Matador Archive

Top 20 albums of 2020 as selfies + Top 150 playlist

In lieu of our usual collage, here are our 20 favorite albums of 2020 with their cover artwork recreated as selfies at home during lockdown. Follows a 10 hour playlist curated from our 150 favorite records of the year (including a couple EPs), available on Spotify, Deezer or YouTube, with the full list down below.

Hope you might find at least a couple hidden gems to add to your own favorites. Enjoy the music, and follow us on either streaming platform for more playlists, and on Instagram @albumcovergirl for more recreated covers of iconic albums, old and new, and regular content on new music releases.


Covers of the top 20 albums of 2020 revisited as lockdown selfportraits by Albumcovergirl / ©GoodMorninCaptn

Covers of the top 20 albums of 2020 revisited as lockdown selfportraits by Albumcovergirl / ©GoodMorninCaptn

Or stream / watch the playlist via YouTube, with videos whenever available

All links in the list below directly point towards the respective album page on Bandcamp when available, or the label or artist official online store, so that you can easily stream, download or order them to support the artists. (only first 100 links added for now; remaining 50 to be progressively completed within the coming days)

  1. Fiona AppleFetch the Bolt Cutters (Epic Records, US)
  2. Lyra PramukFountain (Bedroom Community, US / DE)
  3. EartheaterPhoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin (PAN, US)
  4. Thanya IyerKind (Topshelf Records, CA)
  5. Perfume GeniusSet My Heart On Fire Immediately (Matador, US)
  6. TorresSilver Tongue (Merge Records, US)
  7. Adrianne LenkerSongs + Instrumentals (4AD, US)
  8. Moses SumneyGræ (Jagjaguwar, US)
  9. Johanna WarrenChaotic Good (Wax Nine / Carpark Records, US)
  10. Douglas DareMilkteeth (Erased Tapes, UK)
  11. Lido PimientaMiss Colombia (Anti- Records, CO / CA)
  12. TenciMy Heart is an Open Field (Keeled Scales, US)
  13. SevdalizaShabrang (Twisted Elegance, IR / NL)
  14. Hania RaniHome (Gondwana Records, PL)
  15. Zebra KatzLess Is Moor (ZFK Records, US)
  16. Kelly Lee OwensInner Song (Smalltown Supersound, UK)
  17. NnamdïBrat (Sooper Records, US)
  18. Phoebe BridgersPunisher (Dead Oceans, US)
  19. Dana GavanskiYesterday Is Gone (Full Time Hobby / Ba Da Bing!, CA)
  20. Sufjan StevensThe Ascension (Asthmatic Kitty, US)
  21. Becca MancariThe Greatest Part (Captured Tracks, US)
  22. Jessie WareWhat’s Your Pleasure? (Virgin EMI, UK)
  23. ObongjayarWhich Way Is Forward? (EP) (September, UK / NG)
  24. Half WaifThe Caretaker (Anti- Records, US)
  25. AnjimileGiver Taker (Father/Daughter Records, US)
  26. Thao & The Get Down Stay DownTemple (Ribbon Music, US)
  27. ActivityUnmask Whoever (Western Vinyl, US)
  28. JFDRNew Dreams (White Sun Recording / Krunk, IS)
  29. Dua SalehRosetta (EP) (Against Giants, US)
  30. LA PriestGene (Domino Records, UK)
  31. A Grape DopeArthur King Presents A Grape Dope: Backyard Bangers (Dangerbird Records, US)
  32. AlgiersThere Is No Year (Matador, US)
  33. Wye OakNo Horizon (EP) (Merge Records, US)
  34. Porridge RadioEvery Bad (Secretly Canadian, UK)
  35. Squirrel FlowerI Was Born Swimming (Polyvinyl Records / Full Time Hobby, US)
