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My Favorite Albums of 2008

Date December 30, 2008

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Photo Illustration by Nick Duncan. Click for hi-res version.

2008 is taking it’s final bow and a what a year it has been. While ’07 was dominated by a slew of  indie rock heavy hitters releasing awesome albums (Spoon, Of Montreal, Arcade Fire, Wilco,  Radiohead) this is a year where new talent seems to be garnering the most attention.  For me at least, this has been a very good thing with 1/5th of my favorite albums this year being debuts and just as many being sophomore releases.  This isn’t to say that old favorites didn’t deliver this year as well, as a number of albums on this list are from bands that I’ve listened to and loved  for years.

Overall, 2008 has a brought an excellent variety of  memorable albums and after rummaging through countless hours of music this year,  it’s now time to wrap it up here with my final year-end list. These are my favorite 25 albums of 2008. Make sure to leave a comment if you like what you see or have your own favorite albums to add. Big thanks to Nick for creating the awesome post header with the graffiti/album poster theme. To the readers, thank you for all your support and for listening to what I have to say. I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

25. The Rosebuds Life Like

This is the fourth Rosebuds album and the band has really made a niche with their smart and stylish pop.  This album recalls the high points of all previous albums with wonderful mood pieces like “Border Guards” and “Nice Fox” and lively rave-ups like “Bow to the Middle” and Cape Fear”.

MP3 Border Guards
MP3 Bow to the Middle

24. HeadlightsSome Racing, Some Stopping

Headlights have grown from a three-piece shoegaze pop band to a lushly orchestrated folk collective full of gorgeous textures, memorable boy/girl harmonies, and warm retro goodness.  “Cherry Tulips” is one of the best pure pop songs of the year and there’s a lot more on this album where that came from.

MP3 Cherry Tulips
MP3 Get Your Head Around It

23. EvangelicalsThe Evening Descends

This album dominated much of my listening time early this year. From the horror B-movie sound effects to the spacey, nightmarish psych-rock the band have crafted a thrilling sophomore album that has been criminally under-recognized.

MP3 Skeleton Man
MP3 Midnight Vignette

22. Jamie LidellJim

Jim quite simply puts a smile on my face every time I listen to it. With the snazzy retro production and old soul spirit, this album proves how staggeringly talented this guy is. If Jamie keeps spitting out gems like the rollicking call-and-response “Hurricane” or the exuberant, gospel-like “Another Day”, he’ll be wearing gold-plated diapers in no time.

MP3 Another Day
MP3 Hurricane

21. Department of EaglesIn Ear Park

Three months ago I wouldn’t have had the slightest clue who Department of Eagles were, but in a short span of time that I’ve had this album, it’s become one of my most beloved albums of the year. With it’s luscious, organic folk sound that create a beautiful, haunting aesthic and Beach Boys-influenced melodies which provides an accessibility I never quite found with Grizzly Bear, In Ear Park is superbly crafted album in every way.

MP3 No One Does It Like You
MP3 Teenagers

20. Cloud CultFeel Good Ghosts (Tea Partying Through Tornadoes)

While Feel Good Ghosts doesn’t quite reach the same heights as last year’s absolutely brilliant The Meaning of 8, this album still shows that Cloud Cult continue to make gorgeous, uplifting, and passionate music. “When Water Comes To Life” and “Journey of the Featherless” stand among the most beautiful, transcendent songs I’ve heard this year.

MP3 When Water Comes To Life
MP3 Everybody Here Is A Cloud

19. Mates of State Re-Arrange Us

Out of all the bands represented on this list, Mates of State might be the one that I’ve listened to the longest, and it’s been amazing seeing how the band has grown from the quirky, lo-fi pop of My Solo Project to carefully designed, beautifuly orchestrated songs like “The Re-Arranger” and “Get Better”.   The band still are masters of clever pop arrangements and boy/girl harmonies, but this album is more fully developed and dare I say, mature, than anything else in the band’s catalogue and I have a feeling these songs will stay with me for a long time.

