The time of year has come. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about the end of the year. The time of year we get to look back on the musical releases of the past twelve months, put our geek hats on and debate our favourites.
I tend to disagree with the majority of lists I see, but don’t we all? And thats the beauty of it…right?
So heres my top ten. It will consist of my personal favourite releases from 2008. The word personal being of the upmost importance. This is simply me, telling you, which albums have rocked me this year.
10. METRONOMY – NIGHTS OUT
Metronomy have been an accomplished act to many since their start in 1999. First album ‘Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe)’ released in 2006 made them one of the coolest cult acts to follow in the U.K. and their follow up ‘Nights Out’ released in September this year has the potential to translate that success to the mainstream music scene. Already well known remixers of other artists material, ‘Nights Out’ has seen the favour returned with tracks featured remixed by the likes of Primary 1, Maton and Sinden.
9. HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR – S/T
Considering Hercules and Love Affair only made their live performance debut in May this year, they’ve become an instant success. First single ‘Blind’ released in March rocketed their debut album into the charts and made it an ‘every home should have one’ record. Featuring Antony Hegarty of Anthony and The Johnsons on guest vocals throughout the album gave the band a head start, but the fact that he doesn’t appear in any of their live performances doesn’t hinder their ability in the slightest. I’ve been lucky enough to see them play live twice in 2008 and the magic surrounding the sound their debut album translates perfectly to the stage.
8. THE PRESETS – APOCALYPSO
The long awaited second album from the Australian duo Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes was certainly worth waiting for. Its been three years since the release of ‘Beams’ and they’ve not only come back with a suitable follow up, they’ve come back and bettered it. With possibly the most recognisable vocals from any band in their genre, ‘Apocalypso’ released in June features the hard hitting tracks ‘This Boys In Love’, ‘Talk Like That’ and club favourite protest style single ‘My People’.
7. LADYHAWKE – S/T
Without doubt, the hottest female artist to land this year, Pip ‘Ladyhawke‘ Brown has brought that 80’s influenced indie-pop sound back round again, this is something we’ve been hearing alot of late, but in my opinion, no ones done it this well in a long time. She said herself “I wanted to make music that could put a smile on peoples faces and give them a feeling of nostalgia even though they may be hearing my songs for the first time” and with that I think we can safely say she succeeded.
6. LYKKE LI – YOUTH NOVELS
Possibly the best gig I’ve been to in 2008, Lykke Li is a natural performer. Her truly unique vocal style gained her an instant following when single ‘Little Bit’ surfaced in the blog world in late 2007. And when the album ‘Youth Novels’ was released in 2008 it did not disappoint. Remixed by anybody whos anybody we soon came across reworks of her singles by the likes of The Black Kids, CSS, Metronomy and Punks Jump Up. Popular across all age groups, even my Dad is a fan of this album. I’m not sure if thats a good thing or not.
5. BLACK GHOSTS – S/T
Formed of Theo Keating and Simon Lord from former acts ‘Simian‘ and ‘The Wiseguys‘, The Black Ghosts have been a key player on the 2008 club scene and became the soundtrack to my summer after the albums release in July. Infact I don’t think I’ve played a DJ set without featuring them since. The album features one of my favourite tracks of the last twelve months ‘Anyway you choose to give it’ and the lead track from the
album ‘Repetition kills you’ features Brit Pop legend Damon Albarn on guest vocals. Track ‘Full Moon’ will also be featured in the soundtrack for upcoming vampire movie ‘Twilight’. This album is a must own.
4. FOALS – ANTIDOTES
Its safe to say that the debut album from Foals, released on March 24th, will be featuring in alot of bloggers top tens this month. ‘Antidotes’ was a highly anticipated album for anyone with an ounce of taste and it didn’t disappoint. Reaching number 3 in the U.K album chart, Foals brought experimental Math rock to the masses in 2008. Hailing from from Oxford, The band are signed with Transgressive Records in Europe and Sub Pop in the USA.
3. THOMAS TANTRUM – S/T
For everyone who got bored of The Ting Tings after the first month of hearing them everywhere they went in April/May time. Thomas Tantrum clearly deserve the crown given to them by NME for producing “the best pop album we’ve heard in years’. The Southampton four piece have had a fantastic year, touring their socks off, being championed by Lily Allen and getting featured in a recent T-Mobile advert. This album will show you why. Twelve brilliant tracks of indie/pop goodness, if you’re yet to discover them, get on it quick, because by the time 2009 hits this band are going to be on everyones lips.
2. MGMT – ORACULAR SPECTACULAR
Released on January 22 2008, sheer proof of how fast this year has gone by as 12 months on, ‘Oracular Spectacular’ still shows no signs of getting old or overplayed. Featuring indie anthems ‘Kids’ and ‘Time To Pretend’, MGMT have produced a real gem of an album providing us all with something we’ve been waiting for for a long time, an album to unite a generation.
1. SANTOGOLD – S/T
Who else could it be? 2008 belongs to Santogold. Her self-titled release hit the U.K shelves on April 29th 2008. Lended a hand by acclaimed artists such as Spank Rock, Diplo, Radioclit, Switch and Sinden this album is a masterpiece from start to finish rocketing Santogold into instant fame both on the underground and in the charts. Anyone whos seen her play live would’ve been blown away as I was at this years Bestival.