Sadly, I lost my copy of the latest Dirty Bear Collective opus before I could give it a proper listen. I’m sure it’s a work of life-altering magnificence, but I had to settle for the following (listed in alphabetical order for your shopping convenience).
Summer of Hate
If you own a Spacemen 3 album, you’ve already heard every trick Crocodiles’ drone-stoned Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez have up their sleeves. But, damn it, don’t you miss Spacemen 3?
Crocodiles' "Summer of Hate".
Karin Dreijer Andersson (you know her as that vocal-effects addict from the Knife) scares the shit out of me, but in a good way, and I love her even more now that I’ve noticed that the list of influences on Fever Ray’s MySpace page includes Fugazi, Cyndi Lauper, and Trailer Park Boys.
Fever Ray's "Seven".
Future of the Left
Travels With Myself and Another
Because every Top 10 list needs at least one record that demands you scream along until your throat is raw, raging against everything or nothing in particular, and because former mclusky nutcase Andrew Falkous is uniquely skilled at making exactly that kind of record.
Future of the Left's "The Hope That House Built".
The production could arguably stand to be a little more fi and a bit less lo, and head Girl Christopher Owens looks like a man who could use a sandwich and a bar of soap. All is forgiven, though, thanks to Owens’s seemingly effortless ability to write indie-rock songs with classic pop hooks sharp enough to give Phil Spector a diamond-cutter.
Girl's "Hellhole Ratrace".
Kings & Queens
He might be a public-school boy in chav’s clothing, but Jamie Treays has hit upon so irresistible a synthesis of hip-hop wordplay and young-and-snotty punk attitude that I’m willing to overlook the fact that he has as much genuine street cred as John Graham Mellor.
Jamie T's "The Man's Machine".
Guns Don’t Kill People”¦ Lazers Do
For me, the summer of ’09 was all about blasting Diplo and Switch’s ridiculous but (mostly) killer tribute to Jamaican dancehall. Well, okay, part of it was also about 3OH!3, but I’d rather not talk about that.
Major Lazer's "Hold the Line".
No More Stories”¦
I’d type out the full title, but that would seriously cut into my word count. Denmark’s finest musical export (sorry, Aqua) has created a masterpiece of rock music that’s as accessible as it is formally experimental.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Twee pop that would rather cavort in the sun than mope in its bedroom.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's "Everything With You".
A Place to Bury Strangers
Brooklyn noise rocker Oliver Ackermann concocts the sickest, most ingeniously skull-splitting guitar tones imaginable, but you’d expect nothing less of a guy who builds his own effects pedals and gives them names like Supersonic Fuzz Gun and Soundwave Breakdown.
A Place to Bury Strangers' "In Your Heart".
The recently dissolved Rakes’ swan song consists of 10 bracing tracks of live-wire postpunk shot through with a heady dose of modern discontent, courtesy of whip-smart (and rake-thin) frontman Alan Donohoe.
The Rakes' "1989".
More contributors' picks for the best albums of 2009:
Read John Lucas's picks for 2009.
Read Mike Usinger's picks for 2009.
Read Adrian Mack's picks for 2009.
Read Alexander Varty's picks for 2009.
Read Steve Newton's picks for 2009.
Read Jenny Charlesworth's picks for 2009.
Read Tony Montague's picks for 2009.
Read Gregory Adams's picks for 2009.
Read Lucas Aykroyd's picks for 2009.
Read Martin Turenne's picks for 2009.
View all ten contributor's picks on a single page.