Oberst and M. Ward under the Monsters Of Folk banner did not return the expected results. Obviously some people do not know what they are talking about.
listen to: Man Named Truth


8/ Health - GET COLOR
Noise as it should be made anno 2009. The Tobacco remix of Die Slow is as good as the original.
listen to: Die Slow / Die Slow (Tobacco Remix)


9/ Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Here is an example of how to live up to the expectations and do even better.
listen to: Cheerleader


10/ Depedro - Depedro
When he is not playing onstage with Calexico, Jairo Zavala is making his own music. Together with the boys of Calexico he recorded this album in the states. The result is spanish music with some of the lovely Calexico desert atmosphere woven through the songs.
listen to: Equivocado


11/ Sonic youth - The Eternal
Innovating their own music has never been a problem for Sonic Youth. The Eternal is another landmark in their decades-spanning career.
listen to: Massage the History


12/ Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
It takes a few listens to get to the heart of the little pearl. Now signed to the Warp label, Bibio gives us a fresh taste of his electronic recipes.
listen to: haikuesque


13/ Triggerfinger - What Grabs Ya?
The coolest and loudest rockband in Belgium in 2009 was undoubtedly Triggerfinger. A band that will literally blow you away when live on stage. Their latest studio record contains some Triggerfingerlickin' good songs.
listen to: Is It


14/ Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
Animal Collective in its most accessible form. MPP has earned the status of groundbreaking album. I would not go that far but this is definitely very
listen to: Brothersport


15/ Hudson Mohawke - Butter
Another great addition to the WARP label. His Polyfolk Dance EP was a very exciting first contact for me, Butter confirms that this is indeed an electronic sound wizard whose experiments with hiphop beats deserve a place in my best of 2009.
listen to: Fuse


16/ Buraka Som Sistema - Black Diamond
Sound of Kuduro knockin' at your door! Portuguese summerparty album with a fresh vibe to it. Wegue wegue!
listen to: Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)


17/ Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
Moving from guitars to synths apparently was no biggie for the YYYs, resulting in an album that both dominated rock charts and dancefloors. Karen O comfirms her status as one of the most influential women in music in the noughties.
listen to: Heads Will Roll


18/ M. Ward - Hold Time
Not as big a revelation as Post-War but still a perfect M. Ward album. Or to put it as someone yelled during the Monsters of Folk gig: "M. Ward for president!"
listen to: Never Had Nobody Like You


19/ The Bony King of Nowhere - Alas My Love
Lovely music from my home town Ghent. The winner of De Beloften 2006, has dropped his debut album in 2009 and it was worth the wait. Think of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Radiohead jamming together. Devendra Banhart and Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) are fans of the young Bony King, are you next?
listen to: My Invasions , a song radiohead could have written themselves


20/ The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
2009 was the Darwin year so The Low Anthem dropped an album to remind us all of The Origin of the Species and of their talent.
listen to: Ticket Taker, which has a lovely clarinet in it


21/ Girls - Album
Not really love at first sight this album but it has grown on me immensely.
listen to: Lust For Life / Hellhole Ratrace


22/ Dez Mona - Hilfe Kommt
Dez Mona is a bit like Antony & The Johnsons. You either love or hate the voice of singer Gregory Frateur. Dez Mona is one of the most promising belgian bands and their latest album has a very soulful core to it.
listen to: Carry On


23/ Isbells - Isbells
Out of nowhere suddenly appeared the debut album of Isbells, a belgian band sure to seduce all Iron & Wine and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy fans.
listen to: As Long As It Takes


24/ Patrick Watson - Wooden Arms
I am not a big fan of hat wearing people but Patrick Watson and his stereotypical accessory form an exception. Wooden arms picks up where Close to Paradise left us but has a more daring approach.
listen to: Big Bird in a Small Cage / Beijing, definitely the 2 standout tracks


25/ Local Natives - Gorilla Manor

A pity that this album came out so late in the year or this could probably have been up much higher in my chart. Right now it is still in my discovery phase but what a great discovery this has been!
listen to: Sun Hands / Airplanes


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TRACKS

1/ The Horrors - Sea Within a Sea
Portishead's Geoff Barrow did a great job providing a guiding hand on The Horrors latest record Primary colors. Sea within a sea is undoubtedly the masterpiece on this album. The outro reminds me a lot of Portishead's The Rip.

