Gareth Campesinos!’ Records Of 2009 by Gareth
December 15, 2009, 9:10 pm
Filed under: CHAFF


Pitchfork Media (y’know those guys?) asked me to list them my top 10 records of the year (as featured here), but I thought I’d post it on the blog and all. This was written for a different audience than you lot, obv, so forgive the fact that I’m pretending I can write about music.

I’ve included links to listen to the bands, and to buy the records, so perhaps DO THE RIGHT THING, if you like what you hear. Nice one.

10. Get Color – HEALTH

I’ve spent a lot of time this year, sat in vans, falling asleep listening to this, and then waking with a start and thinking I’d just died. Up until this I’d loved HEALTH live but never got on with them on record. This is just incredible though.



9. Two Dancers – Wild Beasts

You ever get that where for whatever silly reason you have the wrong impression of a band, then something causes you to go back and listen to everything they’ve recorded, and then you realise they’ve always been amazing and you’ve always been a moron? And then you realise you’ve missed so many opportunities to watch them play and even SPEAK to them because you’ve played festivals next to them for the past two years? Yeh, this. Also: best light show I have seen in a long time.



8. Grace And The Bigger Picture – Johnny Foreigner

Nobody can really say that our bands sound alike any more. There’s this one song on here called “More Heart, Less Tongue”, which as far as I can tell is about how impossible it is to maintain any sort of normal relationship whilst in a touring band. You go away and your friends make new friends, and the person you liked gets further away and the stolen moments weigh too hard on your conscience, and you return home to nothing, starting again, if you can. Alexei is my bro. There are very few bands to live your life by these days, but JoFo, you can rely on.



7. Yeah So – Slow Club

I am desperate to play shows with Slow Club. Rebecca’s is my favourite voice of the year, and their live shows are life affirming. Lyrically as well, I don’t think they get anywhere near the credit they deserve. Really beautiful, touching stuff.



6. Dance Mother – Telepathe

I hope the fact this came out so early in the year doesn’t mean too many people forget this in their year end lists. I spent a lot of time in the early part of this year, gardening in a grey, rainy graveyard, and listened to this album pretty much on repeat. It was oddly appropriate.



5. Tear Jerky EP – Sparky Deathcap

Rob supports Newcastle United, and when we’re allowed he plays as the eighth member of our band. One day when we’re rich and famous he’ll join the band full time. He toured with us recently and we played as his backing band on some songs. I find it horribly awkward when I really love a friends’ music. In the past a blossoming friendship has caused me to like the persons music less, or at least to listen to it less, but there’s no sign of that happening with Rob’s songs. He tells the most heartbreaking stories, but always with a glint in his eye. Best song writer in the UK today as far as I’m concerned.



4. Love Comes Close – Cold Cave

But yet so far. This, along with Cremations, has made for an incredible year for Cold Cave.



3. The Spoils – Zola Jesus

I might have to take back what I said about Rebecca up there. I don’t even know what to say about this. Nika Roza is an incredible talent. I am dying to see what she comes up with next.



2.We’re Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise – Nosferatu D2

Finally released a couple of years after the band’s break up (their last ever show was actually supporting us, which fills me with a mixture of pride and guilt). I think this record perfectly depicts disillusionment with the place you live or the relationship you’re in, but are completely unable to bring yourself to get away from. Brothers Adam and Ben Parker, Adam whose drumming is up there with any drummer I’ve ever heard, and Ben whose lyrics are perfect in their hopelessness. This has finally seen release as a fan, Audio Antihero, took it upon himself to put up the money to release the record. A noble pursuit and one that, if it’s successful, will see us as the winners.



1. Fleurs – Former Ghosts

I’ve followed Freddy since he was This Song Is A Mess But So Am I. When we were getting together contributions for the We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed ‘zine in 2008 I got in touch with him through an email on his blog, asking if he’d be able to contribute something. It never worked out. I think Freddy was happy, and kind of lacking a creative outlet at the time, but a couple of months later he got back in touch with a message:

“maybe you would be interested in this or not. i’m doing a new synthpop project. hope you are into it”.