MP3 Get Better
MP3 The Re-Arranger

18. British Sea Power Do You Like Rock Music?

This really seems like a love or hate it kind of album, and I’m placing myself firmly in the love it category. It’s a grand, sprawling, larger-than-life type of album which I guess reminds some people of U2 or Coldplay.  But looking past the anthemic, stadium-sized nature of these songs, you can see this album as a labor of love from guys who really, really like rock music and would just like to share their enthusiasm with the world in the only way they know how, with huge, bombastic epics of rock theatricality. The results are breathtaking.

MP3 Waving Flags
MP3 No Lucifer

17. Los Campesinos! Hold On Now Youngster / We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

When Hold On Now Youngster… came out I was overjoyed that the band had been able to translate their manic, blazingly enjoyable, noisy dance-punk-twee-pop into a full length album that was just as fun as their demos, singles, and EPs.  So it came as absolute surprise and bewilderment that after only 33 weeks the band released a second album that was just as good (and maybe even better) as their debut.  These albums are admittedly at times a bit messy and unpolished, but the sheer magnitude of excruciatingly catchy hooks, wild strings-and-glockenspiel instrumentation, and exceptionally witty, youthful lyrics that they fill into their music is outstanding.  Coming from a band where the seven members are just past American drinking age, the accomplishments Los Campesinos! have made this year are groundbreaking. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

MP3 Ways To Make It Through The Wall
MP3 Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

16. The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns

This Toronto three-piece who shockingly are still unsigned despite finally getting a continuous amount of buzz on the web, have made a truly exceptional debut album. Hometowns is an exhilarating listening experience, filled with depth and sincerity, that gets better on each listen.  Drawing largely on influences like Neutral Milk Hotel to M. Ward, the songs are filled with explosive percussion, vocal intensity, and the sparse folk arrangements with geographic/historical lyrical themes that would make Sufjan Stevens proud.  Rural Alberta Advantage are easily of the most exciting new bands of 2008 and their fan base is constantly growing as more people listen to, and subsequently fall in love with this incredibly rewarding little-album-that-could.

MP3 Don’t Haunt This Place
MP3 Frank, AB

15. Cut CopyIn Ghost Colours

Every year there’s an album that jumps way up my list in the final days of the year, and I’ve been gorging on this album nearly all December even though, with it’s uplifting and celabratory pop jams, this album seems best suited for warm summer nights.  Nevertheless, I’ve fallen head over heels for In Ghost Colours. From the pulsating groove of the exquisite opening track, “Feel The Love” to the hazy psych-pop of “Unforgettable Season, the edgy dance-rock of “So Haunted” and the unstoppable electro-disco pop jam with a killer saxophone solo, “Hearts on Fire”, this album wows me again and again.

MP3 Feel The Love
MP3 Hearts On Fire

14. The Mountain Goats Heretic Pride

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Early this year The Mountain Goats quietly released one of their best albums, and although the album has all but been forgotten about on year-end lists, it remains a remarkable collection of songs from one of this decades best singer-songwriters. Unlike the concept albums, Darnielle has made in the past, Heretic Pride tells a variety of stories on the album of characters who join cults, give birth in cheap motels, and embrace swamp creatures.  The most notable thing about this album is how much of prominent the musical arrangements are, where previously they have taken a back seat to much more prominent lyrics. Darnielle’s lyrics are still highly compelling but it’s the gorgeous instrumentation that really makes these songs flourish.

MP3 Sax Rhomer #1
MP3 Autoclave

13. Girl TalkFeed The Animals

Feed the Animals is quite simply the funnest album of the year.  Gregg Gillis has taken the format from Night Ripper of mixing both guilty-pleasure pop, major hip-hop hits, songs from the indie rock canon, and classic rock favorites that you’ll hear at every wedding reception. In the first few minutes alone you have “Gimmie Some Lovin”, “International Player’s Anthem”,  “Nothing Compares To U” and “I Was Born (A Unicorn)”. All the samples are blended seamlessly together and made into a fiercely entertaining (not to mention danceable as anyone who’s been to a Girl Talk show can attest) compositions that fully embrace all the joys of pop music.

MP3 Set It Off
MP3 Hands In The Air

12. Sun Kil Moon April

Whether it’s been under the monikers of Red House Painters or Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek has always put gorgeous, bittersweet melodies to plaintive lyrics.  This latest album of his contains what I believe to be his finest work.  April is filled with intimate, wistful folk songs with sparse instrumentation composed of primarily acoustic and electric guitars. The honesty and tenderness of songs like “Lost Verses” and “Moorestown” is magnificent, the guitar tone is mesmerizing and sets the mood perfectly, while Mark’s gentle, aching vocals makes it genuinely moving.

