Posted by: Paul | January 10, 2010

Music 09

It was difficult to muster the enthusiasm to create a Best of… music compilation for 2009. I claimed at the time to the one friend who is still marking the end of each year with his own compilation that 2009 had not been a good year for music, but that was just a lame excuse. In reality, having a child had taken up much of my spare time last year and we had been so busy at work that I just hadn’t had time to listen to much music. That feels like a terrible admission for someone who has spent much of his life being known for being a music enthusiast, but I hadn’t heard anything in passing which had forced its way into my consciousness, and no time to do any investigation for anything new.

So when I finally sat down at the end of November to start work on the compilation, the list of things I had bookmarked during the year was very short – new albums from Mew and Secret Machines, and the debut by Friendly Fires, and that was about it. I had leads to follow up – there were albums I had intended to buy and had just not got round to it. Since I try to hang onto any shred of integrity I have, and thus tend to populate the compilations exclusively with things I have purchased rather than downloaded surreptitously, it was going to be an expensive couple of months.

Christmas was my saviour, and Hype Machine my close friend in this. Everything I ended up pinching from other people’s blogs via Hype Machine went either on the list for Xmas, or the list for picking up in the January Sales, so I went from having bought about 3 albums in an entire year to almost 20 in a couple of weeks. Onto the compilation went the usual suspects of The Twilight Sad, Muse, Franz Ferdinand and Flight of the Conchords. New blood was supplied this year by Frightened Rabbit, The Big Pink, Carina Round, Ellie Goulding, and quite a few others. This is the first compilation I’ve made in a couple of years where new or first-time-featured artists have outnumbered people I have used before. And that’s not bad for a year that I thought was poor for music, is it? Looking forward to not making the same mistake in 2010!

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