Best Albums of 2009…according to Woodcraft Folk

Another in our festive series of posts asking a few friends in the music industry to submit their own ‘Best Albums of 2009‘.

Best Albums of 2009 according to … Woodcraft Folk

Favourite albums of 2009 compiled by Alan Outram.

1: Bill callaghan: Sometimes I wish we were An Eagle
2: Beak-Beak
3: Broadcast and Focus Group- Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age
4: Euros Childs: Son Of Euros Child
5: Shogun Kunitoki- Vinonaamakasio
6: Withered Hand- Good News
7: Jim O’Rourke- The Visitor
8: Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion
9: Flaming Lips: Embryonic
10: Wooden Shjips- Dos
11: Grizzly Bear

“The Woodcraft Folk debut album, Trough Of Bowland is a perfect blend of electronica doodling and folk inspiration.  Banjo, organ, xylophone and glockenspiel are some of the instruments that effortlessly merge with melodica, synthesizers, electric bass, field recordings and the occassional drum machine to create relaxing technicolour sounds that bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my soul.” – read the whole album review

For more information visit the Woodcraft Folk MySpace page

Best albums of 2009… according to Robbie Spargo

Best albums of 2009… according to Robbie Spargo

Continuing the Best of 2009 series, here’s what’s grabbed me most this year. There’s still so, so many major releases I’ve yet to listen to that I’m sure would come on the list, so I guess this can only ever be a ‘so far’ list!

Most of the best releases seemed to come from the earlier half of the year for once, with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and Animal Collective making lasting claims on this list early on in the year.

With the 2000s drawing to a close, I think it was encouraging to see lots of music looking forward rather than back at the decade of streamlined pop songs, idolised indie stars and expressive electronic music.

1.    The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Beautifully loud guitars with lulled vocals, looking at the era of shoegaze and at youth with a dreamy gaze. The recent new single wasn’t bad either.

The XX
The XX


2.    The XX- xx

Hushed, understated, and subtle, just like love should be.

3.    Dan Deacon – Bromst
I read a producer say recently that dynamics have been lost in glossy production techniques. Dan Deacon and his electronic orchestra beg to differ.


4.    5: 5 Years of Hyperdub

For five years Hyperdub has been promoting the single most exciting genre of music around, and this proves it.

5.    Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
With a knack for an offbeat poetic turn of phrase (“If you could only stop your heartbeat for one heartbeat”) and a baritone voice full of irony and melancholy, these initially inconspicuous songs find a way to gnaw at the heart and mind in the long term.

6.    Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
This group do something that I haven’t heard replicated in terms of tone, song structure, lyrics and other-wordly atmospheric evocation. And yet, considering how recognisable it all sounds, it as though it’s always been there and always been so obvious.


Gold Panda: Before
Gold Panda: Before

7.    Gold Panda – Before
Every now and then, an electronic act comes along that carry the folktronica/ melancholy electro tag. It belonged to Boards Of Canada, Four Tet and Gold Panda are very similar in that sense, if different in sound. A brilliant, short album of late-night songs.

8.    Real Estate
In the past couple of years, lo-fi music has really taken off. This collection of great tunes are the best of the lot.

9.    Soap&Skin – Lovetune For  A Vacuum
I saw Soap&Skin in a church in Brighton and she was breath-taking. Close to a small and unsuspecting crowd, she performed as though she was in an opera house performing athe lead in a tragedy (screams, convulsions, and storming out). The young Austrian’s album is score for this tragedy. I’m still regretting having missed her in a symphony hall in Germany with a full ensemble.

10.    The Fruit Bats – The Ruminant Band
Like The Shins but with less Death Cab sincerity and looser arrangements. This album was a revelation this year.

11.    Fever Ray (self-titled)
Having produced a brilliant album with The Knife, Karin Dreijer did an almost as good attempt alone.

Cornershop: Best comeback of the year?

12.    Andrew Bird – Noble Beast

After the success of his last album, this one has been rather disregarded. Yet the catchy songs were just as good, it had a more recognisable theme and the lyrics were just as convoluted.

13.    Cornershop – Judy Sucks A Lemon For Breakfast

Best comeback of the year? The elusive Beatles-‘psychadelia’ group behind ‘Brimful Of Asha’ have written several more excellent offbeat songs on this new album, and included a great cover of ‘The Mighty Quinn’.

14.    The Clientele – Bonfires On The Heath
More great autumnal songs from The Clientele, on what could sadly be their farewell album.

15.    Grizzly Bear – Veckatimist

Nothing like as atmospheric or evocative as ‘Yellow House’, some of these songs are just catchy (‘Two Weeks’), whilst others are a little too obscure to ever really find their groove.

Best Albums of 2009…according to Terry Lane

And here’s another post in the ‘Best Albums of 2009‘ series; and this is my list.

There has been some great albums in 2009.  From the experimental sounds of Tempelhof to the retro sounds of Girls and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.  The industrial noise dancefloor of Fuck Buttons to the cheesy Euro electro pop of Little Boots. Heavy rock from the best supergroup, The Dead Weather to the lad-tastic indie rock of Kasabian, back to their best with West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

These albums include some of my favourite singles of 2009 too, including: Jay-ZEmpire State of Mind, Yeah Yeah YeahsZero, The Pains Of Being Pure At HeartCome Saturday, The Dead WeatherTreat Me Like Your Mother, SpiritualizedSoul On Fire, Fuck ButtonsSurf Solar, Jamie TSticks n StonesThe LongcutRepeated and Lust For Life & Hellhole Ratrace by Girls.

Best Albums of the Year 2009 according to Terry Lane

1.    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz


2.    The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love


3.    The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – The Pains of Being Pure At Heart


4.    Doves – Kingdom of Rust


5.    Little Boots – Hands


6.    Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum


7.    The Dead Weather – Horehound


8.    The Longcut – Open Hearts


9.    Tempelhof – We Were Not There From The Beginning. We Won’t Be There For The End


10.    Eddy Current Suppression Ring  – Primary Colours


11.    Spiritualized – Songs in A & E


12.    Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport


13.    Jay-Z – The Blueprint III


14.    Girls – Album


15.    Jamie T – Sticks n Stones


Best Albums of 2009 … according to Leaf

The Leaf Record Label
The Leaf Record Label

Another in our festive series of posts asking a few friends in the music industry to submit their own ‘Best Albums of 2009‘.

Best Albums of 2009 according to … Leaf

Favourite albums of 2009 compiled by Tony Morley & Ben Wibolt-Lewis

AU – Versions
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Fire! – You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago
Portico Quartet – Isla
Jimi Tenor & Tony Allen – Inspiration Information
The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Micachu & The Shapes – Jewellery
Mos Def – The Ecstatic
Mapstation – The Africa Chamber
Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind
Rustie – Bad Science
Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics – Information Inspiration
Land Of Kush – Against The Day
Teeth Mountain – Teeth Mountain
Raekwon – Only Built For Cuban Linx Part II

Over the past decade the Leaf Label has been a pioneering force in leftfield and experimental music.  In 2009 they released great albums  by Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Icy Demons, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Vladislav Delay, Nancy Elizabeth and Efterklang.

To find out more visit

Best Albums of 2009…according to Sister Ray Records

Continuing our festive series of posts asking a few friends in the music industry to submit their own ‘Best Albums of 2009‘.

Best Albums of 2009 according to …. Sister Ray Records & their chief record buyer, Gary Robertson‘s personal top 10.

Sister Ray Records
Sister Ray Records

Sister Ray

1. The Horrors – Primary Colours
2. Band Of Skulls – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
3. The Field – Yesterday & Today
4. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue
5. Fever Ray
6. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
7. The Unthanks – Here’s The Tender Coming
8. Blank Dogs – Under & Under
9. Paul White – The Strange Dreams Of Paul White
10.Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
11.Luke Haines – 21st Century Man
12.The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
13.The XX
14.Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

Gary Robertson (Chief Buyer)

1. Luke Haines – 20th Century Man
2. Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers
3. Why? – Eskimo Tears
4. SunnO))) – Monoliths & Dimensions
5. Duckworth Lewis Method
6. Blank Dogs – Under & Under
7. Richmond Fontaine – We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River
8. Wolves In The Throne Room – Black Cascade
9. Efterklang & The Danish National Orchestra – Performing Parades
10.Little Boots – Hands

Sister Ray Records is the best independent record shop in London. Visit Sister Ray at 34-35 Berwick Street, Soho, London or online at