2009 MUSIC A-Z: A for Animal Collective


After our contribution to the Awards Season is on track, we begin 2009 having a look at the crystal ball to see what can be expected in the music world through the next twelve months. The last year didn’t leave a good vibe in our ears, so we hope this one will make a better impression. The first month has already generated enough good releases, promising news and album tasters to believe so. We are tidying it all alphabetically, so we can condensate everything in a few posts.

The A of 2009 already belongs to Baltimore’s favourite experimentalists Animal Collective, whom have reached a fine balance between avant-garde antics and more mainstream appeal with their eighth studio album “Merriweather Post Pavillion”, and have started collecting the fruits by breaking into the Top 20 in charts around the globe, being unanimously hailed as the strong contender for album of the year. “My girls” with its underlying house beats is the album’s first classic (a mash-up with Frankie Knuckles classic “My love” can be found online, as well as many other promotional goodies, including a full stream of their recent gig in NYC, etc.)

But there are other A artists that may attempt to challenge the Animals’ supremacy

ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS-Epilepsy Is Dancing

Antony came back from clubbing with Hercules & Love Affair and next to his Johnsons has released the follow-up to ther Mercury Prize winner “I am a bird now;” another excellent collection of songs, “The Crying Light” will confirm their status as one of the most interesting voices of the moment.

New Pornographer A.C. Newman’s new solo effort “Get Guilty;” Andrew Bird, whose “Noble Beast” readies the multi-instrumentist to be embraced by a mainstream audience; Drag city’s female act Azita with “How will you?” and Brooklyn based folk-rockers Akron/Family releasing “Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free” in May, will help mantain the interest in the singer-songwriter’s wagon.

ALELA DIANE-Dry Grass & Shadows.

Joanna Newsom’s high school mate Alela Diane will swap pirate imaginery for more standard narratives in the long-awaited “To Be Still” heralding what looks like a good year for female vocalists. Annie, freed from her deal with a major, will hopefully find the way to release her shelved second album “Don’t Stop” and soul hellraiser Amy Winehouse has just entered a record studio in Barbados to complete her third work, to be released, ups and downs permitting, before the end of the year.


Released in 2008, but increasingly getting media support for their concept “brass and woodwind sounds” album “Oulipo Saliva”, French indie act Angil & The Hidden Tracks could be about to get their lucky break. Among other hopefuls, L.A. shoegazers Autolux will deliver sophomore effort “Transit Transit;” more shoegaze courtesy of Japanese new yorkers Asobi Seksu, bringing third and more solid effort to date “Hush” in a few weeks; Art Brut have just announced their third opus “Art Brut vs. Satan” will arrive this springtime, likely one of the most talked-about collaborations of the year, recording with Black Francis. But the A with the biggest buzz is Amazing Baby, whose “Infinite Fucking Cross EP” can be downloaded for free in their website, anticipating their full-lenght “Head Dress”.

Other surprises may be in store from the likes of Outkast’s Andre 3000; Arctic Monkeys and the return of And You Will Know Us From The Trail Of Death; and in the dark side of things, Swedish one-hit wonders Ace Of Base are treatening with a reunion, cashing up on the current 90’s revival.

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