Best Albums of 2009 – So Far

Whew, I’ve been wanting to get this post up for about 3 weeks now, but you know how it goes – life prevails and hobbies sometimes take a back seat. Well, here it is. My mid-year Best Albums of 2009…so far. Out of all the music I’ve sorted through thus far this year, these are the albums that bubbled to the top, the ones I happily came back to again and again.  They may not all be Pitchfork approved (or even rated for that matter), but they worked for me.

I’m not going to go through the diligence of ranking them, so I’ve listed them in alphabetical order. I’ll save the ranking exercise for the end of year round up.  Until then, I hope you find some new music to enjoy!


Band of Skulls
Baby Darlin Doll Face Honey
“Death by Diamonds and Pearls”


Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”


Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid
“The Prowl”


Fever Ray
Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”


Foreign Born
Person to Person
“Vacationing People”


Grizzly Bear
“Ready Able”


J. Tillman
Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”


Leopold and His Fiction
Ain’t No Surprise


You Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”


Speck Mountain
Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal”

album art

Shadows on a River
Shadows on a River
“In Business”


The Veils
Sun Gangs
“The Letter”


White Rabbits
It’s Frightening
“The Salesman”

17 thoughts on “Best Albums of 2009 – So Far

  1. Nice list – some stuff I don’t even know, which is a surprise (not trying to sound conceited, we just get a lot of stuff). That J. Tillman is ok – I like the new one coming out better. Glad to see Fever Ray!

    • I just found this through a link. With all due respect, these songs are all great to play during a nap. Punk and Rock and Roll are not represented at all on this list.
      Some bands with 2009 releases that deserve attention are The Datsuns, The Riverboat Gamblers, Rancid, The Hold Steady, Black Lips and I’m sure I’m leaving many others out.
      Thanks to the person whe took the time to organize this list. These are just songs that I wouldnt normally listen to.

      • No offense taken, really. That’s the beauty about music blogs. There’s one for every taste. And I do love The Black Lips, btw.

  2. J Tillman is a brilliant choice as is Fever Ray, I’ve heard wonderful things about Foreign Born but have only heard 1 track. Maybe I’ll give Dan Auerbach another try, didn’t love it the first couple times through. Thanks for the great list.

      • Agreed. Auerbach’s solo debut is amazing. The show at Bimbo’s last fall was terrific.

        Florence and the Machine may deserve to be on this list too, but it was only released in early July. Merriweather Post Pavilion feels like a while ago so its easy to lose it in the shuffle, but it is definitely one of my favorites of 2009. I’m excited to catch them in Prospect Park next month.

        Great list. I will dig into later on.

        Can anyone explain why they love Fever Ray? I can’t get into it, but clearly a lot of people can.

  3. For me, Fever Ray is about it’s depth of sound as well as it’s simplicity. In my meager understanding, the depth in many of the songs is created by small redundancies and a slow “feverish” build to a climax. I like that the songs are generally ominous but also poppy and melodic in a strangely wonderful way. That’s the best I can do with Fever Ray. It took a few listens to really begin to enjoy but it took me to a kind of Kid-A place eventually. I think the album is bookended with its strongest tracks If I Had a Heart and Keep the Streets Empty For Me. Hope that helps and if not, please completely ignore this description:)

    • Great description, Mattay! I’ve always described Fever Ray as Sweden’s answer to Bjork. So if Bjork isn’t your cup of tea, I can see how Fever Ray wouldn’t resonate either.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s