Best Music of 2008, Part VII (Songs 21-30)

3 03 2009

Here are the final 10 of my favorite songs of 2008. New visitors, don’t forget to check out my top albums of 2008. 2008 is finally, officially, wrapped up at Songs About Radios:

  • Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/01-les-artistes.mp3″

    Just barely knocked off my top 20 albums of the year. Despite comparisons to M.I.A. for the diversity of her influences, Santi White is clearly the more talented songwriter, though certainly not as eccentric of a personality as M.I.A.

  • Sister Suvi – The Lot (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/the-lot.mp3″

    Another irrepressible ear worm, in this case thanks to the rhythmic tension between the guitar and the layered vocals.

  • ((Sounder)) – Good Things (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/good-things.mp3″

    A simple, almost meditative, cyclical chant exchanging good things with bad things, built upon a low, rumbling, slowly developing, layer of fuzz.

  • These New Puritans – Navigate, Navigate (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/navigate-navigate.mp3″

    Drawing on a Gang of Four-like, post-punk aesthetic, “Navigate, Navigate” juxtaposes blunt, punctual vocals with angular guitars for rhythmic effect. Originally written for the 2007 Dior Homme fashion show.

  • Throw Me the Statue – About to Walk (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/06-about-to-walk.mp3″

    Catchiest indie pop song of 2008. If only the rest of the album were this good…

  • Tokyo Police Club – Your English Is Good (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/09-your-english-is-good.mp3″

    Scrappy indie rockers who probably would have gotten a mention on my list last year if they had released more than 17 minutes of music at that point. Elephant Shell wasn’t quite consistent enough to make my top 20 albums, but “Your English is Good” deserves some attention.

  • Wavves – Beach Demon (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/beach-demon.mp3″

    I mentioned Wavves in my review of the Vivian Girls as another example of the trend towards Jesus & Mary Chain style distortion over the past year or two. While Wavves’s garagier take on noise doesn’t appeal to me as consistently or as compellingly as the Vivian Girls, “Beach Demon” is a romp.

  • The Whiskers – Roses (Download) (Download the Album for Free) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/01-roses.mp3″

    Signs that Spencer Krug is starting to have an influence beyond Wolf Parade and his myriad of side projects. “Say your prayers and pick your battleship configurations cause I’m gonna sink your grandpa’s sailboat.”

  • White Hinterland – Chant de Grillon (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/chant-de-grillon.mp3″

    Casey Dienel hardly sounds like the same singer whose transparently titled “La La Song” made my best songs of 2006, having now replaced the pop sentimentality with a trancelike repetitive bassline in the style of the Velvet Underground and with haunting vocals that tread boldly through an ominous mass of fluttering tones and shrieking effects.

  • Wiley – Wearing My Rolex (Download) (Buy It) https://songsaboutradios.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/wearing-my-rolex-radio-edit.mp3″

    If I lived in London I’d probably hate this song by now – I get the impression that it’s all over the place there, but with good reason: the combination of a great beat and the kind of very simple, repetitive lyrical structure that makes it hard to get a song out of your head.

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5 responses

3 03 2009
zombiepublicspeaking

I think you’re right about The Whiskers. In an unrelated note, I have unrealized hopes for These New Puritains.

3 03 2009
Matt

I’m pretty sure the Whiskers hang out at the Wolf Parade message board or something, though I can’t remember exactly why I think that. Also, the singer is now involved in a project called Ganache. There’s a track up on Said the Gramophone that’s pretty decent.

Unrealized hopes for These New Puritans as in they have potential but haven’t pulled it together yet? Sounds about right. I’ve heard a lot of duds from Beat Pyramid, including the “Numbers” track that’s an edit of “Navigate, Navigate,” but they’ve got a decent number of solid tracks too. Have you heard “Elvis”?

4 03 2009
Eric

Am I a geek for thinking Brittney’s “Womanizer” is one of the best songs of the year? A roommate of mine’s love for her is contagious. It’s almost as if the more talentless she is, the better her music, with all its overly synthed instrumentals and autotuned vocals, gets.

4 03 2009
Adam

How can you call anything the “catchiest anything of the anything” and not have it be Vampire Weekend? I like Throw Me the Statue, and About to Walk is definitely the best song on the album. But merely in terms of catchiness, I can’t think of anything catchier than Vampire Weekend.

4 03 2009
Matt

Eric – I’ve got nothing against Brittney, but I don’t really like Womanizer. Something about the repetitiveness of the lyrics, maybe, annoys me. I’ll give you, Toxic, though.

Adam – we’ve talked about this. I don’t like Vampire Weekend all that much. I mean, they’re alright, and a couple of songs have earned a permanent place on my iPod, I’m just not into them enough to hype them. Not like they need it anyway.

For the record, I think I tend to look for more personal, idiosyncratic picks on the best songs, whereas with albums I’m also taking more into account the significance of each album’s accomplishments, i.e. it’s potential place in the canon. So I’m not expecting anyone to be talking about Throw Me the Statue in 2 years, let alone 10, but Sun Kil Moon is an artist whose fan base should continue to grow as he continues to get the critical acclaim he deserves. I suspect that Vampire Weekend will go the way of Voxtrot on their next LP – i.e. towards relative obscurity.

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