Top Australian Artists of 2008

Oh how I hate compiling these lists. They are damn near impossible to sit back thinking 'Yes, that accurately represents my tastes'. You just can't do it! For starters, how do you compare an awesome live show with a solid album? Does it count if I got into an album this year that was released last year? I can barely remember back to the start of the year, let alone try to piece together which bands had the biggest impact! And so the list comes to you with so many faults. Missing bands, strange orderings and plenty of bias. You name it, it's here. But I had to walk away from it because no amount of tweaking could have produced a satisfying list. 2008 was a strange year for me. There were no really stand out bands. The bands I loved had a fairly quite year, whilst many new bands entered my affection. And so I was left with about 40 bands, all on level footing. Perfect for compiling an ordered list! I used the criteria of 'Which bands delivered the most enjoyment in 2008' and the result is quite an interesting one. I've certainly discovered a few trends (and holes) in my listening habits which may indicate some exploring is in order. Feel free to post your own list in the comments. Away!

1. Youth Group

2008 was the year I came to appreciate Youth Group. Not just their latest album, but their entire catalogue. The vocals, the melodies, it's all so incredibly beautiful.

2. Cloud Control

The band I have seen more than any other. No releases this year, but more than enough memorable moments. The addictive hooks and swooning harmonies are just too good to resist.

3. Dappled Cities

It's Dappled. Enough said. Three mighty fine performances was more than enough to thrust them right up here.

4. Theredsunband

The year began with a Laneway performance, moved on to some great singles and culminated in a sophomore album. In every case, Theredsunband delivered rich, powerful music.

5. The Devoted Few

After getting a taste this year, I can tell you quite confidently that 2009 will be a big year for The Devoted Few. Both live and recorded, these guys rock!

6. Charge Group

When it comes to creating immensely powerful, vastly expansive soundscapes, Charge Group has no rival. Their music reaches such emotional highs, you're left in awe.

7. The Seabellies

This year, The Seabellies proved what I had always believed; their multi-instrumental ways are not a gimmick, but a defining strength. Their incredible single, Heart Heart Heart Out, is just a taste of whats to come.

8. Cuthbert & The Night Walkers

Bands pretty much don't come any funner than Cuthbert & The Night Walkers. In their stripped back format, they are more colourful, lively and entertaining than ever before.

9. Sparkadia

Sparkadia's speciality is in super sweet indie-pop, filled with toe tapping rhythms and luscious crooning choruses. Their debut album was no exception, earning them a much-deserved place in the global spotlight.

10. Parades

Of all the new Sydney bands that emerged in 2008, Parades are the ones who got me genuinely excited. Their songs move in complex, ever-changing directions, their instrumentation is refreshingly diverse and their vocals are incredibly refined. They've found such a great mix and its only just the beginning.

11. The Temper Trap
12. Flamingo Crash
13. Pivot
14. Bluejuice
15. Deep Sea Arcade
16. Papa vs Pretty
17. Firekites
18. The Curse of Company
19. The Boat People
20. Philadelphia Grand Jury
21. Augie March
22. Bird Automatic
23. Mercy Arms
24. The Straight Arrows
25. British India

41 comments:

mel said...

Cloud Control released Death Cloud!

James said...

hey nice list, plenty of bands on there i think i must be missing out on....but what about Children Collide? i was pleased to see British India on there at the end but the Children Collide album The Long Now is really a great album, plenty of tops songs....

David said...

my god i feel like i should know you. I have everything released by your top 4 bands. all 4 youth group albums (not the Ep arghhh), cloud controls awesome EP, dappleds two albums and theredsunbands couple + an EP

you're a champ!! and I'm so excited for cloud controls album woo

Peter said...

well then you must have mighty fine tastes sir!

Nick said...

Youth Group? Really? personally I've been digging Actor/ Model a lot as well as I Heart Hiroshima and The Diamond Sea.

sabiausmusic said...

Great list, only 3 i haven't heard of and i'm going to check them out now. And, i'm with you about Charge Group, their album is amazing.

Peter said...

Nick: Yes youth group. TO be quite honest, I really didn't have a stand out. So many bands were on par, but in end they were the ones who seemed best at the top. Have I Heart Hiroshima been up to much this year? Anything new coming?

Sabi: Thanks mate. Out of curiosity, who are the three you haven't heard?

Leopauld said...

I'm a total disgrace i only know 6 bands here: youth group, Mercy Arms, British india (but haven't listenend to the album yet), Pivot and Boat People!!!

where's: Snowman, Children Collide, Empire of the sun, Pnau, Cutt off your hands, the dirty secrets, Dukes of windsor, sleepy jackson, cut copy?

I'm no australian but i truly love australian bands! i'm guessing you're australian hahahh

Peter said...

i know all of those bands but either they didn't do much this year or they really didn't impress me. good to see aussies are getting some international attention!

sabiausmusic said...

Late reply but the three bands were, Straight Arrows, Bird Automatic and The Curse of Company

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