2008 has been the year that I have stepped out of my comfort zone of embracing only local independent music, but I have stretched my arms out and my auditory gustation is romancing with the delights from foreign lands. I’m a pretty avid Sydney music listener but most of my favourite bands have broken up, catapulted overseas or have been on hiatus so I have been deprived of sweet sweet music. Well, that was until I decided to dig up my roots and look elsewhere. This year was also the year that I turned to more folk/easy listening kind of bands and my love for the 60’s era shot through the roof.
So here is a list of artists that have brightened up my 2008 (in no particular order and are not necessarily ‘new’ bands):
Photo: Zohara Nguyen
- The Tallest Man On Earth – Deceiving name, but he delivered a confident, cheeky and delightful show at the Hopetoun. His tracks are a breath of fresh air with his distinct vocals and acoustic tricks. The imagery in his lyrics are swoonful.
- Teitur – I love the quality of his voice, it always strikes a chord with me. ‘Louis Louis’ always makes me stop what I’m doing and just listen.
- Band Of Horses – tear-jerkers..’The Funeral’ is a track that sounds so beautiful but so haunting. The reverb on the vocals and the continuous guitar lines conjure quiescence and reflection on the lyrical topics.
- Yann Tiersen – his blend of folk and classical music with prominent French tones always soothes me, I even listened to him as I viewed the Monet Exhibition currently on display in Sydney. It was the perfect acquaintance.
- Department Of Eagles – their varying melodic textures are charming.
- Vetiver – sweet folk/pop that would be the perfect accompaniment on a long drive with the windows down.
- Seabear and Hjaltalin – These are two of many bands that prove that Iceland is a breeding ground of lively and cleansing sounds. Seabear evoke me to imagine rolling down greeny Icelandic hills on a Sunday afternoon, where as Hjaltalin make me think about halting the rolling and just lying on the grass and staring at the clouds pass by (whilst humming along to the lyrics).
- Dr. Dog – Just because.
- Port O’Brien – fun and games these kiddies are in ‘I Woke Up Today’, but I especially am fond of ‘Stuck on a Boat’ and their solemn tracks.
- Foals – bow chicka wah wah..anatomical hearts and flowers made into a suspended mobile in a videoclip..it’s a science student’s (who luuurves music) dream. Also the fact that they perform some sort of dance-movement with their arms scores brownie points with me because no indie boys dance!
- Beirut – although his last album came out in 2007 he made me realise how amazing accordions, glockenspiels, euphoniums (and other brass friends) can be, projecting us into a daydream of sunny European land.
- Neutral Milk Hotel – nothing better than sitting at our friend’s favourite house with multiple people on guitar and a lounge room filled with people singing “Aeroplane Over The Sea”. It was a magical moment of this year..unti I broke a string in the process.
- Yndi Halda – so beautiful that they don’t even need to use words, the collaboration of the instruments do the talking.