Best of 2009 (not a typo)…

Where was I?

Man this year has gone fast. It seems like about a minute ago that I was at the Langley Hotel in Watford with some of my nearest and dearest.

In the company of grandparents, babies and twenty-somethings alike… there we were, dancing to I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) – yes, the DJ played it without me requesting it – at what felt like an Indian wedding reception but was actually NYE 2009.

I know this is the time for “Top X of 2010” run-downs which, don’t get me wrong, I am going to do….but as a little bit of an homage to the year that previously was, I thought I’d do a “Wish I’d known about in 2009” post featuring some acts I’ve written about before, and some not. So…

BAND OF SKULLS

Their album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey would have been a top-half Best of 2010 lister without a second thought… only it was released in 2009. Not only that, prior to their current incarnation as the dirty, retro rock band with a spot on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack you see before you today, they were known as Fleeing New York and sounded, well,… different.

TIMBER TIMBRE

I was going to try and sneak their self-titled album into my Best of 2010 list, they released a Limited Edition on Full Time Hobby in September, but I knew I was already risking a yellow card on another entry (see below) so I chickened out. Had I known about this when it was originally released in 2009, I would have been raving about it back then.

Haunting and a little spooky but also strangely beautiful vocals from Taylor Kirk, with Simon Trottier and Mika Posen accompanying, the entire album is available to stream on spotify in case you, like me, missed it the first time around.

WHITE RABBITS

This, I did get a yellow card for…though in my defence the “Songs” card was only because of late substitutions due to THE RULES (see next post). I saw this band live 3 times in 2010 – once at the ICA, once at The Great Escape and then again at Bestival.

The song didn’t get into “The List” (my list, not the rule-abiding list) because there were a few others that I thought needed a mention. The album didn’t make it because officially its first release was in 2009 although Mute only picked it up in 2010. The gig didn’t make it because of a gig I went to in December which just managed to elbow it out.

UNTIL WE BLEED (ft. LYKKE LI) – KLEERUP

The last one’s a song that would have made the list and actually got an honourable play during our Best of 2010 Sushi Session – it’s completely not my “of 2009” style, which, was much more indie/rock, much less….electronic.

Until We Bleed (ft. Lykke Li) – Kleerup

I don’t think it would have made my top 10 had I known about it back then for that reason – it most definitely would have this year. Blast.

So… they’re all being “honourably mentioned” here.

Actual lists coming up over the next couple of days…

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun

It’s been a long while since I listened to an album and it literally gave me chills from start to finish. It happened this week when It’s Frightening found its way onto our office stereo.

White Rabbits - It's Frightening

It isn’t particularly atmospheric, or groundbreaking, or emotional. It is, however, an utterly fantastic indie album.

The band are White Rabbits, they’re from New York, and this is my favourite track from the 2009 album released on TBD Records/MUTE.

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun

I literally spent the day we got it in awe. Went home and bought the CD for myself. Played it again in the office today. Came home ready to write this and, while checking out their MySpace, discovered THEY’RE PLAYING THE ICA ON 25TH FEB!!

It isn’t all sweetness and light though – there are a few caveats that were pointed out to me today (in a nice way and possibly with the intention of calming me down, prompted by my asking whether it actually is amazing or just me):

– It’s a good album, but may not evoke the same chills and excitement for everyone that it does for me
– I sit directly beneath and between two speakers in the office, which may or may not have contributed to said chills
– The vocal, at times, sounds a bit like Turin Brakes

BUT:

– We’re still going to the gig
– We’re still going to the gig
– I like Turin Brakes

:p