  36. JockstrapWicked City (EP) (Warp Records, UK)
  37. Keeley ForsythDebris (The Leaf Label, UK)
  38. Ana RoxanneBecause of a Flower (Kranky, US)
  39. Frances QuinlanLikewise (Saddle Creek, US)
  40. Owen PallettIsland (Domino Records, CA)
  41. Mourning [A] BLKStarThe Cycle (Don Giovanni Records, US)
  42. OhmmeFantasize Your Ghost (Joyful Noise Recordings, US)
  43. Zola MennenöhLonging for Belonging (Figureight Records, DE / DK)
  44. Other LivesFor Their Love (ATO Records, US)
  45. HachikuI’ll Probably Be Asleep (Milk! Records / Marathon Artists, AUS)
  46. Kate NVRoom For The Moon (RVNG Intl., RU)
  47. Fleet FoxesShore (Anti- Records, US)
  48. Dmitry EvgrafovSurrender (130701 / FatCat Records, RU)
  49. The Cool GreenhouseThe Cool Greenhouse (Melodic Records, UK)
  50. Wax ChattelsClot (Captured Tracks, NZ)
  51. LåpsleyThrough Water (XL Recordings, UK)
  52. Sylvan EssoFree Love (Loma Vista Recordings, US)
  53. Ela MinusActs Of Rebellion (Domino Records, CO / US)
  54. Kaitlyn Aurelia SmithThe Mosaic of Transformation (Ghostly International, US)
  55. Ian William CraigRed Sun Through Smoke (130701 / FatCat Records, CA)
  56. Jeff ParkerSuite for Max Brown (International Anthem, US)
  57. JónsiShiver (Krunk, IS)
  58. Princess ThailandAnd We Shine (À Tant Rêver Du Roi, FR)
  59. Hazel EnglishWake Up! (Polyvinyl Records, US / AUS)
  60. Land of TalkIndistinct Conversations (Saddle Creek, CA)
  61. ArcaKiCk i (XL Recordings, VZ)
  62. Helena DelandSomeone New (Luminelle Recordings, CA)
  63. Henriette Sennenvaldt (from Under Byen)Something Wonderful (Paper Bag Records, DK)
  64. Gabriel Garzón-MontanoAgüita (Jagjaguwar, US / CO)
  65. SamiaThe Baby (Grand Jury, US)
  66. Amnesia ScannerTearless (PAN, FI / DE)
  67. Yves TumorHeaven to a Tortured Mind (Warp Records, UK)
  68. AustraHiRUDiN (Domino Records / Pink Fizz Recordings, CA)
  69. DeradoorianFind the Sun (Anti- Records, US)
  70. Dominique AVie étrange (Cinq 7 / Wagram, FR)
  71. WestermanYour Hero Is Not Dead (Partisan Records, UK)
  72. Soccer MommyColor Theory (Loma Vista Recordings, US)
  73. LomeldaHannah (Double Double Whammy, US)
  74. Ben Lukas BoysenMirage (Erased Tapes, DE)
  75. GhostpoetI Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep (Again) ([PIAS], UK)
  76. WoodsStrange To Explain (Woodsist, US)
  77. Mary LattimoreSilver Ladders (Ghostly International, US)
  78. Cyril CyrilYallah Mickey Mouse (Born Bad Records, CH)
  79. Aoife Nessa FrancesLand of No Junction (Basin Rock, IE)
  80. Rina SawayamaSawayama (Dirty Hit, JP / UK)
  81. Dua LipaFuture Nostalgia (Warner Records, UK)
  82. Ben SeretanYouth Pastoral (Whatever’s Clever, US)
  83. InventionsContinuous Portrait (Temporary Residence Ltd., US)
  84. MAITABest Wishes (Kill Rock Stars, US)
  85. Nils BechFoolish Heart (Self-released, NO)
  86. Agnes ObelMyopia (Deutsche Grammophon, DK)
  87. Laura MarlingSong For Our Daughter (Chrysalis Records Limited / Partisan Records, UK)
  88. Rob MazurekExploding Star Orchestra’s Dimensional Stardust (International Anthem / Nonesuch Records, US)
  89. RoneRoom With A View (Infiné, FR)
  90. SonikkuJoyful Death (Bella Union, UK)
  91. Róisín MurphyRóisín Machine (Loaded Records / Skint, IE)
  92. Lorenzo SenniScacco Matto (Warp Records, IT)
