Throughout the month of December we’ll be posting lists of the best music of the year as determined by the volunteers that make CHIRP what it is. Today’s is from CHIRP’s Director of Fundraising, Erin Van Ness.
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Hands down my favorite album of 2009. Weird. Trippy. Delicious. Not to mention I’m a sucker for great vocal harmonies. I always have to listen to this album with headphones on so that I can capture and dig inside each little blip and bleep of sound.
The Antlers – Hospice (French Kiss)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
It took me a long time to get into this album because I was being impatient and trying to listen to it on the commute to work, and you just can’t listen to this album in that environment. It’s too quiet and soft. Once I finally gave it a fair listen with a cup of coffee in hand in a moment of peace, it became magical to me.
Avett Brothers – I and Love and You (Columbia/American)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Their Rick Rubin produced, major label debut may be a lot smoother and more polished than their previous efforts, but maybe the brothers are just growing up. It’s sing-songy and catchy so I don’t mind.
Balmorhea – All Is Wild, All Is Silent (Western Vinyl)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
A pretty instrumental album that I love putting on when just sitting and watching the sites go by on the train. I imagine it as the soundtrack to a lonely travel scene from a movie.
Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (Fat Possum)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
My brother claims he hates Andrew Bird because he feels like he needs a dictionary on hand in order to listen to his albums, but that’s precisely why I love Andrew Bird! That and I’m super envious of his whistlin’ skills.
Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle (Drag City)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I can get completely lost in his dark, rich voice. Swoon.
Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (Anti)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Neko Case always seems to put out an album when I’m in the middle of a break-up, so her albums have become like therapy to me. “I want the pharaohs, but there’s only men.” Exactly.
Dutchess & The Duke – Sunset/Sunrise (Hardly Art)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Some of these songs hit me in the gut with their perfect melancholy. It makes me want to get drunk on whiskey and make out with strangers, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Flaming Lips – Embryonic (Warner Bros.)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
This album reminds me of when I was 16 and listened to a ton of Pink Floyd. It has those moments of weirdness blended with moments of sheer beauty that just make your jaw drop in awe.
Elvis Perkins – Elvis Perkins In Dearland (XL)Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I love folk and brass and this is the best of both worlds in one place. I read this described as “New Orleans funeral music” somewhere, and if that’s true, then send me to Louisiana right before I die.
Bowerbirds – Upper Air (Dead Oceans) Melodious folk ballads, some with accordion. Bonus.
Mazes – Mazes (Parasol Records) Pop ditties that make me long for summer days and younger years.
Serge Gainsbourg – L’Histoire de Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) Because I have to put those years of French lessons to use once in awhile.
Dark Was the Night (4ad Records) So many great artists are represented on this compilation, which benefits the Red Hot Organization.