Based on a range of factors, from board discussions, reviews so far this year and utterly subjective personal opinion, DiS' editor has compiled the twenty best independent albums of the first half of 2009 to coincide with Independent's Day.
Before we get to the list, here's the organisers explanation of what Independent's Day (or ID:09) is:
ID:09, the second annual celebration of independent music, is about shining a spotlight on the exciting and diverse musical talent of the independent sector, a sector first home to artists including The Beatles, Elvis and Coldplay and still home to the likes of Radiohead, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys and Bjork, plus thousands of rising stars.
After the unprecedented public excitement surrounding the occasion last year, Independents Day 2009 will actually be a full week of celebrations, starting from July 4th. There will be live gigs, television specials and much more, as music lovers everywhere are encouraged to show their support for independent music.
The focus of celebrations will be a series of gigs at London’s prestigious ICA venue between the 6th and 10th July. The events will bring together some of the UK’s most successful independent labels, with a different label curating each night, showcasing some of their finest acts. In addition to the label nights, one evening is being curated by the legendary independent record store, Rough Trade East. The opening nights (Monday and Tuesday) will be introduced by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens.
For lots more information visit independentsday2009.com.
And in no particular order, here are 20 albums, compiled as a Spotify playlist for you to flick through as if they were vinyl sat in a virtual DiS-recommended rack beneath a clever listening booth. Have a listen and if you like any of them, search the DiS database for buy links, interviews and lots more.
St. Vincent Actor
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Fever Ray Fever Ray
Dirty Projectors Bitte Orca
Sunset Rubdown Dragonslayer
The Veils Sun Gangs
Andrew Bird Noble Beast
School of Seven Bells Alpinisms
Cursive Mama, I'm Swollen
Soap&Skin Lovetune for Vacuum
Sonic Youth The Eternal
The Horrors Primary Colours
Handsome Furs Face Control
My Latest Novel Deaths and Entrances
Future of the Left Travels With Myself And Another
Danananananaykroyd Hey Everyone
The Decemberists The Hazards of Love
Various Dark Was the Night
Patrick Wolf The Bachelor
...And a few extra bits we wanted to include that annoyingly weren't on Spotify:
- Grizzly Bear Veckatimest
- Marissa Nadler Little Hells
- The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
- Jeffrey Lewis Em Are I
DiScuss: what are your favourite independently-released albums of the 2009 so far? Which is your favourite the DiS list? What's your favourite independent label? Anyone fancy having a stab at succinctly explaining why independent labels are so much better than major labels?