Welcome to part II of my “Best of 2008″ where I highlight my list of top popular music, independent music and virtual world topics of the year. Today, I’m going to focus on the independent music scene from 2008. Due to the depth of independent music, I’ve been using the following criteria: 1) This list is completely subjective and based on what I hear. Other lists may have more objectivity (comparing other lists to mine, using more statistical analysis), however this list has none. This doesn’t mean I can be bought or pandered (but you can try!) 2) The pool of music are songs I’ve been introduced to through various independent music sources or through artists I’ve met personally, 3) however this doesn’t mean that the artists on this list have signed a contract, just not a major deal or their the song on the list was remixed by an independent artist. However this is not an exact science. One example would be Santagold who made my popular music list but I’m excluding from my independent list (although she’s on an Indie label). I felt she claimed enough fame in 2008 to be labeled “pop” (once you start doing Adidas commercials you never go back.)
For those independent artists who may feel that they belong on this list but have not given me your CD/sample or I haven’t heard of you, I’m sorry! Feel free to send one now and you’ll be up for next year! Now, the list for 2008:
- My first pick is a homer pick. Aside from the fact that I know Sarah Elizabeth Foster, have goaded her and her band mate Nancy to Twitter and blog more often, and that she has given me some great advice about relationship building (that is to be patient), you’ll also agree that her music is completely amazing. I’m amazed by her range, talent, character and approach to music. She’s an inspirational woman and it shows in her music. I’m completely smitten with her song Wake Up and has become my favorite song of the year.
- I love music that pits two completely different styles into one interesting and unique sound. The Shanghai Restoration Project is completely based on this idea by melding both Eastern and Western music into perfect harmony. Movement (Download MP3) is a perfect example of their East meets West fusion, mashing soulful R&B with Asian flair.
- What do gummy bears, unicorns and deep lyrical poetry by Quienten Tarantino have in common? They are a part of my description of the very unique and creative sounds of Maus Haus. I cannot stop listening to them. The single that turned me onto the group was We Used Technology (But Technology Let Us Down) (download MP3). It’s dark, groovy, sexy, creepy and the most unique sound I’ve heard all year. I love it. Now only if I had a unicorn…
- Lunascape captured my heart with a sound reminiscent of the Cardigans, and Enya. Outside is such an emotionally deep song, I have trouble concentrating while listening to it. It’s hard for me not to lip-sync to the words of the song (which I’m doing while writing this post). I’m really eager to hear more from Lunascape, her voice is enchanting, and the song is powerful yet soothing.
- I will openly admit if you see me on the street and I’m bobbing my head, Childish Gambino is probably responsible. Get Like Me is my independent Hip-Hop song of the year. From the beat to the lyrics, this song is epic. If it received any radio airplay, it would compete against the established acts in the Hip-Hop genre. Gambino has come up with some of the most creative lyrics I heard all year.
If this was a top 10, True Widow‘s Corpse Master (MP3) would be 6th on my list, in the creation of this list it was on my top 5, but dropped down by Childish Gambino and Lunascape. I also have to give True Widow some extra props, they were super cool and sent me their recent album, some t-shirts and stickers (pictures and a review soon!)
Dandi Wind‘s Adolescent (MP3) makes me want to tribal dance, Theatre of Disco‘s On the Train (MP3) makes me want to break dance and Your Love (MP3) by Hardsoul presents Roog & Greg makes me want to dance with glow-sticks. Talking about dance music, my favorite Indie dance Songs are Ferosh (MP3) (Tracy Young, Alan T), Don’t Be Afraid (MP3) (Red Squared), I Don’t Care (MP3) (Gaz Reynolds), and Summer Skies (Nick Olivetti Mix) (MP3) (Altea). While we’re dancing, lets dance with Dizzy Rascal and his Dance Wiv Me (Shazam Remix).
MC Chris talked about a Nrrrd Grrrl (who is on Violet Blue’s #1 Sexiest Geek of 2008), while DJ Mehdi played his Pocket Piano, but I was Half Asleep (MP3) in the School of Seven Bells, it did not matter, Free Blood was Grumpy anyway. Bumbleez was remixed in Pump up the Bass (Ed Banger Remix), Matt Jones wants to know Will You Run away from him, Pete Miser wants you to Hit Me on my iPhone (or on his iPhone because I don’t have one) and Kirsty Hawkshaw and Kinky Roland paired up to say it was a Fine Day 08.
Did I miss someone? Skipped over an artist this? Have someone I should listen to for the next year? Feel free to leave your comments!