Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Half of 2008

Always being ready to prematurely anoint the next "It" album and be as trendy in the blogosphere as possible, or whatever, we here at FG head quarters never pass up a legitimate opportunity to list some of our current faves, no shame attached. Working together, Sassigrass and Mr. Thistle have come up with 20 albums that have rocked them in 2008 in every way possible. So here in no particular order are...

Wolf ParadeAt Mount Zoomer

We pulled the trigger on this review a bit early on this album and it looks like our gushing had some sort of universally luke warm backlash. It’s no matter though. We (I at least) still am absolutely in love with this record more than any other. So good. Stop semi-hating fence sitting haters!


Handicap bedroom pop doesn’t get any grittier or more enjoyable than this. Not that Pumice main man Stephan Neville is handicap, just his songs. For some reason throwing a wrench in the spokes just sounds better sometimes. Quo is perfect evidence of that.

Kurt Weisman
Spiritual Sci-fi

Pure ear candy on every level, Weisman’s beautifully strange debut solo outing is both spiritual and scientific making it the owner of the most applicable album title on the list. Let Spiritual-Sci fi transport you to an alternate universe’s heaven. Also, Sassigrass nominates it for worst album art OF ALL TIME!


Avant pop hip hoppers, Subtle managed their most complex and commercial album at the same time with ExitingARM. There are not very many musical acts today that could pull off something so amazing on so many levels.

A Faulty Chromosome
- As An Ex-Anorexic’s Six Sicks Exit, …

The sleeper hit of sleeper hits. For the ease with which A Faulty Chromosome goes down it is crazy that this band’s debut hasn’t raked in more mainstream indie credibility. The most sugary sweet geeked out shoegazing indie rock this side of the universe.

No Kids
Come Into My House

Formed out of the ashes of inspired but spotty P:ano, No Kids’ Come Into My House is the fully formed album that P:ano was always trying for. Absolutely blissful, booty shaking sun shine packaged with indie pop genius. Sassigrass can't stop rocking this one.

Nat Baldwin
Most Valuable Player

Nat Baldwin has always had the ability of making “pop songs” feel more like precious diamonds than quickly consumed bite-sized candy bars. On Most Valuable Player Baldwin one-ups himself by coating his diamonds with gourmet chocolate. Mmm, delicious!

The Evening Descends

A theatrical, psychedelic, psychotic plunge into glammy indie rock, The Evening Descends was the musical fix that was first to insured that 2008 wouldn’t disappoint and The Evangelicals sophomore album has shown no signs of letting up on that promise. Classic.

Peter Broderick

Perhaps the most beautiful set of recordings to be released so far this year and definitely the most delicate, Peter Broderick has created a modern classical masterpiece in Float.

The Raveonettes
Lust, Lust, Lust

A ragged buzzing mess of gorgeous pop, Lust, Lust, Lust is The Raveonettes’ unexpected return to form, both in grittiness and consistency. A perfect entry point, Lust, Lust, Lust is the bands best album to date (or the only one that Mr. Thistle is familiar with.)

Scott Tuma
Not For Nobody

Scott Tuma’s mangled take on instrumental Americana is probably the most viable contender Broderick’s Float for most beautiful album so far this year. Somehow Tuma’s hazy, disjointed compositions fumble lazily into the most satisfyingly resolute pieces of music you can remember. Not For Nobody sees Tuma pushing his aesthetic farther than ever before with awe-inspiring results

Beach House

The most fitting descriptor I can think of for Beach House’s sophomore release, Devotion, is grandeur. Something about the thick syrupy female vocals and muddled guitar and organ lines soothes as if the band was sucking inspiration through a straw dangling from heaven.

The Goslings

As haunting as it is deafening, on Occasion The Goslings have secured their rightful place as the royal heirs to the apocalypse. I don’t know if anything else so austere that has managed to sound so enticing.

- Laulu Laakson Kukista

An ethereal mad house of lilting, ghostly beauty, fractured field recordings and pummeling electronics among other things, Paavoharju’s follow up to the astounding Yha Hamaraa is nothing less than pure magic.

Jim Noir
Jim Noir

Bringing back the 60’s in the best possible way, Jim Noir’s self titled sophomore outing perfects and expands everything that made those blissful psychedelics of yesteryear so great. A colorful album packed with sunny adventure and beachside satisfaction.

Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend

The hype typhoon for Vampire Weekend has been pretty much unavoidable. First a tidal wave of adulation, then an expected backlash tidal wave, it seems we are just barely getting to the point where we can listen to this album without some else’s opinion butting into our heads. Well, preppy pricks or not, Vampire Weekend’s self titled debut is still absolutely delicious.

El Guincho

Released last year, but hitting US shores in March of this year, El Guincho’s Alegranza is a multi-colored loop dream filled to the brim with samples stretching all around the world. We have attempted to put our words into pictures here at FG, but the album cover pretty much speaks for itself.


Head nodding doesn’t get any more enthusiastic or dramatic than when the FG staff are blasting Alopecia out the windows. It is pretty much impossible to hear Why? latest avant-indie-hip hop conglomeration and not feel like some quasi thug/hipster while cruisin’ the boulevard. As infectious as it is lyrically uncomfortable, Alopecia is the most enjoyable slice of ridiculousness we’ve listened to so far this year.

Times New Viking
Rip It Off

For those who love sloppy, loud pop with more grit than a Middle Eastern sand storm, Times New Viking pretty much require that your stereo be turned to 11. It is going to sound like it is regardless of what volume level you set your speakers to anyway. Audio destruction has never sounded more glorious or fun.

Some Beasts
Some Beasts

From out nowhere, Some Beasts slowly made its case as an album that required repeat listens – many many repeat listens. Subsequently, the breezy mix of instrumental styles harkening folk, jazz, rock and a healthy dash of the avant-garde has turned Some Beasts into one of the most durable and always satisfying albums we heard so far in 2008; local or otherwise.

1 comment:

Justin Snow said...

This is a really solid list. I'm totally with you on The Goslings and A Faulty Chromosome (who's show I went to solely based on your recommendation). I'll be curious to see which of these end up on your year end list.