wears the trousers magazine

wears the trousers 2009 readers’ poll: albums of the year
December 21, 2009, 2:55 pm
Filed under: feature, special | Tags: , ,

By now you’ll no doubt have seen a zillion end of year best-of lists, but, as always, Wears The Trousers strives to bring you something different, to shine a light on the many brilliant albums by female artists and female-fronted bands that are often overlooked in other lists.

That’s not to say we have deliberately excluded some of the more obvious and commercially successful ones, which is why you’ll still find the likes of Florence, Gaga and La Roux among our 100(ish) album picks. The only criteria was that each album had to have received at least a 3.5-star rating from us. (There are a couple in there for which the reviews have yet to be posted… coming soon.)

As we do every year, we’re throwing the selection of the 50 albums that will make our final list – which will be published December 28 and 29 – open to our readers. All you have to do is select up to 10 albums from the poll below. To make it a bit more exciting this year, we’ve lined up a bunch of brilliant prizes for anyone who enters. There are seven sets of prizes – leave a comment below this article stating clearly which set you would like to win and don’t forget to leave a valid email address (will not be made public unless you choose to display it) otherwise we won’t be able to contact you.

This poll will close at midnight on December 27.

* * *


A First Aid Kit first aid kit – promotional item that includes bandages etc.
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta


A signed cassette copy of Sally Shapiro’s My Guilty Pleasure – only 20 in existence!
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta


CD: Paloma Faith – Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?
CD/DVD: Beyoncé – I Am…Yours – a live performance from Las Vegas
CD: Kate Walsh – Light & Dark (digipak)
CD: Karima Francis – The Author
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta


CD/DVD: Joan Baez – How Sweet The Sound – brilliant documentary about her career
CD: Susana Baca – Seis Poemas (digipak)
CD: Gretchen Peters & Tom Russell – One To The Heart, One To The Head (digipak)
CD: Martina McBride – Shine
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta


CD: Norah Jones – The Fall (card case)
CD: Gwyneth Herbert – All The Ghosts (digipak)
CD: Katy Carr – Coquette
CD: Linda Draper – Bridge & Tunnel (digipak)
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta


CD: Imogen Heap – Ellipse (digipak promo)
CD/DVD: Rodrigo y Gabriela – 11:11 (special edition digipak)
CD: Asobi Seksu – Acoustic At Olympic Studios (digipak)
CD: Nneka – No Longer At Ease
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta


CD: Vivian Girls – Everything Goes Wrong (digipak)
CD: Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca (slimline jewel case)
CD: Howling Bells – Radio Wars (digipak)
CD: Evangelista – Prince Of Truth
A limited edition CD copy of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta

* * *


88 Comments so far
Leave a comment

If it were possible, make that half a vote for Lady Gaga – to me, 90% of The Fame is generic and incredibly narcissistic, but The Fame Monster’s just great pop. Almost lives up to her image!

Oh, and I’d love to win set 6 – email’s richaod at gmail . com – thanks!

Comment by Richaod

woo! katmusicbox@aol.com and set 1, fingers crossed etc.

Comment by sayhikatherine

Excellent album picks, some names I recognise but not the albums, got some listening to do! Still managed to select 10, good to see Polly Scattergood in there, my Album of the Year.

Set 1 please if I am picked out of the hat! Loved First Aid Kit’s Drunken Trees EP.

Cheers Andy

Comment by Andy

set 4 !

Comment by Ma

I can’t believe Fever Ray is not on this list!! Unless I am vay blind and missed it. Brilliant selection though – swell to see bands like Kasms and Pens alongside Spinnerette and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Lovely jubb.

Comment by The Girls Are

Have updated it to include both Fever Ray (which we gave a 5-star review) and Lisa Germano… is taking its time to refresh though! Anyone who wanted to vote for either of these two artists is welcome to register an additional vote (comments left here will be included).

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

And I forgot to say set 7!
(Failing that, set 3!!)

Comment by The Girls Are

thanks……how can you forget miss Lisa Germano? :P

Comment by Ma

Hard to pick just 10. The XX are top! I would like Set 3 please :)

Comment by Katie Houghton

Great selection to choose from! Glad to see both Mika Miko and Vivian Girls on there (although I only picked one of them — both are deserving of at least a nod). As for the set I would like, Set 2 would be nice! Thanks!

Comment by Bryant

Set 6 for me, please!

Comment by KT

It was really a great year for music!

Comment by Amy Lotsberg

Set 2 pwease
all for the xx to!

Comment by Alwinkle Hinton

An excellent selection. I will add : Alondra Bentley, Ane Brun, Carina Round, Holly Miranda, Melody Gardot, Siren On and Tamara Williamson.
There is my top album :

Comment by Dsata

Thanks for your input!

Ane Brun’s Changing Of The Seasons was a cheeky inclusion in our 2008 list, even though it was only released in the UK in 2009.

Holly Miranda’s album isn’t out until next month so we haven’t included that.

I don’t think Carina Round has released an album this year, has she? We did review her EP, but EPs aren’t included in this list.