  93. Nadia ReidOut Of My Province (Spacebomb Records, NZ)
  94. Reb FountainReb Fountain (Flying Nun Records, NZ)
  95. IsletEyelet (Fire Records, UK)
  96. Fontaines D.C.A Hero’s Death (Partisan Records, IE)
  97. Yes BasketballGoodbye Basketball (Les Disques Normal / À Tant Rêver du Roi, FR)
  98. Kyrie KristmansonLady Lightly (Iki records, CA)
  99. MelkbellyPITH (Wax Nine / Carpark Records, US)
  100. Sorry925 (Domino Records, UK)
  101. JunglepussyJP4 (Jagjaguwar, US)
  102. TunngTunng Presents… Dead Club (Full Time Hobby, UK)
  103. This Is the KitOff Off On (Rough Trade Records, UK)
  104. Madeline KenneySucker’s Lunch (Carpark Records, US)
  105. Nicole AtkinsItalian Ice (Single Lock Records, US)
  106. Luka KuplowskyStardust (Mama Bird Recording Co. / Next Door Records, CA)
  107. Julien GascL’Appel de la Forêt (Born Bad Records, FR)
  108. Jaye JaylePrisyn (Sargent House, US)
  109. AārpPropaganda (Infiné, FR)
  110. AmaaraeThe Angel You Don’t Know (Sad Saints Angry Angels, GHA / US)
  111. SaultUntitled (Black Is) (Forever Living Originals, UK)
  112. Told SlantPoint the Flashlight and Walk (Double Double Whammy, US)
  113. The Soft Pink TruthShall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? (Thrill Jockey, US)
  114. YelleL’Ère du Verseau (Recreation Center, FR)
  115. GeorgiaSeeking Thrills (Domino Records, UK)
  116. LAAKEO (Somaa / Mercury Records, FR)
  117. Empress OfI’m Your Empress Of (Terrible, US)
  118. Garage BlondeRage nue (La Discrète Music, FR)
  119. RVGFeral (Fire Records, AUS)
  120. KidbugKidbug (Joyful Noise Recordings, US)
  121. MoaningUneasy Laughter (Sub Pop, US)
  122. Lo-FangNear Other Worlds (Ocean Cloud Records, US / PT)
  123. CabaneGrande est la maison (Cabane Records, BE)
  124. MockeParle, grand canard (Objet Disque, FR)
  125. SkeletonsIf the Cat Come Back (Shinkoyo, US)
  126. LomaDon’t Shy Away (Sub Pop, US)
  127. HjaltalínHjaltalín (Self-released, IS)
  128. Sam PrekopComma (Thrill Jockey, US)
  129. ZerohBLQLYTE (Leaving Records, US)
  130. Soundwalk Collective with Patti SmithPeradam (featuring Anoushka Shankar, Tenzin Choegyal, and Charlotte Gainsbourg) (Bella Union, US)
  131. Oiseaux-TempêteTlamess (Sortilège) O.S.T. (Sub Rosa, FR)
  132. Brigitte FontaineTerre Neuve (Verycords, FR)
  133. Jehnny BethTo Love Is To Live (20L07 LLC, FR)
  134. MottronGiants ([PIAS], FR)
  135. Monolithe NoirMoira (Kowtow Records, FR)
  136. Régina DeminaHystérie&! (Kwaidan Records, FR)
  137. NaeemStartisha (37d03d, US)
  138. Rico NastyNightmare Vacation (Atlantic Records / Sugar Trap, US)
  139. Megan Thee StallionGood News (300 Entertainment, US)
  140. Jonah MutonoGerg (EQT Recordings, UGA / US)
  141. Leifur JamesAngel in Disguise (Night Time Stories, UK)
  142. Kety FuscoDazed (Sugar srl, CH)
  143. Brigid Mae PowerHead Above The Water (Fire Records, IE)
  144. Allysen CalleryGhost Folk (Cosirecords Schallplatten, US)
  145. Andy ShaufThe Neon Skyline (Anti- Records, CA)
  146. Lee Ranaldo & Raül RefreeNames Of North End Women (Mute Records, US / SP)
  147. Hen OgleddFree Humans (Weird World, UK)
  148. Sonic BoomAll Things Being Equal (Carpark Records, UK)
  149. PantayoPantayo (Telephone Explosion, CA)
  150. Thor & Friends3 & 4 (Joyful Noise Recordings, US)
  151. Greg FoxContact (RVNG Intl., US)

