02 January, 2009

A Selection of Albums, 2008

In the interests of keeping this brief (it is a vain enterprise after all) I'm not going to try and eke out an order. Indeed, even the boundary between top and bottom tiers is an insecure one. Neither will I be making any particularly elaborate attempts to persuade you my selection is correct - I think these albums all speak for themselves.

A top 10:

Born RuffiansRed, Yellow And Blue (Clattering sing-song with irresistible choruses)

CharlottefieldWhat Friends Are For (Yelping, convulsive rock. Sadly missed)

Gregor SamsaRest (Slowcore gems that gently tie your gut in knots)

Lau NauNukkuu (Abstract pieces woven from threads of contentedness and peace)

Les √ČtoilesNever To Alight (Fragile moments of dawn-touched solitude. Heartaching)

Little JoyLittle Joy (Fuzzy feelgood record just waiting for the summertime)

Parts & LabourReceivers (Reeling noises and rolling drums suffused with epic melodies)

Peter BroderickFloat (As rich in understatement as in melancholy. Insanely more-ish)

Religious KnivesIt’s After Dark (Surprisingly muscly, mesmerising rhythm and drone)

Sic AlpsU.S. Ez (Like a lo-fi static attic haphazardly littered with shambolic pop blasts)

A further 10:

Fuck ButtonsStreet Horrrsing (Initially disappointing, now totally engrossing)

Haruka NakamuraGrace (Songs in turn wistful, peaceful, joyful and simple)

IslajaBlaze Mountain Recordings (Menacing experimental folk from a faraway cavern)

No AgeNouns (Distorted melodies briefly flicker and the album’s past before you realise)

This Will Destroy YouThis Will Destroy You (Beautifully executed post-rock)

War On DrugsWagonwheel Blues (Seemingly effortless shoegazy Americana)

WetnurseInvisible City (Scary in its ambition, terrifying in its execution)

Wildbirds & PeacedrumsHeartcore (Enchanting combination of folk and blues)

Wilderness(K)No(W)Here (My first experience with the Wilderness formula)

Wolf ParadeAt Mount Zoomer (Possibly the years biggest grower)

Interestingly, while many (a quarter!) bands in my list begin with the letter W, the sub-categorisation has resulted in a ghettoisation of these to the 'somewhat less essential' status. I cannot begin to imagine why. The following are also worthy of consideration.

Still good:

ShapesGet Your Learn On EP

Gang Gang DanceSaint Dymphna

El HeathWinter Soundtrack

Why? - Alopecia

Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes

GrouperDragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (A failure on my part, to give this enough plays)

Lastly, there are a lot of things I intended to hear in 2008, but didn't. The first part of any year is always spent catching up on things missed the year before.

Still Need To Hear:


Conor Oberst


Flying Lotus

Four Tet

Fucked Up

Harvey Milk


Hercules & Love Affair



Papier Tigre


Sun Kil Moon

The Bug

William Burroughs

This final list should confirm that in fact my selection is hardly the most comprehensive out there. I posted a run-down of what I've actually been listening to the most, from my computer at least, on my last.fm page. It is here.


David said...

Thanks for the Les Etoiles props, Mr C: most kind! A splendid list too, although you got the wrong Religious Knives release imo. Anyone sufficiently arsed can download the Les Etoiles album free (and legally) here: http://recordsonribs.com/download/nevertoalight/skip/

unfire said...

I really think that album can stand up alongside pretty much anything else from 2008.

I haven't listened to everything on RoR yet. I'm going to find time for Dusk Dappled Fall soon.

I don't think It's After Dark is as good as Remains, but those are the only releases I have by Religious Knives. I shall have to check out The Door...