2009 was a big year in the music industry. So many new breakthrough acts, so much amazing talent and variety. One thing that I really noticed was the large amount of breakthrough artists and groups that quickly gained popularity in the fast-paced and changeable music industry. It will definitely be interesting to see if they can achieve lasting popularity. Now we are at the end of 2009 I feel it's time to pay tribute to the groups and songs that literally rocked my year.
These are my choices for the 20 best songs of 2009 I would love to hear feedback or any tracks you loved!
1. Sweet Disposition- The Temper Trap
This Melbourne Band has had a big year in 2009, gaining a strong fan-base both locally and internationally. Acclaimed live performers, the now London-based band will be heading home to play the Australian festival circuit this summer. This was the breakthrough track for the band. Perfectly uplifting and emotive it's my pick for the number 1 track of 2009.
2. Empire State of Mind- Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys
Apparently when this track first came out New Yorkers were all blasting it out of their cars. I've been playing it non-stop here in Melbourne. Could you possibly get a better combo than Jay Z and Alicia Keys?
3. You've Got The Love- Florence and the Machine
Florence Welch has a voice to die for and no song on the 2009 album 'Lungs' showcases this as well as her cover of Candi Staton's 'You've Got The Love'. The song sounds like it was made for her.
4. I'm Not Alone- Calvin Harris
The more music Calvin Harris brings out the more I love him. He's come a long way since the Acceptable in the 80's days. This song was my Summer anthem earlier this year and now it's Summer again it's still on my playlist...
5. Sleepyhead- Passion Pit
A little known band previously, this group had a big year in 2009, with the release of the highly acclaimed album 'Manners'. Establishing themselves through catchy and danceable tunes like 'The Reeling', 'Little Secrets' and "Better Things' the first release 'Sleepyhead' remains my favourite.
6. Zero- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
While many criticized the 2009 release It's Blitz! feeling it strayed from the band's original sound I think the change of direction worked! Although popular with a more mainstream audience the songs on the whole are more catchy and are fast set to become dancefloor anthems.
7. Paparazzi- Lady Gaga
It would be a crime not to mention the lady of the year. For me this was her best release in 2009 as well as my pick for the video of the year; I am in constant awe of her costumes and daring fashion picks. She has pop down to a science.
8. 22- Lily Allen
It was so hard to pick my favourite from Lily's 'It's Not Me, It's You'. Given that I turned 22 this year I can relate to this song.
9. Celebration- Madonna
While many are quick to criticise Madonna her longevity as a top-class performer still amazes me. This song is so catchy and uplifting and was pretty much the theme song for my Europe trip (The Europeans LOVED it...). I'm also in love with the Balmain dress she donned for the official video clip.
10. Skeleton Boy- Friendly Fires
This song is just brilliant, dancey and catchy. All the things a great song should be.
11. The Girl and the Robot- Royksopp ft. Robyn
This Nowegian electronic duo and Swedish pop princess teamed up to bring us this quirky but catchy release about a girl pining for her workoholic partner to come home.
12. In For The Kill- La Roux
I'll be honest La Roux's music is starting to do my head in. But that's only because it's so great that the commercial radio stations have picked it up and play it on repeat all day. This release from her self-titled album is reminiscent of 80's pop music and showcases her amazing voice. The Twelves remix of this song is also worth a listen.
13. Tik Tok- Kesha
Wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy...While I'm pretty sure Kesha is gonna be a one hit wonder and this song is becoming seriously annoying I loved it when it was first relased and still do after a few drinks.
14. When I Grow Up- Fever Ray
Karin Dreijer Andersson formally of duo 'The Knife' released her first solo album in 2009 under the name 'Fever Ray'. When I Grow Up is my favourite. Her distinctive, haunting voice paired with the synth tones make for a brilliant song and a creepy video.
15. Burial- Miike Snow
Animal was probably the most popular song from this Swedish duo's self titled release. However I particularly like the soft, laid-back vibe of Burial.
16. Soon We'll Be Found- Sia
It's hard to believe that until recently Sia was more popular internationally than in Australia. This was a breakthrough song for her in her home country. Brilliant and song and amazing video! Better still, she sounds as good live as studio recorded. That's real talent.
17. My Girls- Animal Collective
This song builds, the voices and the synth tones overlap and build into an amazing crescendo at the end. I love it.
18. Cousins- Vampire Weekend
This release is a brilliant teaser the band's most upcoming album 'Contra'. This particular track, while keeping the Vampire Weekend feel has a more upbeat and intense vibe to it than their previous work. I am waiting in anticipation to see what the rest of the album sounds like.
19. Shooting Stars- Bag Raiders
While I'm not always a fan of electronic and lyric-free music this song is so catchy and it's impossible for me to sit still whilst listening to it!
20. Holiday- Dizzee Rascal
I can't resist a bit of Dizzee, with his upbeat tunes and trademark London accent. This song will be on repeat all Summer.
With special pieces commissioned for the likes of Lady Gaga, Patrick Wolf, Beth Ditto and La Roux London-based designer Fred Butler is fast making her mark in the fashion industry. Her latest collection Hibiscus Ridiculous is characterised by origami like structural detailing and an iridescent surfaces. I love the vibrant interplay of colour and light in these photos...
Hibiscus Ridiculous S/S 2010
Photographer: Elisha Smith - Leverock Stylist: Kim Howells
"Every time I think I've painted something original I find ot that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier." -Banksy
Man That Walks Through Walls
Rhapsody In Green
On The Run
The Begger Child Opera
Inspired by New York street art in the 70's, Blek Le Rat started his career stenciling rats across the Parisian street scape. He is one of the forefathers of the street art as social commentary and has inspired the likes of Banksy and others...Far from those streets his works are now showing (and selling for an average price of $35,000...) at Metro 5 Gallery. Well worth checking out if you are in Melbourne! (Although I still think the work belongs on the streets and not on canvas!) Metro 5 Gallery, High Street, Armadale Dec 2- Dec 24. http://www.metro5gallery.com.au/
This production featuring the Pull and Bear Xmas 09/10 collection really makes me wonder if the future of fashion is on the catwalk or in digital production....
I love the concept of this; beautiful music creating a backdrop to this dynamic and delicate presentation. The way the music, the movement and the camera angles intertwine create a distinct mood and definitely a festive one given the time of year. Perfection.
'Photography is about an understanding of the world around us. It's a series of questions and no answers and that is just as it should be. I'm quite happy for it to be all the shades of grey and no black and white. I don't think that should be simplified. Simplification in life is totally wrong.'
On my Christmas wishlist: The Imagist; A Nick Knight retrospective