Not been wow’d away by all that much this year. Not that that’s a bad thing. 2008 the year of change, the year of Rat or at least more or less eleven twelfths of it is/has been. 2008 the year of quality over quantity.
Early as ever, I am with these things, but in the age of the internet if you haven’t heard it by mid-November it’s out next year. So…
My Top Ten:
10) A Silver Mt Zion
as Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band
with 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
Bombastic vocal Post-Rock from people that brought us such godliness as God Speed! You Black Emperor
. This isn’t on the same level as that, and is more in your face get it straight away stuff than previous outings, so those who like it deep
might be a little off put, Efrim’s vocals also could also be a little off putting for some people. I don’t entirely mind all that much to be honest, it has a distinctive flavour and is a good album in it’s own light. A light that will probably remain over shadowed for many by it’s gigantic brothers and sisters.
with Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
In my Metal loving days of yesteryears
Five seconds before I heard this album, I would have berated myself for considering it a good album, after all it is Coldplay. Who have previously never previously produced anything more than a good collection of singles that on there own merits are decent, but played back to back quickly cause high levels of boredom. This however is quite the opposite no real singles as such other than the it’s namesake which I shocked not to have seen in a sporting montage. I don’t I know what I can say to get you to listen to it because they are one of those bands. I suppose when you’re influences are U2
you’re just asking to have some quarters to refuse to listen to you.. But do, it’s a pleasant surprise.
with The Hawk is Howling
One of my favourite bands, have been for the past two years, since the days I went to college in Manchester and Mr Beast
adverts were literally plastered at every visible angle. Nothing really new here, to be honest there probably not that much they can did with regards to changing there sound, but quality wise the maintain their typically high standards. One notable thing is there are no vocals at all. None. No one on the telephone, no sample Iggy Pop
chatting on about crap, none guy out of Super Furry Animals
. Pick out tracks is Scotland’s Shame and the first single Batcat.
7) Venetian Snares
Gentlemen. Usually I’m a bigger fan of the Rossz csillag alatt született
type Vsnares albums, and for now that will a far as I’m concerned will remain to be Aaron Funk’s magnum opus. That said this from the word go produces a party in my ears. This album his more Drum’n’Bass and Dub influenced than those previous to it, yet is very typically Vsnares with mad breaks. It’s just that this time it makes you want to dance and party more than ever before.
6) Peter Broderick
Ever since I “discovered” the beauty of this man’s music when he supported Efterklang last year have I claimed his genius, and such a departure from ones usually sound can only come in one of a few categories. Sell out, disaster, or genius. This of course is genius. His usual beautiful ambience and piano melodies are replaced by with acoustic folkiness, and vocal melodies. Comparable to the likes of Fleet Foxes
and Bon Iver
, just better than one, almost
as the other. Of course it’s hardly shocking he can write/play in a different style to which he often does, after all he is a multi-multi instrumentalist, and one of the greatest musicians I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live.
5) Peter Broderick
Bet you wasn’t expecting that! Yes, he scores two in a row. This album is his signature sound that I have come to love with the European Tour CD and Docile
. Peaceful and tranquil, I’d recommend to anyone, and everyone. We can’t go at 100mph all the time, and this album is perfect to relax to.
This band are relatively new to me, having discovered them pretty due to this album coming out, and the push it was being given. It’s great! I’ve since gone on to grab hold of the two previous studio releases one of which Dummy
for greatness. But let’s rant about this album. The music is dark, eerie, and oddly beautiful. Beth’s voice can only be described as hypnotic - amazing - beautiful. This release more or less optimise the theme of the year (quality over quantity) as it is the first release from the band in over 9 or 10 years I believe! The Rip and Machine Gun are particular favourites of mine.
3) Sigur Ros
with Með Suð i Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
Not many bands are in the top 20 or my 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, and Overall (4 year) charts… In fact there are only two. Mogwai
and Sigur Ros
. Oddly enough neither of which at the moment I have seen live. I unfortunately had to yet again pass on Mogwai
the other week because of being poor. Sigur Ros however is all fully booked and just waiting to happen in a few weeks… And I can’t wait one little second.. If I closed my eyes right now and suddenly it was time for me to get the coach down to London I’d be one happy boy! Oh, and did I mention they are number one on my overall charts.
What was that waffle all for you might ask, well you don’t get that consistently high on my charts without having a number of great albums, and yes, you’ve guess it. Með Suð i Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
is another great album. In many ways it’s very similar to Takk
, in many ways it’s not. The opening track for instance wouldn’t go a miss side by side with an Animal Collective
Feels) track. Yet it soon becomes signature Ros, but the transition is smooth it’s not like one second you’re listening to Animal Collective
next Sigur Ros
, oh no. It’s Sigur Ros
all the way through. In that essence the album is more like one big journy of a track than many different songs. Nevertheless it’s one top notch album.
with Saturdays = Youth
Fresh, Retro: I can’t think of two more juxtaposed adjectives, especially when it comes to describing music. However when thinking of how to describe M83
’s new outing Saturdays = Youth
. They both pop to mind almost instantly. Whereas previous M83
albums sound like an up-to-date reprisal of classic showgaze, Saturdays is the most perfect eighties pop album for the noughties. Everything from the album sleeve to the first and last beat screams “nineteen eighties!” loudly and proudly however what’s inside is so modern it, so much so it’s almost unbelievable. Yet it is believable, M83
make it believable.
1) Bon Iver
with For Emma, Forever Ago
Recorded and released in America last year, Bon Iver
finally hit these shores and my ears around May of this year. For Emma, Forever Ago
is a collection of personal, heart warming modern folk songs. On first listen you think it can’t get much better than this. On second you think the same, or the hundredth and so on you still think the same. That is all until you see Justin and his band live. Oh my. Over shadowed only by the might My Bloody Valentine
this year… The show? It’s a show stopper! After seeing that and dare I, dare I say it: this man could be as good as Jeff Buckley
. Unfortunately I’ll never have the chance to see the late great Buckley live, but his works are masterful and his voice was all so amazing. Justin’s works are also on an extremely high level and I have never heard a better vocalist live. He packed out the medium size Academy 2 in Manchester earlier this year. If he keeps up this quality I can only see him getting bigger and bigger.
Well that's it for now. Might do a Best of Gigs, Tracks, and EPs/singles as the weeks to 2009 count down.