Saturday, January 9, 2010

Best of '09 Part 3/4 (#10 - #6)

I took a few days off to enjoy the New Year, drink some of the new teas I've acquired, spend time with friends and family, get ready for school, and visit my new nephew. Tonight brings the third installment of the top albums that somehow dragged me through 2009.

#10 - Faunts - Feel.Love.Thinking.Of

This is Faunts' second album, but the first one to make it into my hands. Originally a Canadian trio, they took on a fourth member for this band and the result is a very lucid, dreamlike album that is equally dancey and spacey at the same time. Driving beats, sweeping chords, and wispy vocals are layered together beautifully.

#9 - Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health

Any way you slice it, this album is flat out fun. Slightly off-key vocal that feel somewhat spoken, great use of layered harmonies, drums, horns, musicboxes, dirty synthesizers, and chord progressions that make any pop artist jealous.

#8 - Throw Me the Statue - Creaturesque

This is starting to become the year of over-the-top poppy indie rock. This album is anything I could have hoped for as a follow-up album. Not a bad tune on this album, and it hasn't left the deck in my car for two weeks. It's more put together than Moonbeams, and even if they continue down the path of production, I think I'll still be a fan. The biggest gripe I have heard from others is that it's such a clean sounding album...I can't wrap my head around docking a band for wanting to produce a clean record. Regardless, there are so many catchy songs on here that I can't help but love it. Noises is probably my favourite track from the album. Other favourites are Hi-fi Goon, which sounds like something that would have fit nicely onto the FLCL soundtrack and Pistols, a more mellow track that rides along the beat of latin perc and an array of floor toms.

#7 - Minus the Bear - Acoustics

A very different side of Minus came out with this EP, and instantly I was in love all over again. Another one of those groups that are so highly talented, yet never really met the acclaim they deserved. Anyone who is already familiar with their work will be immediately intrigued; anyone who isn't is missing out. The most remarkable thing about this collection of tracks (all older, except one new track titled "Guns and Ammo") is how well they translate to a more stripped down version of themselves. Nothing feels forced or awkward. There aren't any gaps or anything that feels missing. I'd really love to hear more of their catalogue translated this way, but for now this more than satisfies.

#6 - Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land

I've always been a huge fan of this band. The two tracks on this EP were such a regular part of my 09 listening that I couldn't help but include them on this list. Lyrically sharp, but more laid back than usual, this album makes me wonder what lies in waiting for the full length 2010 release. Still riddled with stormy lyrics, it sounds like they're more than ready for a change, and clearly have the balls to let us know it's coming.


Brett said...

minus the bear is love incarnate. my wife and friends and i all share many early 20's memories of inspiring minus the bear shows in tiny seattle venues.

great picks!

Silly Papa Bear said...

man that's hella BBQ

LloydC said...

Faunts is great. Also the remixes album. Waiting for more of your recommendations.