As has become customary in the past few years, NPR Music producer Lars Gotrich's near-OCD list-making habit revealed a certain strain of outer sound that pervaded his headphones in 2009. It was decidedly heavier and louder, a pillaging that galloped with ramming speed. Indeed, 2009 was a phenomenal year for heavy music. Georgia metal reigned supreme, a volatile Sacramento noise-rock band gave the Internet a bloody nose (and you, too, probably), and a bunch of San Francisco-via-Athens redneck punks didn't give a damn if they love the '90s.
But in the swarm of Flying-V guitar-wielding, bearded greatness (not the other kind), there were also many records that touched on sonic explorations that were beautiful, hazy and quiet. Lars Gotrich tells us about both in this episode of All Songs Considered.
See also: Lars Gotrich's Out Of Orbit And Ingest: Best Cassettes Of 2009.
Click here for more entries in our Best Music of 2009 series.