I write about music from all over the place for publications and websites that are also all over the place, but I’ve had a particular fondness for the music of my own backyard here in South Carolina, and especially in Columbia. Here, then, are my favorite local releases of 2009:
My Favorite Local Albums 2009
Kenley Young, Standard Candle
Smooth, slick, and sparkling guitar pop.
Magnetic Flowers, What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk AboutA glorious mess of an album, like a train barely able to remain on the tracks.
Haley Dreis, Beautiful To Me
About as perfect a pop recording as any to have come out of Columbia.
American Gun, The Devil’s Right Hand
Mark this as the one where Todd Mathis’ twangier material shines the brightest and truly begins to define this band.
Zach Seibert and the Red Wagon, Learning To Drown
The year’s most pleasant surprise, a sweetly rendered, rough-hewn gem.
Justin Smith and the Folk-Hop Band, World Unknown
Less hop and more rock made this a local radio hit, with good reason.
Treadmill Trackstar, I Belong To Me
File under “Welcome return” and turn up the volume.
The Unawares, Pinkie Greene
Raw, unassuming, yet immediate and melodic.
Hannah Miller, Somewhere In Between
Columbia’s most mesmerizing vocal chords.
Danielle Howle, The Swamp Sessions
Stripped down to just her voice and guitar, Howle still delivers.
Various Artists, Christmas At Red Bank, Vol. 1
Perfect local-centric addition to the holiday music mix, with some great takes on classic carols.