Let me know the albums I have missed from your personal tops, and please come back in 10 hours after you’ve listened to the whole playlist to tell me which new albums you are digging ;-) In the meantime:

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Top 30 Albums of 2019

Here are our 30 favorite albums of 2019. It has been definitely hard to pick among the hundreds that we heard and liked last year! Let’s enjoy some of the best in indie rock, indie pop, folk, electro, post-punk, post-rock, hip-hop, experimental, ambient, and modern classical music released this year.

Best albums of the year 2019 - Playlist and collage by GooMorninCaptn, feat. Sasami - Sasami, Matmos - Plastic Anniversary, Hand Habits - Placeholder, Cate Le Bon - Reward, FKA Twigs - Magdalene, Kim Gordon - No Home Record, Vanishing Twin - The Age Of Immunology, Holly Herndon - Proto, Lizzo - Cuz I Love You, Susanna & The Brotherhood Of Our Lady - Garden of Earthly Delights, Big Thief - U.F.O.F., Lafawndah - Ancestor Boy, Jungstötter - Love Is, Anna Meredith - FIBS, Christopher Tignor - A Light Below, Grey McMurray - Stay Up, Julia Jacklin - Crushing, Leafcutter John - Yes! Come Parade With Us, Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising, Jesca Hoop - Stonechild, JPEGMAFIA - All My Heroes Are Cornballs, Bon Iver - i,i, Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence, Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing, The Murder Capital - When I Have Fears, Lower Dens - The Competition, La Féline - Vie future, Lingua Ignota - Caligula, Oiseaux-Tempête - From Somewhere Invisible, Clipping. - There Existed An Addiction To Blood

Top 30 of 2019 - Playlist and collage by GooMorninCaptn

The playlist will be best enjoyed on YouTube, Spotify or Deezer. A couple tracks are missing from Soundcloud and Qobuz.

  1. SasamiSasami (Domino, US)
  2. MatmosPlastic Anniversary (Thrill Jockey, US)
  3. Hand HabitsPlaceholder (Saddle Creek, US)
  4. Cate Le BonReward (Mexican Summer, UK)
  5. FKA TwigsMagdalene (Young Turks, UK)
  6. Kim GordonNo Home Record (Matador, US)
  7. Vanishing TwinThe Age Of Immunology (Fire Records, UK)
  8. Holly HerndonProto (4AD, US)
  9. LizzoCuz I Love You (Deluxe) (Atlantic, US)
  10. Susanna & The Brotherhood Of Our LadyGarden of Earthly Delights (SusannaSonata, NO)
  11. Big ThiefU.F.O.F. (4AD, US)
  12. LafawndahAncestor Boy (Concordia / !K7, EG/IR/FR/UK/US)
  13. JungstötterLove Is (Pias, DE)
  14. Anna MeredithFIBS (Moshi Moshi Records, UK)
  15. Christopher TignorA Light Below (Western Vinyl, US)
  16. Grey McMurrayStay Up (Figureight, US)
  17. Julia JacklinCrushing (Polyvinyl / Transgressive, AUS)
  18. Leafcutter JohnYes! Come Parade With Us (Border Community, UK)
  19. Weyes BloodTitanic Rising (Sub Pop, US)
  20. Jesca HoopStonechild (Memphis Industries, US)
  21. JPEGMAFIAAll My Heroes Are Cornballs (EQT Recordings, US)
  22. Bon Iveri,i (Jagjaguwar, US)
  23. Chelsea WolfeBirth of Violence (Sargent House, US)
  24. Glen HansardThis Wild Willing (Anti-, IE)
  25. The Murder CapitalWhen I Have Fears (Human Season, IE)
  26. Lower DensThe Competition (Ribbon Music, US)
  27. La FélineVie future (Kwaidan Records, FR)
  28. Lingua IgnotaCaligula (Profound Lore Records, US)
  29. Oiseaux-TempêteFrom Somewhere Invisible (Sub Rosa, FR)
  30. Clipping.There Existed An Addiction To Blood (Sub Pop, US)

Follow us for more seasonal music selections:

Turn Around, Little Heart. Wait Slowly, Halfway Home. This Is The Dark Glow.

Here comes some of the best new music from Spring 2018 in indie rock, dream pop, psych fok, singer-songwriter, ambient… Listen to our carefully curated playlist on Spotify, Deezer, or YouTube via the below player.

