Happy New Year, y'all! With 2009 now behind us, I give you some of my favorite music of the past year. This isn't quite a "Top 10" list, as I'm not egotistical enough to think that anybody cares which song I like more than any other, and it's woefully incomplete, but whatever. This is just some of the music that I've enjoyed this year, presented in no particular order. To start, above are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with Heads Will Roll. A good song to be sure, but the reason for the buzz about frontwoman Karen O is more apparent in their perforamnce last April on the Letterman show, where she sang "Zero."
As Paul Schaeffer says, "Karen O is rad bad!" and I can't agree more, but one of my favorite frontwomen has long been Emily Haines of Metric. I first discovered this band back in '05 when their album Live It Out came out and, impressed, I've collected their previous albums (Grow Up and Blow Away and Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?). Fantasies came out this year and is just as strong as anything they've done. Metric's music stands on its own, but it's interesting to note that Haines is the daughter of jazz poet Paul Haines, a collaborator on the trippy cult classic Elevator Over The Hill. Paul was a spiritual seeker, and Emily was born in New Delhi and influenced by her father's esoteric tastes in music. But she and her band have found their own voice, as evidenced on Gimme Sympathy.
I couldn't do a "Best Of" post without mentioning Grizzly Bear. Part of the new harmony movement, which also includes Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective, Brooklyn-based Grizzly Bear composes songs with an intelligence and craftsmanship rarely seen in pop music. I've posted their song Two Weeks here back in May and Shift last November, so here's "Ready, Able," both the official video and a live cover on Letterman.
So that's five songs by three artists, and I'm barely getting started. Due to the size of this post, bandwidth, etc., I'm posting the rest of my "Best Of" selections, including Franz Ferdinand, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, and more, on my LiveJournal site ("Water Dissolves Water, Live") here.
Again, Happy New Year, everyone! See you on the other shore.