Top Ten

So it’s maybe a bit early to be doing a top ten album list for the year.  But fuck it.  I am not going to buy many more albums between now and 2009 – it’s usually about now I get banned from buying just in case somebody buys me something for my Christmas!  So here goes.  In no particular order my top 10 albums of 2008 are:

Meursault – Pissing on bonfires/Kissing with tongues.  Yes, it makes it in to my top ten albums.  So what if they are not signed big, so what if they are not the darlings of the music world, this album is just blinding genius.  I feel so lucky to have Neil recording and producing the Kays album.  Can’t wait to see how it all sounds once he’s worked his magic.

www.myspace.com/meursault

Olafur Arnalds – Eulogy For Evolution.  This is such a beautiful piece of classical music.  Stunning.  Minimal piano and strings for the most part with a surprisingly noisey end to the album.  It’s fast become one of my favourites not just of the year but ever.

www.myspace.com/olafurarnalds

Finn – The Best Low Priced Heartbreakers You Can Own.  Another recent purchase but this is simply stunningly beautiful.  Sparse, delicate and  heartbraking.  This collection of tunes reminds me of Sigur Ros, Elliott Smith at his most delicate and, like Pamela said – a little of Radiohead/Broken Records bastard love child when he gets a little more aggressive.

www.erasedtapes.com

Bon Ivor – For Emme Forever Ago.  Just simply a gorgeous album which should be on everyone’s top 10 list for 2008.  Gorgeous voice, lovely lyrics.  Brilliant.

www.myspace.com/boniver

Micah P Hinson and The Red Empire Orchestra.  I love MIcah P Hinson.  I don’t think I’m alone either.  This is the most positive upbeat album he’s released but the step form the dark into the light is one that suits him.  Lush and uplifting, this is a fine piece of work.

www.micahphinson.com

Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight.  One of Scotland’s best new bands these guys are just blindingly good songwriters.  Having seen them live numerous times I cannot recommend this album highly enough.  And the Greys – which was their first album is also well worth a shout.  If you can check them out then do.

www.myspace.com/frightenedrabbit

Damien Jurado – Caught In The Trees.  This was a surprise to me.  Upbeat?  Damien Jurado?  No way.  I couldn’t get my head around the idea.  Then I heard the album and it’s absolutely brilliant.  He does it so so well and it’s a really excellent change in direction.  There are the usual downbeat, bleak moments, but the contrast is welcome and exciting.  great listening.

www.damienjurado.com/

The Low Lows – Shining Violence.  Absolutely blinding.  I don’t know how to describe this band but I highly recommend them.  The vocals on this album are amazing.  I didn’t think they’d be so amazing live but they totally were.  Effects galore, maxed out on reverb, but something different and something special.  glorious stuff.

www.thelowlows.net

Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling.  Yes Matthew and other Mogwai haters, I am going there.  Fucking brilliant album.  Everything that Mogwai should be about, everything that I’ve wanted them to be about since Young Team and CODY.  Just a brilliant return to their classic best.

www.mogwai.co.uk

Sleepingdog – Polar Life.  Was swithering on this last choice.  It was between Glissando, Sleepingdog and Sigur Ros.  Whilst I love Sigur Ros I think it is fair to say that the new album, whislt beautiful, is more of what we’ve come to expect in the past.  Glissando’s album is also excellent, but on the basis that I think their live shows are more cohesive and enjoyable than the album, I am giving the last space to Sleepingdog from Belgium.  I’m sure Rich won’t quible though as she is on his label Gizeh Records anyways – so a win win situation.  This is another recent purchase and the sparse piano, gorgeous vocals and lovely instrumentation make it an instant winner.

www.sleepingdog.be    www.gizehrecords.com

So there you go.  Feel free to post your favourite albums of 2008.  Lets see if we agree on anything.

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten

  1. Totally agree on the Frightened Rabbit call – absolutely love that album. I think the first time I’d heard of them was when we were in San Francisco on honeymoon last year and they were playing (or am I getting confused Euan??!). A combination of not knowing how to find the venue, and me probably being hungover, meant we didn’t go. They are amazing though.

    Only other album I would add is the Drever/McCusker/Woomble album which I just love. Of course, as Euan knows(!), I’m a massive Idlewild fan, and Roddy’s solo album is simply brilliant. But this album is up there for me. We saw them play live at the Queens Hall (a fantastic venue anyway) not that long ago and it was amazing watching all these superbly talented musicians on stage, having fun, playing together and just really enjoying themselves. And the songs were knock out. Although, I still can’t get past Waverley Steps… sorry!

  2. I have spent a lot of this year looking at musicians that i felt i should know more about and therefore my top 10 would probably be more suited to 1973 or something. But without a doubt i would have Micah P Hinson there. i adore his music and yes, it’s a step more upbeat, but still dark. When i first put it on i had to re check the CD to make sure i hadn’t slipped on a Quentin Tarentino soundtrack in error, but it powered on to an intense ‘You will Find Me’ and all was ok! It’s the story of a man who has found happiness but he still seems terrified that it is all going to go horribly wrong! Poor guy, but genius!!!

  3. And I forgot about Elbow’s new album, but I wouldn’t put it in my top 10 because I don’t think it’s better than the first 2 albums they released. If any albumever deserved to win the Mercury Prize, it was Asleep In The Back.

  4. Nice list. I deliberately left Micah off my one: I only discovered him this year, and I think Gospel of Progress is brilliant, but I’m afraid to say Red Empire left me sadly wanting…
    Definitely agree with you about Meursault and Frightened Rabbit, though.

  5. I felt that at first with Micah’s new one because I love the opera circuit so much. But I think there’s a real warmth to the new one, a shred of positivity which makes it a little different from the others. It’s not as good I don’t think, but still makes my top ten I think.

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