Best Albums of 2008!

It's been a pretty good year for music. I got the chance to hear a lot of local music, which has been great. Here we have my personal top 10 albums of the year 2008, in no particular order, click on their names to hear some tunes.

Elbow- The Seldom Seen Kid
What a great voice. Fantastic songwriting, and one of the best duets of the year ("The Fix is In" with Richard Hawley). Elbow has been around for awhile, yet keep getting better. Probably the best album of the year.

Valery Gore- Avalanche to Wandering Bear
It was a great experience finally sitting down and listening to this record. Valery has improved by leaps and bounds from 2005's debut. Changing labels probably helped. We now have a more sure footed Valery Gore.

Olenka and The Autumn Lovers- Self titled
I'm probably a bit biased about this, as I'm one of the performers. But I promise you, if I had nothing to do with this album, I'd still think it was brilliant. Olenka (Alexandra Krakus) is probably the best song writer I've ever met. Seriously, she's always writing, and the songs are always perfect.

Al Green- Lay it Down
A return to form. The funkiest, most soulful record of the year.

Ryan Driver- Feelers of Pure Joy
This is one of five candidates from the Tranzac crowd (Castlemusic, Eric Cheneaux, Antler and Nick Zubeck are all in the honorable mention section). There is something about Ryan's chemeleon-like vocals that really stand out for me, though.

Vampire Weekend- Self Titled
This was probably the first album I picked up this year, and the effects have yet to wear off. I can't skip over a single song. Fun songs, great rhythms.

BirdsacrosswateR- In a Pie/ Hunt Chant- Our Worth in Rust
I've let it known many times here at BtTtF that Nic Lefebvre is one on my favorite musicians. His solo work in BirdsacrosswateR is inspiring. And his work with Sick Friend's Michael O'Brien in Hunt Chant is exciting. Do what you can to get a hold of these albums!

TV on The Radio- Dear Science
Oh man. TV on the Radio is brilliant. They put on one of the best live shows, and you can hear a growth between this and Return To Cookie Mountain. And lead singer, Tunde Adebimpe, has really stepped up his game. Oh, and "Halfway Home" might be the best song of the year.

Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
This album will probably make every top 10 you read, and for good reason. Beautiful harmonies drenched with reverb, complimented by a folk rock sound.

Coeur De Pirate- Couer De Pirate
This is my wild card. I just heard this band for the first time about a month ago. A friend sent me the link and I fell in love. So I picked up the album earlier this week, and I can't stop playing it. It's pretty much the most adorable music I've heard all year. I don't know very much french, but I can still listen to this album a couple times a day.

Honorable Mention:
Caslemusic- You Can't Take Anyone/ Crystal Castles- Crystal Castles/ She and Him - Vol 1/ Eric Cheneaux- Sloppy Grounds/ Sigur Ros- Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust/ Bloc Party- Imtimacy/ Laura Barrett- Victory Garden/ David Byrne & Brian Eno- Everything that Happens Will Happen Today/ Beck- Modern Guilt/ Nick Zubeck- Tracker/ Antler- Not Being Your Star

Top 5 EP's of 2008!

Fleet Foxes- Sun Giant EP
Finally, an EP worth owning! Sun Giant is gorgeous. Every song would have been a worth addition to the album.

Olenka and the Autumn Lovers- Papillonette
I feel a bit more comfortable picking this, as I couldn't make the recording sessions. So I can only gage this one as a listener. And it's the Olenka music I've wanted for a while. Scaled down, quieter, and heart breaking. Audience favorites "Flash in the Pan", "Blue" and "The Decline" all make apperances.

BirdsacrosswateR- A Haunted Room
"Them Neon Moutain Tops" alone would make this a worth while purchase. Nic is a pretty prolific guy, there are new songs popping up on his Myspace all the time. If you want any of his music, I suggest hopping onto his Myspace and sending him a message, I'm sure he'll be glad to help you out.

A Lending Library- Halloween
A halloween concept album by the alussive A Lending Library. This will be tough to get a hold of, as the myspace page was taken down recently. Hmm.... Well, if you want to hear it, come over to my place, we'll have a listening party!

Final Fantasy- Spectrum. 14th Century
Final Fantasy, with members of Beirut, put together this concept album. It's set up like a field recording, capturing the music of a lost tribe... kinda tacky I know, but some really great music.

Honorable Mention:

Shawn Clarke and Alexis Marsh- Christmas 2008
Yeah I know. Pretty shameless. But if you're looking for some christmas music that doesn't suck, than this is the EP for you! I'll be posting all the songs tomorrow here at Birds Too Tired to Fly, so be sure to check in!

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