good music i missed in 2009.

for the past two years, i’ve done a year-end music list on my blog, and while i enjoy doing it, i always run into the same problem: it is inevitable that there will be several albums that i don’t discover until the year after they’re released. because i’ve discovered them too late to be able to count them in my year-end list, i figured i should at least honor them with a shout-out/recommendation even if it’s after the fact.

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tegan and sara, sainthood
i’ve been a fan of the twin sisters since high school, but my appreciation for their music is at its peak after hearing this album. their earlier albums sound wholly adolescent (probably because they were teens when they first started making music) but sainthood is a more evolved, adult sound that manages to maintain some of the youthfulness of their earlier recordings. the harmonies are subtle and wonderful as per usual, and their lyrics are a mix of wistfulness and worldliness: on “don’t rush,” the girls sing “all i said to you, all i did for you seems so silly to me now.” growing up makes for good music.
tegan and sara – don’t rush
tegan and sara – the cure

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har mar superstar, dark touches
har mar superstar is a musical anomaly: he sings like justin timberlake and makes music that sounds like it’s being sung by a studly twentysomething, and yet he looks like a younger un-mistachioed version of ron jeremy. but i think that makes him all the more intriguing as an artist. the songs on dark touches are superficial in the sense that they revel in the booze-soaked booty-shaking party scene, but har mar attaches a funny and slightly ironic spin to this variation on a common pop music theme. he just makes good dance music; i’ve had “tallboy” stuck in my head for days. watch him play jimmy fallon’s show: his performances are something that must be experienced firsthand.

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girls, album
i am love-love-loving girls. their sound is so loungy and retro, and their lyrics so earnest and honest (i love in “laura” when the singer sings “you’ve been a bitch, i’ve been an ass, i don’t want to point the finger, i just know i don’t like it”). listening to this album makes me feel present in another era, an era where i’m wearing something very jackie kennedy-esque, a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, dancing the twist outside on someone’s back patio in the sun. maybe that’s just my fantasy. i know they topped a lot of music sites’ year-end list, and i think they probably would have at least made my top ten if i could have a do-over.
girls – laura
girls – ghost mouth

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