You Crazy Dreamers bring numerous listening options via the bests of 2009

Today is Day 11 of this Best of series and we have the You Crazy Dreamers Blog!  YCD is compiled of 5 contributors in total with myself included (What you say, Sandy is on two blogs!!  Yes, its true!) and we span two continents and 4 countries and thousands of miles between us 5 lovers of music.  The title of the blog is taken from a Ray LaMontagne song, so if that is any idea, then you know the style of music we like to feature!  There is a lot of albums (and bonus items thank to Trini) below!

So the lists include contributions from Olivier (France), Martin (UK), the US contingent of Trini (California) and Laura (Chicago) and then the Canadian me, Sandy.  So five heads have to be able to pick something good…right?  Right?


This is just a start!  If you like what you are hearing – you can download the playlist by clicking HERE.  Thanks Olivier!!


Laura has been a bit slammed by work and such lately, but she did advise that besides meeting J. Tillman in Chicago a month or so back she thought the below was the best of the year.


Gregory Alan Isakov – The Empty Northern Hemisphere

Listen: “Evelyn”


Martin found some love for a lot of music from his Brighton home and between and Simple Folk Radio shows he has found some real great offerings.

Best albums of the year (in no particular order, but you know..still you know)


01. Roadside graves – My Son’s Home

Hush Arbors

02. Hush Arbors – Yankee Reality


03. Steve Abel & The Chrysalids – Flax Happy


04. The Sumner Brothers – The Sumner Brothers


05. Nurses – Apple’s Acre
Bonus: “Technicolor”


06. The Felice Brothers – Yonder Is The Clock
Bonus: “Run Chicken Run”


07. Woods – Song Of Shame


08. Serious Sam Barrett – Close To Home

Timber Timbre

09. Timber Timbre – Timber Timbre
Bonus Video:

Timber Timbre – Demon Host from Scott Cudmore on Vimeo.


10. Wye Oak – The Knot


I (Sandy) have managed to like a lot of music this year and I don’t care what anyone is saying about 2009 being bit light on quality releases.  I tend to be able to find much to like, adore and obsess over each year, so no real problems here.

I have decided to simply mention a few albums that for lack of a better term are “in my top 20” of favourite listens for the year.  Sure there will be more once I finally listen to the numerous albums that I haven’t given enough time to, but damn it, it’s just a music blogger best of list and you know – we are mostly about telling other bloggers what is good or bad!  ;-)  We (music aficionados) tend to be overly opinionated on what is “good” and what is “great” and what is “totally and utterly disappointing”.  I find my niche being Slow and Acoustic makes for bit of an auditory “tunnel vision” when it comes to judging music, but I’m okay with that.  Also, despite how I may bitch about how too many people list “The xx” or “Animal Collective” or even “Grizzly Bear” in their top lists, they probably aren’t as bad as I might think that they are.  But my choices are better….{sarcasm intended}.

In order to make this fairly easy format-wise, my top albums are from my Rate Your Music profile (a needed website for all music nerds)!

Year in the Kingdom

J. Tillman

Year in the Kingdom
“Earthly Bodies” (mp3)

Another triumph for Tillman, gentle and yet showing growth to a fuller sound.  You get the dark dusky corners of an old
farmhouse and the sombre timbre of Tillman’s breathy voice over, at times, sparse acoustic songs

Reverence for Fallen Trees

The Black Atlantic

Reverence for Fallen Trees
“I Shall Cross This River” (mp3)

Such a surprise to get this out of nowhere and fall in love with the harmonies.  Another folk gem to hold onto.

Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More
“White Blank Page” (mp3)

Entire package of laments, sing a longs, get onto your feet and still get pensive mid way.  Stunning.

Winter Hours

The Deep Dark Woods

Winter Hours
“The Gallows” (mp3)

Best Alt Country coming out of Canada today.  Period.

Twenty Two

Doby Watson

Twenty Two
“Pummel” (mp3)

Dark, introspective and just makes me want to sing along.  Underplayed everywhere, come on people!

Because I Was in Love

Sharon Van Etten

Because I Was in Love
“For You” (mp3)

SVE is finally starting to get her deserved praise, this is another great solo “girl and guitar” showing for her.

