Best Albums of 2009 [Picks 1-25]

by oz on December 22, 2009

And here are HearYa’s top albums of 2009. In our opinion 2009 was a better year for music than ’08, but there was no single album that jumped out at us like Blitzen Trapper last year. Each HearYa contributor had a different favorite, but there was one album that kept emerging as the most listened to album in all of our iPod rotations – AA Bondy’s When The Devil’s Loose.

I can honestly say that I love every album in this list and I think your music collection would be richer with any or all of them. Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

1.‚ ‚  ‚ A.A. Bondy – When The Devil’s Loose

AA Bondy – I Can See The Pines Are Dancing

AA Bondy – When The Devil’s Loose

2.‚ ‚  ‚ The Deep Dark Woods – Winter Hours

The Deep Dark Woods – All The Money I Had Is Gone

3.‚ ‚  ‚ The Love Language – The Love Language

The Love Language – Lalita

4.‚ ‚  ‚ Other Lives – Other Lives

Other Lives – Paper Cities

5.‚ ‚  ‚ The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You

The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You

6.‚ ‚  ‚ Justin Townes Earle – Midnight At The Movies

Justin Townes Earle – Mama’s Eyes

7.‚ ‚  ‚ Magnolia Electric Co. – Jospehine

Magnolia Electric Co – Josephine

8.‚ ‚  ‚ Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid

9.‚ ‚  ‚ Port O’Brien – Threadbare

Port O’Brien – My Will Is Good

10.‚ ‚  ‚ The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin

11.‚ ‚  ‚ Megafaun – Gather Form & Fly

Megafaun – Kaufman’s Ballad

12.‚ ‚  ‚ Wilco – Wilco (the album)

Wilco – One Wing (live via Steregum)

13.‚ ‚  ‚ Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk – Say Please

14.‚ ‚  ‚ The Wooden Sky – I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone

The Wooden Sky – Something Hiding For Us In The Night

15.‚ ‚  ‚ The Mother Hips – Pacific Dust

The Mother Hips – White Falcon Fuzz

16.‚ ‚  ‚ Lucero – 1372 Overton Park

17.‚ ‚  ‚ Heartless Bastards – The Mountain

Heartless Bastards – The Mountain

18.‚ ‚  ‚ Edward Sharpe & The Magnificent Zeros – Edward Sharpe & The Magnificent Zeros

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream

19.‚ ‚  ‚ Langhorne Slim – Be Set Free

Langhorne Slim – I Love You, But Goodbye

20.‚ ‚  ‚ Foreign Born – Person To Person

Foreign Born – Early Warnings

21.‚ ‚  ‚ Elvis Perkins in Dearland – Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Elvis Perkins In Dearland – Shampoo

22.‚ ‚  ‚ Pink Mountaintops – Outside Love

Pink Mountaintops – Vampire

23.‚ ‚  ‚ The Roadside Graves – My Son’s Home

The Roadside Graves – Ruby

24.‚ ‚  ‚ The Maldives – Listen To The Thunder

The Maldives – Tequila Sunday

25.‚ ‚  ‚ Deer Tick – Born On Flag Day

Deer Tick – Easy

Deer Tick – Smith Hill

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy December 22, 2009 at 8:17 am

Some good picks here! And some new stuff to check out.
2010 is going to start with some good 2009 tunes!
Cheers Andy

Eric December 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Great list! Five of these are on my own list, but there are a number that I need to check out. There’s just not enough hours in the day and days in the year to give adequate attention to all the records released in a given year.

Eugenia December 22, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Good picks! Although I think that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes are probably the best of the year. I’m thrilled to watch their videos too, the ones that are meant to be part of their SALVO! musical. Amazing look on these videos, and the music is so extremely fitting.

Matt Bialer December 23, 2009 at 7:45 am

Great picks. You guys are my favorite music blog around. You have great tastes, intelligent, not pretentious. I love it. It’s a refreshing and I look forward to being turned on to more great music by you guys. I already love Ha Ha Tonka and The Henry Clay People and Alberta Cross because of this blog. I Hear Ya! Have a great Holiday. Best, Matt Bialer

Todd December 23, 2009 at 10:42 am

Glad to se The Mother Hips on here. You guys rock

Luke Kuzava December 23, 2009 at 11:15 am

Really nice list. I love Animal Collective, but its nice to see a blog that isn’t gushing over them right now, and not just because they want to be ‘obscure’. You guys have a very definitive, cohesive and earthy taste in music. Thanks for sending all the great tunes our way.

That Guy December 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Thanks, Luke. We actually talked about how everyone considered the Animal Collective album a great one and that people would probably criticize us for not including it, but ultimately no one at HearYa was drawn to it and we just couldn’t ‘get it’. You’re right – we weren’t trying to be obscure. Tried to get into them but just never could. Thanks for the honest and grounded feedback.

Oz December 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Thanks for the kind words (everyone that commented). Our picks really represent the style of music we like. Definitely skewed to Americana and alt-country with a few deviations.

Eugenia December 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Yeah, I was going to say that. Your list is definitely Americana, while Pitchfork’s is really experimental. I can’t get into most of the suggested albums, and I can’t get into Pitchfork’s either. I’m somewhere in the middle of all that I guess, like, in more mainstream stuff (especially since I am from Europe, I was not exposed to some genres as a kid so I’m not used to them).

I hope you include Blitzen Trapper’s next album for 2010. It’s coming out in a few months. BT play a fusion of different genres, including experimental back in the day, but they’re probably best identified by “modern Americana”. They’re one of the very few alt-country/americana bands I like.

Bryan December 29, 2009 at 11:57 am

What a well rounded list. I think “When the Devil’s Loose” was just brilliant. My own number one for the year would have to have been Elvis Perkins in Dearland. Great list guys!

Chris January 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm

A fine selection! It’s great to see Port O’Brien’s Threadbare in the top ten. I dig that album the more I hear it. If I had one on my list that you didn’t it would be the Eels’ Hombre Lobo.

Chris P January 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

Great list fellas, I can dig it. Stop by and check out my site for some new music as well. I gave you guys a shout out earlier this week, I love the studio sessions you guys throw down.

Your neighbor,


Brett March 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Really like your number 2 choice! I’m a little surprised that something with such a country feel made it so high! I’m looking forward to going through the rest of these now.

liza March 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm

such a perfect list. particularly Ed Sharpe and the Clay People. But tops is Bondy. something about that album just slays me.

Tamara June 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Definitely, great picks!

Petros October 19, 2010 at 10:33 am

“Them Crooked Vultures” on No. 1. “Caligulove” is a masterpiece.

Ari October 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Wow – I can’t tell you how happy I am to see A.A. Bondy at the top of this list. This album is aching, even haunting, but it casts a spell that shows beauty can come out of the most wretched emotions. I found it funny that the Pitchfork review, though overall positive, made it seem like he was posing or trying to hard to invoke agrarian metaphors or feelings of pain. The review also called the lyrics a weak point of the album. There is no doubt in my mind that Bondy is singing from the soul, and in my opinion he is a stellar lyricist. Also really happy to see Justin Townes Earle, Elvis Perkins, The Low Anthem, and Megafaun here.

comet December 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

good choices

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