Without much further ado I present the Top 30 singles of 2009 according to brokenbranches, all of which can be enjoyed through the means of a youtube playlist right here.

30   Spinerette

Ghetto Love

Raw, hot rock track oozing sex appeal. One can only imagine what goes on between Brody Dalle and Josh Homme. Oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oooooohhh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooohhhhh, Hey!

29   Peter Fox

Haus am See

A German track made it to my top 30, unlikely but true. Funky & funny track. Ich habe zwanzig Kinder meine Frau ist schön.

28   Andrew Bird


From Bird’s album Noble Beast, an unassuming but deceptively intricate and charming song. Hold on just a second don’t tell me this one you know I know this one I know this song, I know this one I love this song.

27   Speech Debelle

The Key

Cheeky fresh and soulful rhymes by a bright young thing from South London. Love the Tribe Called Quest vibe in this song.

26   Radiohead

These Are My Twisted Words

One of only two officially released Radiohead songs in 2009, but I much prefer it to Harry Patch (In memory Of). This slightly eerie soundscapish track has an experimental B-side feel to it, also reminiscent of Up On The Ladder from the second In Rainbows disc.

25   The Temper Trap

Sweet Disposition

Still bummed I didn’t get to see these guys at Lowlands, it was a toss up with Bon Iver at that moment. This single, which gets loads of airplay over here, has everything a good popsong should have: a nice build up and a joyous singalong chorus.

24   Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

Empire State of Mind

Simply a great track, a worthy celebration of New York. I’m not usually that fond of Alicia Keys, but she definitely gives this song it’s infectious hook.

23   Noisettes

Don’t Upset The Rhythm

There’s no intricate explanation behind this gorgeous Noisettes song, who can resist it? Four three two one – Go baby go baby go!

22   Death Cab For Cutie

Meet Me On The Equinox

This is what Death Cab For Cutie does best, ominous guitar chords, swelling drums, Ben’s lyrics uttered with a sense of warning: Everything, everything ends. They sure had some smart kid making the Twilight – New Moon soundtrack.

21   Mumford & Sons

Little Lion Man

I never knew I was experiencing a lack of banjo fuelled tunes in my collection until I played Mumford & Sons’ debut Sighs No More. They specialise in the quiet-intro-waiting-to-explode-into-full-banjo-madness song structure, and it suits them. Don’t frown too much on the borderline twee lyrics, just enjoy the ride.

20   Matt and Kim


Psychiatrists should show this ridiculously chirpy Matt and Kim video to depressed patients, surely things wouldn’t seem so bad afterwards?

19   Dizzee Rascal


With a little help from Armand van Helden Dizzee has made the ultimate rap – dance crossover single and club floor filler of the year. Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free!

18   Patrick Watson


It’s a shame the band didn’t release Beijing as a single as that would definitely be my favourite pick, but Fireweed does the job as the perfect album opener. Gentle introduction, trademark drum shuffle, Patrick’s soft whispers, added layers of peculiar sounds and backing vocals all conspiring to make a beautiful composition.

17   Little Boots

New in Town

To be honest I was a bit disappointed with the Little Boots album, but that’s mainly because this tasty single really raised my expectations. It’s grimy and disco at the same time, and the killer chorus keeps you coming back. I don’t have a lot of money but we’ll be fine.

16   La Roux


Definitely one of the catchiest songs of the year, it’s no wonder La Roux was played to death all over radio and tv music channels. I still haven’t bored of it yet actually, This time baby I’ll be bulleeeeeeeeeeeet proof!

15   David Byrne & Dirty Projectors

Knotty Pine

I just love this upbeat if slightly messy little song with it’s jangly guitar & David Byrne’s irresistible voice immediately coating it with indie cred. Which reminds me, must play Toe Jam!

14   Thunderheist

Nothing 2 Step 2

Yes thank you very much Thunderheist for this dirrrty, funky, head bobbing hip shaking number. Loving the eighties synth, loving the cow bells. I Want You To Know That I Ne Ver Meant To Walk A Way From You.

13   The Decemberists

The Rake Song

Is it a bad thing to love a song about murdering children? The Decemberists made me do it! This most harrowing tale on the Hazards of Love concept album is a burst of percussion and acidic lyrics, with the instant impact chorus Alright, alright, alright! Brilliant song that will have you singing along in no time.

