Strum


Peacock’s Top 10 of ’08 – #1 – Vampire Weekend – s/t
January 18, 2009, 11:10 am
Filed under: 2008, Mrs Peacock | Tags: ,

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Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
XL

Wow, this album came out back in January? And it took me a couple of months to jump on the bandwagon, which by that point had already been pillaged, dismantled and reassembled for MGMT. I don’t get why the backlash was so virulent because, gosh darn it, I love this album. I think the haters are just jealous that they can’t create such blissful, joyful, youthful pop perfections.
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Peacock’s Top 10 of ’08 – #2 – Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim
January 18, 2009, 10:32 am
Filed under: 2008, Mrs Peacock

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Laura Marling Alas, I Cannot Swim
(Virgin/EMI)

Earlier in the year when the music of Laura Marling began to take hold of my attention and imagination, a friend going through the same phase emailed me to point out that Laura and myself had the same birthday. Except she was born in 1990. Thirteen years after me. And here was this young voice singing songs that seemingly had years of searching and longing at their core.
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Peacock’s Top 10 of ’08 – #3 – My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
January 4, 2009, 11:31 am
Filed under: 2008, Mrs Peacock | Tags: ,

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My Morning JacketEvil Urges
(ATO)

This could be called a sprawling opus, a hot mess, a genre-confused album. It’s what many did call it after they got all excited about MMJ at SXSW and all that and then decided it was way, way all over the shop — the falsetto, the creepy earnesty, the white boy funk, and maybe a lack of the cool grandeur so lauded on Z. Whatevs, I loved this album.
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Peacock’s Best of ’08 – #4 – Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us
January 2, 2009, 12:13 am
Filed under: 2008, Mrs Peacock

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Mates of StateRe-Arrange Us
(Barsuk)

This album really caught me by surprise because while I’d heard about Mates of State and was very aware that they were a married power pop duo (Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel), well, power pop isn’t really my thing. But it just seemed like a good album to put on in the afternoon and it just grew and grew on me til I was listening during my commute, while puttering around the house on a saturday, and so on.
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Peacock’s Best of ’08 – #5 – Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
December 21, 2008, 12:43 pm
Filed under: 2008, Mrs Peacock | Tags: ,

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Bon IverFor Emma, Forever Ago
Jagjaguwar

Easily the best album title of the year. It’s a whole story in a title. It references the lost love, the pretty girl, time passing, and a new path. We all know the full story by now, and I wrote about it a few months back when this album completely captured my attention. Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver came seemingly out of nowhere to deliver a fully realised artistic work — it’s very Walden in a way. Young man goes into woods by himself, faces the hardships of the natural world, a broken heart, a weary soul, and works it all out on his acoustic guitar.
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Plum’s Top 10 of ’08: #1 – She & Him – Volume One
December 21, 2008, 1:45 am
Filed under: 2008, Professor Plum | Tags: ,

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She & HimVolume One
(Merge)

A few years ago, a few of us had a conversation about our favourite/best songs of the 60s. It seems that some sort of technical merit was involved. The amazing works such as A Day In the Life or Good Vibrations. Or something ‘important’ like Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix. Then there were songs that maybe weren’t important, or high art. To that, I would say that ‘My Girl’ is one of the greatest songs of the 60s. It just is.

And that preamble helps explains why an album of simple love songs, with very little ambition, let alone funny chords and time changes, can be the best album of the year. It’s because it does everything I want from music. It makes me move, it makes me smile, it gives my heart a pinch, my ears a cheer and I’m completely lost when I listen to it. This is the effect I get from a little album by She & Him called Volume One.

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Peacock’s Best of ’08 – #6 – Youth Group – The Night Is Ours
December 20, 2008, 12:18 pm
Filed under: 2008, Mrs Peacock | Tags: ,

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Youth GroupThe Night is Ours
(Ivy League)

Youth Group’s The Night is Ours is bookended by two dreamy, somewhat droney tracks that usher the album’s songs in with anticipation and out with a bit of sadness at it being over. This is a beautiful, lovingly made album from a band that keeps growing up but also, thankfully, going through growing pains that need to be considered and sung about.
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