Music: The Tops for 2008, Z's List

(Editor's Note: This is the first part of a short series reviewing the notable music of 2008. To see the next post in the series, please go here. Please note, these releases are not listed in any particular order.)

by Z*

School of Seven Bells – Alpinisms
This was the best personal discovery of 2008. Their refreshing mix of electronic with dream pop carries such calmness it makes a listener gaze into oneself.

Girl Talk Feed the Animals
Once again experimental music by Girl Talk (the stage name of solo artist Gregg Gillis) exposes interesting indie folk to mainstream music through various mash-ups. (For more background on Girl Talk, please see the Ward's Kitchen blog and "Are Girl Talk's Sonic Mash-ups Illegal Music?")

Fleet Foxes
The eponymous full-length debut from Fleet Foxes is an indie rock breakthrough from the Seattle band that delivers great music with a folk touch. (For a review of one of Fleet Foxes' other 2008 releases, the EP Sun Giant, please go here.)

Vampire Weekend
This eponymous debut from Vampire Weekend shows when indie pop produces great African music it is imperative that it makes it to all sorts of top lists for 2008.

Another eponymous debut, this one from Santogold (the stage name of solo artist Santi White) is a groundbreaking unthinkable blend of styles... (including indie rock, dub, and electronica, among others) good luck identifying all of those styles.

Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation
I cannot describe why this is one of the best albums of 2008; the words escape me because I'm grieving the fact that Thievery Corporation's upcoming concerts in Washington, D.C. are all sold out.

Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Live the life. Seize the moment. Enjoy the music.

TV on the Radio – Dear Science
Catchy and punchy, this album will leave you happily jumping around.

Blind Pilot Three Rounds and a Sound
Fresh while still sounding nostalgically familiar, Blind Pilot's debut album spells out each and every instrumental sound accompanied by calming beautiful vocals.

*Z is from a country that made up the Soviet Union, and her writing on cultural and political matters could have a backlash when she returns home from the U.S., so she writes under a pseudonym.

(To see the next post in the series, please go here.)

(The promotional photo of School of Seven Bells is by Krittiya Sriyabhandha for Supersweet and Ghostly International Records. To see a video of the original line-up of School of Seven Bells playing "Sempiternal - Amaranth" from Alpinisms live at Tonic in New York City in 2007 please check below.)

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