Sunday, January 4, 2009

Best of - Sara's picks

For some reason this year's best of has been a real stumbling block for me... I think it's because, on account of our parlours, I've already foisted most of my favorite music upon you guys. But just in case you weren't listening the first time, here's some must-listens that debuted in 2008. (In no particular order)

The Black Keys - Attack and Release
There is nothing inherently mind blowing about this band, and yet I find this album returning to my playlist frequently. Solid blues rock. Fave song: Psychotic Girl

The Dodos - Visiter
Along the same lines as Vampire Weekend... very rhythm heavy indie rock. Fave song: Walking (though not entirely representative of the album)

Somehow related to Band of Horses, so how could I not love them? More upbeat indie rock, think Seattle/Portland on a bright sunny day. Fave song: Miniature Birds (this was a difficult choice though. Second fave: Sleepdriving)

A.A. Bondy - American Hearts
I love this guy. Both on plastic and in the flesh, he just seems like a genuine soul. The music is blues-driven, dark, and engrossing. An example? "I don't wanna talk about Jesus/ I just wanna see his face. The trees are swinging like hanging men/and I just wanna see his face" from my Fave Song: Rapture (Sweet Rapture)

Perhaps the most fleeting favorite, I'm not sure what the staying power of this album will be... but the live show is raw and spirited, and the CD lived in my car for a few weeks following. Fave Song: Helen Fry

The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Another great album from Sub Pop. Mostly upbeat rock, soaring vocals, strong songwriting. Fave Song: Back To This

The Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Graves
Ok, he's skinny, Scandinavian, and finger picks. He wouldn't necessarily have to be talented for me to like him, thankfully he is. Gorgeous guitar playing, unique voice, interestingly abstract (but not obtuse) lyrics. Fave Song: I Won't Be Found

Bowerbirds - Hymns for a Dark Horse
Raleigh locals, inventive sound, gorgeous tunes. Fave song: In Our Talons

Also rans, because I am running out of things to say: 
Fleet Foxes - S/T (n.b. I am not as enamored of this band as many year enders, but it's ok)
Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine
Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound
Micah P. Hinson - Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire
Sun Kil Moon - April

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