Turn Around, Little Heart. Wait Slowly, Halfway Home. This Is The Dark Glow. April 2018 digital collage by GoodMornincaptn

Turn Around, Little Heart. Wait Slowly, Halfway Home. This Is The Dark Glow.
April 2018 digital collage by GoodMornincaptn

  1. The Breeders (US) — “Wait in the Car”, from ‘All Nerve’ (4AD, 2018).
  2. Preoccupations (CA) — “Espionage”, from ‘New Material’ (Flemish Eye Records / Jagjaguwar, 2018).
  3. MGMT (US) — “Little Dark Age”, from ‘Little Dark Age’ (Columbia Records, 2018).
  4. tune-yards (US) — “Heart Attack”, from ‘I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life’ (4AD, 2018).
  5. Dominique A (FR) — “Toute latitude”, from ‘Toute latitude’ (Cinq7 / Wagram, 2018).
  6. Anenon (US) — “Two For C”, from ‘Tongue’ (FoF Music 2018).
  7. Adrian Crowley (IE) — “Halfway To Andalucia”, from ‘Dark Eyed Messenger’ (Chemikal Underground, 2017).
  8. Son Lux (US) — “Slowly”, from ‘Brighter Wounds’ (City Slang, 2018).
  9. Sylvan Esso (US) — “PARAD(w/m)E” (Loma Vista Recordings, 2018).
  10. Dungen & Woods (SE/US) — “Turn Around”, from ‘Myths 003′ (Mexican Summer, 2018).
  11. Peter Kernel (CH/CA) — “Men Of The Women”, from ‘The Size Of The Night’ (On The Camper Records, 2018).
  12. Amen Dunes (US) — “Miki Dora”, from ‘Freedom’ (Sacred Bones Records, 2018).
  13. Ought (CA) — “Disgraced in America”, from ‘Room Inside the World’ (Merge Records, 2018).
  14. Beach House (US) — “Lemon Glow”, from ‘7′, the duo’s new album coming up May 11th, 2018 on Sub Pop Records / Bella Union.
  15. Lucy Dacus (US) — “Addictions”, from ‘Historian’ (Matador Records, 2018).
  16. Olivia Kaplan (US) — “This Is What I Do”, from ‘At the Seams’ EP (2018).
  17. Nils Frahm (DE) — “Human Range”, from ‘All Melody’ (Erased Tapes, 2018).
  18. Laurence Pike (AUS) — “Life Hacks”, from ‘Distance Early Warning’, 2018 debut solo album of the PVT drummer, on Leaf Label.
  19. Superorganism (UK/JP/AUS/NZ) — “Reflections On The Screen”, from the self-titled 2018 debut album of the young international collective on Domino Recording Company.
  20. Haley Heynderickx (US) — “Untitled God Song”, from ‘I Need to Start a Garden’, her 2018 debut solo LP on Mama Bird Recording Co.
  21. Shannon Lay (US) — “Home”, from ‘Living Water’ (Woodsist Records, 2017).
  22. The Third Eye Foundation (UK) — “I’ve Lost That Loving Feline”, from ‘Little Lost Soul’ (Domino Recording Company, 2000).

Follow us for fresh seasonal music selections:

2010 – Top 18

GoodMorninCaptn - Top 2010 Part 2 - feat. Heartland, Innundir Skinni, Cardiac Malformation, Des Larmes..., Rivers, Creatures..., Teen Dream, Learning, My Father...AFTER THE TOP #30 TO #19 RECORDS, LET’S KEEP ASCENDING THE STAIRS OF 2010 WITH THE SECOND PART OF OUR FAVORITE RECORDS, MOSTLY POP AND FOLK, WITH SPARSE JAZZY OR NOISY TOUCHES.

SWANS - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (artwork: Beatrice Pediconi)Perfume Genius - LearningBeach House - Teen Dream (Sub Pop/Bella Union, Jan. 2010)
18) SWANS – “My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky” (Young God Records)

12 years after “Swans Are Dead”, Michael Gira’s noble bird turns into a Phoenix and resuscitates with a strikingly powerful album.
Eden Prison by Swans

> Listen to My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky on Spotify.

17) PERFUME GENIUS – “Learning” (Matador / Turnstile)

The sensitive Seattle singer-songwriter delivers a sincere and troubling debut, directly from his bedroom to yours.

Listen to title track “Learning“:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Perfume Genius – “Look Out, Look Out” directed by Patrick Sher
(Alternative link to watch the video on YouTube)

> Listen to Learning on Deezer or Spotify.

16) BEACH HOUSE – “Teen Dream” (Sub Pop / Bella Union)

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have perfected their suave melodies on their 3rd album, enchanting fans and critics alike.

Listen to “Norway“, from “Teen Dream“:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

> Listen to Teen Dream on Deezer or Spotify.

