Top 29 of 2009 continued: The top 10 local albums of 09

Last year saw some amazing music sprout from the rain-fed soil of the local music community. A few weeks ago I started to share my favorite records of the year with the beginning of my Top 29 local records of 2009. Here is the continuation of that list and you’ll notice it contains quite a few debut albums which hopefully means the local musical landscape has a very fertile future ahead of itself.

10. Wheedle’s Groove

Why is this record so awesome? Well, it’s unlike anything that has been produced in Seattle in decades and for good reason. The musicians who contribute to this funk and soul compilation were all a part of the city’s vibrant funk and soul scene in the 1960s and 70s which makes this an amazingly unique album.

9. John Spalding’s Loveland The Beautiful Truth

This posthumous release was 10 years in the making and it is one of the more touching rock records to come out of Seattle within the last decade. It’s an album about living life to its fullest; a theme that’s often overlooked by musicians. Every song here is a gem. Since I couldn’t find footage of Loveland live (for good reason), I decided to share the above video which is footage of Ninety Pound Wuss, John Spalding’s former band.

8. Jeremy Enigk OK Bear

It was a big year for Jeremy Enigk. Not only did he get back together with Sunny Day Real Estate, he finally found himself as a solo artist and defined himself outside of his SDRE legacy. This album is chock full of powerful and catchy rock tunes that would make even the snobbiest of indie hipsters lose themselves in the moment.

7. Maldives Listen to the Thunder

Yes Seattle isn’t a country music town, but don’t tell that to this nine-piece powerhouse of a country band. The Maldives specialize in all things country ranging from slow burning jams to barn-burning romps and this album only scratches the surface of this group’s potential in the alt-country world.

6. Mt St Helens Vietnam Band S/T

It’s a family affair for these quasi math-prog rockers. Odd time signatures and unconventional song structures aside, MSHVB shine on their debut and tracks like “Albatross Albatross Albatross” and “Who’s Asking” prove this band that seemingly appeared out of nowhere is well worth the hype.

5. The Lonely H Concrete Class

If there is such a thing as modern classic rock this these guys are the posterboys of the genre. Every song on Concrete Class perfectly hedges the lines of classic and indie rock. The harmonies of “The River” sound as pretty as anything in Fleet Foxes’ catalog. The rolling drums of “Cold Blues” and the rocking guitars of “Going Out West” give Concrete Class its soul, while “Girl From Jersey” and “Singer” borrow heavily from the Eagles.

4. The Redwood Plan S/T & Movers, Makers, Shakers EPs

When Ms Led broke up it was a sad day in Seattle post-punk history, but from the ashes of Lesli Wood’s old band comes her new band, The Redwood Plan, which is bringing joy to rock ‘n’ roll dancefloors throughout Seattle. This post-punk, pop-rock will make you rock out, sing along and dance, dance, dance the night away.

3. Fresh Espresso Glamour

There’s not much I can say about this record that hasn’t been said already. From the smooth combo flows of Rik Rude and P Smoov to the grime and glamour of the entire album,  just about every song here is a homerun. Between “Diamond Pistols,” “Laszerbeams,” and “Big or Small” these guys make making hits seem effortless.

2. They Live! The Drobots Saga EP & They La Soul

To answer your first question, yes I did wait until after Dec. 24 to create this list because I wanted to see if They La Soul (which was released Dec. 24) would lift They Live! up this list. As you can see, it delivered. The record takes West Coast grooves combines them with ‘90s R&B samples and adds witty rhymes to make perfect part raps. With The Drobots Saga They Live! announced their presence to the scene. With They La Soul Gatsby and Bruce Illest not only proved themselves to be two of the most exciting people making music in Seattle today, they also cemented their place in local hip hop lore by creating an instant classic.

1. Visqueen Message to Garcia

Heartfelt. Emotional. Energetic. Spirited. I’ve listened to this album dozens of times and those are only a few of the thoughts that come to mind every single time I push play. Rachel Flotard took the death of her father and turned it into a beautiful, poetic piece of art. Message to Garcia is a life-affirming rock record powered by power cords and raw emotion that will make you rock out with happiness and possibly shed a few tears of joy.

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