Obligatory Best of 2008 Post, Slightly Late

An OK year for music. Not spectacular, but not awful. Here are my picks, in no particular order (except where otherwise noted):

Sun Kil Moon - April
Hands down my favorite record of 2008. All Mark Kozelek fans had been waiting for this record for five years, and it did not disappoint. Perhaps not quite as consistent as Ghosts of the Great Highway, but still truly superlative. Deep, room-filling music to dream melancholy dreams to.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
I was pleasantly surprised by this record. "Indie folk", if you'll forgive my use of the term, is a movement I would like to see remain prominent indefinitely.

Beach House - Devotion
An absolutely excellent record. Ethereal dream-pop/nu-gaze. Actually lived up to the hype behind it.

Portishead - Third
Who would have thought that 11 years on, we would get a new Portishead record? And that it wouldn't be a trip-hop record? And that it would still be great anyway?

Shearwater - Rook
I first heard Shearwater totally by accident when they opened up for Magnolia Electric Co. last year. I was incredibly impressed then, and still am now. It doesn't quite match Palo Santo, but it doesn't need to in order to be a really good record.

Lykke Li - Youth Novels
Given the volume of hype behind this record and the people who were hyping it, I actually avoided listening to it for awhile, assuming I would hate it. My mistake. I caught a track on WXPN a couple months ago and liked it, and subsequently found that the whole record is very much worth a listen.

Randy Newman - Harps and Angels
Randy Newman can do very little wrong in my book. I didn't much care for "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country", but the record is nonetheless great, and he comes out with new material so infrequently that it's hard not to love anything he does see fit to release.

Juana Molina - Un Dia
I saw Juana Molina open up for Jose Gonzalez at the World Cafe Live in Philly a couple years ago. I was impressed then, and I remain impressed now. Looped up, experimental world-folk with elements of electronica.

Byrne and Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Not the record anybody expected these two to make, but still excellent, especially considering it effectively came out of nowhere. Electro-gospel pop music. Joyous.

My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth
This one was a bit of a surprise as well. I knew absolutely nothing about this record, but earlier MBD showed up on one of my Pandora stations one day, and I was favorably impressed, so I checked out more music, and remained favorably impressed. Ethereal, occasionally chilling, and wholly original.

No comments: