Because of the fractured nature of the Indie music world, don't be surprised if any of the artists on our Top-40 for 2009 show up on other end-of-year best-of lists. We've been lucky to receive a splendid mix of recordings in 2009, and 2010 looks pretty bright from all that we're hearing as well. But before we get to 2010, let's say goodbye to 2009 properly, by recapping the top albums of the year! We'll be spreading them out between now and New Year's Eve, when we'll crown the Album and EP of the year! Let's not waste another moment!
The versatile and prolific singer/songwriter returned in 2009 with an album and a half. While the full length If I Didn't Work Nights was the better of the two offerings packaged together, The Daylight displayed Akiva's knack for melody and an ability to tell stories in music that are off the beaten track yet comfortable.
Edmonson's distinctive voice lights up Take To The Sky from within like a nightlight in the pitch. Her sound is definitely different; full of textures and tones that take might make you think twice at first, but audiences warm to Edmonson and her highly personal style quite quickly.
Former TV starlet and current Indie Country darling Megan Munroe seems to live a charmed life. One More Broken String marches right up to the steps of Modern Country and paints it anew with a bit of attitude and a strong respect for where Country's come from. Munroe's voice is a pleasure, and her future looks very bright.
Manning is a major-label talent with a love of the quirky DIY sensibility of the Indie Music World. If his work with Jellyfish, Imperial Drag, Moog Cookbook and TV Eyes haven't convinced you, Catnip Dynamite is the proof in the pudding of Manning's talent and creativity.
Matt And Shannon Heaton are among the cream of the crop of Boston's Celtic music scene. This husband and wife duo have a special chemistry on stage and it carries over to their fine album, Lovers Well. Shannon Heaton's voice is heavenly, and Matt Heaton's guitar work is impressive to say the least.
Sometimes its the side projects that take off. As a member of Boston's The Receiving End Of Sirens, Casey Crescenzo knew success, but it was the material he wrote that didn't fit into TREOS' zeitgeist that drives him nowadays. The Dear Hunter started out as a hand-pressed for EP for friends. Four years later, The Dear Hunter has released 3 musical chapters of a six-act concept super-album. The Dear Hunter has proven a very marketable band considering their genre is more toward the progressive side of Rock N Roll and is delivered in the long-vilified concept album format. Act III: Life And Death speaks of brilliance, and will have you out chasing Acts I & II.
#34 Halie Loren - They Oughta Write A Song
Halie Loren is a perfect example of the sort of uber-talented artists out there who fly under the radar in the Indie world. Even with a fair amount of critical praise, Loren is a relatively unknown quantity. You won't regard her as such once you've heard her voice, however. They Oughta Write A Song sticks more to the jazz end of the spectrum, but Loren can sing most anything.