Obscure Sound: Best of Winter 2009/2010

In a bit of a twist, this compilation encompasses both December and January. The “Best Albums of 2009” featured last month was a lot of fun, as was the three-week break I took after it was published. I am always exhausted after that feature every year, but I still used the vacation time to discover some great music. The difference is that during the holidays I can listen without being persuaded to write about it. It is a change of pace for me, considering that by nature I am compelled to share something great if I hear it. During winter break though, family and friends were usually the victims of my music recommendations… whether they liked it or not. I usually cannot contain excitement for too long, so kicking off the new year is always slightly overwhelming. There is so much to get excited about, disappointed over, or fall in love with. Regardless of the disappointments though, there are triumphs every year. When there are several triumphs released in the first month of a year, I would consider that a pretty good sign, and this compilation is indicative of that.

Since updates resumed a few weeks ago there has been little to complain about. I regard 2010 as an excellent year already; Beach House’s Teen Dream kicking off the year in grand fashion combined with highly anticipated releases on the horizon should create plenty of anticipation and delight. Much like the release of Merriweather Post Pavillion at the beginning of 2009, we already have a genuine class kicking off the year. Solid albums thus far from Yeasayer, Citay, and Shearwater tell us this may not be an isolated trend. Several reviews – notably the Yeasayer and Shearwater – were written by a new contributing writer, Jay Mattson. He has a great writing style and plenty of acts to expose, so I am glad to offer another opinion on this site in addition to my own. A one-man site is restrictive in the sense that bias can not be prevented, regardless of its subtleties. As the site expands and grows I hope to find talented writers like Jay to continue our search for great independent music. For now, check out the best new artists we featured over the past two months. Enjoy it, and don’t forget to watch LOST tonight.

01. Beach House – Walk in the Park (post)
02. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp (post)
03. Big Spider’s Back – Warped (post)
04. Citay – Dream Get Together (post)
05. Shearwater – Black Eyes (post)
06. The Nightgowns – Buoy (post)
07. Jaga Jazzist – Banafleur Overalt (post)
08. Dumas – Dans Un Rétroviseur (post)
09. Beach House – Better Times (post)
10. Dragon Turtle – Island of Broken Glass (post)


Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].


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