Photograph by Annabel Mehran

The year 2009 will be remembered for many things, including the divorce of Jon and Kate Gosselin, Tiger Woods’ infidelity, and of course, the introduction of Keyboard Cat. But aside from those momentous events, some decent music was released. As the year draws to a close, we here at Ca Va Cool continue our list-making ways to bring you our favourite albums of 2009. Through an intense, scientific process, we have distilled the vast amount of quality releases into an essential brew of twenty such albums. Old favourites share space with relative newcomers in the first half of our list.

Sunset Rubdown

20. Sunset RubdownDragonslayer (Jagjaguwar)

Spencer Krug has solidified his position as wizard of the indie world with the release of Dragonslayer. Conjuring up mythical beasts and inspiring a belief in whimsical folklore, all while contorting vocals entangled with punchy keyboards. Dragonslayer is Sunset Rubdown’s white rabbit in the top hat. The witty experimentation paired with outstanding hooks forms an album that is both accessible and multifarious. Dragonslayer compiles an unparalleled consistency as the eight tracks serve as standalone sensations while weaving an outlandish fairytale. The record has the capacity to immerse listeners and encourage exploration. Sunset Rubdown uncovers a new adventure with each thumping refrain of ‘Idiot Heart’ or the possessed chanting of ‘You Go on Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)’. The quintet’s unpolished finish on the album prides itself on the kinks in their armour and much like a good fairytale, each scrape, bruise, and bump has its own merit when fighting dragons. — Jan Kucic-Riker

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— , December 21, 2009    Comments Off on Best Albums of 2009, Pt. 1

Kings of Convenience

Where did all the birds go? And more importantly, where did all the skirts go? Fall is probably the most confusing time of year for me. While a part of Summer’s celebrations linger on, Winter’s doldrums are also starting to set in. While I haven’t become a total recluse and curled up into hibernation mode via cable TV and hot cups of coco just yet, I did pass up an opportunity to grab an ice cream cone by the waterfront in favor of a rerun of How I Met Your Mother last week, and I love the Harbourfront! Things aren’t looking good. I’m cold and contemplative and in search of soul food. I think I might either have H1N1 or schizophrenia, and I blame it on the damn season. As I do with all seasons, I’ve put together a mixtape that I hope might capture some of these feelings, and help you cope with them by enabling your transition from synth-filled Summers to Bon Iver-filled Winters. And Fall, I only ask of you, be kind.

Download | The ‘Fall Be Kind’ Mixtape

01. The Hood Internet – Anyway You Want (Ducksauce vs. Consequence)

The Hood Internet, who were featured prominently on my Summer in Synths mixtape, have continued on their sweltering streak with at least a couple mashups this Fall which have made me want to bust out the sandals and have a MuchDance. On ‘Anyway You Want It’ they take a mediocre (at best) song by Consequence and Kanye West, speed up the vocals and place them over one of the most infectious beats of the year from Ducksauce. Ducksauce, by the way, is a project to keep an ear on the grindstone for. A collaborative effort between Armen Van Halen and DJ gold medalist/Kanye’s on-tour DJ/Chromeo’s brother, DJ A-Trak, they’re inevitably going to be making fire together, and their first video is proof in the pudding.

02. Think About Life – Havin My Baby

One of my best friends told me recently that he’s starting a new playlist entitled Happy Songs and that this song was the inspiration for it. Escape the fall of Fall, share a hug with a friend and dance your face off to this infectious Avalanches-meets-TV on the Radio style banger from Canadians Think About Life.

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— , November 11, 2009    10 Comments