20. Just Like Kicking Jesus – Brian Jonestown Massacre
19. Quarantined – Atlas Sound
18. Hands On Us – The Notwist
In any inevitable comparison to 2002’s Neon Golden, The Devil, You + Me could only be considered a grower; one with immediate promise, no doubt, but guarded from the casual listening that weighed their bandwagon down last time around. The refinement of their glitchier side and expedition into deeper detail are best heard through ‘Hands On Us’, an orchestra-addled minorpiece that finds Acher and co. at their most vulnerable and professional. It’s a piece worthy of being called a piece; like its album, too stunning for pop boundaries, too skeletal beneath its arrangements for study.
17. Ion Square – Bloc Party
16. Lucky You – The National
Thank God for the Virginia EP, a scattershot but well-fed dose of the National to sustain me through their downtime. Although this song was written years ago, this Daytrotter session, released here in 2008, will be credited as such, as it played a fundamental part of my year. Beringer’s voice is as tempered as ever, smoothing the folds of a relationship soured with this plaintive piano ballad.
15. Moorestown – Sun Kil Moon
14. The Silence Between Us – Bob Mould
There will always be a vacancy in my life occupied by pure rock and roll, and I mean air-guitar-by-yourself-with-a-beer rock and roll. This lead single off Mould’s latest is the perfect candidate, a straight for the jugular rock tune that joins the ranks of my favourite summer songs.
13. Vanished – Crystal Castles
12. Gloomy Planets – The Notwist
11. I Lost You – The Walkmen
“…Leithauser’s streak of self-loathing [and] the band’s sense of urgency reveals the hidden sentiments of black tie and formal gown settings. These emotions, which battle against restraint for the spotlight, are fully set free in the utterly devastating wail of ‘I Lost You’.”