top albums 2008 pt. 2

January 8, 2009

i’m writing up what i think are the best albums of the year.  as always these are not opinions but stone cold facts.  check out 15-11 right here.

and now 10-6 of 2008…

10. house with no name – horse feathers

horse feathers are the best folk band you’ve never heard of.  and if you’ve heard of them, then well done.  you win a gold star.  house with no name takes what they built up in their first album, words are dead, and expands on these sparse violin, cello, and acoustic guitar folk songs.  lead singer justin ringle sings in a sort of stumbling way, with a hushed breaking into a sort of falsetto voice.  his lyrics are brutally honest (“father your failures are so grave,
they have seeped to son
“), and their instrumentation fills out the bleak feelings of the songs.

9. minor works – j. tillman

if you didn’t notice already i’m a real big new folk (that’s what i call it) kind of guy.  give me a lead singer with an interesting voice, a picked acoustic guitar, brushed drums, and maybe a violin or a cello, and i’m digging it.  j. tillman might be better well known right now as the drummer for fleet foxes (who might possibly make an appearance a little further down the page), but his solo work is just as good.  he’s a alt. country/new folk singer/songwriter you could put a million labels on him, but you won’t know what i’m talking about until you’ve listened to crooked roof (on the actual recording the piano is in tune).

8. maybe they will sing for us tomorrow – hammock

if you haven’t heard of hammock, then you need to.  what they’ve made with maybe they will sing for us tomorrow is more of a sounding board for your emotions.  it’s an ambient filled space of two guitars and a cello.  no beats or vocals.  nothing to distract from exactly what they’re getting at.  it’s an album that when put on will put you in a deep meditative thought.  it’s personal and accessible without calling attention to itself.  you can listen to the album 100 times and come away with different reactions each time.  and that’s a testament to the work put in by the band.

7. með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust – sigur rós

sigur ros traded in their ambient tones, masked vocals, and downbeat drums for a much more upbeat and distinct songwriting style.  there are clear vocal lines and melodies (not that they weren’t doing that before, but on this albums it’s much more prominently featured).  when i first played gobbledigook, i was really taken back to hear the acoustic guitars and the more traditional verse chorus verse chorus style.  i still have no idea what the man is saying, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.  and this album only furthers the notion that sigur ros can do pretty much anything and it’s going to be awesome.

6. the hare’s corner – colm mac con iomaire

colm is my boy.  the violinist from the frames and the swell season has released his first solo album this year, and it’s the best instrumental album of the year… far.  i’ve had the good fortune of seeing him perform live (and getting to talk to him, though briefly), and the man is unbelievably talented.  he creates songs full of emotion and incredibly beautiful melodies and violin turns.  definitly check this out and give my boy some love.


3 Responses to “top albums 2008 pt. 2”

  1. magnus3000 Says:

    I can’t help the feeling that you have quite an affection for a band called “The frames”—

  2. johnheberle Says:

    who told you that?

  3. magnus3000 Says:

    read it on the “What’s hot and What’s not with John” somewhere on the internet…

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