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December 1, 2008

Largehearted Boy Favorite Albums of 2008

Here is my list of albums I personally enjoyed the most in 2008. Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments, or consult others' online "best of 2008" music lists.

My favorite eleven albums of 2008, along with free and legal mp3 downloads (where available):

Alina Simone: Everyone Is Crying Out to Me Beware

Alina Simone : Everyone Is Crying Out to Me Beware is the most ambitious album of the year. Alina Simone chose to release a Russian language Yanka Dyagileva folk-punk covers album as her sophomore release, and the resulting collection is filled with breathtakingly dark beauty that transcends any language barrier.

"Half My Kingdom" [mp3]

Beach House: Devotion

Victoria Legrand puts in the year's premier vocal performance on Beach House's sophomore release, and her voice puts the "dreamy" in dream pop.

"Gila" [mp3]

Fleet Foxes : Fleet Foxes

The Fleet Foxes self-titled debut has been widely acclaimed, and the vocal harmonies on this album alone are one of the year's musical highlights.

"White Water Hymnal" [mp3]

Haley Bonar: Big Star

Haley Bonar's 3rd album, Big Star, features richer production than her first two albums with bigger hooks and lyrics that bounce around in your head long after the CD has stopped spinning.

"Big Star" [mp3]
"Something Great" [mp3]

The Helio Sequence: Keep Your Eyes Ahead

When I first heard Keep Your Eyes Ahead early this year, I knew it would make my year-end list. The Helio Sequence continues to evolve its sound, and this album impresses from the first track to the last.

"Keep Your Eyes Ahead" [mp3]
"Can't Say No" [mp3]

Larkin Grimm : Parplar

Grimm's voice is eclectic and her fingerpicking guitarwork divine, combined they form one of the year's most stylistically diverse albums. This is neofolk music at its best, Appalachia moved to the big city.

"Ride that Cyclone" [mp3]

Mountain Goats: Heretic Pride

As John Darnielle's songwriting continues to evolve, so do his albums. Heretic Pride is simply orchestrated, which brings the lyrics of America's greatest living songwriter (in my opinion) to the forefront.

"Sax Rohmer #1" [mp3]

No Age: Nouns

No Age's DIY approach and work ethic combine to produce one of the year's most intense and just plain fun albums.

"Eraser" [mp3]
"Teen Creeps" [mp3]

Okkervil River: The Stand Ins

Originally intended to be released as a double album with 2007's The Stage Names, The Stand Ins once again showcases Will Sheff's clever lyrics about desperate, lost characters.

"Lost Coastlines" [mp3]

Shearwater : Rook

Jonathan Meiburg's ornithological obsession comes to life in this richly detailed album that reveals itself further with every listen.

"Rooks" [mp3]
"Leviathan Bound" [mp3]

Vivian Girls : Vivian Girls

The Vivian Girls' debut self-titled album seamlessly melds shoegaze with Phil Spector's Wall of Sound to a wonderful lo-fi result. I fell in love with this album on first listen, and am still infatuated.

"Where Do You Run To?" [mp3]

also at Largehearted Boy:

other online "best of 2008" music lists

2007 Largehearted Favorite Albums
2006 Largehearted Favorite Albums
2005 Largehearted Favorite Albums
2004 Largehearted Favorite Albums
2003 Largehearted Favorite Albums
2002 Largehearted Favorite Albums