15-11 :: Continuing the countdown, the final five come next weekend.
10. Daniel Fridholm – Daniel Fridholm May 2009. Unreleased
Some may remember Daniel Fridholm’s praising review earlier this year. Since then popular, Record of the Year-nomiated blog ‘Cosmic Disco’ has also ran features articles, and 2010 should be seeing more material.
‘I Need Green’ is a synthpop masterpiece that feels as at home under December’s darkened skies and drunken nights, as it does; picnics in the fleeting days of British summer. The middle eight would fail to get anyone popping shoulders, or shaking hips. Still a fantastic album.
LISTEN: I Need Green
9. Peter Doherty – Sheepskin Tearaway March 2009.
About four years ago I went to see some rather banal, rather dull comedy with an ex-girlfriend. A video montage begins and it is soundtracked by a beautiful guitar track that I recognized instantly. Years before that, running parallel to The Libertines, Peter Doherty had sat and recorded his own sessions in hotel rooms, in crack dens, in taxis, in pubs, and at home; demos that formed narratives throughout his life. Sheepskin Tearaway, was the song I recognized, and its inclusion instantly made me smile.
Grace/Wasteland was met to murky reception this year. Peter Doherty has the potential to be his best when he records alone, and Grace/Wasteland was a nice dip into an ocean that would keep him afloat. This album version is polished there is intentionally added reverb, rather than that achieved reverberating from his hollowed squat-walls of earlier days and his voice sounds fragile, yet with a pop edge that mothers could love him everywhere. This album only signals what is to come.
LISTEN: Sheepskin Tearaway
8. The High Wire – Leave Me In Love Dec 2009. Grandpa Stan
The High Wire are a band who have been quietly bettering themselves and gaining recognition throughout the year.
Leave Me In Love, like a lot of their most recent material, fuses a sound akin to the americana-indiepop of Fleet Foxes, and a pop-psychedelia in a distant vein to Animal Collective. Yet with a lofi British edge to it, still breeding in the afterglow of 2008’s new folk revival. If this is progression of our strain of the genre, then I welcome it wholeheartedly.
LISTEN: Leave Me In Love
7. Example – Watch the Sun Come Up Sep 2009.
One of the greatest tragedies this year was Example’s release date for Watch The Sun Come Up; released in a month that, retrospectively was admittedly one of our hottest of the year, ‘Watch the Sun Come Up’s September release just felt overdue. Example had written the hit of the summer, it was just four months too late.
With Balearic piano, and electro-house beats, Example’s white-rapping deep croon fits the music perfectly; who’d have known this was that rapper we loved, who use to rap over The Rolling Stones, Harry Nilsson, and Lily Allen back in the day. Equally as good, and certainly the biggest track he’s ever done.
LISTEN: Watch The Sun Come Up
6. Jamie T – Sticks N Stones June 2009. Pacemaker Records
Working in Wimbledon this summer, a lot of songs are both synonymous both to working and summer; the tracks from the ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’ E.P. rest reassuredly in both those lists.
While his album delivery in 2009 was a letdown as a followup to 2007’s classic “Panic Prevention,” this little E.P. released just weeks before served as more than enough for fans. Fast-paced punk-inspired hiphop, reggae-inspired pop, and even the mellowed-out, featured here in just four tracks. ‘St. Christopher’ was the perfect for the lows, and ‘Sticks N Stones’ was perfect for the highs; triumphant E.P.
LISTEN: Sticks ‘N’ Stones