2008 Review

on Thursday, January 01, 2009
2008 saw me step up my blogging slightly, although I couldn't maintain the relentless pace of the first half of the year. I did two main features prior to the last few days - my annual tips for the forthcoming year and a guest blog series for the second birthday of Keep Hope Inside. Let's go through them for shits and giggles.


After my 2007 tips were a bit too obscure and before their time, I decided to adopt a new method for choosing my tips for 2008. Having said that, Jack Penate, Foals and Laura Marling have done pretty well for themselves since early 2007! Anyways, this year I chose 12 bands - 4 of which were hyped at one point or another, 4 which had been mentioned on my blog previously and another 4 bands which I had never spoken about. Understandably there was a little overlap between the categories but let's have a look at the "success" of my tips.

[Part One]
Vampire Weekend did pretty sodding well, selling over 100,000 copies of their debut album in the UK. Alphabeat's 'Fascination' was a massive hit single and I was ready to herald them as a success until I heard they were dropped by EMI recently. Oops. But the saddest news comes in the form of Elle S'Appelle splitting, after just one single release. Download their final radio session [here].

[Part Two]
Adele became massive. And that's not even a fat joke. Still not really heard anything to match the quality of 'Hometown Glory' but I can't really dispute a #1 album which has sold over 500,000 copies in the UK. Jose Vanders and Agaskado Teliverek have made pretty much no impact on the mainstream at all.

[Part Three]
Glasvegas did rather well despite my initial concerns of their crossover appeal, a #2 album which sold over 100,000 copies. Look See Proof released their debut album to far more muted commercial response and The Wave Pictures continue to plug away quietly, although they did come third in The Guardian First Album award.

[Part Four]
Guillemots' second album wasn't very well received, although broke into the top ten of the UK album charts. Late Of The Pier's album received generally positive reviews although didn't result in a corresponding amount of album sales. Friendly Fires also released a generally well received album but failed to match LOTP's sales.

All in all, three of my hyped bands (Vampire Weekend, Glasvegas and Adele) justified their tags while the jury's out on the other acts. At least from a commercial perspective. Guillemots generated a fair amount of sales but critical acclaim left them - it will be interesting to see where they go from here. Unfortunately, it wouldn't surprise me if the likes of Late Of The Pier and Friendly Fires find themselves dropped before their second album.


The Two Year Itch

This was a series of guest posts from music bloggers to help me celebrate the second birthday of Keep Hope Inside. We all wrote about our favourite British album from the past two years. A massive thank you once again to all those who took part. Hopefully for one of my future features, I can get some of you (i.e readers) involved.

This is shamelessly reproduced from my [recap] post but is pretty helpful. It'd be interesting to hear whether the writers still support their choices. I certainly support mine.

[Part One]: Simon of Sweeping The Nation - 'Hold On Now, Youngster...' by Los Campesinos!
"They found initial attention through demos on Myspace, but they feel to their hardcore that this is their band, just for them"

[Part Two]: Jay of clickyclicky - '7 From The Village' (US EP) by Fields
"a charming blend of '70s pastoral psych-folk and contemporary indie rock centered around the undeniable pop gem 'Brittlesticks'"

[Part Three]: Tim of funfunfun - 'Variations On Swing' by Meet Me In St Louis
"Its intricate layers of morphing instruments and its fractured time signatures may put off, or even frighten, some listeners but those that “get it” will join the ranks amongst some of the most passionate and faithful of fans."

[Part Four]: Sid of Music Liberation - 'Box Of Secrets' by Blood Red Shoes
"an honest, full-on assault, that is full of energy, passion, and intent"

[Part Five]: aDawgg - 'Fantastic Playroom' by New Young Pony Club
"shook my bah-dompah-domp"
Bean - 'The Life Pursuit' by Belle & Sebastian
"A little indie, a little pop, and a little glam with vivid stories about kooky characters in songs that will suit any occasion and every mood."
tamboosh - 'The Beatific Visions' by Brakes
"still thrilling and refreshing"

[Part Six]: Tara of The Music Journal - 'Making Dens' by Mystery Jets
"It is the vigour, the youth, the passion, and the boisterous energy that makes this one of my favourite albums of the past two years."

[Part Seven]: Tim of The Daily Growl - 'No Shouts, No Calls' by Electrelane
"Just have a listen – it really is a wonderful album."

[Part Eight]: Saam of Keep Hope Inside (i.e me) - 'Drop It Till It Pops' by Hot Club de Paris
"'Drop It Till It Pops' has that certain joie de vivre that few bands manage to capture on record over their career let alone on their debut album"

With more new bands, radio sessions and podcasts than ever before in 2008, the future is looking good for Keep Hope Inside. Happy new year everyone!

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