25.) The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
24.) Shearwater - Rook
23.) Marnie Stern – This Is It…
22.) Sun Kil Moon – April
21.) Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
20.) Jolie Holland – Living and the Dead
19.) Herman Dune – New Year in Zion
18.) The Walkmen – You and Me
17.) Horse Feathers – House with No Home
16.) Starfucker – Starfucker
15.) Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
14.) Mother Mother – O My Heart
13.) French Kicks – Swimming
12.) Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Grave
11.) Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
10.) Parc Avenue – Plants and Animals
9. ) My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
8.) MGMT – Oracular Spectular
7.) Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
6.) Alina Simone – Everyone is Crying out to me Beware
5.) Blitzen Trapper - FurrIt's worth getting into Trapper's entire catalog. Their prior albums were experiments, but this one finds the experimental and turns it classic. "Gold for Bread" is my nomination for song of the year. but you can't beat "God and Suicide" or "Echo/Always On/EZ Con." This is the kind of album to shoot buffalo to. And, like the buffalo, they're aren't to many albums as majestic as American as Blitzen Trapper's "Furr."
4.) Ladyhawk - ShotsI read somewhere that this album was all about drinking whisky in a cabin during winter. I knew there was a reason I like to drink whisky.
3.) Deerhunter – Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.Does this album have the standing to enter the cannon of indie rock alongside classics like "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" or "The Soft Bulletin"? I don't know. But, of all the albums on my list I would give Deerhunter the best chance. After the sonic whirlwind that was "Cryptograms," Deerhunter went back to basics and proved just how solid of a group they can be. The songwriting is trippy and methodical. The guitar solo on "Nothing Ever Happened" is right up there with Radiohead's "Paranoid Android." This album is damn fine work. Paranoid and transcendental. How perfect for 08.
2.) Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down – We Brave Bee Stings and All
If there were a Yin and Yang to 08, then this would be the Yin or the Yang, whichever one is more joyful. The other side hits my #1 choice. Thao's album is effervescent and jubilant. It seamlessly morphs and merges song forms without sound deriviate or forced. And if you're looking for one moment that makes it, that sums up the entire enterprise, go from "Swimming Pools" to the dark jazz chords of the keys on "Geography." Geography may get the best of Thao, but she got the best of 08.
1.) Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever AgoZach seemed miffed when I told him this was going to be #1 on my list. I don't care. I agonized a lot about what I was going to put on last year, mistakenly feeling that I needed to establish some kind of cred. I'm not worried about that anymore. Is this the best album of the year? I don't know how to define that. I don't care to. Is this the album I listened to the most? No. But in that, I think, lies why it is so significant and deserves the head of the list. Some things hurt to make you listen to them. This album does that to me. On "Re: Stacks" Vernon sings: "When you're money's gone / And your drunk as hell." If you know what that is, then you understand. If you don't, then get there and you will. If you don't care to, I understand. Is this album, for me, what 2008 is about? In some cruel way, yes.