The Softsynth 2009 Playlist (songs of the year ’09)

So this will be the last in the long line of “lists” for the year. We had mused about doing up a “best singles of the year list”

and were both overwhelmed by the task at hand and felt persnickety about the notion of being limited to just singles.

The era of the single is definitely upon us what with the death of the CD as the last remaining form of “physical” music and the growth of iTunes culture, but damn it, Softsynth is a creature from the age of album appreciation and the best songs are so often not the tracks sent out to be appreciated by the masses, but those that remain buried in the outer confines of an album. (That said many of the best songs

released there were, indeed, singles, so we’re not limiting ourselves here). It’s what made for the great mixed tapes of yore. (And for those of a certain age, too young for the pure album era of the 70s, but older than those who know only the MP3 era, the mixed tape was a crucial part of our musical upbringing. we created our own playlists, as a kind of precursor to the era we increasingly find ourselves in today via one-off MP3 downloads, but with tracks culled from albums or singles as we saw fit, depending on our mood at a given time.)

This is literally the only time through the year that we open things up to acknowledge the best stuff from various genres, not just electronic music (and in our next post we will revisit the question of what exactly constitutes so-called “electronic music”).We will paint with a wider brush just to fully colour in the year. So away we go, the singles of the year, er, songs of the year, uh…no, the “2009 Softsynth playlist”…

There was a huge bounty of memorable songs that have occupied exhalted places on the iPod this year. we present these in no particular order except for three that transcended the rest of the songs we enjoyed, each was musically special, but more notably lyrically – “I Am Terrified” by IAMX, “The Cruelest Year” by Assemblage 23 and “The Rake’s Song” by the Decemberists. Each of these songs moved Softsynth in different ways but each moved us deeply (with The Rake’s Song the darkest damn lyrics we’ve heard all year telling the tale of a man from a bygone era who thinks up ways to murder his nuisance children following the death-by-labour passing of his wife, all without a shred of remorse. Dark shit indeed. Also? Brilliant.)

The rest of the best, again, no particular order:

Shiny Toy Guns: Major Tom (awesome version of the Peter Schilling classic largely making up for the general lameness of their last album…)

i:Scintilla: Prey on You

The Big Pink: Velvet

Ellie Goulding: Under the Sheets

Glee Cast: Defying Gravity (who knew?)

The Temper Trap: Sweet Disposition

Tenek: I Don’t Cry (For You)

MESH: Who Says?

Claire Voyant: Into Oblivion

La Roux: Tigerlily

Flight of the Conchords: We’re Both In Love With A Sexy Lady

Venus Hum: Bryan Sometimes

Dragonette: Easy

Dragonette: We Rule the World

Muse: Undisclosed Desires

Lady GaGa: Paparazzi

Zoot Woman: Lust Forever

Dirty Projectors: Stillness Is the Move

Imogen Heap: Aha!

Marsheaux: Exit

The Dead Weather: Treat Me Like Your Mother

Bat For Lashes: Pearl’s Dream

Moderat: Rusty Nails

a-ha: Foot of the Mountain

Phoenix: Rome

Little Boots: New in Town

VNV Nation: Where There is Light

Northern Kind: Pop

Metric: Twilight Galaxy

Metric: Help, I’m Alive

M83: We Own the Sky

IAMX: Great Shipwreck of Life

IAMX: Kingdom of Welcome Addiction

IAMX: Tear Garden

Polly Scattergood: Bunny Club

Fischerspooner: Door Train Home

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Skeletons

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Zero

U2: No Line on the Horizon

A Camp: Bear on the Beach

Placebo: Julien

Depeche Mode: Wrong

The Presets: This Boy’s in Love

Andrew Bird: Oh No

Franz Ferdinand: No You Girls

Best of the year? Yeah, kinda. These songs stayed the course, and singles and album tracks alike were some of the most compelling tracks of the year and kept us moving throughout. That’s our playlist, what’s on yours?


One Response to “The Softsynth 2009 Playlist (songs of the year ’09)”

  1. inertia:creeps Says:

    Great playlist! Most songs are also my fave songs of 2009

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