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My Top 50 Tracks of 2009


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Thought I would publish it. Agree or disagree.


#50: ‘The Penultimate Clinch’ - Quicken The Heart - Maximo Park


#49: ‘Help I'm Alive’ - Fantasies - Metric


#48: ‘My Propeller’ - Humbug - Arctic Monkeys


#47: ‘Twilight Omens’ - Tonight: - Franz Ferdinand


#46: ‘Underdog’ - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum - Kasabian


#45: ‘Signs And Wonders’ - Signs And Wonders - Animal Kingdom


#44: ‘To Lose My Life’ - To Lose My Life... - White Lies


#43: ‘Sea Within A Sea’ - Primary Colours - The Horrors


#42: ‘Marlon J.D.’ - Journal For Plague Lovers - Manic Street Preachers


#41: ‘1989’ – Klang - The Rakes


#40: ‘Little Lion Man’ - Sigh No More - Mumford & Sons


#39: ‘Dull Life’ - It's Blitz! - Yeah Yeah Yeahs


#38: ‘You've Got The Love’ - A Lot Of Love, A Lot Of Blood [Ep] - Florence + The Machine


#37: ‘Skyscraper’ - Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper - Julian Plenti


#36: ‘Crystalised’ - XX - The xx


#35: ‘No You Girls’ - Tonight: - Franz Ferdinand


#34: ‘Cousins’ - Cousins [single] - Vampire Weekend


#33: ‘Scumbag Blues’ - Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures


#32: ‘Kingdom Of Rust’ - Kingdom Of Rust - Doves


#31: ‘Dominos’ - A Brief History Of Love - The Big Pink


#30: ‘No Soap (In A Dirty War)’ - A French Kiss In The Chaos - Reverend & The Makers


#29: ‘Tokyo’ - Telekinesis! - Telekinesis


#28: ‘Two Weeks’ - Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear


#27: ‘We Share The Same Skies’ - Ignore The Ignorant - The Cribs


#26: ‘Secret Alphabets’ - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum - Kasabian


#25: ‘A Cloud Of Mystery’ - Quicken The Heart - Maximo Park


#24: ‘The Reeling’ – Manners - Passion Pit


#23: ‘11th Dimension’ - Phrazes For The Young - Julian Casablancas


#22: ‘Sweet Disposition’ - Conditions - The Temper Trap


#21: ‘What Would I Want? Sky’ - Fall Be Kind [Ep] - Animal Collective


#20: ‘Islands’ - XX - The xx


The XX, believe it or not, are younger than me. Impressive as it sounds, Islands, and their album ‘XX’ are nothing to be scoffed at – this track is an example of the amazing level of instrumental simplicity the band uses to generate atmospheric sounds that I have never heard before. This is one of the more radio-friendly of their strong singles.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjcKXBFLOeo]YouTube- The Xx - Islands (Video + lyrics)[/ame]


#19: ‘Velvet’ - A Brief History Of Love - The Big Pink


Velvet is possibly one of the most difficult tracks to explain of the year, and explores unique indie experimentation similar to that of Animal Collective’s work. The vocals paint a picture of sadness, and whilst not one of the more upbeat tracks of the year, Velvet is almost ‘artistic’ in its creation. Also includes one of the catchiest middle 8 sections of the year, and which is what cemented the track in my top twenty.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA3twi3iSNQ]YouTube- The Big Pink - Velvet[/ame]


#18: ‘Heads Will Roll’ - It's Blitz! - Yeah Yeah Yeahs


This was actually the very first track of the band’s that has introduced me to their back catalogue. Somewhat overshadowed by the impressive first single Zero, Heads Will Roll is a unique dance-rock sound with quality Karen O vocals and an addictive, toe-tapping beat.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt0IlrQYOxM]YouTube- Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll"[/ame]


