The Bay Area may not have a single unified scene, but its diverse musical communities produced a ton of acclaimed records in 2009. The following list collects thirty-two of the highlights that made this another banner year for Bay Area indie music. It’s a collection that showcases the depth of Bay Area indie in 2009, and one suspects that few other regions have offered this volume of quality releases this year.

A couple of qualifiers: This isn’t a comprehensive list of excellent local records from 2009 or intended as any sort of official Bay Bridged “Best of” set. Plenty of quality releases were left off for the sake of keeping this somewhat manageable. For the same reason, it only includes full lengths, so plenty of terrific EPs and singles are also omitted. With those hedges out of the way, here’s a pretty good sampling of SF victories in ’09.

Read Part 2 of this collection here.

Download all 32 songs featured in these two articles here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

The Dodos - Time To Die
The DodosTime to Die

[audio:] The Dodos – “Fables”

Wallpaper. - Doodoo Face album cover
Wallpaper.Doodoo Face[audio:] Wallpaper. – “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted”

leopold and his fiction aint no surprise
Leopold and His FictionAin’t No Surprise[audio:] Leopold and his Fiction – “Come Back (Now That I’m Here)”

or the whale self-titled
Or, the WhaleOr, the Whale[audio:] Or, the Whale – “Rusty Gold”

thao - know better learn faster
Thao with The Get Down Stay DownKnow Better Learn Faster[audio:] Thao and the Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”

garrett pierce - all masks cover
Garrett PierceAll Masks[audio:] Garrett Pierce – “And The Ghosts Boarded Trains”

Girls - Album cover
GirlsAlbum[audio:] Girls – “Laura”

port o brien threadbare cover
Port O’BrienThreadbare[audio:] Port O’Brien – “My Will Is Good”

sholi album cover
SholiSholi[audio:] Sholi – “Tourniquet”

sleepy sun embrace cover
Sleepy SunEmbrace[audio:] Sleepy Sun – “New Age”

thee oh sees help cover
Thee Oh SeesHelp[audio:] Thee Oh Sees – “Ruby Go Home”

From Monument to Masses cover
From Monument to MassesOn Little Known Frequencies[audio:] From Monument to Masses – “Beyond God & Elvis”

papercuts - you can have what you want
PapercutsYou Can Have What You Want[audio:] Papercuts – “You Can Have What You Want”

fresh and onlys grey-eyed girls cover
The Fresh & OnlysGrey-Eyed Girls[audio:] The Fresh & Onlys – “Dude’s Got A Tender Heart”

john vanderslice - romanian names
John VandersliceRomanian Names[audio:] John Vanderslice – “Fetal Horses”

tempo no tempo waking heat cover
Tempo No TempoWaking Heat[audio:] Tempo No Tempo – “Kilometer”