7.03.2009

So it would seem that we’ve reached the halfway(ish) point of 2009 and so far I gotta say I’m rather pleased. A pretty decent crop of tunes has sprung from artists both old and new, so many that its really hard to nail it down to just a few faves but I was able to whittle it down to 15 LPs that seemed to dominate my ears this year. There a quite a few burning up the RSTB stereo right now but for the sake of chronology lets just say the cutoff was releases before 6/30. No particular order here just the 15 that seemed to pop up the most.



Ganglians blew out on a California breeze with two great releases in a row but the absolute stunner was Monster Head Room with its sunny harmonies and garage stumble. Hopefully that repress is coming soon so that a few more can enjoy this classic on vinyl.

Download:
[MP3] Ganglians - 100 Years

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE LP and ||| HERE CD



Well the Skygreen Leopards may have a lock on fuzzed out sunny harmonies for the second half of ’09 but the first half belonged to Amen Dunes. Creeping out of nowhere to fill our need for loner psych and crust caked guitar sounds, this one just keeps growing on ya.

Download:
[MP3] Amen Dunes - By the Bridal

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Chalk another one up for California. The Fresh & Onlys wrapped a whole slew of garage goodness up in one gritty package. As catchy as it is raw and ragged, high hopes abound for keeping the future fresh.

Download:
[MP3] The Fresh & Onlys - Peacock and Wing

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



In The Red has steadily been owning ’09 (as this list might attest to) and Intelligence bring just the right amount of noise and garage charm to the mix. Though they had two albums out right around the same time, it seems that the catchy bits of Fake Surfers emerge as the winner.

Download:
[MP3] Intelligence- Moody Tower

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



This one barely squeaks its way into the first half of the year but it definitely deserves to be on this list. Cameron Stallones just keeps digging deeper into the connections between dub and psychedelic funk and some strange plateaus in-between. Good thing this got here before the real heat of summer kicked in, because you’re gonna need it.

Download:
[MP3] Sun Araw - Hustle and Bustle

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Well amongst all this garage crust and psychedelic nonsense there has to be some beauty. Thankfully Julianna Barwick brings such a heightened sense of aural bliss that it washes away pretty much everything in its path. Absolutely some of the most stunning music of this or any year.

Download:
[MP3] Julianna Barwick - Bode

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Kurt killed it last year with Constant Hitmaker and it seems that this year’s no different. The Mex Summer EP is just as full of shamble down folk and that upcoming Matador release may just blow this one off the list come year’s end. Here’s hoping so.

Download:
[MP3] Kurt Vile - My Sympathy

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Seems like a year can’t pass without a Fonal release breeching this list. Shogun Kunitoki blow away their last album with a tour of vintage electronics that shines like a beacon in a world of dull imitators. Plus how fun is this album when paired up with their stop motion strobe light.

Download:
[MP3] Shogun Kunitoki - Riddarholmen

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Another artist with two releases up on the chopping block this year, but while the demos and b-sides collection of Hard Knox might give some insight to Toth’s past, the raw honesty and emotion on Born Bad proved to be his most engaging album yet. Absolutely essential for fans of JJT.

Download:
[MP3] WAND - Resuscitation Distillery Blues

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Ilyas has had a busy last couple of years but he just seems to keep topping himself. Varying slightly from his focus on the acoustic guitar and featuring a wonderful drop in from Grouper’s Liz Harris, the album seems to have found Ahmed at his peak.

Download:
[MP3] Ilyas Ahmed - Love After Love

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



I’ve said it before and well, I’ll say it again, Dwyer’s Oh Sees cannot be stopped. They’ve just been crushing ’08-’09 with release after release of quality garage. Forced to choose a favorite from this year though I’d have to go with Help which has easily lived up to the expectations that its predecessor laid down.

Download:
[MP3] Thee Oh Sees - Ruby Come Home

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Well the year needed a bit of noise pop and Peaking Lights were more than able to answer the call. This one gets points for presentation as well. The artwork of Shawn Reed is too often relegated to the small surface area of cassettes but here it gets a bit of room to stretch out and languish on a 12” cover. This is just a wonderful bit of fuzz and foam that seems to have slipped through a few too many cracks.

Download:
[MP3] Peaking Lights - All the Good Songs Have Been Written

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



We’ve loved woods around here for quite a while but it’d bee pretty presumptuous to state that this is anything other than their best record yet. Seems a few others agree. If you haven’t checked out Songs of Shame for yourself, it’s damn well about time.

Download:
[MP3] Woods - To Clean

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Again with the ITR releases but there’s no denying the fun of …And Girls Club. The boys swing and strut like its ’64, capturing the best teenaged garage vibes in quite a while. This one’s no technical masterpiece but it makes up for that in pure sweat.

Download:
[MP3] The Strange Boys - This Girl’s Taught Me a Dance

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE



Just like with Julianna’s release, amongst all these sweaty, crusty noiseniks some beauty must fall. And Sharon Van Etten’s debut record is more than able to come to the rescue. Language of Stone continues to be the tip top for folk these days and they certainly picked a perfect record to release with Because I Was In Love

Download:
[MP3] Sharon Van Etten - It’s Not Like

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 1:01:00 PM

9 Comments:

Blogger parallelliott said...

i'm heavy into 8 of these. i think sore eros is my fave, though.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Good list, thanks!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous westmont said...

you know, that fresh & Onlys record would kick ass if it was short a few songs or three or four.
not sure if anything beats that sunlit 7" by woods, well...the amen dunes is still by far one of the best things I've heard all year.

12:03 AM  
Blogger victoria said...

all 15 of these are sweet!
cool blog




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http://goodmorningbreakfastclubbers.blogspot.com/

2:36 AM  
Blogger mersenne_twister said...

agree with shogun kunitoki, liked sun araw & woods but not in my top 20, no ducktails? will check the rest immediately ;)

7:17 AM  
Blogger dissensous said...

Love the Ducktails album and its definitely great for the summer but a few things held it back off the top 15. I think the short length and the inclusion of a few older tracks might have kept it off this list. Though I think Matt's going to really catch a few ears with the upcoming release on Olde English Spelling Bee. That one's poised for year end inclusion.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

About 10 from your 15 list were/are on heavy rotation by me..I'm really looking forward what the second half of the year will bring.

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Howard said...

great list! you are right on the money with a lot of these bands.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous westmont said...

concerning ducktails, real estate just sounds better to me.

1:20 AM  

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