That was November 2008, and just those initial demos were amazing. What’s come since has been mindblowing for me. Freddy’s made an album centred around one crippling relationship, with bare bones honesty and emotion, and then with Nika Roza and Jamie Stewart’s flourishes on top making it sound beautiful. It must have near killed him to write, but I’m hopeful that what he’s created will make times easier for many, many others. Album of the year, hands down.




20 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ooo, interesting choices, I totally agree with you on Slow Club not getting as much credit as they deserve! I’ll check out the ones which I don’t have as well 🙂 Here are my top records of 2009

I’m sure your new album will be on my top records of 2010! xxx

Comment by Katie

Thanks for listing your personal favorites, not just the usual Pitchfork round-up (with the Animal Collective cherry on top). Looking forward to exploring these records — I just happened to discover Slow Club the other day.

Comment by Dan

Definitely going to listen to a few of those. The Nosferatu D2 album is fantastic, glad it got an official release and obviously the Johnny Foreigner album is superb. My favourite album this year is Yoyodyne by Projekt A-ko… just in case you’re interested.

Comment by CP

Ram and the Bull from Fluers is pretty much the perfect song.

Comment by thepigeonpost

Pretty great list, but no Dananananaykroyd? 😦

Comment by Dan

I own… none of these albums. Which shall be rectified.

Comment by Mercer Finn

Record box = me falling in love with Zola Jesus. Thanks Gareth! Nika’s voice is stunning.

Comment by Lois

Thank you again Gareth. You’re doing so much to help ensure Nosferatu D2’s name and noise is remembered.

Comment by Audio Antihero

Have not heard any of these but feel I should. Girl in Slow Club is hella cute.

Album of the year for me: Fever Ray or Gucci Mane’s Burrprint 3D or the xx.

Comment by Samuel

I agree with the vast majority of these. i have no words to describe quite how beautiful former ghosts are, and I started listening to them after reading about them on this blog. the bull and the ram = best song of the year. and as I’m seeing wild beasts in january (slow club too, now I remember) I am now a bit excited about this light show I hear tell of. Gonna be awesome.

Comment by maddy

Nosferatu D2 forever! Personally I think their debut is the number 1 of the year, but this is your list not mine. It is a stellar list though Gareth, and you are once again reinforcing my point of how great you are as taste makers (an no, that is not a bad thing.)

Comment by David

you forgot the kroyd what a pity shame on you

Comment by vharcq

the only one Ive heard is HEALTH. I havent had a chance to hear Former Ghosts and Wild Beasts but I recognize them. No Bitte Orca? That was my favorite

Comment by Dlistblogger

former ghosts …. beautiful and duly purchased. top choice. tx

Comment by michael lacey

Cool list, Gareth. I’d never given a listen to Slow Club until just now, and I’ll admit that I only clicked on their “listen” link first because I – as you Brits say – fancy her.

Anyway, I’ve only listened to a few tracks, but this stuff is terrific. It’s just so sad, and so cute, and the two elements complement each other well. It’s so cute that it makes me even sadder that it’s so sad, basically.

On another note, I guess I’m kind of surprised to see it as one of your top albums. For some reason I always expect bands to listen to music that sounds like themselves. Foolish? Yes, I know. But this stuff is very un-LC!

Comment by Kyle from TX

Slow Club is my number one album of the year. It has grown on me ever since its release and I am truly in love with their sound. Now I just hope that one day I will be able to see them live…

Comment by gerlin

I got addict to Nosferatu D2…
(I haven’t listened to half of the list)
Now I got something to do.

Comment by Joaquim

jeez! Gareth +1!
already heard FG and ZJ thru your last NA tour. cold cave thru FG. so these, sparky, sky L, V Girls, P Girls etc. covered thru your website.

but #6-10, heard them for the first time and they are amazing.

Comment by tps

so are you going to do a “Best of the Decade” list as well?

Comment by Julia

Slow Club & Johnny Foreigner. Really cool 😀
But I have NO idea where I can get their songs legally besides iTunes. Crap.

I personally like “Summer Shakedown” from Slow Club & “Our Bipolar Friends” from Johnny Foreigner.

I’ll listen to those other records you mentioned here as well. 😀

Comment by Franchesca

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