The top 100 songs of 2009 (According to Shaun)

It seems I have an issue with narrowing things down.  My top 40 songs of the year quickly became a joke when my preliminary list had 294 songs.  After over a week of culling I have reduced my list to a respectably too high number of 100.  I am not normally one for liking the milestone round numbers, but this year it seemed like a good number to stop at.  My list is based on songs that I listened to a lot, songs that inspired me, songs that represent the year, and songs that have had significant meaning.  I can’t write something about all 100 songs, so sometimes there will be a lyric quote, sometimes a rationale or a commentary, sometimes both, and sometimes nothing at all.  Give them a listen when you get a chance, and let us know what your opinions are.

100. Whatever you like – Joan as Police Woman

despite being the lowest song on the list, the lowest song is significant.  It represents, the song that beat all the others in contention for the list.  It is a statement song.  In this case, it is a cover of a popular rap anthem.  This version is from a tour album of covers, and was one of my most listened to songs of the last 3 months of the year.  It’s an interesting perspective.

99.   Thy will be done – Handsome Furs

98.   Laughing with a Mouth of Blood – St. Vincent

97.   Drowning Men – Fanfarlo

Introduced to me by Kris, this band, album, and song quickly became a big part of 2009

96.   We all Wanna be Prince – Felix Da Housecat

Catchy dance song about Prince, sounding like mid 80’s Prince.

95.   (If you’re wondering if I want you to) I Want you to – Weezer

This song makes the list because it is unbearably catchy.  Is it great? No, is it good?  Maybe.  But it sure is 2009.

94.   Strange Enough – N.A.S.A. Ft. Karen O

Among one of 4 tracks on the list featuring Karen O.  This was her year.

93.   Fables – The Dodos

92.   Jetstream – Doves

91.   Oh My God – Ida Maria


90. My Girls – Animal Collective

89.   White Socks/Flip Flops – Super Furry Animals

88.   Audacity of Huge – Simian Mobile Disco ft. Chris Keating

An early sign of the new direction of Yeasayer.

87.   We Were Sick – The Thermals

86.   If I had a heart – Fever Ray

85.   Dollaz and Sense – Blakroc

“if it don’t make Dollaz, it don’t make sense”  – Black Keys + Hip Hop

84.   Satellite Heart – Anya Marina

83.   Feelings Gone – Basement Jaxx ft. Sam Sparro

82.   Supermagic – Mos Def

81.   Edmonton – Rural Alberta Advantage

It’s about my hometown.  It Rocks.


80. Back from exile – Nickel Eye

79.   This Tornado loves you – Neko Case

78.   While you Wait for the Others – Grizzly Bear

A Fantastic breakup song.

77.   I cut like a Buffalo – The Dead Weather

76.   8th Wonder – The Gossip

75.   Run, Run, Run – Joel Plaskett

Discovered this song at the best concert I ever snuck into.

74.   Watching the Planets – Flaming Lips

Featuring Karen O of Course.  The NSFW Video pushes this song above the others on the album.

73.   Relator – Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson

72.   Louie – Ida Maria

71.   The Fear – Lily Allen


70. Island, IS – Volcano Choir

If Bon Iver is too mainstream for you, then this side project may just be for you.

69.   Sunny Feeling – Wilco

Happy Wilco!

68.   Everyday – Vetiver

67.   Nothing to Worry About – Peter Bjorn and John

Children singing, no whistling.  A strong departure.

66.   Blue Skies – Noah and the Whale

65.   No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand

A song that just never goes away.

64.   Pretty Wings – Maxwell

A strong return from one of my fav R & B singers

63.   At least I’m not as sad as I used to be – fun.

62.   It ain’t gonna save me – Jay Reatard

61.   All is love – Karen O and the Kids

Where the Wild Things Are!!!!!


60. I Hate people – Jemina Pearl ft. Iggy Pop

59.   10/10 – Paolo Nutini

Paolo kicks up the soul on his sophomore album

58.   Dominos – The Big Pink

57.   I’m a Pilot – Fanfarlo

56.   Say Please – Monsters of Folk

55.   Don’t Wanna Talk – Brendan Benson

54.   Used to Be – Tigersapien

Dance music from human-tiger hybrids!

53.   Live and Learn – Speech Debelle

Mercury Prize award winning hip hop that sounds like a female “The Streets”

52.   Day N Nite (Nightmare) – Kid Cudi

51.   Bear – Antlers

50. VCR – The XX

“you say you think we are the best thing/But you, you just know, you just do”


49.   Casa Bey – Mos Def

48.   Graze – Animal Collective

Zamfir pan flute Party!

47.   Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yet more Karen O

46.   You and I – Wilco ft. Feist

45.   Airstream Driver – Gomez

44.   Low Rising – Swell Season

Van Morrisonesque track from the dynamic duo of “Once”

43.   Lust for Life – Girls

42.   Gifted – N.A.S.A. ft. Kanye West, Lykke Li, and Santigold

The best track on an album that didn’t live up to it’s hype.  The trio work magically together.

41.   Warm heart of Africa – The Very Best ft. Ezra Koenig


40. Dreams Come True Girl – Cass McCombs

A beautiful love song, from a beautiful album

39.   So Far around the Bend – The National

38.   Minstrel Show – Barry Goldberg

OK, so this is a reissue.  But I don’t care.  I had never heard of him, and this song rules.

37.   Fresh Blood – Eels

Best howl of the year (sorry Shakira)

36.   Stillness is the move – The Dirty Projectors

I still don’t understand the hype over this album, but I have fallen for this song.

35.   Aeon – Antony and the Johnsons

34.   Colonized Mind – Prince

Prince rediscovers his guitar.  It isn’t his best work, but it’s his best in the last decade or so.  And it’s great.

33.   Daniel – Bat for Lashes

32.   Dog Days are Over – Florence & the Machine

The amazing opener on the amazing debut album

31.   Evangeline – Handsome Furs


30.  Shark in the Water – VV Brown

Killer Voice, Killer Song.

29.   Reverence for Fallen Trees – The Black Atlantic

This Dutch Band’s album is this year’s “For Emma…”

28.   To Lose Someone – Taken by Trees

I wish I would have told you/that no one can take your place” – Indian influenced ballad that jumped up the list late in the year.

27.   Lions – The Features

26.   Rubik’s Cube – Athlete

“Oh I’m like a kid who just won’t let it go/Twisting and turning the colours in rows/I’m so intent to find out what it is/This is my rubik’s cube/I know I can figure it out”

25.   Don’t Upset the Rhythm – The Noisettes

A departure from their debut album, this track hits hard… just in different ways.

24.   Never had Nobody like you – M. Ward ft. Zooey Deschanel

Sweet song with Zooey

23.   Little Pieces – Gomez

22.   1901 – Phoenix

21.   Kandi – One eskimO

A great take on the infidelity song.  Another late jumper.


20. Song Away – Hockey

19.   When I grow up – Fever Ray

18.   Fitz and Dizzyspells – Andrew Bird

The best “Noah and the Whale” song not by “Noah and the Whale”.  The last half is one of my favourite half songs of the year.  Whistles and violins.

17.   Crystalised – The XX

The first song that hooked me on the XX.  The rest followed shortly.

16.   When I go – Slow Club

A very cutesy song that just works in every way.

15.   Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys

Jay-Z Anthemry at it’s finest

14.   Generator ^ First Floor – Freelance Whales

13.   Percussion Gun – White Rabbits

The percussion at the beginning hooks me every time.

12.   Tightrope – Yeasayer

Old school Yeasayer finally gets a studio release on the great “Dark was the Night” Compilation.

11.   Daylight – Matt and Kim

This song was deservedly everywhere this year.


10. Heavy Cross/Heavy Cross (Burns Remix) – The Gossip

“Whatever you want/The choice is yours/So Choose”

9.     Velvet – The Big Pink

“I found her in a dream, looking for me”

8.     Be Calm – fun.

“I know it gets so hard some times.  Be Calm.”

7.     Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear

“Save up all the days/A routine Malaise”

6.     I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers

“What you were then, I am today/Look at the things I do”

5.     Lisztomania – Phoenix

“Think less, but see it grow”

On an album full of standouts, this song stands out.

4.     Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) – Florence & the Machine

“This is a gift, it comes with a price/Who is the lamb and who is the knife”

On an album that warrants repeated listens, this song gets repeatedly repeated.

3.     Frank, AB – The Rural Alberta Advantage

“And under the rubble of the mountain that tumbled/I’ll hold you forever”

A song about love surviving the greatest of tragedies.

2.     The First Days of Spring – Noah and the Whale

“But like a cut down tree, I will rise again/And I’ll be bigger and stronger than ever before”

This song features one of the greatest swells in a song this year.  A song that gave me goosebumps the first 5 times I heard it.  A song that’s beauty and sadness make me smile.

1.     Blood Bank – Bon Iver

“Ain’t this just like the present/To be showing up like this”

Released in January.  This song has stuck with me, month through month.  This song live at Sasquatch was one of the clear highlights of the festival.  Lyrically and sonically one of my favourite songs of the decade.

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2 Responses to The top 100 songs of 2009 (According to Shaun)

  1. Breanna Emmerzael says:

    This is pretty darn good! I totally forgot blood bank was from january and there for would be number one choice as well as well i would have 1901 in there haha but I should really stop commenting on yours an make my own one day

  2. Kris says:

    I’m currently listening to a playlist I made of all your top songs that I have on my ipod (58 songs). I’ll need to get the rest from you in a retrospective 2009 cd. Good list!

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