MP3 Lost Verses
MP3 Moorestown

11. IslandsArm’s Way

After the success of 2006’s Return to the Sea it would have been easy for the band to make another light, fun indie pop potpourri, but with Arm’s Way, Nick Thornburn pushes the band in a different direction. One that includes sprawling, dramatic movements with sweeping violins. While the complexity and sheer ambition made the songs less immediately accessible and thus turned some people off, I for one have been completely taken by the surrealism, enthusiasm, and precise attention to detail of the album. Given the chance to sink in, “Creeper” “The Arm” and “I Feel Evil (Creeping In)” become magnificently composed opuses that whirl the listener through a dreamlike landscape of sounds.

MP3 Creeper
MP3 I Feel Evil (Creeping In)

10. Okkervil RiverThe Stand-Ins

This sequel to The Stage Names picks up right where the previous album left off and dives right back into the themes of the plight of a touring rock band, with another round of hyper-literate, boisterous folk rock.  Anything but a list of B-sides, every song on this album is completely solid from the jangly country-rock tune “Singer Songwriter”,  stirring, melodrama in “On Tour With Zykos”, gripping rockers like “Calling And Not Calling My Ex”, and the glorious lead single “Lost Coastlines”, which is perhaps the best tune Sheff has penned yet.  The lyrical narratives are as strong as ever whether it’s detailing pretentious rich kids, disillusioned groupies, and washed-up glam stars.

MP3 Lost Coastlines
MP3 Calling and Not Calling My Ex

9. Anathallo Canopy Glow

After 2006’s breakthrough album, Floating World, indie folk collective Anathallo experienced a number of changes. They relocated to Chicago, lost a band member, and changed record labels (they are now on Anticon), so it makes sense that with this album they would tweak their musical aestethic as well.   Canopy Glow is still full of incredibly inventive with a feast of instruments and beautifully layered vocals, but the band is much more concise, choosing to focus their energies on building their songs to euphoric climaxes as seen on “The River” and “Noni’s Field” and cutting out the meandering side-steps that admittedly brought down parts of Floating World.  The result is a dynamic, symphonic, and simply gorgeous album that solidifies Anathallo as one of my favorite bands making music today.

MP3 The River
MP3 All The First Pages

8. Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend

Much has been said about Vampire Weekend’s debut as well as the demo (named Blue-CDR) that came before it and I’m sure most people reading this already have formed opinions about the band whether it was based on their delightful, endlessly catchy guitar pop or there Ivy League, scarf wearing, Wes Anderson obsessed image. I say if you want to hate a band based on their socio-economic status or fashion sense then there’s a lot worse bands you should focus your efforts on. The one thing that stands out about the songs on this album, is how infinitely replayable they are.  Tracks like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”, “Oxford Comma” and “M79” I’ve heard dozens of times and I’ve yet to tire of them, and isn’t that what great pop music should be?

MP3 Oxford Comma
MP3 M79

7. Sigur Rosmeð suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Like all of Sigur Ros’ work, this album is a bit hard to put into words.  It’s obviously an extraordinary beautiful collection of songs but it’s also a major progression for the band.  For those worried that Sigur Ros had become a bit one-trick, songs like the Animal Collective-meets-Radiohead opening track, “Gobbledigook” are a welcome departure and the sheer jubliance of the tracks that follow (including my pick for best song of the year, Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur) make this perhaps the most cathartic and uplifting of the band’s albums. Although most of the album is spent with shorter, melody-oriented tracks, the two longer tracks, “Festival” and “Ára bátur” are just as awe-inspring as anything the band’s ever done, both featuring emotional swells that elevate the soul to incredible heights.

