I really tried to get a full ten top tunes for 2009 but stopped short at nine.
I had more disappointments than pleasant finds this year - that's what you get for trying to immerse yourself in a different genre without a guiding hand. So here we go by best order to listen to them, rather than rank
- ? (Question) – Mark Pritchard
A cold, hard, unfeeling opening, like waking up on a black marble floor and being approached by a silicon snake
- Drumming Song – Florence and The Machine
Lungs is the perfect name for the album from the bat-caped Florence Welch and while others prefer Dog Days, I'm swayed by her pins in the vid. It's soon to be cheesy chart pop - I only need shallow reasons to like it
- Soap on a Rope – Chickenfoot
Daftest band name ever. Best part-time supergroup. A great cut of summer time arena rock.
- Alice! Live at the Natural History Museum – The Life Force Trio
First track on the Echo Expansion compilation. A little harp from Alice Coltrane (yes, a relation) and a little dub underneath. Solid on its own and a good opener for an album worth picking up.
- Sacrifice – Clint Mansell
I love Clint's soundtracks and could have picked pretty much anything from his Moon soundtrack, but this 3:30 piece encapsulates most of the themes across the record. Loneliness, despair, tinges of desperation, determination. All in a simple piano lead with a punch from the orchestra here and there. Magical
- Otacon – Reso
Even though Reso's only putting this masterpiece of evil, grimey electronica out as part of an actual EP at the start of 2010, I heard Otacon first in February I think. It is by far and away my favourite single track this year. A vast slick of music that envelopes and then throws you about in its whirlpools and eddies until reaching the eye of its storm you're given respite before further infiltration of the senses leaves you awed and bewildered at the end of its six minutes.
- Losing Streak – Jesu
Opening track from this year's Opiate Sun EP. We stand, we fall, we contemplate inwardly, we realise that Losing Streak is the aural accompaniment to becoming lost our daydreams.
- Axe To Fall – Converge
Axe to Fall is pure insane, whiplash fury. A welcome return to form then for the Bostonians.
- The Last Baron - Mastodon
It has taken me ages to grok Mastodon. Metal press loved them when they released Leviathan a few years ago and Blood Mountain got similarly goo-stained reviews after that. But their crossover prog-metal never really rang true until they released Crack The Skye this year. It is, incidentally, my album of the year. Finally they don't sound like they're trying to force motifs into their music which impress on us the concept of the album: something that jarred a lot for me with Moby Dick-themed Leviathan. Instead, there's just them and bravo for it. The Last Baron is the final track on the album, a 13 minute tale winding its way through shifting sands of legend.