10. LIVING THING by peter bjorn and john
I Want You! [LISTEN]
So much more excited waiting for a follow-up to Writer’s Block than I was upon finally hearing it, but you know, there’s still hope. It doesn’t suck, but I wish they’d released the two albums in reverse order.
9. DEAD MAN’S BONES by dead man’s bones
My Body’s A Zombie for You [LISTEN]
This is a band/album few have even heard of, but this Halloween-inspired record from Ryan Gosling and friend Zach Shields, recorded with a children’s choir, is a bold and fresh first creative effort from the two, who describe their influences as Disney haunted mansion, doo wop and 60s girl groups…who can knock that?
8. NOBLE BEAST by andrew bird
Fitz And the Dizzyspells [LISTEN]
As a more recent Andrew Bird fan, I fell in love with Armchair Apocrypha and subsequently his earlier albums. While this one didn’t hit me like his previous, it’s still got Bird all over it, and that’s not bad at all.
7. DRAW THE LINE by david gray
For a hardcore Gray fan, It may not boast his best tracklisting to date, but it’s not too far off. His songwriting and piano-guitar combinations are still strong on this one.
6. WHITE WATER, WHITE BLOOM by sea wolf
Wicked Blood [LISTEN]
I was a little disappointed with what I see as a step back on this sophomore effort, but seeing as Sea Wolf is still a fairly new band that should be experienced by more listeners, it deserves a nod.
5. VECKATIMEST by grizzly bear
While You Wait for the Others [LISTEN]
Their second full-length album isn’t really a venture into anything new, but sounds close to what you’d expect from the increasingly popular group: bolder, louder and, dare I say happier?
4. FAR by regina spektor
The Calculation [LISTEN]
She’s back with the same great kinds of songs that have grown her popularity to where it is now: sad lullabies, poppy anthems, and everything in-between.
3. WOLFGANG AMADEUS PHOENIX by phoenix
Yes, there are arguably more talented musicians lower on this list than Phoenix, but damn it, if I don’t just love listening to some of this band’s songs more.
2. I AND LOVE AND YOU by the avett brothers
Laundry Room [LISTEN]
While longtime fans may not call it the brothers’ best album to date, it’s pretty undisputedly a great one, offering some of the best tunes I’ve heard come from the band.
1. RESERVOIR by fanfarlo
Harold T. Wilkins, or How to Wait for A Very Long Time [LISTEN]
How could such a new (and largely unheard of) band produce the best album of 2009? I don’t know, but they did, and it’s because they’re so new and unheard of that they deserve the top spot.