Upper Air


Upper Air
“Northern Lights” (mp3)

Overwhelmingly overlooked by many, but still such a great album.   They are bringing their sound into the mainstream
but it is still so lovely to listen along to.

This Empty Northern Hemisphere

Gregory Alan Isakov

This Empty Northern Hemisphere

see above for “Evelyn”

This is definitely one of the most underrated songwriters around today, every album is great and this one
does not disappoint.

Very Long Dream

Huck Notari

Very Long Dream
“He Rode Off” (mp3)

Folk from long ago is still being released today.  So dusty you need a drink alongside your headphones.  This song is
absolutely amazing and one of my favourite songs of the year.



“Time’s Ticking” (mp3)

Another great album out of nowhere – some of the best indie pop recordings of the year.



“Proximity” (mp3)

Always a fan of Oweihops, it is such a “real’ album – you feel like you are there with him as he sings of the world that
both of you share.  Keeper.

Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre
“Lay Down in the Tall Grass” (mp3)

Gothic Canadiana – it feels dark, it sounds dark but it really isn’t.  It is just plain good.

Life on Earth

Tiny Vipers

Life on Earth
“Dreamer” (mp3)

This whole album is dreamy, maybe too dreamy for some, but the it is an album you just want to float away with.


The Antlers

“Two” (mp3)

This album is an experience – you feel exhausted and satiated at the same time when listening.  Headphones are a must.

Trouble & Mercy

Cam Penner

Trouble & Mercy
“Thirteen” (mp3)

Late entry for me, but this Manitoban hit a nerve (maybe because I am from Manitoba), but this is the future of
roots country in Canada.

Beasts of Seasons

Laura Gibson

Beasts of Seasons
“Sleeper” (mp3)

Gorgeous, stunning.  Gibson never disappoints and this album might be a grower for some, but damn its good.

Oh Maria

Jon-Rae Fletcher

Oh Maria
“Oh Maria” (mp3)

This is the sound of Southern gospel folk.  The voice that comes out of this unassuming guy is incredible.  Hand to god.

Wild Geese


Wild Geese
“Man In The Moon” (mp3)

More acoustic and traditional than most, Haruko is a young lady destined to be the next folk goddess.


Andrew Bryant

“Chicago Wind” (mp3)

Dirty, dark and destined to find every last piece of yourself splayed out before you.  A little bit rock, folk
and singer songwriter mixed in for good measure

Leave Ruin

Strand of Oaks

Leave Ruin
“End In Flames” (mp3)

This song-crafter/school teacher is making some of the loudest quiet music around.   He sounds graceful but sings of real life,
tragedy and the meaning of it all.


I (Trini) am going to start of with my top ten albums of 2009. They are really in no particular order other than that each one of these has helped me heal in ways that only music can. I started the year feeling a little lost. Songs from each of these albums helped me find my way back.

1. Cory Chisel and The Wondering Sons – Death Won’t Send A Letter
Song: So Wrong For Me

2. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Song: White Blank Page

3. Treetop Flyer – To Bury The Past EP
Song: Is It All Worth It?

4. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
Song: You and I

5. The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
Song: Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

6. J. Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues
Song: Masters House

7. William Fitzsimmons – The Sparrow and The Crow
Song: Even Now

8. Jack Savoretti – Harder Than Easy
Song: Harder Than Easy

Bonus: Mother (mp3)

9. A.A Bondy – When The Devils Loose
Song: A Slow Parade

10. The Felice Brothers – Yonder Is The Clock
Song: All When We Were Young

In my attempt to gain some sanity, I’ve taken up baking. It is by far the only thing aside from music that helps me relax. I can say with absolute confidence that I’ve mastered the chocolate chip cookie recipe and will forever be making root beer float cupcakes. These two should be a staple in everyone’s baking repertoire.

Now, let me introduce you to my new toy which I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. The Digital Harinezumi 2 Audio and Video camera. What is it you say? Check out this cool little video, can’t wait to start shooting with it.

Digital Harinezumi 2 from 2122748828 on Vimeo.

Insert shameless plug here→ I’m putting together this little nifty music festival next year you should join me.  NOZZAFEST! ←


Ending my year for the first time not wishing for it to end, I’ve learned a lot about myself and am looking forward to new beginnings in 2010. Enjoy the tunes, bake something and go record life. It’s what I’ll be doing.

YCD ~ Trini