Favorite Albums of 2003
by dougie robb
Cex, Being Ridden (Temporary Residence)
Lo-fi indie hip-hop that's been overlooked with the rise of Buck 65. This is better trust me.
Aiden Smith, At Home With Aiden Smith (one and two) (Twisted Nerve)
Psychedelic Lo-fi folk pop ramblings from Manchester's finest now Alfie have gone prog and badly drawn boys gone off the rails. I spoke to him at a gig and he said (of BDB) "He has the better songs but I play piano better."
Okkervil River, Down the river of golden dreams ( jagjaguwar)
One day the world will wake up and hear how stunning and jaw droppingly beautiful the songs of Will Sheff are. And as David Berman once sang " all my Favourite singers couldn't sing"
Adam Green, Friends of Mine (Rough trade)
I can't stand the Mouldy Peaches; this, however, is ace. Green croons along as if he's Tony Bennett, over the prettiest chamber pop arragments you'll ever hear. A record to fall in all to and fall in love with.
Why?, oaklandazulasylum (Southern)
The best release yet from the slight preposterous Anticon guys. With lyrics seemingly spawned from the bastard offspring of Cohen and Malkmus and melodies that could only come from the west coast butchered with a pair of rusty nail scissors this is Indie-elctro-hip-hop for street philosophers…
Manitoba, Up In Flames (Leaf)
Psychedelic, mind bending, folky electronica of the tip-top variety. Lives up to the hype and then some, but it may take a few listens to really love it. For the best effect put on the 'wicker man' with no sound and sit back and listen to The most beautifully trippy and scary soundtrack ever/never made. Colossal.
The National, Sad Songs for dirty lovers (Talitres)
Wonderful hope-tinged guitar pop with the just the right balance of country despair, grimy 80's doom and unabashed woman stealing joy that means you'll want to dance like an idiot or your heart will skip a beat every time you put it on. Possibly both.
The Broken family Band, Cold Water Songs (Snowstorm)
Pure British defeat sodden folk tales woven together with a dusty tumbleweed. The devil, Robots, heartbreak and Gram Parsons, hitting women… people sat on back porches spitting into tin cups all over Nashville would be proud of. Genius.
St. Thomas, Hey Harmony (City Slang)
Norwegian alt-country/blues/folk/whatever. Its ace. And hes doesn't sound like Neil Young. Depression, Alcoholism, women, broken hearts, fights, yodeling, cups of tea, heroes from outta space, rusty slide guitar, acid banjo playing and gun slinging mariachi bands. It has all the ingredients of a fine roots album and then some….his next album's even better.
Bogdan Raczyinski, I will Eat Your Children too! (Rephlex)
Yeah so he recorded this three years ago….it's still absolutely ace! Brain and soul destroyingly heavy electronica that sounds just beautiful and makes Squarepusher seem like travis.
Note: To read the "What We Loved Most in 2003" feature straight through, click here to go directly to the next article.