In a rare display of Bawley team synchronicity, my top 5 of the year contains 60% of the albums in Hummer's 5. I have a hunch that this has more to do with the paucity of quality albums in 2009, than anything else, but who knows?
Here are my 5:
5 Doves, Kingdom Of Rust
With their fourth album, Doves didn't quite achieve the Elbow-style breakthrough that I speculated about in January, nor did they quite hit the highs they achieved on 2002's 'The Last Broadcast', but they did break a lot of ground musically to produce a really solid album that was sonically interesting from beginning to end.
4 The XX, XX
A band, absolutely unheard of at the beginning of the year, pool their record collections to forge a style that's halfway between indie and r&b and sounds quite unlike anything around at the moment: intimate, unselfconcious and strangely compelling.
3 Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The party album of the year: full of great tunes, and no messing about.
2 Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
The hotly tipped Mumford & Sons launched their debut album at a hoedown in a barn in Hertfordshire, and with it started an unlikely bluegrass revival. Really impressive album all the way through.
1 Sparklehorse & Dangermouse, Dark Night Of the Soul
It's a real shame that my album of the year is not available anywhere, but when it contains some of the best work by some of the most interesting artists of the last decade, and still ends up being better than the sum of its parts, how could it not be?