Posted tagged ‘2008 Lists’

2008 Galore, pt. We’re there! 10 – 1

27 December 2008

So, I’ve made two friends fight (see comments of my big contest-post), I’ve made people go berserk from the waiting, but now we’re there. The following ten albums are the best of this year, in my humble, but very advising opinion. If you haven’t heard any of them, you should keep on listening Britney Spears.

10. Chad Vangaalen – Soft Airplane (Sub Pop Records)

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Sounds like: someone at a concert told me Neil Young, and suddenly i realized Chad Vangaalen is the Electric Neil Young for the Unwashed Yuppie generation.

Vangaalen has been on my radar for the last couple of years, and now he’s on many. Understandable, cause with his falsetto voice and his scrummy lo-fi guitar noise singer-songwriter pop whatever, he’s made one of the best albums of this year. And the third winner in a row. It’s just waiting until he gets in his gospel period before he really stinks.

Chad Vangaalen – City of Electric Light

Chad Vangaalen – Willow tree

9. The Dodos – Visiter (French Kiss records)

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Sounds Like: Hit it with your rhythm stick, hit it! hit it!

The most important thing about The Dodos’ music? The percussion. It’s this tsjakka tsjakka tsjakka sound, combined with folky folky songs, that  are catchy as hell. But still complex. It’s like the best tasting yoghurt ever, but you first seem to get the grasp of this brand new lid system. And they’ve got the refreshing taste of An Animal Collective that’s not too heavy on the acid.

The Dodos – Jodi

8.  Ladyhawk – Shots (Jagjaguwar)

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Sounds like: Testosterone melancholic rock, magnolia el. co

I’m not fond of heavy electric guitar engineering. No Black Sabbath, AC/DC or other rock bands for me. But Ladyhawk seems to pull it of. They seem to go, in a songs ohia kind of way, manage to use the electric power for their benefit, instead of making dull rock songs. And because of that i greatly honour them  with the number 8 spot.

Ladyhawk – S.T.H.D

7. Okay – Huggable Dust (Absolutely Kosher)

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Sounds like: a bug with a romantic soul.

IF there’s one band in this top 10 that you may not really dig, it’s Okay. His voice sounds like that of a dying moth, and his songs are repetitive till nuissance. But oh my god, if you just keep on listening, you’ll probably hear through this facade. And you’ll find out that this is amazingly sweet, romantic, fantastic, bloody wow.

Okay –  Beast

6. The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Graves (Gravitation)

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Sounds like: everyone says bob dylan, so i’ll say Bob Dylan too.

It’s true. The Tallest man on Earth sounds a bit like old Bawb, but he still has his own distinctive voice. And then again, when did Bob release anything worthwile for the last time? (woohoo, let the pro-old-bob front prepare to bash me!). TMOE is a bit more lo-fi, there is a bit of noise on the back, but apart from that, the songs are amazingly good. This is roadsong music. Something you listen while you drive home from a good evening with persons you love, or a bad evening in which you just had a fight. As long as it’s night and you’re behind your steering wheel basically.

The Tallest Man on Earth – I Won’t Be Found

5. Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

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Sounds like: a combination of Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs and other great canadian indie. Heck, it is a combination!

Okay, maybe this record in the overal greatness of great albums isn’t really worth the number 5 spot, but i’m a sucker for this sort of indie music. Every Spencer Krug project let’s say. So, eerie voices, heavy indie rock and baloney music. Damn, this is good.

Wolf Parade – Call It a Ritual

4.  Ane Brun – Changing of The Seasons (DetErMine Records)

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Sounds Like: my favourite female singer-songwriter from Sweden makes another heart-breaking record.

I’m really fond of Ane Brun. And as long as public radio doesn’t play her, i’ll keep on loving her (just joking, i don’t care about radio, cause i don’t listen to it). So, the best voice around, or one of the best and a really good talent of writing songs that hti you like a rock during national rock throwing day. You want to be hit, cause that’s the whole point. No mp3 (big label, scary!) , but a youtube link.

3. Johnny Flynn – A Larum (Vertigo Records)

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sounds like: Old irish folk in a brand new 21st Century jacket.

