Sunday, December 7, 2008

2008 Year in Review: Best New Bands

It's end of the year list time, so I'm going to start my installments of some of my year end reviews. Over the next week, I'll have my lists finalized and they'll be posted. Other "awards" include Songs of the Year, Most Overrated Band of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Artist of the Year, and the coveted Album of the Year. What better way to kick things off than to name the best new bands out there. This year it was a three way tie:

Vampire Weekend
This might be a little obvious since they went from playing Columbia parties to being one of the biggest stories of the year, but Vampire Weekend is as good as the hype advertises. Those that argue that they simply took Graceland and did something different with the sound should remember that that’s pretty much all rock music is: the variation on a previously established sound to create a new one. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up this success with the spotlight on them, but for now, they can relax knowing they made one of the more enjoyable albums of the year.

Bon Iver
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver broke onto the scene this year with a gorgeous album that echoes the loneliness of the isolated cabin that he recorded in. Vernon’s success may not have been as big as Vampire Weekend’s, but For Emma, Forever Ago is an album is an easy choice for top 10 lists everywhere. Now with the opening gigs for Wilco all finished, Vernon is putting out the Blood Bank EP in January, offering us a glimpse at what his sound is like, post success.

Vivian Girls
Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls released an album that fell under the radar but went right to the heart’s of those that did find it. Melding the vocals of 1960’s girl groups, sounds of classic Ramones, and the distortion of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Vivian Girls self titled debut is a short but bouncy album that keeps you hooked from start to finish. It might not be on any major lists, but the future looks bright for these three girls.

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