End of 2009: 50 – 41
There are so many lists out there, that I don’t have the pretention that mine will be anymore outstanding than all those others. Still, for personal benefit and glory, and for you people who can’t get enough of lists or are constantly looking for new musical tips, I present you my list. It’s got probably some obscure names, so you can brag about it with friends.
What? More of the same poppy madness
If I would be a poet, I’d say that Boat is the ship to party island, where we would dance with monkeys on wheels, and drink liquor with coconut flavour. Their previous album ended way higher in my list, but I think that their 50 spot (which is still good knowing that there was A lot of competition) mainly has to do with the surprise element missing. Still, the album is like confetti canons blown in your face. Awesome!
What? Slowly turning into the great wise uncle of the modern indie folk movement
Now that Devendra Banhart is turning into something we didn’t really ask for (at least I didn’t), his buddy Andy Cabic is almost the only one left from the indie folk bands that appeared a couple of years ago en masse, that keeps making albums on a high level. Is it surprising music? No, it’s not. Is it good? It is. Heartwarming is actually the word that applies best to this wonderful folky pop tunes. We hear a lot of albums like these in a year, but most of them miss the glue. Vetiver however is superglue. It sticks and won’t let go, not even after surgery.
48. Built To Spill – There is No Enemy (Warner Bros Records)
What? Why is this on a major label?
I’m constantly striving for the total annihilation of all the major labels, so I hope that Built To Spill will soon make the jump to a smaller label. I guess they’re still there because no one knows they have been making the guitar rock-based indie pop in which they excell. The suits who run the business will be surprised the day they find out that this band is still on their roster, thinking ‘Built To Spill’ was just a marketing expression they used among each others. Anyway, Doug Martsch and hsi band have been on a constant high level – even though the first three times I ever heard them (somewhere around 2004 I guess) I wasn’t that convinced. But since then, they’ve been slowly creeping up my veins.
Still, to show I have principles: no mp3 (they don’t offer one on their site, so I can’t link to that one) and no link to the label. Fuck them.
What? Britain’s answer to the Shins
The Shins ‘Chutes Too Narrow’ is probably number one on my list of ‘Albums which i can singalong with from A to Z, though I have no idea what the lyrics are all about’ and also on the list of most played albums ever. (though it doesn’t beat Nick Drake). The Leisure Society reminds me a bit of James Mercer’s project, although it fits the new upcoming folky pop movement in Great Britain perfectly too (think of Mumford And Sons, Noah & The Whale, and all those banjo & Ukelele-playing bands). It never gets really up-up-tempo or rock-slashy-fuck-raaaahww!, but it’s that mellowness I can really enjoy at times.
What? Hear Ye, Hear Ye! World’s Worst Singer makes Best Of List! … Or: Scottish Man Drinks himself to Dead and makes album about it.
Scotland is a land. Scotland is a land with people. Scotland is a land with people that drink. Scotland is a land with people that drink and sing. Scotland is a land with people that drink and sing as if they’re drunk. Scotland is a land with people that drink and sing as if they’re drunk, like e.g. Arab strap. Arab strap was Malcolm Middleton and Aidan John Moffat. Arab STrap is dead. Malcolm Middleton is a man that drinks and sings. Aidan John Moffat is a man that drinks and sings as if he’s drunk. Scotland is Aidan John Moffat.
What? a bit heavy on the halloween theme, even using children choirs.
Let’s scare the hell out of people, that’s what Ryan Gosling (the actor that I had to look up on IMDB) and Zach Shields must have thought when they teamed up as Dead Man’s Bones and made this halloweeny album. They hired a children’s choir (that can sometimes turn out to be scary as hell), and managed to make an album that’s about death and whatever, but can be listened to everytime throughout the year. It’s indie music basically, a bit surfing on the waves of other indie drama queens like the Arcade Fire. Not sure if this will survive the years to come, but for now it turned out to be one of the nicest albums of the year.
What? Keep up the rhythm guys
Ok, I must admit that the new Dodos album wasn’t nearly as catchy as the previous one, but still. It’s good. I think the main point of concern is that the unique interaction between drums and acoustic guitar is being replaced by a more adult sound, and adults are boring. Adults are children who everyone hates. But anyway, on this album it’s still good (otherwise they wouldn’t have made the list). STill, Watch the future guys. The Minimalism of ‘Visiter’ is what made you stand out.
What? What did the campfire smoke that day?
‘At Rear House’ was my number one record in 2007. Back then, no one had heard of Woods, but the sheer energy with which they made this weird psychedelic folk album absolutely mesmerized me. In the meanwhile they’ve climbed the letter of fame a little, though they still keep sounding like the campfire band you don’t want to have at your lounge party with campfire because vice Magazine said that was trendy. Their sound has become a bit more standard – you can recognize more songs – but the extreme falsetto is still not something you give to your parents for Christmas. the band is by the way responsible for the weirdest concert of the year.
What? Prototype for a Noise pop-revival that I’m getting tired of already
Wavves was on my Young Talent-list last year, and surely filled in expectations, but I must say I’ve quite had enough of it. The Noise pop explosion that followed in his tracks, with millions of bands popping up, and all doing the same shit. Okay, so you’re lo-fi and you rock, but stop it. LEt’s try something else next year. STill, The debut album by Wavves was the perfect soundtrack for a sunday morning waking up in your own vomit.
41. The Avett Brothers – i And Love And You (Columbia)
What? Major label doesn’t completely spoil the alt.country fun.
Aaargh, another major label relase. How stupid. Oh well, that means no mp3-linking (their own fault). Anyway, The Avett Brothers make fun bluegrass-styled music, but get a bit more mainstream on this album. But because they were a lot of fun, they are still a lot of fun, only slightly less. I’m not gonna say much more, cause major labels don’t like blogs merchandising their stuff (otherwise they would provide mp3’s or not sue people). So all I can say is that the album is good, but that if you want to check it out, it’s at your own risk. I’m also happy to annoucne that I got this shit illegally. Ha!
Tags: Aidan Moffat And The Best-Off's, Anti-records, arab strap, Boat, Built To Spill, Chemikal Underground, Dead Man's Bones, devendra banhart, Fat Possum, French Kiss records, halloween, Magic Marker Records, Malcolm Middleton, Noise pop hype, poppy madness, Ryan Gosling, Sub Pop, The Avett Brothers, The Dodos, The Leisure Society, the shins, Vetiver, wavves, woods, Woodsist REcordsYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.