As Program Director of WFPK I spend A LOT of time listening to new music, and let me tell you, this was a stellar year. It makes it hard to choose, but here are the ones I found myself spending the most time with in my off hours.
1. Avett Brothers – I and Love and You (American)
Producer Rick Ruben took the boys to the next level with this album of touching lyrics, beautiful melodies and arrangements with some playfulness thrown in for good measure!
2. The Features – Some Kind of Salvation (429 Records)
All killer, no filler! King’s of Leon signed them to their label imprint, 429 Records. Now they’re no longer Nashville’s “best kept secret”.
3. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (Anti-)
With nature as inspiration, she of the flaming hair and remarkable voice knocks it out of the park once again.
4. Silversun Pickups – Swoon (Dangerbird)
The swirling sounds, the overdubbed harmonies and fuzzy guitars…this band’s wall of sound really excites me!
5. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk (Shangri-la)
I still remember that first listen and my surprise at the excellence of every song on this album. This all star project is cohesive yet still reflects the personality of each member.
6. Paolo Nutini – Sunny Side Up (Atlantic)
Our little Paolo is all grown up! His second release is filled with eclectic, soulful songwriting…and that voice makes me melt!
7. Sam Roberts – Love at the End of the World (Rounder)
Rounder released the latest from this straight-forward Canadian rocker early in 09 and he quickly rose to the top of my Waterfront Wednesday wish list.
8. Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant (Jive)
Didn’t really pay close attention to this Bowling Green band till my daughter became a fan. After numerous listens in the car and a great set at Forecastle, must admit its indie/pop/rock at it’s finest.
9. Wussy – Wussy (Shake It)
I’m a long time fan of Chuck Cleaver of the Ass Ponys. He’s found his songwriting soul mate in Lisa Walker. Just love ‘em together!
10. Passion Pit – Manners (Columbia)
This one took a little while to grow on me, but wow, can’t get these songs out of my head. They’re danceable, yet deep.