I think this album is the one i’ve played most during the entire year, just because there doesn’t seem to be a mood not fit to listen to this. Flynn just uses an old formula, but succeeds in surprising me with it. It’s strange: i’m known as a singer-songwriter fanatic, and i’ve heard quite the lot of them, but it keeps on mesmerizing me how people can come up with new snogs that bedazzle me. that’s a lot of difficult words in one piece. Just listen will you? (By the way, also listen to his girlfriend Laura Marling. the UK Folk scene is alive and kicking)

Johnny Flynn – The Box

2. The Morning Benders – Talking Through Tin Cans (Self-Released)

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Sounds like: The Shins, the Beatles, the pop, the sixties, the summer, the amazingly amazement singalong.

So, you want an album that you can listen to while barbecuing your veggie burgers? You need something that can serve as a soundtrack for that great summer where you will write a novel about in the future? The Morning Benders debut album is the one you need. They ended high in my promising artists list last year, and they amazingly met the expectations. This is heartwarming summer breeze pop for when you love the shins, but hate their popularity.

The Morning Bender s- Heavy Hearts

1. Why? – Alopecia (Anticon)

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Sounds like: Anthems of a indie generation.

I don’t think most people realize how amazingly good this album is.  On the level of lyrics, there is nothing better released… it’s funny, witty, street poetry. But also musically it’s soo well organised that it even beats Chinese Government drills. There isn’t a sound out of place,. Those two stuff combined, together with the overal quality of the songs, makes this the album of the year for me.

Why? – Fatalist Palmistry

Thanks for your attention. Maybe there is more stuff coming up tomorrow, otherwise i’ll be gone until at least 3d of January. And then i’ll try to be a regular blogger again.

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2008 Galore!, pt. Almost there: 20 -11

14 December 2008

So, another addition to my big list. I’ve already started listening to stuff from 2009 (hello Andrew Bird), and some albums that maybe could end up in the 2008-list if i’d made it next year, but right now, we’ll just keep on going.

20. Scary Mansion – Every Joke is Half The Truth (Zum Records)

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Sounds like: There can never be enough Early Cat Power-clones, if they are as good as this.

Scary Mansion is probably unknown to most of you, but that’s absolutely blasphemous of all of you (well, that’s not the right word here, but it gives my message more strength). Scary mansion is like a scary mansion, but warming and emotional at the same tmie. It’s one of those albums that you listen to a first time and think “god, this is not really special”, and then  a second time “wow, this is pretty good”, until you end up finding it better than the original. For everyone who doesn’t like Cat Power’s career change. A bit of PJ Harvey t0o sometimes.

Scary Mansion – Go To Hell

19.  These United States – A Picture Of The Three Of Us At The Gate to the Garden of Eden/Crimes (United Interests => Self-released)

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Sounds like: soothing folkpop that makes people feel warm in cold days.

There is something amazingly calming in the voice of These United States’ vocal parts. I’m too lazy to look up who the singer is, but his voice seems always in doubt, and that sounds kinda cool. A bit like the Shaky Hands debut album last year, although this is even better. At least the ” A Picture Of the Three…”-album. I haven’t listen enough to Crimes, which got released later this year.  Very Nice guys, and the fact that Paleo plays along, is just another Hooray for These united States extra

These United States – At First Sight

18.  She & Him – Vol. 1 (Merge Records)

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Sounds like: M. ward just adding a little magic to an already amazing album.

I know this album is mostly the effort of actress Zooey Deschanel (who looks amazingly cute in ‘A Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy’, that just as a male chauvinist pig sidenote). Anyway, She & Him is more she, and its incredibly warm songs make this album stand out from similar stuff that may got released over the years. That’s the M. Ward-production. (Is it obvious that i don’t have much to say about this album)

I’m not gonna give an mp3, cause you can fully stream the album here.

17. Mother Mother – Oh Mighty Heart ( Last Gang Records)

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Sounds Like: The Easy to Get Version of THe Fiery Furnaces

Mother Mother really isn’t the sort of music i normally listen to, but i get completely hooked by this jumpy indie rock where man and woman fight each other most of the time.  IT’s something that could be very famous in Indie world if it just gets enough attention by bloggers. So let’s start the hype. Mother Mother, go listen you hip indiecrowd. Goddamnit.

Mother Mother – Body Of Years

16.  Adam Green – Sixes And Sevens (Rough Trade)

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Sounds Like: The Childish Version of Frank Sinatra does it again.

I must admit: I’m kind of fond of the puberal wit of Adam Green. I used to when he was still in The Moldy Peaches, and I still do now that he’s this crooner with dirty songs. I know many people hate this guy, but he’s still the guy who gave the most entertaining show i’ve ever seen. (Gotta love his dance moves). Anyway, his previous album wasn’t that good, but on Sixes And Sevens he tries some other directions in some songs, and they all turn out great. The Panflute in “You Get So Lucky” is fucking awesome. (Never knew i would say that about a pan flute)

Adam Green – You Get So Lucky

15. Goldmund – The Malady of Elegance (Type Records)

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Sounds like: The piano sounds to a trip in a never ending forest

Goldmund is the pianoproject of the guy from Helios, and he beats other neo-classical piano hero Max Richter this year with his album ‘The Malady of Elegance’. Piano music is something you shouldn’t be talking about if you don’t know anything about it, but just listen and enjoy. From the Great Type Records.

Goldmund – in A Notebook

14. Miss Autopsy – The Hill  (Lens Records)

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Sounds like: people should really start taking my advice about this eerie nihilist singer-songwriter.

I’ve written about Miss Autopsy before on my blog, i’ve written a review about him in Gonzo Circus, i’ve told people to buy them on daMusic, and i’ll put them on the number 14-spot in my 2008 list. No, The Guy hasn’t given me any money to promote his music, but this is just a very underappreciated album. Maybe i should start to spread it on blogs and hope all those people listening to it will eventually buy it. Anyway, miss autopsy, you better go and listen now.  (also a great experiment to see how i can start a hype).

Miss Autopsy – The Doctor

Miss Autopsy – The Telephone Song

13. Chauchat – Upon Thousands (Yer Bird Records)

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Sounds like: Your nineties indie gloom, good for the holidays and to beat hte financial crisis

Chauchat is the dark version of nineties bands like Built To Spill and Pedro The Lion. The guitars are sad (and loud at times),  and is really really underappreciated. They have released some albums for free on last.fm (downloadable too) and with what seems to be their first proper release on a label, they should be getting praise from all of you. But no, you just shut up and listen to all those daft bands. (yes, i’m in a very judging mood). So, beg for forgiveness and listen to the amazing songs from these indie-retro band. Sadcore.

Chauchat –  Fight Obscurity

12. David Karsten Daniels – Fear of Flying (Fat Cat Records)

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Sounds like: Your average bible Belt-singersongwriter

Whether David Karsten DAniels believes in God or not, is not sure, but he at least struggles with faith. That was obvious in his previous album, and is so in this album too. He does that with a similar grandeur of Sufjan Stevens, although his songs are less all over the place (more like seven swans). He was in my list last year too, so this seems to be someone who’ll stay put in my musical favourites.

DAvid Karsten DAniels – Oh, Heaven Isn’t Real

11. Ghost Bees – Tasseomancy  (Youth Club)

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Sounds like: Alela Diane & Mariee Sioux & Other neofolk female singers , Joanna Newsom

The Songs on ‘Tasseomancy’ have the grandeur of the songs on Joanna Newsom’s Ys. They Really have. It’s a bit musical-storylike telling. And because all of you voted that album to the number one spot in 2006, you should all be finding this amazing. folk, 2 girls, a lot of instrumentation. Wonderful.

Ghost Bees – Erl King

So, still ten to go.

Exciting!

2008 Galore!, Pt. 743 (i lost count): 30- 21

9 December 2008

And here we are again, for just the following 10 of the list. Yes, It takes a lot of time writing these posts, which is the reason why i postpone it, but i need to finish this. So, off we go:

30. Final Fantasy – Plays to please/Spectrum, 14th Century (Blocks recording club)

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Sounds like: Indie, the musical.

How vaudeville can you get, is a question that you can ask if you listen to these two teasing EP’s by Final Fantasy. They are released on something that i’m not even sure is a label, but i could be wrong. I got it the illegal way, but still I’ll all advise you to go out and buy these two little gems. If you like previous Final Fantasy-releases you get more of the same. Spectrum, 14th Century is filled with nature recordings as an extra, but it’s ‘Plays to Please’ that is really amazingly good. Vaudevillian all the way, so to speak.

