The best tracks of 2008, not counting top 50 album cuts
Twenty best of the rest of the albums
Because obviously fifty isn't enough
Absentee - Boy, Did She Teach You Nothing [Myspace]
From Victory Shorts
Adam Donen and The Drought - Five Minute Zeitgeist [Myspace]
From As Our Parents Slowly Turn To Clay (We're not sure what sort of release this got - there may still be copies of the combined CD and poetry book available from Myspace)
Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning - Hit The Wall [YouTube]
From Something For All Of Us
David Holmes – I Heard Wonders [YouTube]
From The Holy Pictures
Duels - The Furies [Myspace]
From The Barbarians Move In
Fujiya & Miyagi – Knickerbocker [YouTube]
The Hot Puppies - Clarinet Town
From Blue Hands
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement [YouTube]
From The Age Of The Understatement
Lightspeed Champion - Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk [live YouTube]
From Falling Off The Lavender Bridge
The Lucksmiths - A Sobering Thought (Just When One Was Needed) [Myspace]
From First Frost
Matt Eaton - Eveybody's Got To Fallen Into Line [Myspace]
From Finish Your Chips
Popular Workshop - Reptilians [Myspace]
From We're Alive And We're Not Alone
Port O’Brien - I Woke Up Today [Myspace]
From All We Could Do Was Sing
School Of Language – Rockist [YouTube]
From Sea From Shore
Silvery - Action Force [Myspace]
From Thunder And Excelsior
Slow Down Tallahassee - The Beautiful Light [Myspace]
From The Beautiful Light
Sons Of Noel & Adrian - Indigo [Myspace]
From Sons of Noel & Adrian
Stereolab - Three Women [Myspace]
From Chemical Chords
Thomas White - The Runaround [Myspace]
From I Dream Of Black (Tom's currently stated releases for 2009: two solo albums, Brakes, more Restlesslist)
The Wedding Present - Palisades [live YouTube]
From El Rey (The back of our head's in that video!)
Debut singles and 2008 breakthroughs
Some, all or none of these twenty selections (clue: not 'all') will be in The Class Of '09 Covermount, posted 3rd January (which is also a significant birthday of ours, but that's not for now)
Cats In Paris - Foxes [Myspace]
Cottonmouth Rocks - Witch Doctor [Myspace]
The Deirdres - Milk Is Politics [YouTube]
Dinosaur Pile-Up - My Rock'n'Roll [Myspace]
Gindrinker - Work It Out [Myspace] (On Spencer McGarry's label - he sent us a copy of his Season's album just before the month started, and we'll be posting about it in January)
Gossamer Albatross - The Ground Will Take Us Down [Myspace]
The Lionheart Brothers - 50 Souls In A Disco Bowl [YouTube]
Lykke Li - Little Bit [YouTube]
Maths Class – Nerves [YouTube]
Minnaars - Essay Essay Essay [Myspace]
MGMT – Time To Pretend [YouTube]
Mumford and Sons - Roll Away Your Stone [Myspace]
Nat Johnson - Dirty Rotten Soul [YouTube]
Post War Years - The Black Morning [YouTube]
Rose Elinor Dougall - Another Version Of Pop Song [Myspace]
Stars And Sons - In The Ocean [YouTube]
Still Flyin' - Good Thing It's A Ghost Town Round Here [YouTube]
Superman Revenge Squad - Idiot Food [Myspace] (Our own idiot rules prevented it, but go to that Myspace and order self-pressed album This Is My Own Personal Way Of Dealing With It All. No, do it now)
This City - Kids With Fireworks [YouTube]
The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Trading Things In [YouTube]
As seen in Weekender
Every weekend we've dug out another quality new band for Myspace Invaders, and here's what we wrote about our twenty favourites not covered elsewhere in this section:
a.genuine.freakshow - Holding Hearts [Myspace]
"Comparisons to more buzzed about fellow travellers Grammatics are inevitable, given the overwhelmed ambitions, achingly vaulting vocals, changing dynamics and prominent cellist, but there's a lot of Mew in the way they aim for the stars this side of post-rock... 'transcendental majesty', while still a horrible phrase when seen written down, is something they're gradually attaining."