We never quite got around to reviewing Melody Gardot’s album, for shame! I liked it. We did review Alondra Bentley though, here: http://wearsthetrousers.com/2009/06/09/sounding-off-aprilmay-2009-i/ – nice album!

Will check out Siren On and Tamara Williamson – thanks again!

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

You are right for the year of release of Ane Brun’s album, and it is absolutely true that Carina Round and Holly Miranda haven’t released albums but EPs. (just wanted to mention them) ;-)
Jonna Enckell (Siren on) and Tamara Williamson are fabulous singers. I hope you will love them.
Thanks again !!! (a french reader)

Comment by Dsata

As a French reader I would have added Emilie Simon, Emily Loizeau and Charlotte Gainsbourg but I’m quite happy with the list. Best discovery of the year (for me at last) must be Jesca Hoop…
And if by chance… set 4 would be nice !

Comment by Nathalie

Emilie Simon and Emily Loizeau were definitely in contention. Unfortunately neither album has been reviewed by our team so we had to leave them out. The Loizeau album in particular is brilliant.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

and in addition to sounding incredibly lovely, the emily loizeau album is also the most nicely packaged cd for a very long time; it kind of restores ones emthusiasm for the physical medium…

Comment by David Heil

Good selection, lot’s of my favorites (a few more than 10). I’d like to win Set 7, Thanks.

Comment by Jason Oldfield

My Top10 of female artists is like this:
1. Fever Ray
2. Hildur Gu∂nadóttir
3. Hope Sandoval
4. Marissa Nadler
5. Bat For Lashes
6. The XX
7. Hanne Hukkelberg
8. Camera Obscura
9. Susanna & The Magical Orchestra
10. Cortney Tidwell

Comment by Tomas Slaninka

Great list, although it could have done with a couple of quite great RnB releases (Electrik Red’s album in particular come to mind, as well as, to a lesser extent, Keri Hilson and Alicia Keys). My definitive favourite album of the year however was Röyksopp’s Junior, which actually wouldn’t have been so out of place in this list as almost all the songs in there have a female vocalist (such as Lykke Li, Robyn, Keri Dreijir and some others).

Set 6 for me!

Comment by Bernardo

I haven’t heard the Electrik Red or Keri Hilson albums, will look them up – thanks! Alicia Keys was almost on the list if that’s any consolation (probably not).

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Nice to see someone repping r&b. I thought How To Be A Lady: Vol 1 sucked though.

Comment by Charlotte

annie, though half of the songs are harly bearable, is still the best
pens and brandi are cool as well
set 7

Comment by minoise

Neko Case, Natasha Khan, Cortney Tidwell and Lisa Germano made my year. Great music!

Set 6 for me, thanks!

Comment by Anni Hihnala

Why have you not got Abnormally Attracted To Sin by Tori instead of her not-quite-Xmas/Winter album?

Comment by Djimi

Because AATS only received 3 stars from our reviewer and is therefore ineligible for this poll.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

I’d love set 7!

Comment by Nicolas

Second Nathalie’s comment about Jesca Hoop, and also note the lack of French albums (Olivia Ruiz and Charlotte Gainsbourg which is out over there should certainly also get a mention). Also; I can win Katy Carr’s album, but not vote for it? That’s a bit mean, isn’t it? Still, it’s in the set (5) I’d love to win so I can give Coquette to my mum. A fairly comprehesnive choice there, though having Dear Reader or Miss Li on the list would have been nice too; both deffo worth exploring…

Comment by David Heil

We aren’t allowing votes for Katy Carr’s album as she’s one of our writers and we didn’t want to introduce any bias. As for the Charlotte Gainsbourg album, that’s not out in the UK until January so is ineligible for this poll. The latest Miss Li album is wonderful though, isn’t it? An oversight to be sure.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

bugger about Katy. I still have a fantasy that Berliner Ring would somehow one day make an ideal eurovision song contest entry… Miss Li’s new cheerful album is a total joy and pleasure; we were lucky to see her (for free!) in Hampstead Heath for a day of all things sweden (ikea crazy golf anyone?) and she was nothing less than thrillingly lovely. She’s consistently good, that lady, but i think her new album taps into a warmth that’s quite new for her.

Comment by David Heil

Set 6 would be wonderful!

Comment by Ezra

I’ll have a 6 please, Bob. :-)

PJ Harvey & John Parish FTW!!!


Comment by OneLittleSpaceman

cool list.. hard to choose set 4 or set 6!?

Comment by michelle

I listened to Carina Round’s ep, Florence + the Machine, Neko Case, Tori’s Midwinter, Gaga, ambeR Rubarth, Metric, Erin McKeown and Elizabeth and the Catapult the most.

Can’t narrow down, I like sets 3, 4 5, 6 7 :)

Comment by karen

set 5 please… and Neko for no.1 but where is Carolyn?

Comment by mosley

Another album I never received a review for, despite commissioning it twice! Sorry Carolyn =(

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

set 1 plz!

Comment by jo

Where are Metric? Gold Guns Girls is one of my tracks of the year. And Stricken City? I’m loving Songs About People I Know.

