As published in this week’s Columbia Free Times, here’s my list of the favorite albums I heard in 2009:
My Favorite albums of 2009
Matt Urmy, New Season Coming (self-released)
Listened to this album more than anything else this year; hence its position at the top. Poetry as music, music as poetry, all with an understated easygoing nature that’s as deceptive as it is beautiful.
The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You (American)
Imagine my surprise when the Avetts’ major label debut leaned farther toward their quieter material than the raucous concert rave-ups that gained them a huge following. Probably a disappointment for some, not for me.
Mayer Hawthorne, A Strange Arrangement (Stones Throw)
White Midwestern guy as silky seventies soul singer? Why not, if he’s as good at it as Mayer Hawthorne.
Angela Easterling, Blacktop Road (De L’est)
A pretty voice and poignant songwriter from the upstate surrounds herself with A-list players (Will Kimbrough, Ken Coomer, etc.) and puts out a great alt-country album.
Andy Friedman and the Other Failures, Weary Things (Kindred Rhythm)
Friedman’s weary voice is a perfect companion to his version of country music.
Dead Man’s Bones, Dead Man’s Bones (Anti)
Normally I run screaming from an actor’s “music” projects, but this one from Ryan Gosling intrigued me from the start, and still does.
Throttlerod, Pig Charmer (Small Stone)
Unrelenting, unyielding, unbelievable hard rock.
Lucero, 1372 Overton Park (Republic)
They’ve been putting out the same album for years, but it’s a great one every time.
Tommy Keene, In the Late Bright (Second Motion)
Power pop never sounded better than Keene, and it still doesn’t.
Miranda Lambert, Revolution (Columbia Nashville)
The anti-Taylor Swift, or just her more experienced big sister?