The Beep Seals - I Used To Work At The Zoo [Myspace]
"Beach Boys psychedelia that weighs heaviest on the band's sound, although certainly there's a lot of listening to the Flaming Lips' Clouds Taste Metallic behind all this and some Stephen Malkmus, Elephant 6 collective and even Todd Rundgren's hi-fi oddness behind these acid fuzzbombs."
Cats And Cats And Cats - Happiness For Lola [Myspace]
"They're rooted in the post-hardcore influenced danceable mathrock thing that's coming into fashion at the moment where guitars and rhythms collide wildly with each other and tempos change every minute or so but it all coalesces into something overpowering. There's elements which should appeal to those who follow Mew, Youthmovies or Explosions In The Sky, but really they're already forging their own path while barely out of their teens."
Copy Haho - You Are My Coal Mine [Myspace]
"The echoes here are largely of Pavement and Sebadoh with a melodic and very Scot-pop cocksureness... They're already full of twisted pop shapes and they're very much on the right track to big stuff."
Everything Everything - DNA Dump [Myspace]
"You'll hear Wild Beasts' machine tooled indie-funk, first album Futureheads call and response harmonies, the wild eyed taut punk-funk of first album Liars and most of all the Cardiacs' sumptuous multi-angled madness.. please welcome another of that increasingly rare creature, an urgent new voice in the boys with angular guitar stakes."
Falling And Laughing - Compilations For Sweden [Myspace]
"So here come the Field Mice, Postcard and Sarah Records namechecks and the wry bedroom diarist lyrics, but there's a strength to the writing that marks them aside from many suddenly on the same stylistic journey."
Hajen - Sharks [Myspace]
"Chan Marshall's last three albums would be a very good comparison to her spare, piano-based despair and soaring, heartfelt vocals, as would Stina Nordenstam and Regina Spektor."
i concur - Build Around Me [Myspace]
"The National's sense of anxiousness/nervous tension, Interpol's brooding am-dram, Broken Social Scene's expansiveness and touches of Explosions In The Sky's glacial post-rock and Johnny Marr circling guitar lines. Never mind potential, they sound like they're almost there already."
Kaputt - Family Tree [Myspace]
"It's the streamlined moments of (Sonic Youth's) early major label days that it's most reminiscent of, given a Peter Hook bassline, the records Interpol had by the studio CD player when they were making Turn On The Bright Lights and working knowledge of Electrelane-style femme-cool motorik. They'll get well under your skin."
The Late Greats - Gareth [Myspace]
"They've found a middle ground between Lamacq-attracting hooks and awkward angularities, having quoted Neutral Milk Hotel and Pavement as influences. They've been around for a few years but still sound like they have room to grow into themselves, and when that happens they'll be unstoppable."
Matthew Saunders - Crown [Myspace]
"His way with matching a folk strum to a direct, sentimental lyric with a kick in the post-Syd Barrett mould overcomes all associated doubts."
Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck - Pictures [Myspace]
"Their being Swedish means you pretty much know what air they're working in already, and it's very much the sound of Jens Lekman embarking on a peaceful - well, obviously peaceful - coup to unseat Stuart Murdoch."
Picture Books In Winter - Horizontally I Am Champion [Myspace]
"Mates with Los Campesinos! and borrowing their tight angle hopeful worldviews and penchant for a prominent violinist, they have that ability to sound quite different from track to track without ever sounding like a compromise of eclecticism.... Other touchstones include Pavement's inscrutability, Cursive's heavy set indie-rock melodrama, the less post-hippiness parts of the indie folk brigade and a hundred other things that we can't quite place."
Project Notion - Castles In The Air [Myspace]
"(They) have a sound that you just cannot reduce to a few words of passing reference without much headscratching. Here goes: it's Youthmovies reduced to three fifths speed and given a half acoustic guitar arrangement, then met by Tori Maries' trip-hop vocals and turning into a far less silky Steely Dan jazz-rock as The Sea And Cake might envision it."
Red Shoe Diaries - Fireflies At Dawn [Myspace]
"You'd fear for this sound in a strong wind, but should you like Swedish indiepop and Felt without actually being Stuart Murdoch they're right up your street."
Stars Of Sunday League - Sailing Ships On The Forth [Myspace]
"There's something about the Scottish accent in singer-songwriter business that makes it sound more honest and touching, we reckon... File next to the Fence collectivists and well inside the interconnected modern folk school of excellence."
Sunset Cinema Club - Hardcore [Myspace]
"File these under melodic post-hardcore, sharing the stop-start tautness of Fugazi, the fat-free funk fuckups of the Minutemen and the funk-punk of Jetplane Landing's Backlash Cop album of last year"
Three Trapped Tigers - 1 [Myspace]
"Free jazz electronica to some, a British Battles to others... they take the drawn out precision of math-rock and compress it into tense, elaborate slabs of build and release-driven intensity, shuttling between full throttle electronica-influenced passages and ambient segments that allow time for the next wave to hit, intricate cross-threading of movements and time signatures forefront."
The Vanguard - The Antidote's Retreat [Myspace]
"Duke Spirit fans should certainly be looking this way, but there's a seam of that peculiarly north-western trait of enormous effects pedal atmospheric guitar sounds and cocksure vocals"
Wet Paint - Save The Whale [Myspace]
"They say it sounds like "PIXIES-DINOSAUR JR-PAVEMENT or other bands that sound a bit like them"; we say more the latter of those three with a streamlined hint of the second, and certainly fitting well next to whichever player from the mid-90s American 'scene' you might wish to play alongside."
Did we ever go a bundle on these at the time? We're not sure we did
The Accidental - Wolves [Myspace]
Ace Bushy Striptease - Panda Love Unit [Myspace]
Black Francis - The Seus [free mp3 via download.com]
Blakfish - Jeremy Kyle Is A Marked Man [Myspace]
Broadcaster - England [Myspace]
Eagleowl - Blanket [Myspace]
Final Fantasy - Blue Imelda [YouTube]
His Clancyness - Next Year Is Ours [Myspace] (Jonathan Clancy from A Classic Education solo)
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Everything With You [YouTube]
The Scaremongers - Less Is More [Myspace] (And to think Simon Armitage might be poet laureate this time next year)
The Sleeping Years - Islands [Myspace]
Zombie-Zombie - Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free [Myspace]
Everything else we really liked in 2008 but couldn't fit in any of the previous categories
4 Or 5 Magicians – Change The Record [Myspace]
A Classic Education - We Can Always Run To Hawaii [mp3]
Broken Records - Lies [YouTube] (Three cracking singles, but we think this just gets the nod)
Cold War Kids - Something Is Not Right With Me [YouTube]
Crystal Castles - Crimewave [Myspace]
Dananananaykroyd - Pink Sabbath [Myspace]
dEUS - Slow [YouTube]
The Dirty Backbeats - To The Dogs [Myspace] (Class Of '08 candidates, whose last gig was last Saturday)
Does It Offend You, Yeah? - We Are Rockstars [YouTube]
Emmy The Great - We Almost Had A Baby [YouTube]
Fighting With Wire - Everyone Needs A Nemesis [YouTube]
Florence & The Machine – Dog Days [YouTube]
Future Of The Left - The Hope That House Built [Myspace]
Grammatics - The Vague Archive [Myspace]
Guillemots - Kriss Kross [YouTube] (Piss poor album, mind)
Hello Saferide - Anna [YouTube]
Let's Wrestle - Let's Wrestle
Madness – NW5 [Myspace] (So whither The Liberty Of Norton Folgate?)
Make Model – The LSB [YouTube] (And they split too)
The Rosie Taylor Project - A Good Café on George Street [YouTube]
The School - Let It Slip [YouTube]
The Sexual Objects - Here Come The Rubber Cops [label Myspace]
The Shortwave Set – No Social [YouTube]
Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook [DailyMotion]
Sky Larkin - Fossil, I [YouTube]
Slow Club - Let's Fall Back In Love [Myspace]
White Williams - New Violence [Myspace]