Published Dec 24, 2008To tide us over while we indulge in the holiday spirit gorging on stuffing and egg nog, we asked a bunch of our contributors to tell us their thoughts on 2008, as well as their favourite records that helped make it a memorable year. Chris Whibbs supplied us with his "top personal picks" for Pop Rocks, Frequencies and Wood, Wires & Whiskey:
Top Pop Rocks
1) Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) - "I tried to get through this album in my first listen and I couldn't. I kept getting stuck on each individual track, wanting to repeat it endlessly until I vomited. It took a long time until I could get through it all without hitting 'repeat.' The one album I gorged on endlessly and will continue to do so."
2) Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)
3) Frightened Rabbit The Midnight Organ Fight (FatCat) - "Big, big melodies from dirty, depressed Scottish minds that give me goose-bumps every time."
4) Beach House Devotion (Carpark) - "I think I actually pulled a piece of gauze out from my speakers while listening to 'Turtle Island.' You don't listen to their music; you live in their dreamy, dreamy world, never wanting to leave."
5) Times New Viking Rip It Off (Matador) - "It sounds like shit. That makes it awesome and unlike anything else, in terms of energy. I'm constantly out of breath at the end of each listen."
6) Fucked Up The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador) - "Yes, they're technically a hardcore/punk band but with such awesome layers and rousing choruses they hide a creamy melodic centre."
7) Titus Andronicus The Airing of Grievances (Troubleman Unlimited) - "So earnest it's embarrassing. Yet catharsis has never sounded so ambitious, real and vital. Long may they suffer."
8) Lykke Li Youth Novels (LL) - "Does anyone not have a crush on this perfect Swedish pop princess?"
9) Portishead Third (Island)
10) Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend (XL)
1) Cut Copy In Ghost Colours (Modular) - "So, so warm and so, so fun. It's the best because no other album made me dance/smile more often than this eternal guilty pleasure."
2) Kleerup Kleerup (EMI)
3) Lindstrom Where You Go I Go Too (Smalltown Supersound)
4) The Black Ghosts The Black Ghosts (Southern Fried) - "Featuring one of the 'other' members of the defunct Simian, this band handily took the Simian Mobile Disco crown for gorgeous and perfect electro-pop that pumps with the heart of an Ibiza mega-club."
5) Fuck Buttons Street Horrrsing (ATP)
6) Flying Lotus Los Angeles (Warp)
7) El Guincho Alegranza (XL)
8) Hercules & Love Affair Hercules & Love Affair (DFA)
9) Fennesz Black Sea (Touch)
10) Girl Talk Feed the Animals (Illegal Art)
Top Wood Wires & Whiskey
1) Sam Amidon All Is Well (Bedroom Community) - "This would be in my overall top ten this year because it's absolutely the most heartbreaking thing I've heard all year, and yes, I've heard Bon Iver. With his ghostly interpretations of old-time standards and barren production, Amidon throws human mortality in your face and then carefully convinces you everything will be all right. Essential."
2) Elliott Brood Mountain Meadows (Six Shooter) - "While I'm still not sure what 'death country' or 'black-grass' means, it most certainly sounds like this. Dark, disturbing and catchy as hell."
3) Lambchop OH (ohio) (Merge)
4) Fire On Fire 5 Song EP (Young God) - "I hope they make an album next year because their classic harmonies and ramshackle backwoods production make this debut both charming and perfect."
5) Bonnie 'Prince' Billy Lie Down In the Light (Drag City)
6) Kathleen Edwards Asking for Flowers (Maplemusic)
7) Justin Rutledge Man Descending (Six Shooter)
8) Vetiver Thing of the Past (Gnomonsong) - "When I hear Andy Cabic do his thing, everything just melts away and, man, the world is just so cool. Even a covers album can do wonderful things."
9) Fred Eaglesmith Tinderbox (Independent)
10) Calexico Carried In Dust (Quarterstick)