12   Dragonette

Fixin to Thrill

Who is this strange creature in the flesh coloured leotard? For some reason Dragonette had never popped up on my radar before this buttkicking single came out, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them from now on.

11   Beyoncé

Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)

This is the only decent thing Beyoncé released over the last year or so, but it hits the spot. You tell ‘em B! Sassy, utterly danceable and let’s not forget the most copied video clip of 2009. If you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it, oh oh oh

10   The Maccabees

Can You Give It

Ah yes The Maccabees, the band that made it to my number one slot on the Best Albums chart. There’s just so much exciting material to choose from on this album, but I’m sticking with the group-hug-sing-along-with-all-your-pubmates thriller Can You Give It.

9     Metric

Help I’m Alive

Such an addictive song this lead single from Metric’s fourth album release Fantasies. Emily Haines vocals are disconnected and desperate at the same time. I tremble, they’re gonna eat me alive. Can you hear my heart beating like a hammer…

8     Gossip

Heavy Cross

God bless Beth Ditto, first and foremost for rocking it out, secondly for adding some very necessary different scenery in between all the MTV polish and veneer. Here’s another inescapable monsterhit by the Washington based threesome.

7     Fanfarlo

Howard T. Wilkins, or How to Wait for a Very Long Time

This band “had me at hello” when they played a great gig at Lowlands this year despite lacking half the band members due to a missed flight. They play a happy brand of orchestral pop, not afraid to amp up the drama and throw in some trumpets and violins. Howard T. Wilkins is probably the best track on the album.

6     DM Stith

Pity Dance

The Spanish guitar strumming combined with strange electronic sounds and DM Stith’s plaintive wailing make for an odd but seductive concoction. By the time the dramatic piano comes in you feel like doom is on your doorstep and there is no escape.

5     Bat for Lashes


Although an entire Bat for Lashes album can sometimes be too much of a good thing, this single is a work of art. Natasha Khan took everything that is beautiful about Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting and Running Up That Hill, mashed it up and updated it to 2009.

4     Clues

Remember Severed Head

When ex-Unicorns and ex-Arcade Fires mingle, this overwhelming severing of heads is what happens. A psychedelic and bizarre but utterly terrific romp of a song. You never quite know what’s around the corner, but you’re looking forward to it all the same.

3     Fever Ray

If I Had a Heart

Surely one of the most exciting releases of this year, If I Had A Heart is the lead single from the self titled album. It simultaneously scares and moves me. I read somewhere it was about post natal depression, which seems to make sense. What an amazing way to deal with such a delicate subject.

2     Florence + The Machine

Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

I could have chosen any of the singles Florence + the Machine released this year, but this is the one that, well, enchanted me seems the right expression. Such drama such passion, and what a refreshingly different sounds to everything else out there. This is a gift, it comes with a price…

1     Grizzly Bear

Two Weeks

With Two Weeks this Brooklyn foursome, who are about as far removed from a grizzly bear as imaginable, have produced the best single of 2009 by far in my opinion. The attention grabbing opening chords on the piano, the glowing harmonies, the spacey sounds that kick in with Would you aaaaaaaaaalways, it’s just a perfect package.

If you’re a brokenbranches regular you’ll know that even a selection of 30 is a painstaking process for me, with many casualties along the way. Here are some of the beautiful losers:

Alberta Cross – ATX

Animal Collective – My Girls

Antony and the Johnsons – Crazy In Love

Basement Jaxx – Raindrops

Beirut / Realpeople – Venice

Bell X1 – The Great Defector

Bowerbirds – Northern Lights

Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is the Move

Dodos – Fables

Emilíana Torrini – Jungle Drum

Friendly Fires – Kiss of Life

Girls – Lust For Life

Hockey – Song Away

Jack Peñate – Be The One

Jay-Z – Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)

Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension

Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Le Le – Luxe Benen

Lily Allen – It’s Not Fair

Mando Diao – Gloria

Micachu & The Shapes – Golden Phone

Neko Case – People Got a Lotta Nerve

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings

Phoenix – 1901

Portugal. The Man – People Say

St Vincent – Actor Out of Work

The Killers – Spaceman

The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin

The Raveonettes – Last Dance

The Veils – Sit Down By The Fire

The Very Best feat. Ezra Koenig – Warm Heart of Africa

Thom Yorke – All For The Best

Vampire Weekend – Horchata

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll