Best of 2008


10. Jan. 2009, 13:05

I think I must have listened to less music this year as I didn't have as many candidates this time, so I'm going to limit it to 50 tracks.

The top 50 songs I listened to in 2008

1. Jens Lekman - Sipping on the Sweet Nectar (Bogdan Irkük's Love Nectar Mix) (2008)
I think the reason I like this song so much is that it manages to combine a huge number of the aspects that I appreciate the most in music. Great pop feeling, a fantastically lush production, rich melancholic chord progressions, an insistent dance beat, sweeping strings, arpeggiated synths, italo disco flourishes and a beautiful vocal. Wait for the drop to almost complete silence at 4:57. Breathtaking.

2. E.R.P. - Vox Automaton (2007)
Sleek, futuristic and absolutely sublime modern electro. The pads that come in at 1:56 just lifts it off this planet and straight up to heaven. Don't think I will ever tire of this one.

3. Familjen - Huvudet i sanden (2007)
This song made me want to jump up and down with a silly smile on my face more than anything else I heard this year. So unashamedly uplifting! Somehow missed this track last year but after hearing it live at Familjen's gig at the Old Blue Last this year I was instantly hooked.

4. The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (Fred Falke remix) (2008)
This feels very similar in spirit to the Jens Lekman number at the top of the chart as it's also a discofied remix of an indie artist. And again, this is absolute bittersweet pop perfection, gorgeously arranged and produced. I don't know what it is about Erlend Øye, but I almost never like any of his original productions; put his voice in a dance context however and I will almost invariably love it. 2005's winner, Criticize by Marco Passarani also featured Øye's vocals.

5. Tobiah - I Don't Really Exist (2006)
6. Tobiah - I Love Your Music (2006)
There's something about the strange resonating synthesized voice on these tracks that I just love. Gorgeous production around it too with chunky slo-mo house beats and lovely 8-bit melodies.

7. Fliehende Stürme - Lunaire (2008)
This is the standout track from a new discovery this year. Serious and earnest German goth-punk-pop, and not at all what I normally listen to, but for some reason it's totally amazing.

8. Slagsmålsklubben - Sponsored By Destiny (2007)
Maximum synthesizer joy overload! Crazy over-compressed arpeggiator action!

9. Tuxedomoon - In A Manner Of Speaking (1985)
This quirky but beautiful avant-ballad had somehow passed me by until now.

10. Cloetta Paris - Did We Collide? (2008)
In the absence of any new Sally Shapiro material this year, I had to contend myself with Cloetta Paris's debut album instead. This is a glorious electropop number with the best male choir ever caught on tape. The cutest lyrics of the year too.

11. Fall Of Saigon - She Leaves Me All Alone (1983)
Super lo-fi early 80s French minimal synth/post-punk recorded entirely with toy instruments, but which nevertheless packs a serious emotional punch.

12. Glass Candy - Life After Sundown (2007)
Prior to 2008, my feelings towards Glass Candy were somewhat lukewarm, but after seeing them live at Cargo, they really won me over and I started tracking down more of their music. This one is a stripped-down drum machine & strings stomper of which I will never get enough!

13. E.R.P. - Lament Subrosa (2007)
More glacial goodness in the same vein as Vox Automaton.

14. Lime - Babe, We're Gonna Love Tonight (1982)
Oh my, the cheese factor of this is off the scale, but that's probably why I love it so much. Probably the happiest (or most annoying, depending on your point of view) song ever made. :)

15. Maximilian Skiba - Apple Of Disco.Rd (2006)
I'm really impressed by this young Polish producer, almost everything he puts out is great. Super-classy string-led neo disco that rocks hard.

16. Orgue Electronique - Die Liebe Ist Die Größte Kraft (2005)
The opener from the ultra-bleak Stalingrad Vol. 2 compilation is a muted and beautifully resigned but hopeful composition. By far the best thing I've ever heard Orgue Electronique do.

17. Maximilian Skiba - Violet Carnation (2006)
There is not much to tell this apart from Apple of Disco.RD, but it's equally spine tingling so had to be included. I actually enjoy this a lot more than most disco that came out back when it all happened.

18. Starcluster Feat. Elke B. - Jusqu'à La Fin (2008)
Fragile synthpop that sounds like it's from 1981 with whispery female vocals in French. What more could you ask for?

19. Heartbreak - Akin To Dancing (2008)
I thought Heartbreak's debut album was a mixed bag but this is one track that I adore whole-heartedly! An amazingly successful attempt at capturing everything that's great about italo.

20. Fixmer/McCarthy - Banging Down Your Door (2008)
A slight departure for FM towards a more melodic sound, and on this track it all comes together beautifully. What Depeche Mode ought to sound like these days.

