So it's that time of year, when you look back over the music you discovered over the past 12 months, and try to figure out what has meant the most. Not that these are necessarily the best albums of 2009 - I'm not really sure what that means - but they are the one's I felt most attached to, listened to most, would most recommend. So, in no particular order, here goes:
Grizzly Bear - "Veckatamist"
Not easy listening at all, but really worth the effort.
Noah and the Whale - "The first days of Spring"
A remarkable second album, excellent lyrics, beautiful songs. Listen in one go for maximum impact
Animal Collective - "Merriweather Post Pavilion"
Everyone's favourite American undergound act. Innovative, tuneful, lovely.
Portico Quartet - "Isla"
My favourite jazz album of 09: very distinctive sound, great tunes
Great Lake Swimmers - "Lost Channels"
Something melancholic about Canadian folk rockers GLS; I like it alot
Temper Trap - "Conditions"
The backlash has already started, but I love the songs and that voice
The XX - "XX"
Reminds me of much, but sounds new and different at the same time
The Mummers - "Tale to Tell"
I found their performance on Later with Jools mesmerising. Bjork-ish vocals with a more English feel
Woods - "Songs of Shame"
More American folky ramblings which I seem drawn to these days
Woodpigeon - "Treasury Library Canada"
The second Canadian group in my list. But don't let that put you off, it's great
The Low Anthem - "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin"
In truth I'm not mad on all of this album, but the good tracks are superb and make up for the rockier/less convincing others
Jack Penate - "Everything is New"
Who would have thought that JP would make a critically acclaimed second album loved by the charts and Zane Lowe? My favourite pop album of 09.
Jimi Tenor and Tony Allen - "Inspiration Information 4"
Jazz + African funk = excellent album
Laura Gibson - "Beasts of Seasons"
Portland singer songwriter. Haunting, sad, lovely songs
Bon Iver - "Blood Bank"
Not really an album but an EP, but for someone still reeling from the wonderful "For Emma, Forever ago" album of 2008 this was enough to prove that Justin Vernon has more than one record in him. Thank goodness.
So there it is. There's loads more but you have to stop somewhere. I heartily recommend all of the above 15 albums to you.