Clogs - The Creatures in the Garden of Lady WaltonWildbirds & Peacedrums - RiversThomas Mery - Des larmes mélangées de poussière
15) CLOGS – “The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton” (Brassland)

For the first time, the instrumental quartet has invited some distinguished friends over to sing along: Sufjan Stevens, Matt Berninger (from The National, with whom Clogs share one of their founders and masterminds, Bryce Dessner), and most notably Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) all take turns and grace the lush and brilliant compositions with their unique vocal presence. Not the least of its qualities, Clogs‘ fifth album is nicely packaged in a beautiful hommage to Douanier Rousseau by Hvass&Hannibal, also known for designing record covers and directing a video for Efterklang.

Listen to “On The Edge“, featuring Shara Worden, from “The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton“:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

> Listen to The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton on Deezer.

14) WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS – “Rivers” (Leaf Label)

Wildbirds & Peacedrums‘ third album is the reunion of 2 EPs, Iris and Retina, where the Swedish duo mixes its warm, soulful voice and tribal rythms with the Icelandic avant-garde. Rivers indeed was recorded by Ben Frost and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with an Icelandic chamber choir arranged by Hildur Guðnadóttir.


Wildbirds & Peacedrums – “Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood” directed by Patrik Instedt

13) THOMAS MERY – “Des larmes mélangées de poussière” (Ohayo Records /BS Records)

Thomas is back with a beautiful EP, the poetry of which we love to get immersed and lost into. A nice preamble to his new full-length album to be released in 2011.

Ça by Thomas Mery

> Listen to (and/or buy) the EP on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Deezer, or Spotify.

> Read our review and listen to 2 songs from Thomas Mery’s live session au salon.

Thus:Owls - Cardiac MalformationsÓlöf Arnalds - Innundir SkinniOwen Palett - Heartland
12) THUS:OWLS – “Cardiac Malformations” (Hoob Records / Almost Musique)
A few more Swedes (and a Canadian) in our top, with Thus:Owls, the dark cabaret pop of which has rocked us the whole year.

Listen to “Climbing The Fjelds Of Norway” from “Cardiac Maformations“:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

> Listen to Cardiac Malformations on Deezer or Spotify.

> Read our Review of Cardiac Malformations.

11) ÓLÖF ARNALDS – “Innundir Skinni” (One Little Indian)

Björk’s protégée and Múm collaborator Ólöf Arnalds releases a lovely new album produced by Kjartan Sveinsson (Sigur Rós), at times heavily orchestrated with uplifting choirs, and at times stripped down to only Ólöf’s high-pitched voice and simple strings.


Ólöf Arnalds – “Surrender” directed by Arni & Kinski

> Listen to Innundir Skinni on Deezer or Spotify.

10) OWEN PALLETT – “Heartland” (Domino)

Owen drops his Final Fantasy stage name but keeps delivering what he does best: light and grandiloquent pop songs for viola and violin loops.

Owen Pallett

> Listen to Heartland directly in the embedded player above, or on Spotify or Deezer.

Read and listen to the first part of our favorite records (top #30 to top #19), and finally (attention, drum roll…) discover our favorite 9 records of 2010

Wild, Free, Noble, Heavy… 2009’s Best Half… So Far

As many labels are preparing their Fall line-up, let’s celebrate the launch of GoodMorninCaptn.com with a little look at the top 20 records 2009 has offered us so far. While a few established bands have released so-so albums, many promising young women have surprised us (Blue Roses’ Laura, Hildur, Anni, Soap&Skin’s Anja…), prominent indie figures have confirmed they were not only shooting stars (Grizzly Bear, Patrick Watson, Andrew Bird), hyperactive craftsmen have perfected their skills (James Blackshaw, Peter Broderick), and a shy songwriter has unexpectedly climbed straight to the top of this past semester’s podium.

Tortoise Beacons Of AncestorshipBlue Roses Blue RosesSonic Youth The Eternal
20) TORTOISE “Beacons of Ancestorship” (Thrill Jockey)
While trying to move forward with their first proper album in 5 years,  Chicago undergound heroes succeed in synthetising their 3 previous LP’s, dressing them up with drunken samba and retro-futuristic pop.
Listen to Tortoise – Prepare Your Coffin (MP3).

19) BLUE ROSES “Blue Roses” (XL Recordings)
Sweet, romantic debut album of the sweet, romantic Laura Groves from Yorkshire, England.

18) SONIC YOUTH “The Eternal” (Matador)
Everybody’s favorite art rockers are back to an independent label and try hard to prove they are as hip and young as in 1990. It does work… except they should have nothing to prove.