Final Fantasy – Nun or Bawd (From ‘Plays to Please’)

29. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornados) (Earthology Records => self-released)

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Sounds like: A combination of everything that should make a band really big in evil, big indie-worshipband land

Really, guys. If you like Arcade Fire, you can not not like Cloud cult. That’s like saying you don’t eat chocolate, but you have this craving for chocolate pudding. Cloud cult is witty, rocky, elektronic, folky, muddy, don’t know how many more words i have to put here until someone stops reading and just listens to the song.

Cloud Cult – Everybody here is a cloud

28. Pete Molinari – A Virtual Landslide (Damaged Good Records)

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Sounds like: The 50’s version of Turner Cody, Richie Valentine? (50’s middle class Rock-‘n-roll..my parents dig this)

Retro, retro, retro! I can’t stress it  enough, but 2008 was in my opinion mostly retro. Take Pete Molinari e.g. He sounds as if he’s on some tv-show, black & white, in the fifties. People don’t really know what internet is, and they aren’t yet familiar with never stopping consumerism. Pete Molinari is on, and his innocent singer-songwriter romantic songs fit the times. They aren’t as wild as Elvis, they are middle class white “gosh, Pete is a very fine singer. that boy is gonna be big if he doesn’t die in a plane crash” songs.

Pete Molinari – Adelaine

27. Mount Righteous – When The Music Starts (Self-Released)

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Sounds like: Big Band Hippies

I’ve written about this band before, and so you all should already know them. For those who weren’t aware of my blog at the time: Welcome! Mount Righteous is a big band hippie Texan band, which sounds a bit like the polyphonic spree, but better… if you like this kind of party music where everyone sings along, claps his hands and dances with each other, try this.  And because i’m lazy, i’ll just repost the song i gave away back then.

Mount Righteous – Licorice Night

26. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons –  Inside The Human Body (Minty Fresh Records)

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Sounds like: Finally, we can get rid of Bob Dylan (and clap your hands say yeah)

Ezra Furman was in my list last year, on the number 5 spot, and if I listen to this album just a bit more (cause i haven’t really listened to it that much, not used to the songs yet), I know this album will end up much higher in the list. Ezra should be the one stepping into Dylan’s footsteps. Not “gosh, why did i become so boring” Conor Oberst. This is great Neil Young, Dylanlike Singersongwriter southern rock songs/singersongwriter stuff! Just listen to the song, and notice the background choir. Fucking goosebumps.

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons – Take Off Your Sunglasses

25. The War on Drugs – Wagonwheel Blues  (Secretly Canadian)

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Sounds Like: Bruce Springsteen goes Sonic Youth

ok, i stole that comparison from vaaaaarious other blogs, but it’s really accurate. The War on Drugs has made an album of which you know that it will sound timeless all the time. They’ve made solid songs the springsteen way (and i don’t even really like springsteen), but added a bit fuzz and distortion to them. Adding to that, a great singing voice, and we’re all there, in our farmer shirts and our no wave-hairdo.  It’s like they say: you can not go wrong with Secretly Canadian (you can though).

The War on Drugs – Taking The Farm

24. Raz Ohara & The Odd Orchestra – Raz Ohara & The Odd Orchestra (Get Physical)

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Sounds like: Indie R&B

Damn, another band i already discussed here. this osunds as i’ve said like an R&B version of the Notwist or the Go Find. eeeeh, what else can i say..go buy it? you can read all the rest in the previous post!  or listen to the song.

Raz Ohara & the Odd Orchestra – Kisses

23. Women – Women (Jagjaguwar Records)

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Sounds like: Living on a garbage belt, and getting bored, so let’s make some noise.

I saw Women live a few weeks ago, together with their producer Chad Vangaalen. Thought they were boring. That doesn’t help appreciating the music on the album, but I’m still really enjoying this. It’s sometimes Animal Collective, sometimes lo-fi No Age, sometimes something else. I know everyone with a moderate taste in music would call this absolute rubbish, but I enjoy the fact that you have to look for songs between the noise. Long live layered lo-fi! (there are some more quiet songs on there too)

Women – Black Rice

Women – Group Transport Hall

22. Ratatat – LP 3 (XL Recordings)

Sounds Like: An Electronic Walk through the land of Oz.

