It's officially summer, and officially halfway through 2009. We've had our share of notable events, like the recent death of the King of Pop (RIP), but we've also had a wonderful slew of records from both artists we already expect the most from, as well as marvelous new bands that jumped on our radar. We're taking a midyear look back at some of our favorite records of the year thus far. Here are Baeble's top five favorites of the first half of 2009. Will they stay on the list at the end of year? We'll just have to wait and see.
1. Andrew Bird-Noble Beast
"With plucky fits of pizzicato, gorgeous glissandos on the violin, whimsical vocal deliveries, and, of course, Bird's celestial capacity to whistle, Noble Beasts brings with it an awfully Zen like quality."
2. Grizzly Bear- Vecktamist
"While Yellow House
had a darker and more melancholic feel to it, Veckatimest, for the most part, has the band sounding a little happier; even up-beat at times. "Two Weeks", with its bouncy piano and Brian Wilson-esque harmonies, is arguably the poppiest song the band has ever put out. It also may be the best song the band has ever written."
3. Dirty Projectors-Bitte Orca
and its' myriad of patterns and styles, its' ability to turn backup vocals into instrumentation, and swirls of dreamy, whimsical, complex evolution and storytelling, is, at its core, a gorgeous soundscape, distinctive, unpretentious, and passionate in the subtlest twists and turns of every melody."
4. Various Artists - Dark Night of the Soul
"The result is a conglomerate of songs that range from the sweetly psychedelic to the quietly haunting, from dark punk rock to lilting folk. It's diverse, it's cohesive, it's soul-searching, it stays with you long after you're done listening to it, and it's illustrated with 100+ original photos by Lynch, inspired by the music."
5. God Help the Girl-God Help the Girl
"But it's not simply a side project, each of the songs from God Help the Girl stands on its own as a classic, with a rose-sepia tone, a charming world with a vintage touch and storyline rich and vivid. It captures the elusive literate girl, one who is born to be contrary, who picks the deceptively simple but beautiful soundtrack with immaculate care."
The Low Anthem-Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Camera Obscura-My Maudlin Career