Halfway Home: 2009

2009.5

First, an apology. I have been a bad blogger. A very bad blogger. It’s been two whole weeks since I posted anything and before that I had idled at about one a day if that, often about the same topic. I offer no excuses as there are none, really, and hope that  you were at least finding good music news and swag elsewhere during my unintentionally long sabbatical. I’m back again, though, for however long and hope to quickly get back into the swing of regular posting while I try to find more ways to make Pop That Rocks more distinct than other anonymous music blogs out there.

In the meantime, I thought it appropriate to note that we are just over halfway through the music year that is 2009, and what a year it has been. Even ignoring the fact that it’s the last year of this decade (more on how I’ll be covering that in future posts), ’09 has been noteworthy for a number of releases ranging from terrific to transcendent, and we’ve still got another six months to go. Hence, my favorite albums of the year so far, and later a preview as to what will probably be joining them in the remainder of the decade. The ranking, while relatively pointless, is based off the number of plays each album has received this year in conjunction with how likely I feel they are to remain permanent fixture in my collection. Albums and ranking are quite likely to change later in the year.  Now here they are before this post gets any longer…

  1. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion: Duh.
  2. Fever Ray – Fever Ray: A seductive sleeper that worms deeper into my ears with each listen. Please play Philly, Karin!
  3. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest: Each song is as hauntingly beautiful on its own as part of the whole. Billboard agrees with me.
  4. St. Vincent – Actor: A perfect sequel to a near perfect debut.
  5. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca: Brilliant in that way that half of listeners simply don’t get.
  6. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix: The best straight-forward “pop” indie record of the year so far.
  7. Japandroids – Post-Nothing: Reminds me of the ’90s in a good way.
  8. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue: Won me over on first listen and gets better every time.
  9. jj – jj n° 2: What I hope Air France’s full-length will one day sound like. Thanks for the recommendation, GvB!
  10. Bat for Lashes – Two Suns: The Sinead O’Connor to Fur and Gold‘s Kate Bush
  11. The Field – Yesterday and Today: Glacial, hypnotic, exhilarating, same shit as his last album. Still great.
  12. Deastro – Moondagger: Takes a page out of early M83’s book and it still sounds fresh. And this guy is like only 22!
  13. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer: 12.5, really, since my year-end lists are always 25. I prefer this album to all other Wolf Parade-related work put together.

Lengthier, more “professional” write-ups on most if not all of these will be posted at the end of the year as always. Feel free to let me have it on what I may have missed (Again, the final ’09 list will be 25 ). Previews for upcoming releases and song picks to follow…

*Updated with honorable mentions to Passion Pit, Dan Deacon, Neko Case, White Denim, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I’m sure I’ll see you all at the end of the year!

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