I don’t listen that many purely instrumental or electronic music. Mostly because most albums don’t interest me. I know that’s quite the prejudice, but i don’t care (you also won’t find kayne west, or any other hiphop-soul-whatever guy or girl in this list, just to show how amazingly diverse i am. I’m not) Anyway, I got the ratatat album to write a review about it, and to my own amazement really liked this. These little miniature songs take you on a trip through a sort of miracle lollipop land. I imagine this land is Oz, but it could also be Alice’s wonderland (no it’s not weird enough for that), or the land where Mary Poppins live when she’s not taking care of some annoying kids.

Ratatat – Black Heroes

21. Mount Eerie – Lost Wisdom (P.W Elverum & Sun => self-released)

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Sounds like: the great winter depression of lo-fi (and did Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia turn back to its roots?)

I must admit that although i’m very lo-fi minded, the projects of Phil Elverum are always a bit hard for me to grasp. I think you must really listen to it day and night to really find it amazing the way the real Microphones-fans do. Then again, it’s great stuff. And if you ask the wonderful Julie Doiron to accompany on your album, you just know that it’s gonna be amazing. Lost Wisdom is sad, but wooden cabin sad. It’s the christmas melancholy, when you know the last fire is burning and after that you’ll freeze to death.

Mount Eerie – What?

2008 Galore!, part 3: Best Promising Artists for the future

18 November 2008

Well, this is quite the Osar-category i know, but it’s just a way for me to talk about 10 artists that i like, but just don’t seem to fit in the top 50-list that is coming up after this post. (well, not immediately after it, somewhere this week). The albums of these people have their flaws, but they are promising enough to make me look forward excitedly to when they release their next album. So, without no further ado, here they are.

DISCLAIMER: ok, first add this. The songs I add aren’t necessarily my favourite of the record, because i’m planning to keep those mp3’s for a big 50 best songs at the end of all these lists. So you’ll get twice the goodies!

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10. Pwrfl Power – PWRFL Power (EP) (Catbird Records)

what? Crazy Japanese guy makes antifolk songs

I wrote something about this crazy Japanese American here, so i’m not gonna keep on blabbing about it. He’s Japanese, naïve, and has released 2 albums this year. His full album – also named PWRFL Power  – was a bit too long and tends to get boring, but the small EP was just the right size. From one of the coolest small Indielabels in town, Catbird Records. Too bad it’s sold out!

PWRFL Power – Alma Song

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9. Liam The Younger – Clear Skies over Black Water (Self-released)

What? An early acoustic Bright Eyes without the emo-stuff

Everytime I hear this guy, it makes me think of the first time I heard Bright Eyes. The year was 1999 (or maybe not, i really don’t remember), and Conor Oberst still made homerecordings. The only difference he sometimes had the urge to start screaming instead of singing (what i really liked as a teenager), whereas Liam The Younger just keeps on singing in his own voice. You need to be in the mood for this though, cause it can get quite monotonous if you’re looking for exciting music. But on quiet nights, when you’re looking for something acoustic that resembles Mt. Eerie, Bright Eyes and other indiestuff (i know that this is really really very broad), you can always listen Liam The Younger. Oh I forgot to mention the cool part: you can download the entire album for free here. Don’t worry, he provided the link himself on his Myspace-page. (together with other albums that i haven’t heard yet!)  Thank You Liam!

Liam The Younger – Walking

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8. Wavves – Wavves  (Fuck It Tapes)

What? Sunny Californian Lo-fi Noise

2008 was the year of the return of the Noise pop. Bands like No Age, Times New Viking and many more were suddenly considered cool by Pitchfork and others. And franktly, i like them too. The time when people passed tapes around i missed by just an inch (let’s say 10 years), but it seems all to be coming back. I made noise once too (you can listen to the result here), but Wavves is much better. This release is only available on cassette until now, but it well get re-released on LP by Fuck it Tapes. And his next album will be on De Stijl which isn’t a very small label. I’m really looking forward to that!

