Top 42 Songs of 2009

With a record label, baby and new house fighting for my free time attention the number of posts on mp3hugger took a major nosedive in 2009. Ultimately it means that our 4th annual top 42 songs of the year is perhaps a tad less thorough that its 3 predecessors (2008, 2007, 2006). While 2009 proved capable of producing wonderfully realised tunes I can’t help feeling it was marginally down in overall quality compared to recent years. The upward arc in the number of acts recording/releasing their own music for a fraction of the historically bloated budgets has been a joy to watch and listen to. Our favourite album came from our own in-house label, ‘In The Dream of The Sea Life’ by Candy Claws not only stands up to repeat listens it has in its short time span nudged its way into our top 10 albums of all time. It was such a proud moment for us when it became our first ever CD release.

As ever this top 42 is drawn from the songs that made up our short posts throughout the year. The rules remain the same so a band can appear only once on the rundown. Only seems fair really as a list containing a dozen or so Very Most tracks might seem a tad excessive (even though in a perfect world we should follow our heart).

42) Horse Shoes – Changing Winds

…Fey boy vocals and jangling chords twitter in unison…

41) Moon Unit – Connections (Ewan Pearson Dub)

…while admittedly slim in its range of ever changing guises it is nonetheless hopelessly enthralling…

40) Lotus Plaza – Whiteout

…bedecked in simplistic swirls and circular chords…

39) Wye Oak – Take It In

…nothing short of incendiary, brooding one minute, bursting into incandescent life the next…

38) Alash – Bashtak Joke

…Remarkably different sound from deepest Russia, it’s all in the exotic voices…

37) Coeur De Pirate – Comme Des Enfants

…building to a soft crescendo while effortlessly displaying why the French language is so alluring…

36) The Field – The More That I Do (Foals Remix)

…a swirling mass of electronica that says nothing at all but still steadfastly grips the imagination…

35) Chet – The Night The Night

…sold on its offbeat melodies and loose adherence to traditional templates…

34) Elephant Stone – I Am Blind

…so well endowed with honeyed melody it’s a wonder there’s not already a swarm domesticating in your speakers…

33) Lusine – Two Dots

…slightly unconventional but has the wherewithal to soothe even the ears of insurance people attempting petty small talk…

32) Black Moth Super Rainbow – Twin Of Myself

…if it doesn’t kick off your 2 week summer holiday on the right footing then you don’t deserve the time off…

31) Desolation Wilderness – No Tomorrow

…makes me want to be 15 years younger, get roaringly drunk and create a mini scene …

30) The Ruling Class – Sleeping Beauty

…This is the sort of swagger Kasabian can only fantasise about, the sort of knowing sneer that Oasis were once capable of drawing and the sort of idolatry that must make Ian Brown feel very good about himself…

29) Here We Go Magic – Tunnelvision

…Sometimes I have dreams that sound like the noise that this song makes…

28) Black Gold – Detroit

…I wanna jump from our third floor balcony and don’t care whether the slightly brownish hedge fails to break my fall…

27) Yppah – Gumball Machine Weekend

…Topsy turvy ramble that dispels a slow graffiti…

26) The Crayon Fields – Mirror Ball

…gently tailored with melodies that hang in the perfumed air…

25) The Rest – Walk On Water (Auspicious Beginnings)

…allowing for adequate volume levels it could quite likely dust your house from top to bottom…

24) Zola Jesus – Clay Bodies

…Play this to the straights who have bowed to an ordinary playlist and watch them go rosy cheeked before your very eyes…

23) The Second Hand Marching Band – A Dance To Half Death

…adventurous blend of auspicious instrumentation and accented vocals…

22) Sister Cities – White Dress

…has the temperament and bolshie swagger to snag your affections completely…

21) exlovers – Photobooth

…They’ve got that classic indie sound down…

20) JJ – Things Will Never Be The Same Again

…a gushing delight and one that will lead to bleeding google fingers as the world attempts to uncover who JJ are…

19) The Ambience Affair – Fragile Things

…this is exciting, the first movements from a bright new Irish band…

18) The XX – Crystalised

…the tunesome chord volley and understated vocal interplay tend to appear randomly in your head for hours later…

17) South Ambulance – Davy Crockett

..a lolloping delight enriched with cascading chords and sprightly vocals…

16) Burning Hearts – I Lost My Colour Vision

…an instantly familiar sound infused with a chorus that should frequent indie disco’s for decades to come…

15) Dan Koshute – Double Dip

…I’m sure most acts don’t sound this lively at 78rpm…

14) Midnight Masses – Walk On Water

…the sound of the undead discussing the merits of purgatory…

13) British Sea Power – No Man Is An Archipelago

…a moody, largely voiceless yet exhilarating voyage…

12) Fanfarlo – Harold T. Wilkins, Or How To Wait For A Very Long Time

…an epic in the body of a 4-minuter…

11) Cymbals Eat Guitars – The Living North

…I’ve heard the future and it’s called ‘Why There Are Mountains’…

10) Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work

…as alive with possibilities as bursting popcorn seeds…

9) The Subjects – Winter Vacation

…a tropical delight, feature an off-centre shuffle and all manner of colourful moving parts…

8) Dark Captain Light Captain – Questions (Hatchback Remix)

…almost 10 minutes of pure ambience and by the end I am clamouring for more…

7) Shout Out Out Out Out – Guilt Trips Sink Ships

…this is truly great great great great…

6) Candy Claws – Catamaran

…a remarkable effort, full of woozy effects, genuine sea sounds and full to the brim with memorable hooks…

5) The Very Most – You’re In Love With The Sun

…a cloud busting delight…

4) Venice Is Sinking – Iron Range

…I listen and it feels like someone has run a tiny sprinkle of freezing water down my back and for some reason my head responds by pulsing in the strangest of ways…

3) Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader

…Voices mingle, disperse, reform and linger and the air is thick with creation…

2) Animal Collective – Brothersport

…has been known to kick start the economies of small nations…

1) The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

…indie gold, boasting a frenetic pacing and blessed with all manner of melodies…

KD

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