mid year music review


now that july is prepared to embrace us with her hot, humid unforgiving hands, i thought it was due time for another obligatory music post. here are the albums i’ve listened to the most this first half of 2009:


it’s blitz! (yeah yeah yeahs) – i wasn’t a huge yeah yeah yeahs fan prior to this album, but a terrific blend of dance, melody and karen o’s unique vocal pop harmonies has made it’s blitz! the best contender for my favorite album of 2009. there’s not a single track on here i don’t enjoy—and enjoy listening to multiple times.

listen to: heads will roll


two suns (bat for lashes) – natasha khan is like a present day tori amos to me—in that she has me wrapped around her little finger simply by the way she sings. it doesn’t hurt that the production of this album is absolutely amazing. not a throw away track on it and they all roll into each other so so well.

listen to: moon and moon


the pains of being pure at heart (the pains of being pure at heart) – these guys just remind me of when indy music used to be fun. it’s almost impossible for me (and jen!) to get sick of this album. if we have trouble deciding on what to listen to (and this happens a lot with our collection!) their debut self-title has been the default album to go to.

listen to: stay alive


alpinisms (school of seven bells) – okay, i love female vocalists (obviously) and this group is no exception. what’s funny is that their sound is so refined that i just assumed they’ve been around for a few years and i’m just now hearing them. nope- alpinisms is their first lp. it would have been awesome to catch them touring with bat for lashes during her UK tour earlier this year.

listen to: face to face on high places


swoon (silversun pickups) – its too bad this album can’t carry the fantastic momentum that its first half does, and we never get an instant pop hit like carnavas’ lazy eye, but silversun is still producing a sound i have a special place in my heart for. i think the pre-adore smashing pumpkins comparisons are still fairly valid, but the new sp are starting to break out of that mold here with a larger, heavier sound complete with strings and extra power chords (okay, maybe not too different).

listen to: the royal we


merriweather post pavilion (animal collective) – this album just goes to show you how sprinkling in a little melody can make a band best known for its prog-alt experimentalism one of the most popular bands in the states right now. yes, musicians. listeners like to hum along.

listen to: summertime clothes


the rumb line (ra ra riot) – i know this came out last year, but i just got in to it toward the end of winter of this year. again with the fun! kind of vampire weekendish, but more rock than pop (whatever that means). speaking of both, singer wes miles’ and vampire weekend’s rostam batmanglij’s side project, discovery, aint half bad either.

listen to: can you tell


face control (handsome furs) – not quite as raw and addicting as his last album, plaque park, was- but i still can’t get enough of dan boeckner. and the music he and his wife produce with just a keyboard, a guitar and a drum machine¬† is stunning. dan boeckner makes me love drum machines.

listen to: all we want, baby, is everything


dragonslayer (sunset rubdown) – okay, first off, props on the awesome album title. i’ve also only had dragonslayer for a short amount of time compared to the rest of the albums on this list but its still been on heavy repeat. just as with dan boeckner, i have a hard time not enjoying anything spencer krug is attached too.

listen to: nightingale / december song


star trek (michael giacchino) – thought i should put at least one score on here since that has been nearly a third of my music rotation this year. star trek is the one i’ve been listening to the most and, i’ll be honest, partly because of how much¬† i loved that movie, but also because michael giacchino has become one of my favorite composers in the past couple of years. i think he tapped into something pretty classic with this one and structured a nice blending in of the original theme.

listen to: end credits

okay- that’s as good a list as any right now. i can’t wait to hear what the latter part of 2009 brings!


  1. Keath’s avatar

    I agree with Bat For Lashes, and would add:

    The Doves “Kingdom of Rust” – first listen was “not bad!” and keeps getting better each time around

    Rancid “Let The Dominoes Fall” – no one does retro Clash style punk better – and few bands can get that many singalong choruses packed into one album

    Depeche Mode “Sounds of the Universe” – dark brooding awesomeness – in short, everything that makes DM DM

    J.J. Cale “Rolls On” – so still the master

    Honorable Mention
    Pet Shop Boys “Yes” – totally Pet Shop Boys, but not new sounding Pet Shop Boys, which is what I expect

    By the way: new Ash single “Return Of White Rabbit” available for free download – and it’s amazing! Best Ash song in years.

  2. mike’s avatar

    haha! that list is so “keath”. be careful those BPMs don’t consume you and all you love! :)

    you know, i really enjoy the doves but i have not been able to get into kingdom of rust. maybe i’ll give it another listen today.

  3. unknown’s avatar

    Another great list of music. I hadn’t heard Sunset Rubdown before. POBPAH are so great. Thought you might like the band Reverie Sound Revue, been listening to this record a lot recently.


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