The Long Island scene had a good year in 2009.
Patchogue's Chrisette Michele scored a No. 1 album with "Epiphany." Rockville Centre's Taking Back Sunday hit the Top 10 on both the album charts with "New Again" and the rock charts with the single "Sink Into Me." And Levittown's Brand New headlined Nassau Coliseum to support its excellent "Daisy" album.
The scene's up-and-comers also fared pretty well. Here's a look at the year's best of The Long Island Sound:
1. RYAN STAR, "BREATHE" (Atlantic)
The Dix Hills native's debut album should finally arrive early 2010, but the powerful "Breathe," aided by a poignant video, captured the strain of today's world and the need for an escape.
2. AS TALL AS LIONS, "YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU" (Triple Crown)
The most effective of several dreamy epics on the Massapequa band's stellar "You Can't Take It With You" is the title track, with haunting vocals from Dan Nigro and a lush backdrop.
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3. NIGHTMARE OF YOU, "TELL ME WHEN IT'S OVER" (Bevonshire)
The pivotal song from the powerful "Infomaniac" album bridges the gap between the band's clever, emotional past and its more artistic, brainier future.
4. ALEXA RAY JOEL, "INVISIBLE" (Unsigned)
A promising single from the Sag Harbor singer-songwriter that reveals a bit of the heartache that she will hopefully work through soon.
5. NICKODEMUS, "SUN CHILDREN" (ESL)
The Bay Shore native turns his world travels as a DJ into a grand dance number.
Aeroplane Pageant, "Stars Still Pretty" (Stormy Ice); Adam McHeffey, "Dream Sequence" (Overbite Record House); Lion of Ido, "Hard to Love" (ECG); Push Play, "Midnight Romeo" (Wind-Up); John Hampson, "Counting the Stars" (Dirty Poet)
Contact The Long Island Sound at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ndmusic on Twitter