2/ Ellie Goulding - Under the Sheets

If the devotion of the blogging community is anything to go by then this is the pop princess for 2010. Under The Sheets is one fantastic pop song which has had a lot of great remixes already such as the Jakwob / Kids at the bar / Baby monster remix each putting the song in a different mood. Hard to get this tune out of your head.

3/ Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is the Move
Long live imaginative songwriting. Straight from the bizarro mind of Dave Longstreth Stillness is the move is a weird sort of R&B, complete with female harmony, violins and even a wacky video with lama's. Strangely addictive.

4/ Soap&Skin - Mr. Gaunt Pt 1000
Some songs directly touch your heartstrings. Soap&Skin's music has an introvert beauty to it with this song as a culmination of pure emotions.

5/ Yeasayer - Ambling Alp
Odd Blood, the new Yeasayer album is yet to come out (officially that is) but the first single has already been dropped for free. Ambling Alp is Yeasayer at its best and has a very insane video as well (NSFW though).

6/ Moderat - Rusty Nails
Modeselektor and Apparat collaberated under the Moderat moniker. The results are mighty fine, just listen to Rusty Nails or watch the stylish video.

7/ The Very Best - Warm Heart Of Africa
Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig's guest vocals on this track makes it stand out above the rest of the album. The So Shifty remix is quite fun as well!

8/ Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man
What an unlikely band to make it so high into the pop charts and yet they did. If this proves something then it must be that this song is just the ideal combination of lyrics, pathos, a good voice, oh and a banjo of course!

9/ The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
This is the sound of summer! Irresistable urge to whistle this song along.

10/ The Middle East - Blood
If you like Arcade Fire, well then their Australian equivalent The Middle East should be right up your alley. Excited to hear more!

11/ Portishead - Chase the Tear
12/ Karen O and the kids - All Is Love
13/ The Big Pink - Velvet
14/ tUnE-yArDs - Sunlight
15/ Little Boots - Stuck On Repeat (Fake Blood Remix)
16/ La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream's Lets Get Ravey Remix)
17/ Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses
18/ Other Lives - Black Tables
19/ Simian Mobile Disco - Audacity of Huge
20/ Neon Indian - Deadbeat Summer
21/ Telepathe - So Fine
22/ The Thermals - Now We Can See
23/ Florence + The Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
24/ Miike Snow - Burial
25/ Luciano - Los Niños de Fuera


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GIGS

1/ Crossing Border Festival
The Low Anthem, Patrick Watson and Steve Earle warmed up the crowd for Monsters Of Folk who played a brilliant and almost 3 hour gig.

2/ 1 day of Pukkelpop
What a nice summer day it was to have the opportunity to see Bill Callahan, Vampire Weekend, Fever Ray and Kraftwerk.

3/ Antony & The Johnsons @ Elisabetzaal antwerpen
Almost perfect if it had not been for Antony's annoying need to speech which ruined the final moments of a magic evening.

4/ Grizzly Bear @ Cirque royal

5/ DM Stith @ MaZ


6/ 1 day of Rock Werchter
Question on a cardboard sign; " Can I have your guitar?"
Nick Cave's answer and first words: "No you cannot have my f*cking guitar!"
Nick Cave had lost the beard but kept the attitude.


7/ Andrew Bird, Phosphorescent & Laura Marling @ Cirque Royal

8/ Cactus Festival:
Mono, The Notwist, Calexico, Lamb & Jamie Lidell

9/ Great Lake Swimmers @ Balzaal Vooruit
Read my review

10/ Animal Collective @ AB

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