Wavves – Wavves

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7. Jayber Crow – Two Short Stories (Self-released)

What? Indie folk, very reminiscent of The Decemberists

Is it a crime to sound like a big well-known indie-singer? Especially if that guy’s voice is quite recognizable. I guess the guys from Jayber Crow don’t do it on purpose, but everytime i hear their album, it’s like hearing an early tape of Colin Meloy from Decemberists-fame. The only difference that Jayber Crow is less pompous, more direct. I must admit not all songs appeal to me, but the ones that do, do it really good. You can buy their album on their website (by PayPal)

Jayber Crow – Saint Anthony

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6. The Wind Whistles – Window Sills (Aaaah Records)

What? Singalong Folk, moldy peaches reference in their own bio isn’t entirely accurate, but accurate enough

Another band i’ve blogged about in the past. And another album that you can download entirely for free. It’s amazing how many great albums get released for free every year. Radiohead isn’t the only one. You should try this, cause this music makes you feel happy. I had a rough day at work today, I put on my Mp3-player and found myself singing along out loud (not based on a true story, but it’s just for the dramatic effect). Really enjoyable music.

The Wind Whistles – Man By Name Of Denver

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5. Michael Rault – Crash! Boom Bang!

What? It’s rock-‘n-roll!

Michael Rault is retro. So retro that his albums sounds as if it’s been recorded during the late fifties, early sixties. It seems as if one has found an album that has been lying between your father’s record collection for over 40 years now.  This brings you back to times you probably have never experienced but really wish you were part of. It makes me feel at least a little rebel. You can buy his album at CD Baby. (knowing that this bloke is 20 or so, makes it even more fantastic!)

Michael Rault – Pretty Thing

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4. Entire Cities –  Deep River

What? Canadian Indie, with really solid songs.

Ok, it’s hard for me to give a very appealing description of Entire Cities. The songs are just really good, the voice has this great grunt in it (it’s not metal). It’s perhaps a bit alt. country, but then the rockier version. God, this isn’t making any sense at all. Let’s start over again: Entire cities has made a bloody good album with Deep River and instead of reading this, you should listen it. (Their site seems to be offline for now, but i guess you can order the album there.)

Entire Cities – Talkers

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3. James Yuill – Turning Down Water For Air (Moshi Moshi Records)

What? Indie electronics, The Postal Service is no longer needed! (Styrofoam, meet your competitor)

James Yuill was on my wishlist for over 2,5 years. I once listened to a song of his and then planned on buying his debut album. That was 2005, and then I forgot. Sometimes i remembered his name or found this mp3 I had and thought of looking for it again, but it’s only with this album that I really got to know the guy. He’s responsible for one of the top 5 songs this year (which i won’t offer for download YET, excitement!), and has brought out an album that makes me forget that The Postal Service had planned on releasing an album this year and didn’t. I don’t listen to indietronica that often, but this one made me feel really happy. Thanks James. (On his website you can download some of his remixes.)  His album can be found at all good record stores, normally.

James Yuill –  No Surprise

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2.  The Ivy League – This is Ivy League (self-released)

What? Kings of Convenience with a pinch of typicall Swedish Sounds and the zombies or something like that.

Every year there is at least one album somewhere in my lists that sound a bit Swedish. You know, the sound that bands like Jens Lekman, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and Irene have. It’s this bittersweet sound, with a lot of trumpets and stuff. Now these guys are from New York, but they sounds as Swedish as Sm°orrebr°odt. Next to that, they seem to pick up the sound that Kings of Convenience have left (what happened to those guys, well, to the Not Erlend Oye-guy). Really enjoyable sweet romantic. One but though. Guys, if you ever end up here reading these words of praise: make your album not only available on iTunes store. Many people aren’t fan of that (well, i’m not). More distribution canals would be really cool.

The Ivy League – Impossible Love

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1. Mumford And Sons – Mumford And Sons (EP)/ Love your Ground (EP)

What? Incredibly Sounding Young New Indie Folk in the tradition of bands Like Deer Tick

Okay, if you think that these are just too many tips for you, and can’t handle all that music, then ignore everything I have said until now. Last year, my number one on this list was Bon Iver (if I remember it as well) and he really boomed. Well, let me say you one thing: Next year is gonna be the year of Mumford And Sons. They have a really incredible sounds, and surely, they should be in the big list, but i realized that i would give them more credit by putting them on a number one spot. Everybody GO OUT AND LISTEN THIS . (And now if someone can tell me where i can buy a copy of both ep’s and when they will release their debut album, i can end this piece in peace)

Mumford And Sons – Little Lion Man

2008 galore!, part 2: The Most Beautiful album covers of 2008

16 November 2008

I must admit i don’t spend that much time in selecting my album covers of 2008 as i spend time finishing the list of lists. Therefore, i sometimes end up selecting album covers that may not deserve to end up in this list, because there are way better looking artwork cd’s out there. Then again, if there is one thing about lists that is certain, that is that they are temporary, useless, and futile.