21. Kleerup - Tower Of Trellick (2008)
22. Mr. Clavio - Keine Gnade Für Die Sechste (2005)
23. Jesu - Friends Are Evil (2004)
24. Kleerup Feat. Neneh Cherry - Forever (2008)
25. Backlash - Lodestar (2006)
26. Asobi Seksu - Red Sea (2007)
27. Arvid Tuba - The Seasons Are Sitting On Chairs (?)
28. Vanessa Van Basten - Floaters (2006)
29. Glass Domain - Interlock (1991)
30. Vanessa Van Basten - Dole (2006)
31. Hjarnidaudi - March (2006)
32. Clashing Egos - Aminjig Nebere (I Trusted You) (Joakim's Afrobot mix) (2004)
33. Tracey Thorn - King's Cross (Hot Chip Remix) (2007)
34. Pride And Fall - Retrospect (2006)
35. Dream Disco - Take Me Home (2007)
36. Theo Parrish feat. Alena Waters - Soul Control (2007)
37. Frank Bolero - klkon (2007)
38. Quazar - The Seven Stars (1990)
39. Nu Nrg - Bonsai (2004)
40. Pink Turns Blue - I Coldly Stare Out (1987)
41. Fliehende Stürme - Tobende Welt (2008)
42. Victrola - Maritime Tatami (1983)
43. Sally Shapiro - Jackie Jackie (Spend This Winter With Me) (Dyylan's Subzero Nocturne) (2008)
44. Oasis - Oasis Thirteen (2004)
45. Fliehende Stürme - Zuflucht (2008)
46. Pride And Fall - Border (2006)
47. Asobi Seksu - Thursday (2007)
48. Diode - No Mans Land (2007)
49. Fliehende Stürme - Kleines Herz (1999)
50. Forss - Journeyman (2003)

The top gigs of 2008
1. My Bloody Valentine at The Roundhouse, London
2. Glass Candy at Cargo, London
3. Familjen at Old Blue Last, London
4. Karl Bartos at Bloc Festival, Hemsby
5. The Panacea at Herbal, London
6. Convextion at Bloc Festival, Hemsby
7. DMX Krew at Jacks, London
8. The Petebox at Old Blue Last, London
9. DJ Scotch Egg at Plastic People, London
10. Asobi Seksu at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London

And since I love stats, I obviously have to rank the top 50 by country and year too.

The top countries of 2008

The top years of 2008


  • grazziee

    Thumbs up for Tuxedomoon, that song is beautiful! Shame you don't like post-punk, the original version of Life After Sundown is far better than this one (both great though). And Lime is definitely the epitome of cheese, but dear God, how I like this song!

    10. Jan. 2009, 17:40
  • n8kowald

    Yesss! I love your best of the year lists. Your best of 2007 list brought me much joy throughout 2008 as I would often stumble upon an unknown gem from it and fall in love. Such songs include: Papa Dance - W 40 Dni Dookola Swiata Fox The Fox - Precious Little Diamond Time - Holding on to love Mark Tower - You aren't fall in love The Field - Over the Ice Your country, top years, accepted submissions and pending submissions stats are great! I especially enjoy the top years list. [quote]3. Familjen - Huvudet i sanden (2007) This song made me want to jump up and down with a silly smile on my face more than anything else I heard this year. So unashamedly uplifting! Somehow missed this track last year but after hearing it live at Familjen's gig at the Old Blue Last this year I was instantly hooked. [/quote] I wholeheartedly agree with you on this and can relay a similar experience. When I first listened to this album I really liked a few songs that I would play a lot (Det lilla livet, Det Snurrar I Min Skalle and Kom säger dom), I also missed this one. I saw Familjen play here in Adelaide at Parklife Music Festival - September 27, 2008. As soon as the beat for this song started I loved it straight away and wondered how I had missed it. It was so great live, infectious, I too could not help but move. His head nodding along to the beat of this song was great. After hearing this live I was addicted. It became my phone's ringtone the next day. I would get weird looks from the people in my office whenever my phone rang and this song started, they think I enjoy weird music because of it - pffft. If I created a best of 2008 list this song would be my #3 also, if going by my charts for the past 12 months. I look forward to listening to the songs from your best of 2008 list that I am not familiar with.

    11. Jan. 2009, 4:14
  • sharevari

    I'm surprised Familjen has made it as far as Adelaide, Australia. Especially considering all their songs are in Swedish! But great stuff it is. And not particularly "weird", surely? You know, now that you say it, I don't think I've even listened to the whole album yet. One for 2009! I am glad the list brings joy to your heart. :)

    13. Jan. 2009, 23:08
  • ndesh

    I was just listening to a pacemaker mix with the Fred Falke remix of The Whitest Boy Alive and I thought, I'll bet this is on Eriks top list, and it was :)

    15. Jan. 2009, 20:05
  • klaashermans

    It's funny that your favourite gig is a non typical Eric music, how come?

    21. Jan. 2009, 14:51
  • sharevari

    Huh, I've been a My Bloody Valentine fan since about 1992. :) Might not be what I listen to every day but they're great!

    21. Jan. 2009, 15:53
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