Favorite Singles of 2008

Here are 20 of my favorite songs released in 2008. As usual, I’ve agonized over this list and have changed it numerous times. Like always, I only picked one song per album (otherwise artists like Bon Iver & Robert Forster would just completely dominate this list) and they’re only loosely ranked by preference.
So for better or worse:

1. MGMT – “Time to Pretend” from Oracular Spectacular

[audio:01 – Time to Pretend.mp3]
The first 60-ish seconds of this are irresistibly awesome.

2. Bon Iver – “For Emma” from For Emma, Forever Ago

[audio:08 for emma.mp3]
Possibly my favorite album of the year.

3. Langhorne Slim – “Rebel Side of Heaven” from Langhorne Slim

[audio:02 Rebel Side Of Heaven.mp3]
This dude isn’t always consistently great, but I dig a lot of this album and this song in particular.

4. Port O’Brien – “Fisherman’s Son” from All We Could Do Was Sing

[audio:03 – Fisherman’s Son.mp3]

5. Robert Forster – “It Ain’t Easy” from The Evangelist

[audio:09 It Ain’t Easy.mp3]

6. TV on the Radio – “DLZ” from Dear Science

“Never you mind, death professor” isn’t a particularly stunning line on paper, but it’s killer in this track.

7. Mates of State – “Get Better” from Re-Arrange Us


8. Spiritualized – “You Like You Cheat” from Songs in A&E

[audio:0103 Spiritualized – You Lie You Cheat.mp3]

9. M.I.A. – “Paper Planes” from Kala

[audio:MIA – Paper Planes.mp3]
“Everyone’s a winner!” Between this and Coldplay I might as well just admit that I’m a radio Top 40 fanboy with terrible taste.

10. M83 – “We Own the Sky” from Saturdays = Youth

[audio:07 we own the sky.mp3]

11. Pete Molinari – I Don’t Like the Man That I Am” from A Virtual Landslide

[audio:Pete Molinari_A Virtual Landslide_09_I Don’t Like The Man I Am.mp3]
It was a toss-up between this and “Sweet Louise,” the only other good song off this album.

12. The Avett Brothers – “Murder in the City” from The Second Gleam

[audio:The Avett Brothers – Murder in the City.mp3]

13. Ray LaMontagne – “You Are the Best Thing” from Gossip in the Grain

[audio:01 You Are the Best Thing.mp3]
I’m starting to accept the fact that Ray peaked with Trouble.

14. Blitzen Trapper – “Furr” from Furr

[audio:03 Furr.mp3]
Reminds me, in content, of TV on the Radio’s awesome 2006 single “Wolf Like Me.”

15. Islands – “Creeper” from Arm’s Way


16. Vampire Weekend – “Walcott” from Vampire Weekend

[audio:Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend – 10 walcott.mp3]

17. Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal” from Fleet Foxes

It just might be time to turn over the My Morning Jacket train to Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses since Jim James & Co. have clearly lost the plot.

18. The Hold Steady – “Magazines” from Stay Positive

[audio:The Hold Steady – 9 – Magazines.mp3]
Maybe fighting with M.I.A. for the year’s best chorus.

19. The War on Drugs – “Taking the Farm” from Wagonwheel Blues


20. Coldplay – “Death And All His Friends” from Viva La Vida

[audio:10  Coldplay – Death And All His Friends.mp3]
Good enough for Brian Eno, good enough for me.

Most Disappointing Albums of the Year: My Morning Jacket (!), Ray LaMontagne

Supposedly Great Albums I Won’t Ever Listen To: Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers

Grossly Overrated Albums: She & Him (I’m looking at you, Paste)

3 thoughts on “Favorite Singles of 2008

  1. Uh. That Bon Iver track was definitely around in 2007.

    And no Department of Eagles? “No One Does It Like You” is by far the best single of the year.

  2. FE,FA was officially released in 2008.

    Department of Eagles never hooked me. But everyone else and their mother seems to love that song so you’re in good company.

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