10 years on, these 2009 indie classics still absolutely bang

Painful though it may be to admit, 2009 was now a full decade ago. You are, I’m afraid to say, officially old. The era of spray-on skinnies, those weird scarves that looked like dishcloth, and endless pints of snakebite is well and truly over.

But, even a decade on, the indie bangers of 2009 still hold up as some of the very best. From the sparkling pop of Phoenix’s breakthrough LP ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’, to some of the discography highlights of British gems like Wild Beasts and The Maccabees, (RIP to both, of course), the indie hits of 2009 still sound great.

So put down your New Years’ resolutions list, sack off Dry January to get back into snakebite, and dig into our nostalgic playlist of 2009 indie bangers below.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Zero’


Kickstarted by a neon synth line straight out of the year 3009, NME voted the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ stomping single the best track of 2009.

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Crying Lightning’

Still a stomping, stormy highlight at every one of their shows, Arctic Monkeys made one of modern British indie’s biggest singalongs out of a relationship’s dissolution with this ‘Humbug’ hit.

The Horrors – ‘Who Can Say’

The lead single from their game-changing ‘Primary Colours’ LP, ‘Who Can Say’ established The Horrors as one of the country’s most idiosyncratic groups, the fusion of blown-out guitar work and buoyant melody making for a confusing-but-captivating concoction.

Phoenix – ‘1901’


Still an indie disco classic, ‘1901’ is Phoenix at their most high-spirited – a combo of crisp percussion, chirpy melody and effortless Parisian cool.

The xx – ‘Crystalised’

They’ve become such a musical mainstay, it’s easy to forget The xx haven’t been around for millennia. A decade ago, they dropped this game-changing fusion of gothic post-punk and underground UK dance music on an unsuspecting public. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Maccabees – ‘No Kind Words’

2009 also brought ‘Wall Of Arms’, another British indie classic. From that LP came ‘No Kind Words’, a track that captured the moodier side of one-time frivolous bunch The Maccabees for the first time – a side which would soon become their calling card.

Jamie T – ‘Sticks N’ Stones’

Another one that’s still filling dancefloors to this day, Jamie T’s boisterous sound became household fodder in 2009, his ‘Kings & Queens’ LP still held up as the gold standard of cheeky-chappy indie.

Wild Beasts – ‘Hooting and Howling’

Another intellectual prospect here, Wild Beasts’ most poppy endeavour (at least until ‘Boy King’ came along) was another track that made 2009 one of British indie’s very best years.

Biffy Clyro – ‘That Golden Rule’

It’s easy to forget that, up until a decade ago, Biffy Clyro were a decidedly niche prospect. Tracks like ‘That Golden Rule’ changed all that, propelling them from math-rock blogs and sweaty dive bars to daytime radio and arena stages.

Mumford & Sons – ‘Little Lion Man’

The stompy-stompy folk-pop bunch exploded in 2009; ‘Little Lion Man’ and it’s yelp-along chorus was integral to that breakthrough.

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