Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Best-of 2009:: Part 1

I've actually been meaning to do this for a while, but have always had something else I wanted to write about instead. We aren't really a fan of the ole "clip-show" mentality, but a lull in the review pile and the fact I had my IPOD on random during a 8 mile run helped me realize I've stumbled on some terrific records already in 2009. I know most of you won't see eye-to-eye with me, but this is my list. Enjoy.

(Note, I could have put the EP from Zeus on this list, but am saving a slot for the upcoming full length on my End of Year edition).

1:: Timber Timbre - Timber Timbre
myspace || label

I reviewed this record on Jan. 5, and honestly I don't think any record that comes out this year will top it. I put Taylor in my Number 1 spot on both the Long-list and Short-list ballots for the Polaris, and was upset the duo didn't sneak into the Top 10.

Either way, the change in sound he displays on this record show huge strides and converted me from fan to superfan. It was also enough to see Taylor move from the terrific indie label, Out of this Spark to Arts & Crafts, essentially meaning that this is the last year his music will be under appreciated.

2:: Joel Plaskett - Three
web site

Honestly, I know you are probably sick of reading about Joel on herohill, but his 27-song triple record may end up being the defining moment of his long and consistently solid career. Huge in scope and ambition, and heavier in quality, some of the songs from Three are going to be songs we here on the radio 5, 10, and even 20 years from now. I'm not sure we can say that about any other record that's been put out in 2009.

3:: Ohbijou - Beacons

When I first reviewed Beacons I mentioned - "Ohbijou - Casey Mecija and six supremely talented musicians - have crafted a beautiful, melancholic effort but even with the intimacy and tenderness they deliver, the surges and layers help the songs seem bigger than life." - and really, not much has changed in my opinion.

The gentle, patient crescendos and terrific harmonies give these orchestral tracks little boosts of energy, but they are so well executed that you never lose the Casey’s heart. The songs are pure and enjoyable from the first note to the last.

4:: Bahamas - Pink Strat

Afie Jurvanen – aka Bahamas – has been supporting some of the biggest names in Canadian rock (Feist, Jason Collett, Howie Beck, Hayden and my new favorites, Zeus) for years, and probably only the biggest fans or people with musical talent know who he is.

That will all change with Pink Strat. The brokenhearted, I'm no good for no one singer has been beaten to death over the last 50 or 60 years, but Afie makes his songs stand out and offers a new take on a classic tale.

5:: Reverie Sound Revue - Reverie Sound Revue

But you just reviewed this record yesterday? How can it be on the list already? Bottom line, this is my favorite pop record of the year and with the heavy dose of singles mixed with a complete listen I don't see that changing.

After hearing this record, the meticulous, patient approach that Reverie Sound Revue uses certainly seems to make a lot more sense than rushing through an EP and cramming in a smelly fan playing shows for no one doesn't it?

6:: Chet - Chelsea Silver, Please Come Home

Ryan Beattie
, his brother and the new band that makes up Chet has created one of the most ambitious and captivating records of the year. I'm not sure if people will spend the time required to let the beauty and power of the record set in, but those that do will be rewarded with a record that is hard to turn off.

Confidence. Power. Patience. Creativity. These are all words that should come to mind when you start to digest Chelsea Silver, Please Come Home. Fantastic is the one that will come to mind when you are finished.

7:: The Wooden Sky - If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone

The Wooden Sky has spent most of the last five years floating around without a home. Pushing through a new band name and a new sound can often kill a band that has yet to find it's true audience, but this Toronto outfit delivered a powerful, enjoyable slice of country pop. They are just getting ready to tour the sh&t out of the record, so I'll be alone in singing the band's praises by the end of the year.

MP3:: Timber Timbre - Lay Down in the Tall Grass

MP3:: The Wooden Sky - Something Hiding For Us In The Night

MP3:: Ohbijou - Black Ice

MP3:: Joel Plaskett - Through & Through & Through

MP3:: Chet - The Night, The Night

MP3:: Bahamas - Lonely Loves

MP3:: Reverie Sound Review - Opposite of Thieves

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Posted at 6:51 AM by ack :: 2 comments

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At 8:25 PM, Blogger The R.O.B. did sayeth:

Kind of surprised that I don't see the Black Hat Brigade on here...


At 10:34 PM, Blogger David did sayeth:

Timber Timbre is a great choice. As is the poppy Reverie Sound Review. I also liked Dirty Projectors, Handsome Furs, Gregory Alan *Isakov, Patrick Watson, Beirut, Elvis Perkins, J. Tillman, Dangermouse (unreleased), Bill Callahan, Hanne Hukkelberg, Weather Station, Basket of Figs, The Veils, Jordaan Mason, Bowerbirds, White Rabbits, St. Vincent, Passion Pit, Double Dagger, The Decemberists.


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