MP3 Gobbledigook
MP3 Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

6. Wolf ParadeAt Mt. Zoomer

There was very high expectations for Wolf Parade’s sophomore release, and for me the album lives up to, and even exceeds all the hype preceding it. The album works amazingly as a cerebral keyboard-obsessed prog-rock opera, but there’s also an underlying layer of unnervingness and vulnerability that come out in both Krug and Boeckner’s vocals. They showcase their songwriting skills brilliantly throughout their album as well as their uncanny ability to manipulate the instrumentation (again the keyboards stand out) to create emotions, but it’s the fragility and urgency of their vocals that makes it sound like every line could be their dying breath that makes this album so compelling and frightening.  Krug and Boeckner are astonishingly great at what they do, and will undoubtedly go down as two of the greatest songwriters of their generation.

MP3 Language City
MP3 Call It A Ritual

5. ShearwaterRook

Using a combination of delicate piano, a yearning string section, loud, crashing percussion, dissonant feedback, and perhaps the best instrument at the band’s disposal, Jonathon Meisburg’s exquisite falsetto, Shearwater have crafted one of the most stunningly gorgeous albums in recent years. Meisburg’s obsession with nature (he’s also an ornithologist) permeates the album whether it’s on the striking album art to lyrics about legendary mythical beasts to the wintry atmospherics that inhabit the album.  Songs like the enchanting “Leviathan Bound” which utilizes harps and dulcimers instead of typical percussion and “The Snow Leopard” which features one of the most moving emotional swells of the year, beg to be listened to. Rook is a truly inspiring piece of art.

MP3 Rooks
MP3 Leviathan Bound

4. Of Montreal Skeletal Lamping

Last year, Of Montreal made what will probably go down as the best album of their career in which Kevin Barnes channeled his feelings of isolation and depression from his failing marriage into an indie pop masterpiece, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? I doubt anyone expected such a bizarre, abstract, kaleidoscopic follow-up album. Although structure on Skeletal Lamping is basically non-existent, Barnes crams more pop hooks into these 15 “songs” then should be humanly possible.  The diversity of noises is outstanding going from funk and disco and glam and noise rock, sometimes in just one song. Interwoven are lyrics that are unabashedly, and absurdly sexual and it’s all tied together with Kevin’s harmonious falsetto. It’s an extremely difficult album but after you give some of the melodies found in tracks like “An Eulardian Instance” and “Beware Our Nubile Miscreants” a chance to seep into your subconcious, it can be monumentally rewarding.

MP3 An Eluardian Instance
MP3 Id Engager

3. TV on the RadioDear Science,

In Slant Magazine’s review they said “TV on the Radio have finally made an album that someone other than hyper-analytical music critics might actually enjoy” and what’s further is they noted this new-found accessibility in no way compromises their unrivaled, fiercely original approach to rock music that has made them one of the decade’s most revered bands. This rings especially true for me, as I was left a bit cold by the band’s first two albums which were undoubtedly excellent technical achievements but never really grabbed me.  From the very first “ba ba ba” vocal line in “Halfway Home”, Dear Science had me hooked.  The arrangements on the album are mind-bendingly great whether it’s on the gorgeous art rock ballad “Family Tree”, buzzy, electro-funk rockers like “Dancing Choose”, or the emotionally-charged epic “Lover’s Day”.  The band has an instinctive sense of what sounds good and they inject their sonic expertise into every song, providing the most consistently brilliant release of the year.  TV on the Radio, I am sorry for ever doubting you and I unconditionally succumb to your greatness.

MP3 Dancing Choose
MP3 Lover’s Day

2. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP

In 2008, Fleet Foxes went from being an unsigned Seattle band with a demo at the beginning of the year, to being signed by Sub Pop Records and having the most critically acclaimed album of the year earning the top placements on year-end lists ranging from Pitchfork to Mojo to Amazon.com. I couldn’t think of a more deserving band for this to happen to.

Beginning with the absolutely captivating “White Winter Hymnal” (my #2 song this year), the band continues to impress throughout their self-titled debut album whether it be in the classic rock invoking “Ragged Wood” or in the subtle charms of “Blue Ridge Mountain”. There’s even a few moments (such as the bridge of “Quiet Houses”) that evoke the Beach Boys classic, Pet Sounds.The melodies float along beautifully, supported by simple but perfectly-toned instrumentation of acoustic guitar and organ.  The vocal harmonies are the obvious star though, producing some of the most chilling, overwhelming moments of music this year.  Fleet Foxes have created easily my favorite debut of the year and is perhaps the best introduction to a new band since Arcade Fire was thrust into the limelight with 2004’s Funeral.

MP3 White Winter Hymnal
MP3 Your Protector

1. The Hold SteadyStay Positive

In an interview with Uncut Magazine, Craig Finn discussed the power of rock and roll music saying, “Do I believe in the redemptive power of rock’n’roll? Absolutely. At its peak, played with the best intentions, it can be transcendent.”  With Stay Positive, continuously demonstrates this idea with some of the most mind-boggling, phenomenal rock and roll music I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. The albums begins with one of the best 1-2 punches ever with “Constructive Summer” and “Sequestered in Memphis”.  The first is a celebratory and nostalgic look at summers, friends, partying, and rock and roll while the second, a boisterous romp with one of the greatest sing-a-long choruses of the band’s career, sets up the main narrative of the album. It’s an account of double-homicide that’s provided cryptically in fragments along the albums progression.  The album continues with epic guitar ballads (“Lord, I’m Discouraged”) and self-referential rockers (“Stay Positive”) with every song having a slew of startling great lyrics that I won’t bother writing out here (although their analysis could make up a dozen more posts).

This all culminates into the staggering final track “Slapped Actress” which shows the lines between Finn’s narratives and reality being blurred.  The song is based on a John Cassavettes movie called Opening Night where an actress during a fake fight is slapped to make the performance more real. Finn’s line of “sometimes actresses get slapped” and “some nights it’s just entertainment and other nights it’s work” makes a strong statement about the perceived honesty of songwriting and the conflicting nature of performing as a rock band. Finn makes the statement universal by ending with the line, “man, we make our own movies”, about as profound of a statement as rock and roll can produce. Further proof that like Finn said, when rock and roll is done right, with the best intentions, it transcends simple words and melodies and becomes a huge, life-altering force, making you think that anything is possible.

MP3 Constructive Summer
MP3 Stay Positive

Additional Lists:
Albums that just missed my Top 25:
M83 – Saturdays = Youth
Why? – Alopecia
No Age – Nouns
Quinn Walker – Laughter’s An Asshole / Lion Land
Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams
The Raveonettes – Lust Lust Lust
Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreaks
Portishead – Third
Bodies of Water – A Certain Feeling
The Dodos – Visiter

Albums That I Need More Time With:
Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
The Walkmen – You & Me
Beach House – Devotion
The Mae Shi – HLLLYH
Deerhunter – Microcastle
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Blitzen Trapper – Furr
Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls
Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow & Blue
Women – Women

Albums That Just Aren’t My Thing:
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
She & Him – Volume One

Thanks again to everyone for reading! I will be back in 2009…


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26 Responses to “My Favorite Albums of 2008”


  1. Heather said:

    Great list! I always appreciate your blog because it seems like you are one of the few music bloggers out there who picks what YOU really like instead of what everyone is hyping as the next big thing. I really enjoyed reading it this year. Have a great new year! 😀

  2. Nick Duncan said:

    Great list as always, Taylor 😀

  3. Christian said:

    Taylor,
    I’ve been reading your blog for 2 years now. It seems we have a similar taste but rank our favorites differently. I like all the albums you listed, but would put them in a very different order (funny how similar yet different people are).

    The Hold Steady wouldn’t make my top 25, but I enjoy it.

    You’ve got to give the M83 album more time. Had I had a list, it’d be #1 or 2. It pulls so much on the new-wave 80s sound, so maybe you’re a little young for it to evoke the same nostalgic feelings it does in me. (semi-ditto for the Raveonettes)

    I think the Blitzen Trapper album will hook you too the more you listen to it. It’s got a little Rolling Stones sound to it. But it’s honest.

    Frightened Rabbit would have been about 24 or 25 on my list. Maybe too honest of a record 😕

    Albums that I’m surprised you left off:
    My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges (this actually is my #1)
    Kings of Leon – Only By the Night (probably in the early teens in my list)
    Bon Iver (probably near the top)
    Wintersleep – Welcome to the Night Sky (great friends with Wolf Parade, though they sound nothing alike)

    Albums you need to check out (if you haven’t):
    Apes and Androids – Blood Moon
    Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplane (maybe a filler at the bottom of my list, maybe HM)
    Marching Band – Spark Large
    School of Seven Bells

    Great list though. I always enjoy your opinion.

