Well here it is, the end of 2007 and I guess that means its time to take a gaze back at the best of what perked my ears this year. It was incredibly hard to whittle down and don't think that quite a few releases got bumped in and out of the list multiple times. But after all is said and done these were the albums that either impressed me, intrigued me, or just simply wouldn't leave my playlists all year. So here it is, the list in no particular order. This will be the last post of 2007. I'm breaking for the holidays due to lack of computer access when I make my yearly trek to rural Michigan. I'll be back with many more to come in 2008!Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
I've gotta say this has to be one of the best debut records I've heard in a long time. Bridging the gaps between psychedelic, world music and eighties pop is hard but hell if one band did it effortlessly it was Yeasayer. All Hour Cymbals
was one of those records that I just couldn't stop playing this year and I'm glad that the band is meeting the acclaim that they deserve.
Yeasayer - Wait for the Wintertime
Support the artist. Buy it HERERaccoo-oo-oon - Behold Secret Kingdom
The Dark Horse in the running this year, Behold Secret Kingdom
was a mass of rhythm and a flurry of squelch. Pure dark fires that burn with a welcome disorienting smoke, drums skitter and shake while howls and moans lurk in every corner. Still loving every minute of this album, chaos never sounded more inviting.
Raccoo-oo-oon - Mirror Blanket
Support the artist. Buy it HEREMariee Sioux - Faces In The Rocks
Mariee's gentle song-craft rolls like clouds before a rain, soft and ominous but with a promise of relief at every turn. Mixing her haunting voice with the native flute sounds of Gentle Thunder, her debut fulfills every promise that her sparse early demos held. The only shame of Faces in the Rocks
is that more people haven't been singing its praises. If you don't have it already you really owe it to yourself to pick up a copy.
Mariee Sioux - Burried In Teeth
Support the artist. Buy it HEREGiantess - Giantess
One of the great pop nuggets of the year shot out of Soft Abuse to little fanfare (sadly) but remains nonetheless one of the catchiest and most fun albums I've heard in a long time. Brewing a heavy concoction of synth pop as filtered through the glittered remains of glam; the band formerly known as The Battles prove that name changes mean nothing, great pop will survive.
Giantess - Snake Bite
Support the artist. Buy it HEREWhite Hills - Glitter Glamour Atrocity
White Hills came seemingly out of nowhere this year and ended up releasing two great albums on after another. Though its hard to choose between the two, Glitter Glamour Atrocity
really plays up the band's ability to walk between space rock and harder territory. A swirling monster of a record that culminates in the 13+ minute romp of a title track. Gotta say even with two White Hills records out this year I'm eager for more.
White Hills - Spirit of Exile
Support the artist. Buy it HERELiars - Liars
All right, I have to admit I played the hell out of this record this year. After Drum's Not Dead
I wasn't entirely excited about this at the time of release but the shift in sound and focus totally blew me away. Liars just quit over thinking things and went back to having fun making music. It's heavy, spacey, catchy and kicks like a boot to the lungs. I can't recommend this one highly enough.
Liars - Clear Island
Support the artist. Buy it HERECitay - Little Kingdom
Perfectly sun-dappled and soaked with the morning dew, Little Kingdom
is a natural extension of Citay's debut, riding the same wave without sounding like they've duplicated themselves. The band again grace us with a peaceful slice of folk/rock that carves a unique piece out of the 70's rock canon. Hopefully the move from Important to Dead Oceans will garner the band a little more of the praise that they deserve.
Citay - First Fantasy
Support the artist. Buy it HEREAkron/Family - Love Is Simple
It's hard to believe that this is only the band's second proper album but with a slew of splits and EPs that might have well been album's its not like the band was resting on its laurels. Love is Simple
is everything I hoped and expected it would be. The album swings from languid vocalizations to throbbing rhythms to free jams that would make a deadhead blush. Absolutely fantastic.
Akron/Family - Ed Is A Portal
Support the artist. Buy it HEREBattles - Mirrored
No band did more to change the face of the rock record this year than Battles. Blending a bit of their former Math Rock tendencies with a dose of robotic glam, this is the future of rock defined. The fact that the band can pull off an album this ambitious live is not only a testament to their skill but an amazement to behold.
Battles - Ddiamondd
Support the artist. Buy it HEREPanda Bear - Person Pitch
I know, I know this one's going to end up on every year end list in the universe but I gotta say the album held up surprisingly well for having been released at the beginning of the year. Noah Lennox's excursion into sampled wonderland succeeded wildly. A huge step into the sun from his mournful debut, this album is far beyond anything Lennox has produced on his own or with his brethren in the Animal Collective.
Panda Bear - Ponytail
Support the artist. Buy it HEREBoris w/ Michio Kurihara - Rainbow
A greater collaboration couldn't have occurred this year. The pairing of Boris with Ghost's six string artisan, Michio Kurihara was a blessing that in hindsight only seems natural. The album seethes with the lifeblood of every Japanese psych album to date. And Drag City, I love ya but what the hell's with ditching the clean lined Japanese cover for a close up of a puddle. I'm sticking with the original out of stubbornness. If you haven't bought this one, you have some shopping to do.
Boris W/ Michio Kurihara - Sweet No. 1
Support the artist. Buy it HERETenniscoats - Tan Tan Therapy
This one fell into my lap late but I'm eternally grateful that it did. Simple melodies and repetitive vocals tiptoe around shimmering clouds of synth and exuberant fits of orchestration. The pairing with Tape only enhances the bands already shimmering sound. Tan-Tan Therapy is certainly a high point in the band's rapidly endearing catalog.
Tenniscoats - Baibaba Bimba
Support the artist. Buy it HEREVoice of the Seven Woods - Voice of the Seven Woods
Tomlinson has crafted an ode to psychedelic folk-rock that not only emulates the feel of a dusty lost classic; it one-ups many such classics out there. The album moves from Pentangle laced folk numbers into murky eastern psychedelic workouts and into some Jansch-ian solo British folk moments; trading between acoustic and electric skill with ease. It's quite honestly one of the best British folk albums put out in the last 10-15 years.
Voice of the Seven Woods - The Fire In My Head
Support the artist. Buy it HERE Orion Rigel Dommisse - What I Want From You Is Sweet
Wow this album cannot help but get better time and time again. This is another disc that hasn't left my rotation since I stumbled upon it. Themes of death pervade the lyrics but her sour-sweet delivery makes it seem just a little less disconcerting than it probably should. Very few can mix gorgeous folk stylings with an influence of old Zelda videogame scores and sound so effortlessly haunting. This album is a necessity.
Orion Rigel Dommisse - Alice and Sarah
Support the artist. Buy it HEREWooden Shjips - Wooden Shjips
Still not as nerve damaging as their first two vinyl releases but powerful nonetheless. Wooden Shjips unleash guitar fury upon us all. With a heavy dose of distortion and and organ that swells like the tide. If their previous work lit up the California coast in a wash of flames and smoke, this album comes as a welcome storm to wash away the debris.
Wooden Shjips - We Ask You To Ride
Support the artist. Buy it HERE