10 Best Indie Albums 2008
The 10 best indie albums of 2008 include an eclectic mix of established and newer artists. The year brought on changes in direction from previously well-known bands and exciting releases from bands that had never been heard from before. Of course, music of the independent persuasion is continually debated, but the following albums are generally considered to be the top of the heap in 2008.
- “Fleet Foxes”- Fleet Foxes. This band’s eponymous debut album was a shock to the ears of indie music listeners in 2008. Whereas other bands went in a more electronically influenced direction, Fleet Foxes stuck to acoustic instruments, great harmonization and pitch-perfect songwriting.
- “Friendly Fires” – Friendly Fires. Another eponymous debut, the Friendly Fires established themselves as a force in dance music with this album. Pounding, almost overwhelming rhythm sections and passionate lead vocals characterize their fun brand of dance-pop.
- “Devotion” – Beach House. Beach House made a name for itself as writers of great dream-pop songs. The hazy atmosphere, thoughtful songwriting and yearning voice of lead singer Victoria LeGrand take you to another place altogether when listening.
- “The Mixtape About Nothing” – Wale. Before his major label debut, hip hop artist Wale actually self released this mixtape. Complete with actual recordings from episodes of the T.V. sitcom "Seinfeld," Wale’s gift for flow and vocal delivery are immediately apparent from the very first track.
- “You and Me” – The Walkmen. The Walkmen are generally considered to be in the upper echelon of indie rock in this decade. Their 2008 album “You and Me” is a big reason why. The band has a powerful sense of melody and skillfully combines it with a loose, torn-apart kind of feel.
- “Hercules and Love Affair” – Hercules and Love Affair. The second great indie dance album on the list, “Hercules and Love Affair” is modern disco at its finest. The band’s real strength lies in its ability to impeccably recapture the feeling that dance music once invoked so well.
- “Stay Positive” – The Hold Steady. The Hold Steady made a big splash in 2008 with the indie release “Stay Positive”. Their masterful use of immediately catchy riffs and choruses combined with spoken-word style vocals equate to sounds very reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen. They still manage to fit in an indie twist on most tracks.
- “Nouns” – No Age. No “best of” list featuring indie albums is complete without a great punk record. The aggression and passion on “Nouns” was unmatched in 2008. No Age established themselves as titans of the lo-fi style of indie music with this album.
- “Vampire Weekend” – Vampire Weekend. The third and final eponymous debut on the list, “Vampire Weekend” was perhaps the most talked about indie album of 2008. The band, comprised of fresh faced, privileged college kids from New York, does an outstanding job of mixing African, classical and pop influences in their music. No matter how you feel about Vampire Weekend’s image, their music is certainly worth a listen.
- “Dear Science” – TV on the Radio. “Dear Science,” a follow-up to 2006’s “Return to Cookie Mountain,” marked a change in musical direction for this legendary indie act. It was less intense and much more accessible. Their attention to detail, genius songwriting and fantastic production, however, remained very present.