Modern Mystery’s Top 25 Albums of 2009

 

1. The Wooden Birds-Magnolia
From the ashes of the classic indie band, American Analog Set, rose a new project from former frontman, Andrew “AK” Kenny, called The Wooden Birds. Shifting completely everything he’s done musicially, AK has come out with one of the most surprising releases of the year. Creating a record that is more folk than rock, no songs on the album contain any drums what-so-ever. The bass and vocals really take off and captivate you, the listener. The live sets of the song also include Matt Pond on guitar along with songstress Leslie Sisson. I’m not sure I’ve heard such a heart felt and warm record in the past 10 years.

2. Julian Casablancas- Phrazes for the Young
It’s been a long time since we heard from The Strokes as a unified band. A lot of fans were hesitant on the thought of a solo album by the charasmatic leader, Julian Casablancas, putting out music that doesn’t resemble his band at all. What a surprise it was when we found he took his love for a bit of 1980’s dance and incoporated it with his unforgettable voice and lyrics. The end result? One of the coolest records of the year. We’d expect no less from him.

3. James Husband- Parallax 1
It took 10 years for multi-instrumentalist and drummer from Of Montreal, James Husband, to create his solo album masterpiece. Husband is in the spotlight for the first time in his career and wow, is he certainly taking advantage of it. Providing one of the best indie pop records of the past year, he lets out a 60’s retro sound that no one can mess with. The end result is something as charming as it seems. Raw, catchy, and glorious.

4. Alvin Band-Mantis Preying
Rick  Schaier is not only an amazing drummer and artist, but he is also an extremely talented singer and songwriter. Schaier who spends most of  his time playing drums in The Miniature Tigers has begun a new chapter in his book in the form of ‘Alvin Band,’ this year and completely blew our minds. Blending a retro sound with updated electronics, this is one album you should pick up if you haven’t yet. The catchy hooks and vocals will only leave you wanting more. That my friends, is a good thing!

5. Bishop Allen- Grrr
It’s been a long night since Bishop Allen gained attention by two teenagers named Nick and Norah, and fans were at the edge of their seat wondering what the Brookyln line up would come up with next. Taking a further step into their brilliant indie pop sound, the band did not disappoint at all with Grrr. See it as the next chapter in the Bishop Allen movie, one that is bound to have many sequels in store.

6. Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you may have heard of a little band called Grizzly Bear. Somehow exploding this year, it was certainly one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2009. Every song is flawless. Catchy yet moody. Beautiful in every way. This album describes itself better than anyone ever could.

7. Bat for Lashes- Two Suns
Completely out of left field, the lovely miss Natasha from Bat for Lashes surprised us all this year with making a stunning, charming, and beautiful record. The combination of her voice and the spacey background music is enough to send chills down your spine. And it does just that. The haunting track “Daniel” captivated the attention of many, and the rest of the album is able to keep you around.

8. Flight of the Conchords-I Told You I Was Freaky
Yes, they are known for writing ‘funny’ songs, but on this record, FOTC became even witty and even more advanced it seems in their writing. Their songs, even though the lyrics are mostly ‘silly’, are composed perfectly from start to end. Jermaine and Bret are really on top of their game with this record. We can’t wait to hear more!

9. Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
This band always makes a great record, and their 2009 hit was no different. Everyone wanted a piece of Phoenix and boy, did they get them. This classic indie dance pop record was a must have for everyone who ‘knew what’s cool.’ Apparently, this was the world.

10. Girls-Girls
An unlikely hit, this retro indie duo shocked us all with such a raw and appealing debut album. This lo-fi record filled with melodies, doesn’t need any frills or thrills to make it great. It hold’s its own firmly which is a hard thing to mess with.

11. Cass McCombs-Catacombs
12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Its Blitz
13. Pains of Being Pure at Heart-Pains of Being Pure at Heart
14. Casper and the Cookies-Modern Silence
15. Headlights-Wildlife
16. Japandroids- Post Nothing
17. Cymbals Eat Guitars-Why There are Mountains
18. Kevin Devine- Brother’s Blood
19. Joan of Arc- Flowers
20. Passion Pit-Manners
21. The Antlers- Hospice
22. Loney Dear-Dear John
23. Neko Case-Middle Cyclone
24. The Mountain Goats- The Life of the World to Come
25. Dirty Projectors-Bitte Orca

The Everyday Visuals Astound with New Album

The Everyday Visuals are more than just a band that hails from Boston, but they can also be viewed as a ‘listening experience’. Recently recieving a copy of their newest self titled record, ‘The Everyday Visuals’,I was immediatly drawn to what they were selling. This album blew away any expectations I had going into it.

The record starts off with ‘Intro (Morning Star)’  which is a nice soft start to what is about to come. It hits you with a ‘bang’ but not in the way you would expect it to. It feels a bit like Fleet Foxes at first, but The Everyday Visuals certainly make this sound their own. Taking it up a notch is ‘Limb From Limb’ that will have listeners out of their seat dancing. ‘ Florence Foster Jensen’ contains the most beautiful harmonies that I’ve heard in quite a long time. They are literally flawless.  The members voices are meant to go together. Its obvious.

 ‘I Can’t Stop You’ is a nice ballad that seems like it would be the perfect Sunday morning song. ‘Heal Me’ which has quickly become my favorite song on the record really brings out the  beauty in singer’s Christoper Pappa’s voice, which adds to the overall depth of the record. ‘I’ll Take it All in Stride’ puts emphasis on everything The Everyday Visuals are about. Amazing vocals and harmonies, infectious guitar sounds and smooth keyboard playing which I wish there was more of in this world.

‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ is a song that will catch your attention immediately. I think the title really explains it all. Mixing indie with folk,this song is perfect. ‘Restless Heart’ reminds me of an old Ryan Adams song which is an extremely good thing to remind someone of.  The overall vibe of the song and  with Pappa’s voice coming in and out is beautiful and well crafted. The same goes for ‘Daydream Ghosts’ which is another song that can only be described as perfect. ‘Driving’ is a lovely soft song that brings out more silky vocals and acoustic guitar picking. ‘Peers’  will have your foot tapping for sure, ‘Its too much to bare’ sings Pappas as his voice fades into the distance. The album ends with ‘It’s All I Can Do’,  a sweet little acoustic song that makes for a brilliant ending to a more than astonishing record. In all honesty, if I put together my ‘Top 10 of 2009’ right now, The Everyday Visuals would be the number 1 spot.  This record is filled with brilliant melodies and catchy tunes that only get better with every listen.

Listen to The Everyday Visuals at their MYSPACE

Watch The Everyday Visuals Video for ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’