Monday, December 15, 2008


Although the only songs I've really listened to in the last couple of weeks are 'Brothersport' by Animal Collective. 'Here Comes The Night' by Destroyer and 'Can't Hear My Eyes' by Ariel Pink, I listened to lots of records this year. I heard them in Australia, in New Zealand (in the sun/in my Mum's Hyundai), in England, out of computer speakers. There were lots of good albums but I think mostly what I heard was cassettes, though they weren't cassettes, they were .mp3s, out of headphones, full of even more hiss and warm fuzz. I believe one trait of my favourite sounds this year is palm trees. I went to Barcelona and took dozens of photos of palm trees, but I wasn't listening to anything. But yeah these are my favourite records from this year!

1. Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
Download: River Card

An album about childhood that drips with some massively evocative sense of nostalgia. The best sort of ballads, full of super hazy memories and lush textures. Every time I listen to this I get those transcedental-y chills that I think music is probably all about. This record, along with all those free blog tracks that Bradford Cox put up, is easily what I've most listened to this year. There's just some necessary colour or to these

2. No Age – Nouns
Download: Brainburner

Amazing how an album can shimmer so much and blaze so loud, trashy and ecstatic. Melodies and noise culminate in the sickest combination I can think of hearing. Love the blown-out/polished lo-fi thing they've got going on too, seems hard not to like this; it's pop punk, really, and way joyous.

[No Age Interview @ Tiny Mix Tapes]

3. Valet – Naked Acid
Download: Kehaar

Honey Owens' landcscapes are in some bizarro sort of Pacific Midwestern, filled with liquidy mythologies and warped beauty. Moving from facet to facet, New Age crystals refract some of the purest emotions and it's all coated in a terrifically lucid kind of euphoria, spacious and new.

4. Abe Vigoda - Skeleton
Download: Endless Sleeper

Tropical punk, I mean seriously, fuck yeah. Totally calamitous and feverish in their skittering polyrhythms and wild eyed melodies. This record is pretty short but every jam is absolutely incessent, especially when they get on the build-up-then-let-loose kick ie 'Endless Sleeper'. They've really found their vibe with this techicolour punk.

5. High Places - High Places
Download: From Stardust to Sentience

Soooo amibitous and very realised in terms of songs. It's hard to think of anything else that sounds this way except maybe Black Dice if they weren't so stuck in the gutters/sewers. Successfully finding balance between beauty/poignance and interesting sonics, these distinctive pop songs wobble at their own pace.

6. Lau Nau - Nukuu

This is just total zen, really; those strange foggy instruments, mossy landscapes. It's slightly abstract folk that is infinitely listenable.

7. Eric Copeland - Alien In A Garbage Dump
Download: Reptillian Space Beings Shapeshifting Bloodsucking Vampires

No new Black Dice record this year but Eric Copeland's solo offering takes his fucked-up foreign noises to newer levels with thicker spaces, sampling more beats, mutating them and the skewed cultures that they seem to carry with a particularly tropical sensibility. Melted palm trees, dumpster luaus; this shit is mind-bogglingly adventurous.

8. Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
Download: Agoraphobia

Microcastle is a great indie rock record and I love how it mixes '90s indie sounds ala later Pavement with that purple psych stuff that they're even better at. My propensity for repeating 'Nothing Ever Happened' over and over perhaps detracted from listening to this album at a whole, but it is a massively solid effort, and I like what a surprise it sounded like after Cryptograms. Weird Era Cont. is totally sick also in a more narcotic and typically Deerhunter way.

9. Eat Skull - Sick To Death
Download: Beach Brains

Super gnarly trash can punk from Portland, channeling Flying Nun with toxic waste residues and just sounding so amazingly Siltbreezey; really thrashy but melodic, expanding on punk/pop ideas with a frantic glee.

10. Scorces - I Turn Into You

I first heard this in an afternoon and it came over me strong in all it's motel room sexuality and visceral light, the sort of improvised outpour that Heather Leigh Murray and Christina Carter do so frequently and so inspiringly.

11. Grouper –
Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill
12. Excepter –
Debt Dept.
13. Metal Rouge –
Storm Veil/Desert Champion
14. Crystal Stilts –
Alight at Night
15. Heather Leigh Murray –
Devil If You Can Hear Me
16. El Guincho –
17. Raccoo-oo-oon -
18. Yellow Swans –
19. Blank Realm –
Mind Peril
20. Telepathe –
Dance Mother
21. Wavves -
22. Ducktails –
Ducktails II
23. Vivian Girls –
Vivian Girls
24. Dino Felipe –
No Fun Demo
25. Pocahaunted -
Island Diamonds


Nick said...

Ah Mr MacFarlane, a man of exquisite taste. Great list buddy, although I was surprised not to see Vivian Girls in your top 10.

Merry Christmas

nicole said...

nice one richie. i'd of bumped microcastle up a few notches, but hey. nice!

Gareth said...

I remember listening to Atlas Sound in yr mum's hyundai last summer. Real nice!

jess said...

great list!

atlas sound at no 1, well deserved, i'm glad someone's reppin it, everyone who loves that album seems somehow embarassed that they like it that much, which is ridiculous, fantastically great album

andrew said...

to be honest - i was little disappointed by the atlas sound record. obviously there's some really great songs on there (river card and winter vacation especially), i just can't get into it as a whole... it's a been a while though so i might listen to it tonight actually.

i don't usually keep up with new music as much as some people, but if i had a top 10 it might go like this:

ariel pink - oddities sodomies
grouper - dragging a dead deer...
melvins - nude with boots
deerhunter - microcastle
autechre - quaristice versions
tobacco - fucked up friends
mika vainio - oleva
earth - the bees made honey...

er, well that's eight! that breeders record has a few great songs too, but kind of inconsistent.

richard said...

thanks bros!
word on the atlas sound tip jess!
and andrew thats a pretty ace top 8 for not keeping up with music. tthat tobacco reecord is amazing!

andrew said...

yeah, but they're all things i'm really into anyway though - so whenever either of them put out a new album i just get it straight away... other than grouper i haven't really found any new band or whatever i'm really into

ie. the loads of really wicked reissues that i can't use!

richard said...

oh, which reissues?

andrew said...

gas - nah und fern
pavement - brighten the corners
captain beefheart - it comes to you...

heh perhaps not LOADS...