Originally published 21 December 2009 on The Live Buzz
It’s end of the year time and for all of us in the music blog business that means we gather our notes from the year and semi-arbitrarily rank music in top ten lists. For my contribution I decided to compile a list guaranteed to loosen that flannel and fog all the Buddy Holly specs out there. I bring you the top five albums that inspired hipster baby-making in 2009. I chose to make my list only five albums because I am lazy, but also because I didn’t want to include any albums that weren’t rigorously and scientifically tested.
Along with Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad are part of FatCat‘s Scottish rock triumvirate. Swirling epic guitar parts, dark lyrical themes, and thick Scottish accents set these three bands apart from the pack. The Twilight Sad are the darkest of the three, and so it follows that they would be the best to do the dirty deed to. If that doesn’t convince you, check out the inner artwork, which features some semi-nude females and lascivious men.
J. Tillman, in addition to being the drummer in Fleet Foxes, released two solo folk albums in 2009. Year in the Kingdom is the latter of the two, and primarily features acoustic guitar and vocals. Tillman’s soothing voice is mixed in front of everything else which will set the mood for a slow, relaxing evening.
The Horrors underwent one of the most drastic image changes that I have seen in a long time. From goth punk rockers called “the skinniest band in the world” to being mentioned on Trent Reznor’s Twitter (read by over 600,000 people), they have come a long way. Primary Colours was not only a shift in image, but more importantly it signaled a change from punk to a kind of indie rock/shoegaze mix. The album is dreamy and groovy at the same time, a sure-fire bet to make your body move.
Hospice is the first album by the full band version of The Antlers. Previous albums were solo projects of Peter Silberman, but for Hospice he recruited two band members. The album was inspired by visits to a children’s hospital, which, while not sexy, led to the creation of a beautiful atmosphere and an album chock full of emotion. This album has everything; fast sections, slow sections, passionate yelling, creepy ambiance, tunes that are constantly being built up to a crescendo. As long as you don’t focus on the sad story behind the album, it has you covered if you are looking for passion.
1. The xx – xx
You can’t say The xx without saying sex. I would be lying if I said that this album wasn’t directly connected to my idea for this entire list. Coming seemingly out of nowhere, this London-based indie/pop/sex group made waves with their debut album, xx. The best parts are the female to male call and response sections, with my personal favorite during the song “Stars.” Not even your Transformers sheets and your collection of Star Wars action figures will scare her away once you put this on.