For a long time I’ve admired the videos over at Shoot The Player. Run by two creative minds: Amelia Tovey and Jonathan Wald, Shoot The Player brings you unplugged music in new spaces. It is an intimate memory encapsulated in one take and in one unique space with plenty of room for spontaneity. It is just simply brilliant.
I’m over the moon to have Amelia is our guest here today and in no particular order here are her top 10 albums of this year. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us in 2010 starting with their installation at CarraigeWorks opening January 7. More details are here.
- Here We Go Magic – Here We Go Magic
I cannot even publicly admit how many car trips, morning runs, lunch breaks and evening wines have been set to the score of “Fangela” and “Tunnelvision”. These two little songs are perfect, perfect tunes. This is the only album I have consistently listened and re-listened to since getting it in my hot little hands. Dreamy, nostalgic and cinematic, Here We Go Magic fuckin’ nailed it with this album.
- Bachelorette – My Electric Family
The first time I heard this album, I sat upright in the kitchen, grinning and perplexed, staring at my cd player as though Bachelorette herself might leap out of the machine and join me for corn flakes. I love this sound. And I don’t really know what to say about this album other than if you don’t like it – you’re the only one. I saw her perform at an afternoon gig in New York this year and the preppy after work crowd passing by also stopped in their tracks and stared. They were surprised. They smiled and clapped in the middle of songs. They bought a shit load of CDs after the gig.
- Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Great album, great videos, can we please have more intelligent ambient weird music like this? It holds. It works. Where did “If I Had A Heart” come from? It’s like something out of space and back in time and never seems to get old.
- Sarah Blasko – As Day Follows Night
I know this album is on everyone else’s best of 2009 lists but fuck it, it deserves to be here. I first heard songs from this album played acoustically on a piano at the Illustrated Man Tattoo Parlour in Sydney. We filmed Sarah a week before she went off to Sweden to make the album. The tracks were fresh, unpolished, and un-practiced. The production on this album is so far from what I imagined the end result to be but it’s absolutely perfect; textured, percussive, dark and impressionistic of all the seasons, emotions & scenarios Blasko paints so lovingly in her lyrics.
- Dappled Cities – Zounds
I hope these guys never stop making music. Grander and Grandance and bigger than A Smile, this their third album is a joy ride of choral vocals and anthemic sounds. It is energetic, boistrous, ambitions and a lot of fun. The guys continue to give great live shows and their loyalty to the Hopetoun Hotel through the sad state of it’s demise was nothing short of heroic & commendable! Here, here!
- Decoder Ring – They Blind The Stars, And The Wild Team
I only just discovered this album, like, three weeks ago. I’ve always been hot and cold on this band, like I enjoyed them but i always wanted them to do better – and then this came along and Decoder Ring have arrived. Beautifully paced, atmospheric and tender, this is a wonderful, wonderful album.
- Grand Salvo – Soil Creatures
Grand Salvo makes every other folk singer who released an album this year look completely under-prepared for the task of simple, gentle, poetic storytelling. He’s is an impenetrable forces of beautifully stitched images, of tenderly damaged characters, of heartbreaking narratives and of the gently plucked guitar. He wears his heart on his sleave and combines the pathos of an old man with the spirit of an adventurous child. He asked us if we could shoot a music video up a tree once. Stay tuned for that one.
- Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP
Effortlessly lovely. ‘Blood Bank’ is a beautifully layered song that begins with two people staring at the pile of blood bags at a blood bank. I mean, WTF. Sincerely put together and beautifully textured, this EP is just as wonderful as the more fully fleshed out album we were all in love with, forever ago.
- Pheonix – Wolfgang Amadeus Pheonix
Fun! Like the first two albums on this list, Pheonix first got my attention with their dreamy nostalgic sounds, i mean, this guys voice is just so listen-able. Their synthy upbeat pop tune 1901 reminds me of roller skating, road trips across America and dancing on the balls of your feet. They also kinda remind me of local Sydney band, Tennis (probably just a rip off of Tennis, hey).
- Lovers – I am The West
Here’s the wildcard. Lovers are a band I filmed in Portland. I didn’t really “get it” until we met the band and started wandering through the streets; me with my camera, they with their instruments. Pared back and simply, their songs were really, really good. I listened to the album again all the way back to Seattle and loved it. Smart, well written, straight forward and delicate, this band doesnt really sound like anything else and I can’t wait to see what else they’re working on.