ANDREA WARNER'S TOP 10
The record industry may be on its last legs, but that hasn't stopped independent artists from putting out innovative and occasionally brilliant releases in 2009. Neko Case offered up new depth in her strong but tortured anthems, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs made a gutsy choice to take their music in a new direction, and the Decemberists crafted a prog-rock opera. Phoenix and Sondre Lerche soared up the college radio charts, electro-dance friendly efforts by You Say Party! We Say Die! and Telepathe made our feet move, and gems from Land of Talk, Bon Iver, and St. Vincent weaved storytelling gems around catchy hook-laden indie-pop.
Neko Case — Middle Cyclone (Anti)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs — It's Blitz! (DGC/Interscope)
The Decemberists — The Hazards of Love (Capitol)
Sondre Lerche — Heartbeat Radio (Rounder)
Land of Talk — Some Are Lakes (Saddle Creek)
Bon Iver — Bloodbank (Jagjaguwar)
Telepathe — Dance Mother (IAMSOUND)
You Say Party! We Say Die! — XXXX (Paper Bag)
St. Vincent — Actor (4AD)
Phoenix — Wolfgang, Amadeus, Phoenix (Glass Note)
Andrea Warner is a freelance writer, pop culture critic, and a fan of peaceful chaos. She occasionally uses words like "toque" and "toboggan."