Top 50 of 2009, and what 2010 will bring

It’s been more than a month after my last post, and I guess my attempt at being regular fell spectacularly by the wayside!

Anyway, here are my best albums from 2009:

50. Alexander Turnquist – As The Twilight Crane Dreams In Colour
49. Ben Frost – By The Throat
48. Drummer – Feel Good Together
47. Epic45 – In All The Empty House
46. Glass America – Redivivus
45. Florence & The Machine – Lungs
44. Why? – Eskimo Snow
43. Mastodon – Crack The Skye
42. Whitetree – Cloudland
41. Arvo Pärt – In Principio
40. Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
39. Russian Circles – Geneva
38. Old Canes – Feral Harmonic
37. Dinosaur Jr – Farm
36. Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light
35. Hildur Gudnadóttir – Without Sinking
34. Islands – Vapours
33. Built To Spill – There Is No Enemy
32. Fanfarlo – Reservoir
31. Riceboy Sleeps – Riceboy Sleeps
30. Arms & Sleepers – Matador
29. Arctic Monkeys – Humbug
28. Marissa Nadler – Little Hells
27. Sparklehose + Fennesz – In The Fishtank
26. James Blackshaw – The Glass Bead Game
25. The Mountain Goats – The Life Of The World To Come
24. Handsome Furs – Face Control
23. And So I Watch You From Afar – self titled
22. Katatonia – Night Is The New Day
21. Tim Hecker – An Imaginary Country
20. The xx – xx
19. Black Math Horsemen – Wylt
18. Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP
17. Mono – Hymn To The Immortal Wind
16. Jesu – Opiate Sun EP
15. Baronness – Blue Record
14. The Antlers – Hospice
13. Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
12. Magnolia Electric Co. – Josephine
11. Japandroids – Post-Nothing

10. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

9. A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head

8. Future Of The Left – Travels With Myself And Another

7. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

6. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

5. The Twilight Sad – Forget The Night Ahead

4. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

2. Mount Eerie – Wind’s Poem

1. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

I know. No top 10 album blurbs/write-ups. Honestly, I can’t be bothered, so apologies.

Now, what does 2010 hold in store? By and large, some of the stuff that’s already leaked (stuff that is to be released in 2010) has been stunning. Beach House – Teen Dream is a monster of a record. Their previous (s/t and Devotion) were good, but Teen Dream is a step above. Everything seems to have come together for the two, with Legrand’s vocals just turned up a notch. Yeasayer are to release Odd Blood, an album that contains two (if not more) songs that will make the top 10 tracks list(s) of most people; ONE and Ambling Alp. It took me quite a while to get those songs out of my head, they’re just that catchy. Midlake’s The Courage of Others is very good too. They’re sort of like Fleet Foxes, except less ostentatious and more orthodox in their arrangements. Doesn’t make them poorer mind you, in fact I think they’ve got something really good going for themselves. Delphic’s Acolyte is brilliant electronic pop too.

Moreover, And So I Watch You From Afar, Yndi Halda, This Will Destroy You, Battles, Shearwater, Okkervil River (apparently) are all supposed to release albums in the coming year too. The National and Frightened Rabbit as well, and that’s really, really exciting.

But by and large, all that may very be irrelevant. 2010 is when Matthew Cooper (under the moniker Eluvium) unleashes Similies. As anyone who knows me and my music tastes will tell you, I adore everything Cooper touches. He is a bonafide genius in my opinion, and one of the most intelligent and consistent musicians I know of. If you ask me to come up with a list of my 50 favourite albums from the past decade, I’d struggle. Not because I haven’t heard 50 albums over the past ten years, but because it’d be hard to make a list that narrows all that I’ve heard down to 50. Yet, I can say without hesitation that Eluvium’s Talk Amongst The Trees is one of my top 3 albums EVER. Not of the past decade, but EVER.
For many, the news that Similies will feature vocals has been a bit of a weird addition. Initially, I held the same view – after all this is a man who crafts gorgeous soundscapes. Why ruin it with vocals?

But with The Motion Makes Me Last, any worries I had have been firmly squashed. His voice is nearly as stunning as his music often is – in itself it contains a remarkable ambient quality, floating all over reverb drenched piano, signature loops and delayed, glitchy percussion (another addition).

Eluvium is what I want to be played when I die. In fact, if tomorrow someone held a gun to my head and was about to pull the trigger, I would have my brains blown out with a smile on my face if ‘Taken’ or ‘One’ was playing in the background.


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