As a precursor to our impending year-end list, we’ve asked some of our favorite artists to select their five favorite releases of 2009. Next we have Sharon Van Etten, who has had an absolutely amazing year. When I first hung out with her at SXSW last March, she seemed confident, yet altogether unsure of what the outcome of her new LP would be. Weeks later, the staggering Because I Was In Love was released and the blog world was stunned. What a shockingly sparse, honest, and cohesive album she had up her sleeve! All the major players cited her with positive remarks – Pitchfork, Gorilla vs. Bear, Spinner – and if that weren’t enough, she popped up on The Antlers’ Hospice LP, an album that is in serious contention for record of the year. And now she’s laying her own claim on best of lists, just yesterday topping Said the Gramophone’s Best Songs of 2009 list. Yes, she came in at #1! And just to add more fuel to the fire, she shows up on Earfarm’s Top Ten Bands To Watch in 2010. I think I’ve said enough. Here are Sharon’s top 5 selections for 2009…
#1 – The Antlers – Hospice – They’ve worked really hard. They are genuine, sweet, honest people and every time I put the record on, I am reminded of that.
#2 – She Keeps Bees – Nests – Jess and Andy are amazing together. They have the best rock show hands down I have ever seen – and her voice SLAYS. Be on the look out for a light coming your way through blues methods.
#3 – Natureboy – Natureboy – Her arrangements are STUNNING and her songwriting is classic. Gets stuck in my head every time. And Sarah’s voice reminds me of Betty Serveert which was one of my favorite bands in high school – so I get SUPER reminiscent.
#4 – Glass Ghost – Idol Omen – Another really hard working ny band. I got to play with them a few times and it is so exciting to see them go further and further. I have been looking forward to this one for over a year now. Crazy mix of hip hop, indie, jazz, spoken word. David Byrne reincarnation – no doubt.
#5 – Rain Machine – Rain Machine – Kyp Malone is the most balls out, risk taking, honest, blunt writers I have ever met and have been lucky enough to know and to play with. I played with him when he was still playing these songs solo. To see them grow (organically) with his friends – to see his ideas brought to a whole new level is so exciting to me. It’s rare to get this kind of honesty in music these days… and to hear and understand his incites has always been inspiring to me.