  4. Morgan said:

    Keep listening to Frightened Rabbit and The Walkmen! They will make your “’08 revisited” list sometime in ’09…

  5. brenda said:

    this is a great list. Your blog introduced me to Blind Pilot (among so many other bands) which is prob my 2nd fav album of the year. My only shock was no Grand Archives. Christian’s right- Apes & Androids are awesome.

  6. Will said:

    Great list, I just want to point out a mistake I found. You put The Sun Giant EP along with Vampire Weekend by accident. Just figured you would want to fix it!!

    -will

  7. Taylor said:

    Thanks for the suggestions, Christian/Brenda. I’ll definitely be checking out School of Seven Bells, Apes & Androids, and Grand Archives in the upcoming weeks.

  8. Christian said:

    Grand Archives is another post-breakup band of Carrissa’s Weird. The other half formed Band of Horses. So you might see some similarity.

  9. jim henrickson said:

    Another great list! I’ll have to go out and buy the few that I don’t have in my possession already. It’s nice having pretty much the exact same taste in music as someone who runs such a great blog.

    Random question: I guess it was a 2007 release, but has anyone listened through “Glory Hope Mountain” by The Acorn? I kinda just randomly stumbled onto it and have really been digging it lately. Just throwing that out there.

  10. Adam Quigley said:

    Thank you, my good lad, for broadening my music-listening horizons. I just happened across this site by pure accident, and as I was getting ready to exit the window, I noticed many of my favorite CDs of the past year listed in your “best of ’08” list. The other albums, however, I hadn’t even heard of, so I decided to sample the MP3s for each to see if there were any I might be interested in buying.

    Long story short, I’m now broke. Thanks.

  11. Wayne said:

    At Mount Zoomer is clearly my number one, but I can’t
    complain about your top 3. They are all wonderful albums.

    I would definitely keep going with Frightened Rabbit, The Walkmen
    and Blitzen Trapper. I love all of their albums.

  12. Hanan said:

    for some reason, my mind does not connect the BSP record with 2008…oddly enough, it seems older, like at least from 2007 or something.

  13. Christian said:

    Jim,
    The Acorn is awesome. And if you like him, check out The Tallest Man on Earth.

  14. dan said:

    Very well done review, I can’t say I liked every band here but you definitely provided an apt defense for each of your selections! I enjoyed reading it. Although you could’ve shown MGMT some decency by spelling their album title correctly, even if you’re not a fan.

  15. zissou said:

    My prediction of albums that will take a hit or completely drop out of your Top 25 in your annual lookback of your best of 2008 list:

    British Sea Power
    Mates of State
    Los Campesinos
    Islands
    Hold Steady
    Anathallo
    Fleet Foxes
    Headlights
    Shearwater
    Cloud Cult
    Jamie Lidell

    Albums from your Additional Lists that I predict will move into your Top 25:

    No Age
    Beach House
    Mae Shi
    Deerhunter
    Vivian Girls
    Women
    Portishead

    Albums that you should investigate:

    Abe Vigoda – Skeleton
    Air France- No Way Down
    The Bug – London Zoo
    Crystal Castles – S/T
    Crystal Stilts – Alight of Night
    Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Primary Colours
    Fennesz – Black Sea
    Flying Lotus – Los Angeles
    Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna
    Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
    Harlem – Free Drugs
    High Places – S/T
    Indian Jewelry – Free Gold!
    Lykke Li – Youth Novels
    Quiet Village – Silent Movie
    Parts and Labor – Receivers
    Pocahaunted – Chains
    Wavves – S/T
    Zach Hill – Astrological Straits

  16. Natalie said:

    Taylor,

    I can’t believe that it has been 3 years that I’ve been reading your humble blog. My daughter was born in October 2005, and it was just before she was born that I started reading. It had to be early october, because I still remember you commenting that you were going to see Death Cab with New Zealand band Youth Group opening for them. I think I’ve only ever commented once before. But each week I read with interest and adoration. Each week I comment to my husband how jealous I am when you are seeing so and so live. Each week I download and expand my music collection because of something you have written about. You must have a fair few regular readers now, and a bit of a following. I got so excited when you got married in July and played Iron and Wine at your wedding. Also was a little jealous, as your wedding music was a little better than ours. We used Grant Lee Buffalo, The Pixies, Jane’s Addiction and Nick Cave (who I was delighted that nearly made your list this year). But I was delighted by the fact that you did the cd thing, we did it as well.

