I’m sure you’re nearly as tired of festive lists as you are of eating turkey, so I swear this the last one and I’ll get back the purpose of this blog later this week, but before that, a final round up of why 2009 was a great year for music, the top ten albums according to shotwithsound.

I’ll keep this brief, and as the albums are all new -with at least one is due a special edition rerelease soon – and I plan to feature several in future posts, only number one has a sample MP3.

The image above was taken over the weekend on my new camera – more on that later but suffice to say it’s sexy – and still riffs with the theme of time related imagery I used on my best of the decade lists (compilations, songs and albums) but in a slightly different manner.

Any way, to business, shotwithsound’s top ten albums of 2009 (with the usual Amazon links for titles and iTunes button links):

10 – Outer South – Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band - Outer South
First of two Conor moments in the top ten, and his second album with his ‘solo’ project. Expect typical Conor flourishes alongside different singers and poppier flourishes than Bright Eyes.
Stand out track -Ten Women

9 – La Roux – La Roux La Roux - La Roux (Bonus Track Version)
The first of a triumvate of ‘solo’ (wonder if I can get that into every entry) female artists, and the most conciously reactionary – La Roux sounds like the eighties vomitted Chinzano and sushi into your stereo. In a good way.
Stand out track – In For The Kill (Skream’s version is better than anything else on here and features on the extended edition of the album).

8 – Actor – St Vincent St. Vincent - Actor (Bonus Track Version)
Ex Polyphonic Spree’er St Vincent is the middle of three ladies of 2009, and although she got no way near as much exposure as the others, her downtempo, electronic pop sophomore album was a slow burner on shotwithsound’s stereo.
Stand out track – Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood

7 – Lungs – Florence and the Machine Florence + the Machine - Lungs
She may get knocked as a latter day Kate Bush copyist, but Florence has more talent, charm and charisma in her little finger than most other artists in 2009′s charts (as proved by her virtuoso performance on Top of the Pops on Christmas Day).
Stand out track – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

6 – Unmap – Volcano Choir Volcano Choir - Unmap
Already mentioned on shotwithsound, this collab between Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Collections of Colonies of Bees produced a bizarre and blissful album of electronica’s equivalent of math rock (digital math anyone?).
Stand out track – Still

5 – Ciao My Shining Star – Various Artists Unbelievable Truth - Ciao My Shining Star - a Love Letter to Melissa: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy
Another previously featured album was the Mark Mulcahy benefit CD featuring the likes of Thom Yorke, The National and Frank Black. A sublime collection that does great justice to Mulcahy’s brilliance.
Stand out track – Thom Yorke – All For The Best

4 – Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
Conor Oberst entry number two, this time joined by neo folk
superstars M. Ward, Jim James and Mike Mogis to make what sounds like a bad, self-indulgent joke, but actually sounds like a fully realised band making rocky little indie and folk numbers from a bar in the deep south.
Stand out track – Magic Marker

3 – XX – The XX The XX - XX (Bonus Track Version)
Chilled out Parisian sounding electro bliss pop from a bunch of south London teens sounds implausible until you hear they were schooled at the same place as Four Tet, Burial and Hot Chip and featured in NME’s hot new things list only months after graduating. A pedigree as good as that demands quality and they delivered. The only hope is that recent departure of the keyboard player doesn’t affect them too much.
Stand out track – VCR

2 – Oh My God Charlie Darwin – The Low Anthem The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
2009 seemed to be a great year for Americana, and The Low Anthem were the best of the best. Mixing downtempo introspection and barn storming anthems, Oh My God Charlie Darwin is a debut that promises great things and in no small part delivers them. Expect to see (and hear) more of them on shotwithsound soon.

1 – Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (Bonus Track Version)
And so we reach the best of 2009 – Grizzly Bear have been a good band for years, but with the release of Veckatimest, they became a great one. Pulling the modern trick of combining folk, indie and electronica. Coming alongside a raved about album from Animal Collective (not as good as people think in my view) and a year after Fleet Foxes epic debut, Veckatimest showed one thing for sure, it’s a good time to be in an animal-referencing band!

Have a listen to the version of Two Weeks from their Maida Vale which features on the second disc of the special edition and enjoy:

Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks (Live at Maida Vale

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