I’ve listened to a lot of music this year, as every year. A year ago today I was halfway across the world en route to spending Christmas and New Year in New Zealand, today I’m writing this from a Best Western in Stoke-on-Trent about to attend a Christmassy wedding on the edge of the Peak District. All the way through 2009 I’ve had music to relax, stimulate, reminisce, remind, excite and teach me – here’s the collection I settled on. So if you’ve got ten minutes this Holiday Season, “grab” yrself a mince pie, hot toddy and read on…
Yo La Tengo – ‘Here To Fall‘ from Popular Songs
Still a free download from the link above – yay – I discovered this band about 15 years too late but they’re still going strong, as this track from 2009 shows. There’s a wicked live concert from their most recent tour available here too, so check them out!
The Sables – ‘Six Miles’ from Fall
The Sables have been a beautiful five-piece for a year now. Their second album will be released in early 2010, and this track is already a sturdy, confident young live buck…I love the momentum of this track, pushing us forward, I can see the band playing in my mind – what a great band!
Gomez – ‘Airstream Driver‘ from A New Tide
Gomez never went away, they just went to Chicago and enjoyed their popularity in the States. Luckily, they came to Southampton Uni in November and played this from their latest album, it’s a beaut!
A.A. Bondy – ‘Vice Rag‘ from American Hearts
Man, was seeing this guy live at The Social in London this October a treat? Why yes, it was – he played this song in a jazzy jam-style (some will cringe, some smile wanly) but this is such a funny ditty, how could you not love it?
Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Little Bribes‘ from The Open Door EP
I just properly discovered this band this year – the 2008 album Narrow Stairs has been played constantly throughout the year. Referencing Big Sur and Bixby Canyon Bridge resonated with me after my LA – San Francisco coastal drive in February, and so this addendum to that release has been much loved in 2009.
Bon Iver – ‘Blood Bank‘ from Blood Bank
A happier, more positive counter-note to ‘For Emma, Ages Ago’, this is yet another gorgeous tune from Bon Iver. I’m a softie, that is known, but they made me cry more every time I saw them this year…well, it was either them or the rum…
The Jackson 5 – ‘ABC‘ from Cool Cheese
Deep joy. If MJ is remembered by me for one thing, I think it’ll be this…pop perfection from a simpler time.
Black Kids – ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance‘ from Daytrotter Session
Special because I saw them play live at the Gaelic in Surrey Hills, Sydney on my first night in Australia in January, just a great memory!
Creature – ‘Mo Greazy‘ from Hustle To Be Free
So I didn’t so much buy this by free will but have it thrust upon me by the artist himself on the street in Greenwich Village in March. However, the hustler in question turned out to be a man of his word and this is a great hip hop tune, and a greazy one at that…
Steve Earle – ‘Someday‘ from Guitar Town
Finally got to see this great artist at the End Of The Road Festival in Dorset this September after having something of a secret obsession with his first 3 albums back in the ’80s. This is the track that made me dream as I looked out from my bedroom window…
Matt Marr – ‘Different Shades Of Blue‘ from Currency Of Souls
The first three tracks from next year’s ‘Currency Of Souls’ album became my running soundtrack earlier this year (i.e. when I was running). This is just a great pop song from someone I consider to be a master songwriter and performer. Let’s hope more people get to hear Matt in 2010.
Animal Collective – ‘My Girls‘ from Merriweather Post Pavilion
Amazing at Glastonbury, rather more underwhelming at Green Man, but this track showcases the accessible side of this incredible group, just such lush sounds.
Grizzly Bear – ‘Two Weeks‘ from Veckatimest
Another great track from a great American band. The flow of amazing songs in this lo-fi, Americana, folk strain doesn’t show any signs of abating, and this is a beautiful example of that genre I just made up.
Wilco – ‘Wilco (The Song)‘ from Wilco (The Album)
The best band performance I’ve ever seen. Wilco at Green Man Festival this year. And this song just goes off, and in such an unashamedly jocular way, yay!
Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard – ‘California Zephyr‘ from One Fast Move Or I’m Gone Music From Kerouac’s Big Sur
A whole album written in tribute to one of my favourite author’s great novels? It could’ve gone horribly wrong, but this track evokes all the huge, expansive, exhilarating feelings I experienced travelling across the US by train in February this year.
The Pictish Trail – ‘Winter Home Disco‘ from Secret Soundz Vol. 1
So I caught Chicken Pox in April this year. It “came out” at Homegame 6 in beautiful Fifeshire, but Fence Records have been such an amazing addition to my musical library. Whether at Club Anemone in Bournemouth, the aforementioned Homegame, Green Man Festival or the Thekla in Bristol, Johnny Lynch aka The Pictish Trail and label founder has written an incredibly evocative tune that you can dance or at least wiggle along to, and that’s a great thing.
Noah And The Whale – ‘Blue Skies‘ from The First Days Of Spring
Feeling a bit down? Too much darkness? Can’t see any light in the tunnel? This song might help a bit. A song written as you turn the corner and start to make sense of the world you’ve been inhabiting for the last while. Special for obvious reasons.
Wow, that was pretty earnest, eh? Well, whatever, hope you enjoyed it and maybe enjoy some of the music – here’s the track listing and the zip file is linked down the bottom, wheee!
- Yo La Tengo – ‘Here To Fall‘ from Popular Songs
- The Sables – ‘Six Miles’ from Fall
- Gomez – ‘Airstream Driver‘ from A New Tide
- A.A. Bondy – ‘Vice Rag‘ from American Hearts
- Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Little Bribes‘ from The Open Door EP
- Bon Iver – ‘Blood Bank‘ from Blood Bank
- The Jackson 5 – ‘ABC‘ from Cool Cheese
- Black Kids – ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance‘ from Daytrotter Session
- Creature – ‘Mo Greazy‘ from Hustle To Be Free
- Steve Earle – ‘Someday‘ from Guitar Town
- Matt Marr – ‘Different Shades Of Blue‘ from Currency Of Souls
- Animal Collective – ‘My Girls‘ from Merriweather Post Pavilion
- Grizzly Bear – ‘Two Weeks‘ from Veckatimest
- Wilco – ‘Wilco (The Song)‘ from Wilco (The Album)
- Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard – ‘California Zephyr‘ from One Fast Move Or I’m Gone Music From Kerouac’s Big Sur
- The Pictish Trail – ‘Winter Home Disco‘ from Secret Soundz Vol. 1
- Noah And The Whale – ‘Blue Skies‘ from The First Days Of Spring
Here they are in a compressed file if you’d like them – Songs of the Year – 2009. Of course, I’d point you to the links on the song titles to download the tracks you like (where available) and give some money back to the artists!
Here’s hoping 2010 brings us all as much joy and happiness as we can handle, thanks for reading…test Filed under music | Tags: music | Comments (2)