Ohmpark’s Top 20 Atlanta Albums Of 2009


Most of the time in this city, bands rise and fall based on who they know and how exciting they are live. But for this list, I’ve considered only what is contained on their recordings. Over the course of the year I’ve given roughly 75 records from inside the perimeter a spin, and these are the essential twenty that I recommend listening to most. There are actually many records that I really liked that just missed the cut, so this was very tough to piece together, especially the final spots.

Looking at this list and comparing it back to my favourite local stuff over the two years before, it’s apparent that music in this city just keeps getting better. Atlanta’s independent music scene is running deeper than ever both in terms of quality and quantity of music being produced. Outside of Brooklyn, you’d need quite a compelling argument to convince me anywhere else in America has a better scene right now. Promising young bands keep popping up out of nowhere, and the veterans keep delivering the goods. It sure makes my job here a lot easier to have so much great music to blog about.

On a technical note, anything that has been released over the holidays I’m grouping in with my 2010 lists, and so a couple of albums on this list were released over the holidays last year. Take a gander:

20. Noot d’ Noot: Cash For Gold


19. Harken The Hands Askew: Thou


18. Slushco: Sometime Tonight


17. Sound On Film: The Eloquent Reginald


16. Thy Mighty Contract: Thy Mighty Contract


15. Club Awesome: Dynamos


14. Jungol: Places


13. Lee Harvey Oswald: Lee Harvey Oswald

leeharveyoswald copy

12. The Selmanaires: Tempo Temporal


11. Tealights: Take Us By Sea


10. Deerhunter: Rainwater Cassette Exchange


9. Slushco: The Silver Surface Demos


8. The Orphins: Wish You Well


7. Mastodon: Crack The Skye


6. Lotus Plaza: Floodlight Collective


5. From Exile: Monolith


4. Nomen Novum: Paradises


3. Untied States: Instant Everything, Constant Nothing


2. Atlas Sound: Logos


1. Nomen Novum: November


In the Atlanta music scene, 2009 was the year of Nomen Novum. While most musicians take a whole year to scrap together enough decent songs to fill a good EP, the prolific Nomen Novum were able to drop two virtually perfect full-lengths, plus a great live EP, and they’re already posting new stuff to their myspace.

Although, all five records at the top of my list were legitimate contenders for Atlanta album of the year, and I would have probably been content with any ordering between them. The other 3 records to round out my top 5 each happened to be crafted over about 2 years, and the extra time and care in putting them together just right payed off. A big mistake I notice younger bands make is trying to push out a record too quickly on some arbitrary time scale and in the end get stuck with something that is less than what they are capable of producing. Atlas Sound, Untied States, and From Exile all spent more time than they probably wanted to on their respective albums, but the extra effort was well worth it in the end.

Looking back over this list after I finished it, I noticed that it is almost entirely dominated by veterans of the scene, and mostly by artists I was already familiar with before starting this blog. There is only one true first recording from its respective musicians to make the list. If I were to make a “Best Atlanta Artists of the Decade” shortlist, most of those artists would have an album included on this list, so I feel like it is a good snapshot of not just where the scene is at today, but where it has been heading for the latter part of the ’00s. There is so much diversity in sound and so much talent in this city, and if you have any interest at all in Atlanta’s music scene, don’t let anything on this list slip by you, because all twenty are well worth giving a listen.

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4 Responses to “Ohmpark’s Top 20 Atlanta Albums Of 2009”
  1. Paulie [eatl/ga] Says: December 13th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Manchester Orchestra’s “Mean Everything to Nothing” is not in your top twenty? Color me surprised since I think it’s a strong album.

  2. Taylor Says: December 14th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Thats a pretty solid list. I would’ve put Irreversible’s cd in there somewhere


  3. OPP – 12/24 (Holiday break, Lists, more) : EAR FARM :: music information helps grow ears Says: December 24th, 2009 at 1:02 am

    [...] Ohmpark’s Top 20 Atlanta Albums Of 2009 [...]

  4. Ohmpark » Blog Archive » [Mp3] Thy Mighty Contract: “Conjugal Freelance” Says: February 21st, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    […] just noticed that Thy Mighty Contract have made their self-titled record, one of my favourite local albums from 2009, available for free via bandcamp. If you never managed to pick up a copy, you should definitely go […]

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