Toad Top Twenty 2009 – 16-20
16.Richard Hawley – Truelove’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 Bondy – When 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 Lips – Embryonic
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 Junkyard – Em 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.Ambulances – The 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.