Good selection otherwise, though – it’s been a good year, eh? I keep returning to Emmy the Great’s album, and Blue Roses is hugely under-rated. Good to see Ohbijou on the list, too.

Set 1, please! Can’t wait to see First Aid Kit again in February.

Comment by James

Either set 3, 5, or 7, pleeze : )

Comment by melky

Good list. Many of these have been sadly overlooked in other publications. There’s a few records I, too, need to catch up on.

set 7 for me, thanks!

Comment by Gaia

set 4 please :)

Comment by mrc

Great prize selection, would love to win set 2!

Comment by Matt

There’s so much music I have still to discover!

All the sets look great and I’d love to unwrap any of them, but I’ll go for 7.

Comment by Kirsty Logan

Set 7 please :)

Comment by Maelle

Good selection of tunes but where was the opportunity to vote for SfOdetta? ;-)

Keep up the good work.

And Set 6 looks rather good if you ask me!

Comment by Trev

haha, I think that would have been beating our own drum a little too loudly. Not that it isn’t totally deserving ;-)

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Great list! My favourite albums this year by far was Wye Oak and Camera Obscura, good to see them listed. Oh and Set 6 ;)

Comment by Alice Ralph

Lovely site, lovely poll…& set 5 would be lovely. Lovely!

Comment by Andrew

Cortney Tidwell rocks my world! I’d love Set #6!

Comment by Jennifer Masset

set 7 for me,

seems ive voted for lots of things other people have missed including the wonderful Cryptacize
who i managed to see on my hols; fantstic live

Comment by mike

Set 4 please by preference, but I’d be happy with any!

Comment by Sarah Rogers

“musically speaking”, it was a really good year !

Comment by Dimitri

yes! shame about the rest of it eh? HURRY UP 2010.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Several contenders as I see it: Annie, Sally Shapiro, The XX, Regina Spector… quite a few exciting releases this year actually!
Oh and set 2 would be so sweet! .)

Comment by Petr

Special thanks to Sally and Johan for the music.
I wish I got the Set 2 :)
Merry X-mas & Happy new year !

Comment by Claude

Cortneys and Fever Rays – 2 of the best albums this year. Trancendental. Pure. Wonderful.

Any set would be a gift.

Comment by Huw

Thanx for all your reviews and Mp3s. I’ve discovered the fantastic George Pingle via your website and I’m blood*** fond of her songs.

Don’t know if I can enter the contest, but my choice would be set n°7.

Have a merry christmas from France.


Comment by stephy

Congratulations for this poll!

I’d love to get SET 2.


Comment by Angel

set 2 please!

and in case you haven’t jihae’s ‘elvis is still alive’, listen to it as well.

Comment by kisdubos

set 2 would be nice

Comment by Dodge

Set 2 :)

Comment by Anguiano

Would love set 5. Great poll.

Comment by Anna

I’d love to win set 5!
great, hard choices in the poll :D
merry x-mas everybody!

Comment by Kasia

1 or 2 would be great.
but i won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
thank you.

Comment by rick


Comment by Louis

Set 5 would be perfect for me.

Comment by Tor

Set 6 please! :)

E-mail: souldriftmusic [at] gmail.com

Comment by Saara

set 3 or 6
Why isn’t Lhasa on the list? I thought her CD received a 3.5 star review.

Comment by Virginia

hi, would love set 2.. thanks, merry xmas

Comment by dan barnes

What about Sara Lov! Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming

Comment by Tim

Any set would be welcome.

And I thank you for introducing me to tUnE-yArDs. Definitely my album of the year.

Comment by Neile

Micachu & The Shapes has definitely been my favourite album of the year, so many ideas all the way through yet so listenable at the same time.
Set 6 would be lovely.

Comment by Paul

Set 6 (or set 3) look nice to me. nice competition :)

Comment by Matthew

i would love to have set 7! thanks. xo

Comment by Kristina

Set 6 please!

Comment by Alicia

S4 or 7 would suit me fine.

And thank you for this website.

Merry Christmas!

Comment by Hazel

Torn between 1, 5 and 6. But if I HAVE to choose, I’ll take 6,, as its hard to pass up a chance for the new new Imogen Heap and the R&G DVD/CD set…

Comment by boyhowdy

Set 6 please …

Comment by Lloyd Mitchell

Set 3 please

Comment by Philana

Fantastic selection of artists! I’d love set 1, 3 or 7. And merry christmas to all of you!

Comment by Iris

Voted. Tough choice though…


Comment by Bart

Sierra Swan released an album this year, you guys missed it!

Comment by Angie

My album of the year is the new Lovespirals. One of my all-time favorite acts, they just keep getting better and better.

Comment by Angie

I’d absolutely love to win set 5. Thanks for a great magazine. And a great poll.
All best from Denmark :-)

Comment by Leonora

Hey, what ever happened to Lisa Hannigan, btw? Sea Sew topped my list this year (along with Bat for Lashes, Katy Carr, Soap & Skin, and Fever Ray)

Comment by Leonora

Ah, good point. We reviewed Lisa’s album back in 2008 when it was originally released so it hasn’t been included in this year’s list. Sorry! Lovely record though.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

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