So, bearing that in mind, i present to you: the nicest album covers of 2008.

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10.  Ass – My Get Up And Go Just Got Up And Went

I’m craving obsessions, and lately i’ve been developing this obsession for old picture book pictures. This cover seems to fulfill this need. Whilst reading a journal, Mr. Theodore Contagious heard someone ringing at the door. He thought: ‘ it must be my brother’, but when opened the door, he saw it was the devil in person. – and there is this whole story about how a simple peasant tricks Satan. In combination with the funny title it even gets better.

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9. Grand Salvo – Death

There used to be this show on television where animals were cut out of paper, and then they played shadow performances with it. I never watched it though, and i only saw it during one of my many zap rounds. But it’s nice how just the contours (is that even english?) of an object/animal can give us an idea of what we’re looking at. This one on number 9 to honour the great art of silhouettism let’s say. (I’m positive that silhouettism is definitely not a real world)

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8.  PWRFL Power – PWRFL Power (EP)

I don’t think many people will agree with this, but they haven’t seen the album in reality. It’s been standing on top of my cd shelves for over six months now (its size to big to put inbetween the other cd’s), and it’s really intriguing. Mine has got a green background intstead of this pink one though. There is something about that look in his eyes that fascinates me. I can show you it in real-time; then you’ll know what i mean. You can give me a call.

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7. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-partying through tornados)

Franktly, this one could’ve been with my worst album covers as well. It’s real kitsch, but it fascinates me, and in the end i realized that i enjoy watching it. I’m not sure why.

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6. James Yorkston – When The Haar Rolls in

Another one to fit my child book pictures fetisj. (That fetisj is made up just for the purpose of explaining why this picture is in my top 10). Pictures that contain stories, they are my favourite. Well, i could blab on about this one forever, but i won’t bother you with that.

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5. Human Highway – Moody Motorcycle

If you like retro, you have been treated amazingly well this year. Albums that seem to come straight out of the sixties or seventies, it seemed to be a trend. And that means the album covers got this old look again as well. This one was one of the most succesful, but the best retro cover will come a little bit later.

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4. Mumford And Sons–  Mumford And Sons

As in now…. this is pur sang retro, and an album cover that would look really amazing on poster format on your wall. I want it.

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3. Matt Bauer – The Island moved in the Storm

This album cover tells a story as well. A story I haven’t had the time to listen to up until now, so i have no idea whether it’s a good album, but the cover looks just too great not to include into my list.

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2. Women – Women

Woohoo! Chinese Communists! And they are doing morning gymnastics! This is not only a great album (how great? just wait and see), it’s also a great cover. Old pictures, nostalgia, etc. (god ,i have no idea what to say, maybe i just have to let the cover tell its story)

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1. These United States – A Picture of the Tree Of Us at The Gates of The Garden of Eden

Is that your number one? It’s boring! Yes, it is. but, if you just know what the title of the album is (and you know, cause it’s right above this text!) then this is definitely my number one. Simple, to the point and the perfect correlation with the rest of the album. Hallelujah.

Feel Free to use the comments to tell the rest of the world which album covers mesmerized you!

2008 galore!, part 1: Worst Albumcovers of 2008

13 November 2008

So here I am. I’ve been climbing mountains of albums (and still not really reached the top, but just keep that to yourself) and came back with my list of lists. For the next weeks (let’s hope it won’t take too long anymore) I will entertain you with some stupid lists summarizing the musical year 2008.

