Strangeglue Writer's Best Of 2009: 20-11

Surprise is the watchword for positions twenty to eleven of the Strange Glue writers' chart for the year of 2009. Several bands who we thought were clear shoe-ins for the top ten make their appearance.

The likes of Brand New and Yeah Yeah Yeahs had clearly made the albums of their career, but we guess that sometimes that isn't quite enough to make the grade. Whilst we love a band who slowly grow comfortable in their own shoes, perfecting formula over times, there's nothing quite like a band who try something completely bold and breathtakingly fresh on their first attempt and then go on to succeed beyond all expectations.

Scotland makes two appearances in this part of our anthology also. The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks both performing admirably to secure a lasting place in many minds for music performed through the melodic tone of the Scottish accent. Hopefully now we can finally dispose of the menace which is Glasvegas.


20 Silversun Pickups - Swoon

The Silversun Pickups are one of those bands that seem to split opinion around these parts but they do carry on the long tradition of great American alt-rock music better then most of their peers today.

Swoon saw the band turn up the production values several notches and create a worthy follow-up to 2006's Carnavas. There's so much to enjoy about this album, Panic Room was an anthem that was brutally cool but still at ease on the radio playlists.

The real gems of this album, though, lay in the quieter, more considered tracks which in places added a new depth to what the band have previously accomplished, The Royal We and Substitution are real masterpieces in their genre.

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These Four Walls

19 We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

We Were Promised Jetpacks could've easily slipped between our fingers in 2009 as, admittedly, the year has been chock-full of contemporary Scottish bands, each seemingly one-upping the other in volume and integrity.

Just when we thought we'd reached our limit on accent-based musicality, WWPJ came along and tore our boundary to pieces with a fresh, young take on the harder side of indie-rock.

Though it was flawed in places, the mere fact that it was the groups very first record more than made up for it's blemishes.

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18 Brand New - Daisy

With each successive release, Brand New have pretty much continuously redefined their sound and with their latest and fourth attempt Daisy, they pretty much became an entire new entity altogether.

Gone were the youthful ills of Deja Entendu, the strung-out depression heard across The Devil and God, and in their place sat a screaming middle-finger to anyone who dared frown upon them for their progressive nature.

Frankly, it's probably the best thing the band have ever put their name to.

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I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose

17 Bombay Bicycle Club - I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose

Listening to Bombay Bicycle Club's initial 2007 EP release The Boy I Used To Be, you'd honestly have no idea that just two years later, they would release something as coherent and enjoyable as I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose.

For a d├ębut, the LP is not only fantastically crafted but is also completely devoid of a single 'bad' moment, flawlessly injecting their youthful innocence atop a much more mature skeleton.

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16 Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

A classic before it was even on shelves, Veckatimest is probably 2009's most talked about release, and for good reason too; it was bloody brilliant.

From Two Weeks' shiny brilliance to the contemplative, striking Ready, Able the record was a triumph in every aspect.

It didn't make our Top Ten but it sure as hell found a place in Strange Glue's giant, sticky heart.

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Hey Everyone

15 Danananaykroyd - Hey Everyone!

Usually sentences like "a band you truly need to see live" invites a hearty helping of scepticism from us, as if to say that the band's music cannot speak for itself, it requires loud volume and colourful light displays to elicit a response.

With Dananananaykroyd though it's so very true. With a complete disdain for the laws of physics the beautiful boys and beautiful girls share the energy and excitement which pokes though the whole of this album and they then multiply it by fifty. Grab your dictionary, look up "fun" and then expect to see their faces staring right back at you. Yippee-Ki-Yay...

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Forget The Night Ahead

14 The Twilight Sad - Forget The Night Ahead

Hammering guitars, sludge-filled walls of noise, maelstrom percussions and some of the most passionate and affecting vocals we've ever heard.

Yes, The Twilight Sad's offering to 2009 was not only of the year's most stirring releases but also out and out the group's best effort yet. Unforgettable in every aspect.

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Troubled Shaken Etc

13 Sian Alice Group - Troubled, Shaken etc.

This is a beautiful album, full of swirling instrumental post-rock feuding for attention with the beautiful vocals of Sian Alice Ahern who single-handedly takes listeners through countless styles and delivery modes.

Not too dissimilar to PJ Harvey's White Chalk - her voice alone will leave you both troubled and shaken.

Its Blitz

12 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Its Blitz

There's something almost poetic about Karen O's voice, yes she sings to you but here is someone with that rare ability to communicate more with a vocal quiver than most of us could do with an entire thesis.

You probably barely noticed as the band swapped out their guitars and brought in the keyboards but those are mere details because Its Blitz proves once and for all that all you need are the tunes and the rest will fall into place.

There's no real stand-out tracks, the entire album stands proud with the rest of the band's output and is surely one of the records that will define the sound of the late noughties scene.

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11 Atlas Sound - Logos

Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox was already one of the more respected musicians in the alternative world but nothing could prepare us for his quieter side-project; Atlas Sound.

Now on their second record, Logos was testament to the longevity of the man's alternate output, sounding equally as intelligent as it was hypnotic and moving.

He works wonders around the organic, twisted audible landscape, permeating the music with his ever memorable whispers and sighs. It was an easy one to miss but a difficult one to forget.

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