Here we are with Day 2 of the “Week of Bests” with Womenfolk’s Best Album’s for 2008. As expected you might find the fairer sex represented quite predominantly ;-). Read on below and discover the beauty from the Women of folk or feel free to visit the original post here.
I’ve never really had a ‘best of’ post. While I always found them interesting, I’ve never taken to task rounding up all of the albums I’ve either purchased or have been sent over the course of the year and whittling them down to a select ten that I felt were true standouts. I suppose I’ve always felt that as soon as I finalized my ten choices, I’d then discover a couple of albums I completely forgot to consider that might have otherwise had made the list. But this year, I’m willing to give it a shot.
So at the risk of forgetting other noteworthy albums that were released within the last 365 days, here are Womenfolk’s top 10 albums of 2008 that I truly felt were “top drawer”.
1. Sam Phillips – Don’t Do Anything
Since signing with Nonesuch Records, every album Sam Phillips has released has been magnificent. There are few songwriters working today that seem to possess that “it” factor that makes Phillips such a highly respected artist. And she does it so effortlessly.
Don’t Do Anything proved that Phillips could self-produce an album without the help of her long-time producer and former husband, T-Bone Burnett, and not lose the magic that previous Sam Phillips records possessed.
Sam Phillips – Flowers Up
2. Lex Land – Orange Days On Lemon Street
Lex Land was one of those discoveries you make and you’re so glad you did. Her debut album, Orange Days On Lemon Street, is a treasure trove of well-crafted songs, some intense and powerful, others served with a subtle, yet stinging delivery. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Lex Land – My Fault. Your Mistake.
3. Brooke Waggoner – Heal For The Honey
Like the aforementioned Ms. Land, Brooke Waggoner is another new discovery I made this year, and one that immediately left an impression. Her songs are wonderfully infectious and eccentric, much in the same way as Sufjan Stevens. Her full-length debut, Heal For The Honey, is a sharp and unique record that showcases Waggoner’s well-trained piano playing, her love of rhyme and her unconventional approach at songwriting.
Brooke Waggoner – Tender Mending
4. Ane Brun – Changing Of The Seasons
Ane Brun‘s Changing Of The Seasons solidifies the songwriter’s talent of turning heart-wrenching tales of sadness and woe and transforming them into breathtakingly powerful songs. Changing Of The Seasons continues Brun’s unique songwriting style and her captivating sound.
Ane Brun – Don’t Leave
5. Katie Herzig – Apple Tree
Nashville’s Katie Herzig is one of the most promising artists to emerge from the music scene. And her latest, Apple Tree, stands as a testament to that fact. Her songs are both smart, sweet and primed for radio. It’s no wonder that television shows like Grey’s Anatomy have featured her songs numerous times. At least somebody’s noticing.
Katie Herzig – How The West Was Won
6. Grey Anne – facts n figurines
Thanks to the people at Greyday Records, I was introduced to the music of Grey Anne (a.k.a. Anne Adams, Per Se). Her debut album, facts n figurines was surprisingly original and a welcome addition to my musical collection. I can see why Portland’s so proud of her.
Grey Anne – Adelaide
Purchase: Greyday Records
7. Kate York – For You
Since her 2006 album, Sadlylove, I’ve been keeping an eye out for what Kate York would do next. Her latest is For You, an album I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. Smooth and soothing, York has a knack for creating perfect morsels of ear candy. It’s easy listening without being disposable.
For You is currently only available via York’s MySpace page, but will be sold on iTunes soon.
Kate York – For You
8. Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew
I’ll freely admit that I’m not the biggest Damien Rice fan, but I am familiar with both him and Lisa Hannigan, who has accompanied Rice on his tour and in recording studios for several years. When I discovered Hannigan had finally released her solo debut, my interest was only mildly piqued.
But lo and behold, Hannigan’s Sea Sew is a welcome surprise; full of strong, introspective lyrics and beautifully arranged compositions, Hannigan easily wins my vote for one of my favorite albums of the year.
Lisa Hannigan – Pistashio
9. Jill Tracy – The Bittersweet Contrain
Despite my love of folk, pop and rock, I have a love for the darker side of things, too. Thankfully, Jill Tracy is willing to fill that void for me.
The San Franciscan’s latest, The Bittersweet Constrain, released during the first half of the year, is her third foray into what I refer to as cabaret noir. Tracy is not just a recording artist, as her live shows consist of theatrics and emotive storytelling. And like Tracy, The Bittersweet Constrain is thick with mood.
Jill Tracy – I Can’t Shake It
10. Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
England’s Laura Marling released her debut, Alas I Cannot Swim, toward the beginning of the year and I’ve been amazed with it ever since its release. At only 18, Marling’s songwriting abilities are remarkable. Both quirky and confident, Alas I Cannot Swim is chock-full of acoustic strumming and sharp-witted observations.
Laura Marling – My Manic And I
There you have it, make sure to drop by Womenfolk and say hi, visit and pick up a CD. Yes, you can pick up Womenfolk: the CD! While the CD is not from this list, it has even more examples on some great female singer songwriters.
Tomorrow is Day 3 and it will be a big one, make sure you stick around!