PRINT December 2009

Music: Best of 2009

Charlotte Gainsbourg


1 Beck’s website ( An ingenious musical scene: ever-changing and inspired, mixing artwork, sound, covers, and interviews that display the playfulness and free eclecticism of the artist’s mind.

2 Thom Yorke, “Hearing Damage” (ChopShop/Atlantic) I look out for anything Yorke does—for example, his song for the original sound track of the most recent Twilight movie (New Moon, 2009), “Hearing Damage.”

3 Sound track for The Third Man (Silva, 2003) A film I love. A voyage in time. The music gave the 1949 film its original and unforgettable tune; its zithered tones haunt me to this day.

4 The Dead Weather, video for “Treat Me like Your Mother,” directed by Jonathan Glazer Bold, beautiful, politically incorrect. Guns and cigarettes.

5 Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino) I discovered them through a sound engineer. I admire the experimental tone, the freedom of their structure, their creativity. From Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (Animal, 2000) to the new Merriweather Post Pavilion, all their albums are vastly different, and this is what makes them essential.

6 Elizabeth Cotten, “Shake Sugaree” (Smithsonian Folkways, 1967, rereleased in 2004) When I came across this song I fell in love with it, with her voice. The tune, written with her grandchildren, seems to have enjoyed a listening renaissance in the past year.

7 Beats by Dr. Dre headphones (Monster LLC) Great sound, and the only headphones that fit my ears.

8 M.I.A. “Paper Planes (DFA Remix)” (N.E.E.T.) I’m attracted to her energy and multicolored musical inspirations, especially the remixed version of “Paper Planes” featured in the sound track for Slumdog Millionaire.

9 Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest (Warp) I love their work and felt very lucky when they agreed to do the remix of my song “Heaven Can Wait.” If I have downtime, I listen to this latest album.

10 iPod Touch My companion on films; I enjoy having a different playlist to color each shoot.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is a singer and actress. Her newest album, IRM, will be released in the US in January on Because/Elektra. She recently won the Best Actress award at the Cannes International Film Festival for her performance in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist.