Lists And Mixes

10 Must-Hear Albums From The First Half Of 2009

10 Must-Hear Albums Of The First Half Of 2009

We’re now half way through 2009, so I figured it was about time to collect a few favorites from the year thus far. I’ve put together 10 must-hear albums from the first half of 2009. To alleviate any bias, and because I’m totally obsessed with this style of categorization, I’m putting them alphabetically.

A few albums are missing from this list and deserve bonus recognition. I’ve chosen five artists I find absolutely amazing to list as honorable mentions. Why? In some cases, I haven’t had the chance to listen to the album in its entirety. In a few other cases, I simply ran out of room.

1. Tom Brosseau: Posthumous Success
2. God Help The Girl: God Help The Girl
3. The Legends: Over And Over
4. Pree: A Chopping Block
5. Virgin Of The Birds: Every Rival

Enough. On to my 10 Must-Hear Albums From The First Half Of 2009…

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Tree House Whispers by Anois

Tree House Whispers by Anois

Easily one of the greater underground discoveries of the year is Anois, whose latest release, Tree House Whispers comes from netlabel Aerotone Records. It is, perhaps, my favorite release Aerotone Records has given us to date. Read my review of Anois’s Tree House Whispers.

Anois: Beds And Dishes [mp3]

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The Banyans by The Banyans

The Banyans by The Banyans

These things are all about surprises, and it wouldn’t be fulfilled without a self-released album from a brand new hometown band. The Banyans are from Seattle and their style of northwest folk is absolutely wonderful. Read my feature on The Banyans.

The Banyans: Grenade On Course [mp3]

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Tentacles by Crystal Antlers

Tentacles by Crystal Antlers

Last year’s self-titled EP by Crystal Antlers became one of my favorites of the year and their LP follow-up with Tentacles is poised to follow suit. While slightly less eccentric experimental noise than Crystal Antlers, it makes up more than tenfold with drone-y experimental psychedelia. Tentacles can be found on Touch & Go. Read my review of Tentacles.

Crystal Antlers: Andrew [mp3]

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Spooky EP by The Golden Hours

Spooky EP by The Golden Hours

With the buzz around fuzz — fuzzed out guitars, that is — and my history of loving the sound dating back to the debut release by The Legends, you’re sure to hear a few such artists on this list. The Golden Hours is the first and their music sides a bit more on the cute and twee end. Spooky EP is a must-have for fans of fuzzed-out pop. Read my Spooky EP review.

The Golden Hours: Baked Brown [mp3]

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Golden Triangle by Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle by Golden Triangle

Where The Golden Hours were on the twee end of of the spectrum, Golden Triangle is most definitely somewhere else. Their music is loud, raucous, and angst-filled, but boy is it fun! Golden Triangle is an in-your-face garage punk release. Golden Triangle was released on Mexican Summer, but is now sold out. Read my review of Golden Triangle.

Golden Triangle: Red Coats [mp3]

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The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Self-Titled

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

I must say that I am absolutely ecstatic that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart released “Young Adult Friction” as a single. It is, after all, one of my top three songs of the year so far. What’s amazing is that the rest of their self-titled LP is not far behind. No wonder TPOBPAH is one of the biggest hype bands of the year! This album can be found on several record labels throughout the world, including Slumberland, Fortuna Pop and Lost And Lonesome. Check out my coverage of a TPOBPAH video.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Everything With You [mp3]

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Everybody Come Outside by Pomegranates

Everybody Come Outside by Pomegranates

Pomegranates were one of last year’s surprises, ultimately achieving a top ten spot in my Top 33 and 1/3 Albums of 2008 list. Well they’re back with Everybody Come Outside and it tops last year’s phenomenal release. This album was released on Lujo Records. Read my review of Everybody Come Outside.

Pomegranates: Everybody Come Outside [mp3]

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Clangour by Sin Fang Bous

Clangour by Sin Fang Bous

Beautifully electronic, masterfully erratic, Sin Fang Bous is one of Iceland’s most promising artists, as heard throughout Clangour, as seen in the Sin Fang Bous videos for “Advent In Ives Garden” and “Clangour And Flutes”, and as seen in the outstanding cover art design. Clangour is on Morr Music. Check out my video review on Sin Fang Bous.

Sin Fang Bous: Advent In Ives Garden [mp3]

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Azar by Venice Is Sinking

AZAR by Venice Is Sinking

AZAR may be one of the earliest released in this group of outstanding albums, but throughout it has maintained not only a high ranking as one of my favorite albums of the year, it has also dominated my playlist. I fully expect the second half of 2009 to continue the trend. One Percent Press released AZAR. Check out my coverage of Venice Is Sinking.

Venice Is Sinking: Okay [mp3]

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We Swim You Jump Self-Titled

We Swim You Jump by We Swim You Jump

We Swim You Jump is the international surprise of 2009, coming from the Netherlands. This group creates highly infectious indie pop that far outstretches their humble beginning. They also introduced me to a new label, Subroutine Records. Read my album review of We Swim You Jump.

We Swim You Jump: Sharks [mp3]

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