PJ Harvey & John Parish A Woman A Man Walked ByNLF3 Ride On A Brand New TimePeter Broderick - Music For Falling From Trees

17) PJ HARVEY & JOHN PARISH “A Woman A Man Walked By” (Island Records)
PJ woof-woofs and John clang-clangs.

16) NLF3 “Ride On A Brand New Time” (Prohibited Records)
Paris trio goes on experimenting on their 4th album, looping sounds in an electropical psychedelia.

15) PETER BRODERICK “Music for Falling From Trees” (Western Vinyl / Erased Tapes)
In the continuity of Float, only more minimalistic, Peter scored a contemporary dance to those 7 nice pieces for violin and piano.
Listen to Peter Broderick – The Path To Recovery (MP3).

Balmorhea - All Is Wild All Is SilentJames Blackshaw - Glass Bead GameLoney Dear - Dear John
14) BALMORHEA “All Is Wild, All Is Silent” (Western Vinyl)
Part post-rock, part post-classical, Balmorhea’s 3rd LP is an ode to early American settlers with epic strings and wordless choirs.
Listen to extracts from Balmorhea – Harm and Boon and Balmorhea – Rememberance.

13) JAMES BLACKSHAW “The Glass Bead Game” (Young God)
12-string British guitar-virtuoso James opens his timeless pieces to a fuller sound.
Listen to James Blackshaw – Cross (MP3).

12) LONEY DEAR “Dear John” (Polyvinyl / Parlophone)
Some will deplore the cheap cosmetic arrangements with which Emil Svanängen has wrapped its otherwise enthralling melodies on his 5th LP.

Akron Family - Set em Wild Set em FreeFever Ray Cover ArtAnni Rossi - Rockwell
11) AKRON/FAMILY “Set Em Wild, Set Em Free” (Dead Ocean / Crammed Discs)
As an answer to Tortoise’s Standards, this new LP freely ventures from psychedelic rock to experimental folk, with Afro rythms and vocals to sing along to around the fireplace.

10) FEVER RAY “Fever Ray” (Rabid Records)
Karin Dreijer Andersson from Swedish electro duo The Knife wanders through dark swamps on her first solo album.

9) ANNI ROSSI “Rockwell” (4AD)
In her collection of songs for viola and voice, backed with drums and cello, 23-yr old Anna, also a violonist with Carla Bozulich, proves she does not lack the creativity of Joanna, Tori, or Regina. Too bad this Steve-Albini-recorded Rockwell is hiding in such a doubtful packaging.

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post PavilionHildur Gudnadottir - Without SinkingAndrew Bird - Noble Beast
8) ANIMAL COLLECTIVE “Merriweather Post Pavilion” (Domino)
A jolly merry mess.

7) HILDUR GUDNADÓTTIR “Without Sinking” (Touch)
After many collaboration with Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Pan Sonic, or Múm, Icelandic cellist Hildur releases her 2nd solo album, a wonderfully melancholic evocation of a peaceful shore.

6) ANDREW BIRD “Noble Beast” (Fat Possum / Bella Union)
Not as innovative as previous LP, Noble Beast progressively grows as a nice addition to Mr. Bird’s discography, with evident melodies.

Soap and Skin - Lovetune For VacuumElegi Varde5) SOAP&SKIN “Lovetune For Vacuum” (PIAS)
The cloudy moods of a dark, gifted child from Austria.

4) ELEGI “Varde” (Miasmah Recordings)
Norwegian composer Tommy Jansen imagined a striking soundtrack to Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic 1912 Antarctic expedition.

Patrick Watson - Wooden ArmsGrizzly Bear - VeckatimestDM Stith - Heavy Ghost
3) PATRICK WATSON “Wooden Arms” (Secret City)
A logical follow-up to Close To Paradise, maybe even closer, that reveals its full qualities on stage, where Patrick and his Wooden Arms band excel.

2) GRIZZLY BEAR “Veckatimest” (Warp)
Seemingly more self-confident, the Brooklyn quartet has achieved a big step forward with a luminous 3rd album, which clearly deserves all the critical praise you have read all over.
Listen to Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader (MP3).

1) DM STITH “Heavy Ghost” (Asthmatic Kitty)
New to the singer/songwriter scene, David already distinguishes himself through a deeply personal, touching touch, and luxurious instrumentation. A hauntingly beautiful debut.
Listen to DM Stith – Pity Dance (MP3).