A farewell to 2008...

...in other words, the best albums of the year:)

12. Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer up a Hill

Best cover, best title. The music's not bad either.

11. Nalle - Sirens Wave

Sweet, charming, irresistible, infinitely eccentric psychedelic folk. From Scotland.

10. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista

A beautiful, beautiful mess. These guys sound almost too eclectic and exotic (not to mention schizophrenic) for their own good.

9. Fleet Foxes

Listening to Fleet Foxes = sitting by the campfire on a breezy starlit night, somewhere deep in the Appalachian forests.

8. Brethren of the Free Spirit - All Things are from Him, through Him, and in Him

Instrumental, experimental folk/drone. Gorgeous.

7. O'Death - Broken Hymns, Limbs & Skin

Wild, reckless, passionate, morbid. The spirit of punk is alive, right here in this gothic-folk masterpiece.

6. James Blackshaw - Litany of Echoes

Magical instrumental folk. This guy is a true heir of Robbie Basho and John Fahey.

5. Nahvalr - s/t

The world's first open-source black-metal ghost-poject. Soundscapes are floating between noise, doom, ambient, metal (I guess) , drone and industrial. Brought to you by 2 guys responsible for Deathconsciousness (see below). Truly unique, and pretty fucking terrifying.

4. Ballboy - I Worked on the Ships

Who cares for whatever Morrissey is doing right now? Ballboy have alway had it all : self-deprecating wit, the shameless romanticism, timeless pop melancholy. Moz, retire.

3. Agalloch - The White EP

"We carry death out of the village", the little children chant. And so it begins. By abandoning their metal roots and embracing rustic neo-folk and dark ambient, Agalloch have finally created their masterpiece, a record they've always had in them, but just didn't dare to go quite that far.... The eerie atmosphere haunts you and stays with you, it paints pictures of the ghosts of the dark forests, the waves of sadness, the depths of the oceans, the lakes, trees, night skies, fields in summer. An ode to nature. Heavenly beautiful.

2. Kazuki Tomokawa - Blue Water, Red Water

For some reason, the Western audiences are still oblivious to the genius of this Japanese singer-songwriter and his huge, impressive back-catalogue. This is his latest, (sadly) obscure gem; his trademark melodramatic, over the top vocals and occasional manic screams are instantly recognizable; there's so much passion and longing in that voice. Beautiful, shattering, devastating...one of the best folk albums of recent times.

1. Have a Nice Life - Deathconsciousness

This is it. Album of the year, nothing else comes close. Accompanied by a 75 page booklet/philosophical tract documenting an obscure apocalyptic medieval Christian sect, recorded in the course of 6 years, with a recording budget of something like 1000 $, this might be the most ambitious lo-fi album ever made. There’s echoes of early Cure and Joy Division and Disco Inferno and shoegaze, but, ultimately, it sounds like nothing else. It has its outbursts of noise and moments of indescribable, unexpected beauty…there’s voices whispering about angels in the sky..there’s overwhelming despair, melancholy and gorgeous, impossible sadness… sometimes the songs rise towards the sky, build up into beautiful climaxes…they change directions, run off, invoke strangest emotions, taking you to places you never knew existed.
No words can do it justice, so hear it, soon, now.
CD 1
CD 2
buy it


Anonymous said...

Deathconsciousness, one of the most overrated albums of all time XD

Anonymous said...

you are the best

Anonymous said...

thank you for your marvellous blog...you have introduced me to some fantastic new music...and reignited some old flames


Quinn said...

Paavoharju - from what I've listened to so far I'm really enjoying. Truly beautiful. Thank you.
Deathconsciousness isn't bad either!

Anonymous said...

That Grouper record is fucking brilliant, 'nuff said.

CW Cobalt said...

Great posting --- I've only heard of about half of these bands and am always looking for new music. Thanks for sharing!!

Cracknowledge said...

Gotta agree with the Deathconsciousness being #1. No Black Pus or Burning Star Core though? Oh, you wouldn't happen to have Windy Weber's I Hate People by any chance?

zardoz1984 said...

Waoo, Kazuki Tomokawa, what a shock! Really entrancing guy. Many thx Souvlaki!

Zatoichi said...

Sabes onde dá para arranjar o primeiro album dos Have A Nice Life?

ryan Harbin said...

Can't believe I'd never heard that Have a Nice Life album before, it is excellent.

harry kiri said...

that Deathconsciousness's cover, is it Marat's death?

Anonymous said...


OldaBrotha said...

to whoever compiled this fantastic list, do you still blog somewhere?

Robert van Oz said...

He that hath an ear, let him hear.