Tuesday, January 6, 2009

my 2008 in music

For me 2008 was all about old favorites mixed in with some great new albums. I kicked 2008 off obsessed with Neko Case, Blockhead and Songs: Ohia. Carribou’s Andorra and Beirut dominated as we got further away from winter and as spring came into full bloom it was She Keeps Bees all day every day. Summer meant Hope Sandoval, Crystal Castles, Dear Nora, and on my drive down to NC lots and lots of Wu-Tang. And so now I am pleased to present to you my top five loves of fall 2008, which also all happened to have been released at some point during the glorious year that was 2008. Here here!

5. She Keeps Bees - Nests: Oh how I love Jessica Larabee and Andy Leplant. If you didn’t catch them here at Smith you seriously missed out. But fear not! You can experience a bit of the magic by taking a daily dose of Nests. Gritty, emotional, and powerful from start to finish, Nests is truly great. And lets not forget Larabee’s intoxicating voice, thank you very much.

4. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park: Truly a beautiful album, In Ear Park is what Daniel Rossen (from Grizzly Bear) does best. A collaborative effort with his college roommate and two other Grizzly Bear members, In Ear Park mixes dreamy lazy vocals with upbeat and infectious melodies. It’s sound art meets a full piece band complete with horns, banjos, and guitars. My favorite track would have to be “Teenagers.”

3. Juana Molina - Un Dia: Un Dia sounds like you found yourself in the woods at night surround by trumpeters, a drum circle, and a chorus of little girls. And there may or may not be someone banging on pots and pans. Juana Molina started her career as a Soap Opera star in Argentina. And now she writes and mixes songs that play like pieced together sound collages with a sinister undertone. This sinister element might have something to do with that chorus of what sounds like little girls. Not to mention the rather creepy album cover. But hey, that’s what she does. And she does it really really well.

2. Beach House - Devotion: Seriously though, could anybody argue with me on this one? I don’t think so.


1. Tobacco - Fucked up Friends: I can’t really remember my life before this album. Ok ok so perhaps that’s an exaggeration, and while I will be the first to admit the album has its flaws, a few key tracks are all I need to feel this intense love. “Side 8” is a heart-breaking masterpiece, “Backwoods altar” is perfection, and “Grease Wizard” ends the album on an electrifying note. Fucked Up Friends is a mixture of dark electronic sound (think key board, synth, tape machines), it’s rough around the edges, its got Aesop Rock on one of the tracks, and it kind of makes you want to dance and cry simultaneously (what could be better?) Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself (no, really): www.myspace.com/tobacco

and so into a new year of music we go. and just in case you are curious, so far 2009 has been all about vashit bunyan, madlib, and bibio.

so there you have it.

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