OK, so just about everyone with a blog or a podcast or a coffee can telephone to yell into has weighed in on their picks for album of the year.
For your standard latte-sipping, NPR totebag-carrying music geek (like me), the consensus picks usually include Animal Collective, the Avett Brothers, Neko Case, and the Decemberists. Nothing wrong with any of those bands, but you can find better writeups elsewhere.
So this Monkey won’t bore you with another list of the same names. Here instead are five songs that made a memorable impact this year that you might not see on other top 10 lists.
(Also, maybe some of these songs technically came out in 2008, but maybe your Monkey didn’t hear them until 2009, and maybe he doesn’t want to hear any corrections, so let’s not nitpick, OK?)
- Great Expectations by the Gaslight Anthem: Melodic, sentimental and anthemic pop punk. Good band.
- Oh My God by Ida Maria: More high energy stuff in the pop punk vein. You won’t find a more refreshing blast of music this year.
- How You Like Me Now by The Heavy. This English band blends elements of Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, and Screaming Jay Hawkins into an awesome mashup of funk, rock and soul. This song proves that last year’s breakout single Colleen was no fluke.
- The Great Defector by Bell X1: An Irish band writes an unapologetically catchy tune that sounds a lot like the Talking Heads, but that’s OK. U will like.
- Strange Overtones by David Byrne and Brian Eno. Speaking of the Talking Heads, their former lead singer wows with this super danceable tune. Finally, middle aged white guys have some soul!
Here is the James Brown-ified “The Heavy” at their best.