It’s year-end best-ofs time, and there are hundreds of lists (themselves listed at Largehearted Boy) out there for the mining. This year’s themes seems to be:
- working hard to convince yourself there are better albums than Merriweather Post Pavilion, just so you don’t appear to be following the crowd
- taking the Decemberists and Andrew Bird for granted
- either pretending you discovered The xx or saying you still love them despite their ubiquity and popularity (their debut album is two months old)
You can always catch my favorites as I update them here, but I think it’s silly to rank them. I thought a better use of our year-end space-time might be to shine a light on four albums that I think are amazing, yet aren’t populating enough best-ofs for my liking:
UNDESERVEDLY UNDER THE RADAR
Joe Gideon & The Shark – Harum Scarum
Somebody please tell me you saw this on somebody’s year-end list (preferably somebody incredibly influential). I refuse to let Joe Gideon and his sister Viva (The Shark) go by unnoticed. Storytelling, humor, atmosphere, and a sound both refreshingly new and comfortably familiar (in a 1980′s Mute Records way).
The Taxpayers – A Rhythm In The Cages
If The Taxpayers had hired a PR firm, they’d be littering the year-end lists, with writers falling over themselves to praise their creativity and fire. But the Taxpayers are actual punk band — a collection of young, passionate humans who believe in doing things themselves — so instead they just ended up with a wonderful album and their integrity. Good deal. Buy it here, then tell your friends.
“Dig Too Deep”
GETTIN’ SOME LOVE, JUST NOT ENOUGH
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below
This mess of lovable hippies put out their first album in July and by the end of the year they had sold out the Great American Music Hall. Up From Below is a love-soaked ramble, but the live show (more of a love-soaked shambles) is what’s endeared so many people to this band. They played pretty much every night for the last six months, so they’ve earned it.
“40 Day Dream”
“Kisses Over Babylon”
The Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going Away
Fuck Buttons got hella love this year for taking a step towards accessibility, but when it comes to year-end lists in the indie arena, longevity seems to work against everyone but Radiohead. The Fiery Furnaces’ sixth studio album is a classic collection of American crackpot pop, made by intimidatingly smart and talented siblings.
“Even In The Rain”