Let’s first start with the dumbest of them all: the ugliest albumcovers of 2008. I’m not an illustrator, nor am i a guy who is really sensitive about design (after all, i practice the fine art of Paint Art, which is just the lo-fi version of Photoshop). Then again, i don’t release albums into the wild, or at least not charge people for it. I don’t have to care. But the following artists should have:

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10. The Ruby Suns – Sea Lions

But inside out sock, why…isn’t this a nicely drawn picture of a kid standing on a bunch of big emeralds? Well, the reason why this made my list, is because it reminds me of Manga. Now, i do have some manga comics i like, but the problem with this cover is that it’s imitation manga, drawn in some Korean sweat shop, where kids were trained exactly one day and then they had to reproduce a 200-edition series of Kandru, the little warrior. His special powers are the things that come out of his body. It surely will scare his enemies. If they don’t die laughing.

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9. Noah & The Whale – Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down

There once were the seventies. And in those days, they published books with covers just like these. They were called “Igor, the fiddle player and Margarita Sjotlzestinin”. Yep, this reminds me of communist Russia, and though I am a communist (just not a russian one), i just don’t like this one. It’s bitterly disturbing (even to me). There is this banjo player – i know it’s not a fiddle – and his headless girlfriend, and a big comical looking tree in the back. And then some ghost like leggy type. And the colours are those that as a kid i refused to use, because they scared me.

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8. Adem – Takes

Again those russian seventies colours. Mix that with geometrical figures (i tend to hate covers that are just a bunch of geometry. I used to have nightmares about squares and perfect circles to attack me. Seriously by the way).  This looks like a ground plan for a parliament, or a theoretical elaboration on the study of colours. The alternative theory.

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7. The Sound Of Arrows – Danger EP!

On the 9th day, God decided to come down on a blue lightning which he had stolen from a 80’s record which no one would buy because the cover was too ugly. Everyone ignored the Lord – because of the lightning, that’s for sure – so he started his own hair metal band, and conquered the world again. but behind his back, people kept making fun of him. (Disclaimer: Sound of Arrows is no hair metal, that’s the worst)

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6. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

The big problem with all the covers I’m listing here, is that they all are sort of pretentious without being funny. Now, MGMT is a bit pretentious, but they do have some nice songs (they are not in my big list..not even close), but this album cover – i think it’s the European one, or maybe just not -seems like a bad teenager’s photoshop. The green dots are indeed globes, and there is an angel in there, and the sun. Oh my god, it’s just about hippies. I just don’t get the big piece of fish in the front. (Jesus the fisherman). MAybe it’s christian propaganda.

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5. The Shaky Hands – Lunglight

Rohrsach-tests, woohoo! I see a two headed mole, that’s been run over a couple of times and has been bleeding orange blood ferociously (moles indeed have orange blood). What do you guys see? You see a dot of ink that’s been pressed together so it would create a mirror effect? You guys must be nuts.

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4. 31 Knots – Worried Well

Puppet shows for adults. That’s what i think of. Does that exist? The puppet version of Fight Club or the godfather? I would like that. And it would be cool if those puppets looked like the one on this cover. But puppets with bleeding noises AND some strange hat.. Now that i take a closer look…is it even a puppet? A very old man that got beaten up, so it would look good for the picture. yikes.

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3. Megapuss – Surfing

Devendra Banhart used to be a big hero for me, but he sort of lost track of himself along the way. I’m no longer eager to go out and buy his newest albums (i must admit, i only was up and until Nino Rojo). His sideproject called Megapuss has a really strange album cover. Ok, i must admit it is sort of funny, but just a mere smile funny. Two longhaired guys nakedly attacking each other, and then calling themselves Megapuss and making sure we all know that… it’s just too much.

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2. Warmer Milks – Soft Walks

Yep, this is an album cover, and not some weary picture of an ex-girlfriend. Everyone has his fair share of photo’s that make every photographer run out and weep “why, why?”, but again, we don’t use them as album covers. We cherish them at night, when we’re silently weeping underneath our blankets, sobbing “why, why?”. I’m sure this girl looks amazing in real life, but now she just will be known as that stupid picture on a Warmer Milks-cover

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1. Islands – Arm’s Way

If there is only one album which cover I really realy really really think is awful, then it’s this one. It’s the motherload of kitsch (and sadfully the music is going that way as well). In-A-Gadda-Vida, seventies progrock, a new age picture of Paradise and its inhabitants. I just don’t know what to think of this, but i do know that it’s the ugliest album cover of 2008.