#17: ‘Adultery’ – Adultery [Ep] - Little Comets


Chances are you haven’t heard of The Little Comets. I was so impressed by this track and how they sound considerably like some of Mystery Jets’ finest work. There’s an inherent groove in this track and plenty of 80’s influences without the synths to go with.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNOUTwJq08s]YouTube- Little Comets - Adultery[/ame]


#16: ‘Papillon’ - In This Light And On This Evening - Editors


Papillon signalled a shift in direction for one of my favourite UK indie bands, as piercing lead guitars had been replaced by use of synths for riffs. It’s still a strong track that heralds itself countless dance remixes and its place in the top tracks of 2009 can be attributed to the continued brilliance of Tom Smith’s unique vocals. Equally this year's finest video.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq4tyDRhU_4]YouTube- Editors - Papillon[/ame]


#15: ‘While You Wait For The Others’ – Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear


A wise choice for second single, this track finds the perfect balance between alternative folk experimentation and radio-friendly indie pop. Seesawing verses and impressive mystique created though instrumental simplicity and echo makes this Grizzly Bear track one that will take a while to grow on you.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ4jZeGUFzI]YouTube- Grizzly Bear - While You Wait for the Others [Official Music Video in HD][/ame]


#14: ‘Lisztomania’ - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Phoenix


This year’s most infectious tune to dance along to, and along with fellow album-opening track 1901, was one of the strongest introductions to an album this year. Lisztomania is a care-free indie-pop transition for the band, heralding a youthful exuberance and consistently upbeat sound.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BJDNw7o6so]YouTube- Phoenix - Lisztomania Official Video (Best Quality + Lyrics)[/ame]


#13: ‘Horchata’ - Horchata [single] – Vampire Weekend


Whilst not officially released as a single, anything Vampire Weekend produces is generally remarkably different to all indie rock at the moment. Horchata is no exception. The track represents a subtle tilt towards the more African side of their sound, and exhibits enough evolution in the band’s music to keep a growing audience interested.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkUQ-OBazbc]YouTube- *New* Vampire Weekend - 'Horchata'[/ame]


#12: ‘River Of Brakelights’ - Phrazes For The Young – Julian Casablancas


River of Brakelights is an example of all of the positives associated with everything electronic. Drum loops, and an impressive, almost ‘twisted’ synthesised riff coupled with classic Casablancas vocals even makes this a stronger track than lead single, 11th Dimension. It’s complexity heralds a greater sound to listen to whilst overlapping lyrically-simplistic but soaring melodies. River of Brakelights is also impressive in its ability to translate sound into imagery.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaaKsg6n8Sg]YouTube- Julian Casablancas - "River of Brakelights"[/ame]


#11: ‘Winter Hill (acoustic)’ - Kingdom Of Rust – Doves


Whilst the original version of the track is impressive, the acoustic version of Winter Hill that was released on the CD and vinyl single cemented the song as a true experience. Whilst maintaining electric guitar riffs, it is the subtle pounding of guitar and piano working in tandem that creates one of 2009’s more ‘elegant’ tracks.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLvkqS_AyyE]YouTube- Doves - Winter Hill[/ame]


#10: "Cornerstone" - Humbug - Arctic Monkeys


Yes, another Arctic Monkeys track, but you can't go past the lyrics in Cornerstone which have the ability to create the most fantastic imagery imaginable - the sexual fantasy and hunt for your girlfriend's sister. The lack of the band's effort in putting together an equally impressive music video is questionable.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIQz6zZi7R0]YouTube- Arctic Monkeys - 'Cornerstone' (Official Video)[/ame]


#9: "Sleepyhead" - Manners - Passion Pit


Sleepyhead is probably, apart from Cut Copy's work, the closest I get to loving dance music, probably explained by the use of sampling and the almost un-singable falsetto vocals exhibited in one of the year's most exciting releases by a debut band.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bfseWNmlds]YouTube- Passion Pit - Sleepyhead[/ame]


#8: "Where Did All The Love Go?" - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum - Kasabian


