Alter The Press!


Exclusive: Kevin Devine - Albums Of 2009

Next up, singer/songwriter Kevin Devine was more than gracious to contribute his top ten albums of 2009.

Besides releasing the incredible 'Brothers Blood' this year, 2009 saw Kevin tour the UK with Brand New, Manchester Orchestra and going on to support The Get Up Kids on their recent US reunion tour.

Kevin Devine's Top Albums of 2009:

1) David Bazan - 'Curse Your Branches'

Beautiful, meaningful, adult, uncompromising. A record about a believer deciding he doesn't believe and saying a complicated goodbye anyway to the God he's realized isn't real. The most musically and lyrically accomplished and diverse album of Bazan's/Pedro the Lion's/Headphone's already-excellent career. My clear-cut #1.

2) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 'It's Blitz!'

For sure my #2. Lush, atmospheric, sexy, confident, best vocal performance of Karen O's career, totally confident and musical, best live show I saw this year (Glastonbury Festival).

3) Cass McCombs - Catacombs

This guy is really very good, keeps making interesting, idiosyncratic records that aren't afraid of incorporating stylistic genre exercises in a way that ends up feeling true and cohesive to his overall aesthetic. He's also a mysterious and compelling lyricist, sometimes borderline inscrutable, often deftly poetic and darkly funny. All the different hats he tries on fit nicely.

4) Nirvana - 'Live At Reading'

An enormous and mighty band at the absolute height of its formidable powers. 'School', dude. Holy shit. Reminds you why people went so nutty over them in the first place, before Saint Kurt self-canonized: they fucking ruled.

5) Miniature Tigers - 'Tell It To The Volcano'

Pitch-perfect, weird pop songs from Arizona. Great dudes with a cool and different sound wrapped around songs that should be totally huge. Bits of Beach Boys and the slightly skewed pop sensibility of Pavement with the bits you used to like about Weezer before they became so fucking awful. Twisted, comically dark lyrics sung oh so sweetly. My favorite new band this year.

6) Koufax - 'Strugglers'

I think Koufax is one of the most consistently and criminally underrated bands of the past ten years. 'Strugglers' is their boldest and weirdest record yet and, characteristically, maybe their least-paid-attention-to. An urbane and withering dissection of the absurdities of modern living, with a groove to boot. Smart, funny songs; 'Roll The Dice' is festival ready, even if its lyrics are about John-Paul Sartre and Eric Blair.

7) Phosphorescent - 'To Willie'

I started out kinda liking this Brooklyn band's all Willie Nelson covers record/love letter, thinking it was pleasant but sort of uninspired. Its subtle charms snuck up on me, however; now I listen to "To Willie" most every day. It's lovely, and heart-broken, and lived-in, and perfectly simple, and Willie himself had Phosphorescent play Farm Aid because he prefers their interpretations of these songs to his originals. I won't argue.

Then the rest of these people I know too well to say anything too intelligent/insightful about besides this: in very different ways they each made beautiful, abrasive, dreamy, complicated, and bold music this year and I'm happy to be associated with them:

8) AA Bondy - 'When The Devil's Loose'

9) Brand New - 'Daisy'

10) Brian Bonz - 'From Sumi To Japan'

11) Manchester Orchestra - 'Mean Everything To Nothing'

Alter The Press!