Toad Top Twenty 2009 – 16-20

16.Richard HawleyTruelove’s Gutter
There’s something incredibly intimate about Richard Hawley.  See him perform, and he’s a lively, witty raconteur, but on record that is all dialled back to a deep, comfortable and incredibly domestic sort of warmth.

Richard Hawley – For Your Lover Give Some Time

17.AA BondyWhen the Devil’s Loose
AA Bondy has similar qualities to Richard Hawley, in that he conveys a confidential sort of intimacy, but there is a lot more weariness about this stuff. It didn’t really make much impact on me the first time around, I have to confess, but the general aching sadness of this record is just inescapable.

AA Bondy – False River

18.The Flaming LipsEmbryonic
I confessed in my review that I don’t love every song on this by a long shot, but the almost confrontational refusal to be inhibited or even all that disciplined has resulted in an album with a real feeling of integrity and individuality.

The Flaming Lips – See the Leaves

19.Jeffrey Lewis & the JunkyardEm Are I
Jeffrey Lewis has a lovely turn of phrase, and a habit of simply following his trains of thought wherever they might lead.  I’d maybe call this album a little inconsistent, but when it’s good it really is excellent, and Lewis himself is so personable as a narrator that it’s hard not to warm to his music.

Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard – Whistle Past the Graveyard

20.AmbulancesThe Future That Was
I really enjoyed their live performance at Sneaky Pete’s in August, and I realised then what I like so much about this band: restraint.  There are an awful lot of them, but they keep everything really tightly under control.  The album is like that too – an economically assembled and really well executed record of guitar-based indie music.

Ambulances – Cease to Exist
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