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December 7th, 2009

5 Albums from 2009

These are 5 albums from 2009 that I listened to and enjoyed quite a lot.

Sharon Van Etten - Because I Was In Love - Cover Art
Sharon Van EttenBecause I Was In Love
Language of Stone

I am absolutely thrilled to see praise for this album popping up on so many year-end wrap-ups already. I wasn’t expecting to see that, and it’s great that I’m not the only one who recognized that this record is one of the loveliest things you’re likely to hear all year.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
STREAM: Sharon Van Etten – Because I Was In Love via Listen@MBV


Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca - Cover Art
Dirty ProjectorsBitte Orca

While I was familiar with Dirty Projectors, I’d never really spent a lot of quality listening-time with their earlier records, so it was with pretty fresh ears that I first heard Bitte Orca. So it’s fair to say I didn’t exactly know what to expect when I hit ‘Play,’ but then again, I doubt there was *anyone* out there who could have anticipated this unusual and sublime work. This was a polarizing record from a polarizing band, but you can plant me firmly in the “blown away by Bitte Orca” camp.

VIDEO: Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is The Move”
BUY IT: LP | CD | MP3 | Cassette


Death ...For The Whole World To See Cover Art
Death…For The Whole World To See
Drag City

Massive props to Drag City for unearthing this one. These recordings sat in an attic for nearly 35 years and could easily have been lost to the ages, but thanks to DC, the magnificent Bad Brains-meets-Thin Lizzy tunes of Detroit’s Hackney brothers came into the spotlight this year, ahem, for the whole world to see.

MP3: Death – “Politicians In My Eyes”


Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery - Cover Art
Micachu & the ShapesJewellery
Beggars/Rough Trade

I seriously could not decide what to make of Micachu the first few times I listened to Jewellery– I’m not sure my brain knew exactly how to process young Mica Levi’s Partched Bone Machine‘d sounds. But my brain soon came around, and I realized what I was hearing were some really brilliant songs, deconstructed, reconstructed, and cut-and-pasted into something that actually sounded *new* to me. It sounded like the future.

MP3: Micachu – “Golden Phone”
MP3: Micachu – “Lips”


Apollo Ghosts
Apollo GhostsHastings Sunrise

I started the year gushing about Vancouver’s Apollo Ghosts, and continued to do so unrelentingly throughout the remainder of 2009 (Catbird was even lucky enough to have a hand in helping re-release the record). And the reason I have been such a vocal advocate for this band is quite simple: this album has consistently remained my favorite thing to listen to all throughout the year. Yes, it’s no contest, Hastings Sunrise is absolutely my favorite record of 2009. The band is currently in the studio with JC/DC recording LP #2, and though I am dumbfounded that all the labels out there are sleeping on this band, I fret not. Because regardless, 2010 is going to see album number #2 from Apollo Ghosts, and that makes me very, very happy.

MP3: Apollo Ghosts – “Dobermans”/”Land of the Morning Calm”
STREAM: Apollo Ghosts – Hastings Sunrise via Listen@MBV
BUY IT: LP (only 3 copies left) | CD | MP3

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7 Responses to “5 Albums from 2009”

  1. Matt Says:

    Great list. Michachu really killed it this year and is definitely not getting enough love. Props to catbird for always bringing it hard and not sucking up to the pitchfork gods. good luck in 2010.

    first time commenter, long time reader,

  2. catbird Says:

    Thanks Matt. We bring it hard ’round here because that’s the only way we know how to do things!

    Catbird: Keepin’ It Real… So You Don’t Have To!™


  3. Mark Schoneveld Says:

    Great picks. Agreed.

  4. Will Says:

    Love it! Really cool that you picked a definite 5, but I would have loved to see a bigger list from you!!!!

    Just recently been discovering your blog, and I’m digging it!

  5. Addendum: Catbird’s #1 Album Apollo Ghosts’ “Hastings Sunrise” @ The Catbirdseat – Indie Music, Culture, and Commentary Says:

    [...] is an addendum to my post of earlier this week, wherein I mentioned five 2009 albums I enjoyed, including my #1 favorite of the year, Apollo [...]

  6. EAR FARM’s Top Albums of 2009 : EAR FARM :: music information helps grow ears Says:

    [...] Arcade Fire choral chanting, is tailor made for the tastes of today’s indie rock fans (read: bloggers). Their debut album, Hastings Sunrise, has an undeniable “lived in” quality to it; all [...]

  7. Addendum: Catbird’s #1 Album Apollo Ghosts’ “Hastings Sunrise” | latestmusicheadlines.com Says:

    [...] is an addendum to my post of earlier this week, wherein I mentioned five 2009 albums I enjoyed, including my #1 favorite of the year, Apollo [...]

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