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!

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

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

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Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid
“The Prowl”

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Fever Ray
Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”

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Foreign Born
Person to Person
“Vacationing People”

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Grizzly Bear
Veckatimest
“Ready Able”

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J. Tillman
Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”

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Leopold and His Fiction
Ain’t No Surprise
“Broke”

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Papercuts
You Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”

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Speck Mountain
Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal”

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

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The Veils
Sun Gangs
“The Letter”

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White Rabbits
It’s Frightening
“The Salesman”

Speck Mountain – Some Sweet Relief

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Artist: Speck Mountain
AlbumSome Sweet Relief
File Under: Dream Rock
Recommended if You Like:  Neko Case, Mazzy Star, Cat Power
Featured Tracks

“I Feel Eternal”:

Have you met your musical soul mate yet? Karl Briedrick and Marie-Claire Balabanian of Speck Mountain have – each other. Self-described “musical soul mates,” Briedrick and Balabanian write as a team, communicating in intuitive, womb-curled melody, exploded texture and spiky rhythm.  

Their new album, Some Sweet Relief, is atmospheric, sexy, headphone hypnotica – or ambient soul as the duo likes to classify it.  A fitting sound for the theme of their latest effort, which is about desire and fidelity. Balabanian has a beautiful voice with a timbre very much like that of Neko Case – a sleepier, sexed up version of her. It’s a great late night listen, especially on such a sultry evening as tonight where ‘Some Sweet Relief’ from this heat would be nice.  Time to check out and tune in.

Here’s the video for “Angela“.