As soon as I head this track for the first time, I knew it was destined for mainstream success. Whilst maintaining the traditional English swagger you associate with the band, the track is rather radio-friendly compared to most of their other material. Potentially a brilliant live song due to the countless hooks.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuPK6KgSjno]YouTube- Kasabian - Where Did All the Love Go?[/ame]


#7: "Death" - To Lose My Life... - White Lies


Whoever thought writing a song about perishing in a plane crash could become one of 2009's top tracks? Death, the band's debut and breakout single, is a journey in itself and has become the setlist closer of their impressive live show. Joy Division comparisons aside, the dark, brooding, atmospheric sound created in Death is uncontrollably addictive... even for life's optimists.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTh9IuSTOY0]YouTube- White Lies - Death[/ame]


#6: "The Kids Are Sick Again" - Quicken The Heart - Maximo Park


Possibly the year's greatest track to throw yourself around to. Impressive even played live, The Kids Are Sick Again is an attempt to belay the message of the negative effects of advertising on the youth today. At only three minutes long, the fast-tempo beat and easily recogniseable riffs are one of this year's top indie releases.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Ebc0bnD_Y]YouTube- Maximo Park - The Kids Are Sick Again (out 4th May)[/ame]


#5: "The Greatest Denier" - Kingdom Of Rust - Doves


One of the UK's top indie releases, The Greatest Denier is one of the most polished tracks from their impressive fourth LP. The greatness behind The Greatest Denier comes from the band's ability to create multiple crescendos throughout the song. The ability to have lyrics explaining the life of a chronic skeptic whilst maintaining a hightened level of positivity through the musical aspects of the track makes this another fantastic non-released single.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECD3-s9pwKQ]YouTube- Doves- The greatest denier [Kingdom of rust] Music video[/ame]


#4: "Crying Lightning" - Humbug - Arctic Monkeys


Crying Lightning transformed the UK's hottest talent from the fresh-basement-sound to a polished, more mature outfit. Out went the frenetic thrashing of instruments from previous LPs, with the introduction of vampiric-sounding guitar and brilliant lyrics that recreate an almost haunted carnival-like atmosphere.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_G9RRY7SS0]YouTube- Crying Lightning[/ame]


#3: "Magnificent" - No Line On The Horizon - U2


Whenever listening to this track, you can't help but become overwhelmed with a positive, uplifting emotion. A standout track on a rather alternative and less-mainstream release. Magnificent is built around an impressive chord structure and The Edge's always trustworthy riff work, soaked in reverb of course.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iddVAWW638U]YouTube- U2 Magnificent (Official Videoclip) HD[/ame]


#2: "Just Say Yes" - Up To Now - Snow Patrol


Whilst being a pop music skeptic, Just Say Yes is the closest Snow Patrol have ever come to writing their perfect pop song. With one of the finest soaring choruses of the year and now-industry-standard guitar/synth combinations, one of the new tracks on their compilation was definitely worth the wait considering it was almost given away to another artist in 2007.




#1: "My Girls" - Merriweather Post Pavillion - Animal Collective


2009's top track was one that was responsible for Animal Collective's mainstream success and subsequently been named top track by recognised music institutions. Challenging the traditional song structure, the use of layered effects and electronic sounds makes My Girls one of the most interesting listens of the year.



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Honestly, I find "Magnificent" to be one of the very few standout tracks on NLOTH. I wouldn't place it that high, but it deserved more success than it got.


Some great songs on your list. Glad to see a lot of love given to Doves, who have - in my opinion - the most underrated album this year.


Thanks for posting! :)

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  • 1 month later...

I like #3 and #2. I think Magnificent was the best off of the album. It is most defiantly an Edge song and he is really flying on this one. Crazy Tonight is the best off of the new album though.


Just Say Yes give me great hope for the next Snow Patrol album. I hope they break their own mold a bit. Good list though!

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