    Man this blog has grown up. 😛 And is still as wonderful as it ever was. And for thank I thank you my friend.

    it’s been such a big year in music. Esp in Australia. I think you should start listening to more Aussie stuff. I was stoked last year when you listened to Dapled Cities. Very happy though that Dig Lazurus Dig nearly made your top 25. I like when you mention our Aussieness. Man when you wrote about The J’s Like a Version, I was screaming to my hubby, look he knows what triple J is. lol. I will always be a dag. Even though Triple J isn’t as independent as it was or should be. Actually, there is a much better radio station that is totally independent, which is called Triple Z. (honest, I am not bias)

    I saw Van She live last night, so I think they would have to make my list now. They are just another example of some great Aussie Music that you should go check out. 😛

    Also should listen to some Birds Of Tokyo, The Panics, Faker, there are so man bands emerging, the last couple of years has been good for music.

    For me, the biggest surprise is that you didn’t mention Justin Vernon (Bon Iver).
    His album is a wonderful display of great song writing, and I think he deserves more credit. His album has had me entranced for the last few months.

    Personally, for me, Headlights would be in my top 10 this year. I think you should have given M83 more credit. TV on the radio would have been further down my list, esp as I don’t think this album was as good as there last. Although it has some great songs, overall I didn’t find it as mesmerising as I was hoping.

    Looking forward to another year of reading. Thanks Taylor

  17. bear said:

    i like to run—oh, let me rephrase: i like to think that i like to run.
    at the beginning of each month, i make running playlists to (re)motivate me to hit the trails. not sure if you’re the running/active type, but if you are, you should post a playlist of your favorite break-a-sweat tunes.

    reading on…

  18. Morgan said:

    Hey Taylor, did you know Sigur Ros might have only made the 3rd best Icelandic album this year? Sprengjuhollin made TWO excellent albums coming out of Iceland this year, and I think at least the newer one has Sigur beat, probably both. I really like this Sigur album though, with your SotY pick and Gobbledigook etc…

  19. digidreams said:

    I like the list. I prob wouldve Bon Iver near the top somewhere. But if you want to be technical, I guess you can say that it was really released in 2007. I def would’ve added Lykke Li and Why? though. Anyway. If you like Rosebuds you might be into The Love Language. They’re going on tour with each other soon. I just found out about Love Language via exploring the internet. [check myspace for tracks]

    PS: I totally agree with you on MGMT for not making it. I don’t get the hype either.

  20. Timmy said:

    Awesome list Taylor, I’m trying to catch up on some of these that i’ve missed. Love the Hold Steady top pick. I’ll see you on the 15th, right?

  21. Callisto said:

    I appreciated seeing Headlights and Los Campesinos! on the list. If you have not seen Los Campesinos! live yet, do it. Best show I went to in 2008. I also appreciated the list of things that were just not your thing. While they are my thing, it made me giggle. Which is always appreciated.

  22. motovres said:

    while MGMT is actually my fav of the year, its still great to see anyone recognize Cloud Cult – they are amazing

  23. manfred said:

    thanks for your list – thanks for your blogging!
    just one hint – give “get well soon” a try!

  24. Steven said:

    This is a great blog! Turned me on to allot of great music. Thanks for Headlights! Cloud Cult is an amazing band. I know MGMT is not your thing but I would put it on my list. My list would also include Blitzen Trapper, Furr and my number one would be Bon Iver, Blood Bank EP. Keep it going and i’ll keep reading.

  25. Kat said:

    Def one of the best lists i have seen.

  26. bridget said:

    I really hope you give The Walkmen’s album You & Me time to sink in, because right now I absolutely adore it. The songs Four Provinces and In The New Year always pull me in and break my heart w/ how bittersweet & beautiful they are. So… I hope you grow to like that album as much as I do :)

    This list was fantastic! I agree w/ pretty much everything on your list, except Fleet Foxes because they really aren’t my cup of tea… But I can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!