Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Best Of 2007

One more year is behind us. In 2007, we were witnessing a true expansion of indie music. 2007 saw many releases from already established indie bands (The Arcade Fire, The National, Spoon, Interpol, etc) and a plenty of debuts from brilliant newcomers (Pela, Los Campesinos, Mumm-Ra, etc).

Also, some new music styles have been further defined and established. One is the 'new rave' (or nu-rave) that combines the elements of electronic, disco and punk-pop music. The most important representatives of the new-rave style are Klaxons, New Young Pony Club, Simian Mobile Disco, Shitdisco, Hadouken!, Datarock and To My Boy. The second is 'dubstep' that's existing already for some years but has got it's new dimension with the latest work of Burial ('Untrue').

In the world of experimental music, the new releases from Panda Bear ('Person Pitch') and Animal Collective ('Strawberry Jam') have put this genre to a new level. Another highlight is the new album from Radiohead ('In Rainbows') that set the new standards in the work of the band. The promotion of the album and the band's decision to give it almost for free to all the fans via internet was one of the main stories of the year. How this will affect the music industry is still to be seen.

I'd like to mention some of the most overlooked albums of the year that are highly ranked on my top 2007 list. The first is Sweden's Friska Viljor with the album 'Bravo!'. It's one of the most exciting records of the year. An album of turning the sadness into the joy, an album that puts back the smile on your face if you ever feel down. Compared with some other Swedish acts who received an enormous attention from American press (who said 'Peter, Bjorn and John' :)), Friska Viljor left completely in the shadows. The true gems stay always hidden.

Another great and completely overlooked album comes from a totally American band Pela. It's 'Anytown Grafitti', an album filled with wonderfully emotive lyrics and great guitar tunes. The songs are about loneliness and love, melancholia and desperation. When delivered by Billy McCarthy’s harsh vocals they struck straight to the heart.

And finally, the best album of 2007, Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. In a long career of this E6 collective band, Hissing Fauna presents their best work up to date. Combining the specific pop sound with elements of electro and funk, Of Montreal creates an unique music environment for telling the stories about the life and misery.

Top 150 indie albums of 2007:
The Good, The Bad And The Queen - The Good, The Bad And The Queen
149. PJ Harvey - White Chalk
148. The Hives - The Black and White Album
147. Sigur Ros – Hvarf-Heim
146. Studio - Yearbook 1
145. Angel And The Love Mongers - The Humanist Queen
144. Donny Hue And The Colors - Folkmote
143. Minus The Bear - Planet Of Ice
142. Grinderman - Grinderman
141. Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
140. The Noisettes – What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?
139. Black Francis - Bluefinger
138. Idlewild - Make Another World
137. Holy Fuck - Holy Fuck LP
136. Mando Diao - Never Seen The Light Of Day
135. Loney Dear - Loney, Noir
134. West Indian Girl - 4th & Wall
133. The Sea And The Cake - Everybody
132. Tegan and Sara - The Con
131. VietNam - VietNam
130. Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature
129. Daft Punk - Alive 2007
128. Voxtrot – Voxtrot
127. Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
126. The Bravery - The Sun And The Moon
125. Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
124. Dungen - Tio Bitar
123. Thurston Moore - Trees Outside the Academy
122. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
121. Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight
120. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters
119. Little Man Tate - About What You Know
118. Good Shoes - Think Before You Speak
117. Maia Hirasawa - Thought, I'm Just Me
116. Electrelane - No Shouts No Calls
115. The Wombats - A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperstion
114. The View - Hats Off To The Buskers
113. Marnie Stern - In Advance Of The Broken Arm
112. Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
111. Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil
110. No Age - Weirdo Rippers
109. CocoRosie - The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn
108. Figurines - When The Dear Wore Blue
107. Stereo Total - Paris-Berlin
106. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
105. Menomena - Friend And Foe
104. Rocky Votolato - The Brag & Cuss
103. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
102. Gravenhurst - The Western Lands
101. Justice - Cross
100. Albert Hammond Jr - Yours To Keep
99. New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom
98. Handsome Furs - Plague Park
97. Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
96. 1990s - Cookies
95. Mum - Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy
94. Dan Deacon - Spiderman Of The Rings
93. Metric - Grow Up And Blow Away
92. Papercuts - Can't Go Back
91. You Say Party! We Say Die! - Lose All Time
90. Life Without Buildings - Live At The Annadale Hotel
89. Keller Williams - Dream
88. Simian Mobile Disco - Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
87. !!! - Myth Takes
86. Manic Street Preachers - Send Away The Tigers
85. Dinosaur Jr - Beyond
84. White Rabbis - Fort Nightly
83. Anais Mitchell - The Brightness
82. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
81. Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance
80. Jana Hunter - There's No Home
79. The Fiery Furnaces - Widow City
78. Pinback - Autumn Of The Seraphs
77. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
76. Stars Of The Lid - And Their Refinment Of The Decline
75. The State Of Samuel - Here Come The Floods
74. Apostle Of Hustle - National Anthem Of Nowhere
73. Broken Social Scene/Kevin Drew – Spirit If…
72. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
71. Enon - Grass Geysers Carbon Clouds
70. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
69. Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
68. Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
67. The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur
66. The Fratellis - Costello Music
65. Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars
64. Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
63. Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat
62. The Go! Team - Proof Of Youth
61. Björk - Volta
60. The New Pornographers - Challengers
59. The Cribs - Men Needs, Woman Needs, Whatever
58. John Vanderslice - Emerald City
57. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
56. Ravens & Chimes - Reichenbach Falls
55. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
54. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
53. Bowerbirds - Hymns For A Dark Horse
52. The Clientele - God Save The Clientele
51. Taken By Trees - Open Field
50. Club 8 - The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming
49. Winterpills - The Light Divides
48. Liars - Liars
47. A Place To Bury Strangers - A Place To Bury Strangers
46. Low - Drums And Guns
45. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
44. Blonde Redhead - 23
43. Art Brut – It’s A Bit Complicated
42. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
41. David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band
40. The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
39. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
38. Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird On The Water
37. James Blackshaw - The Cloud Of Unknowing
36. Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
35. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
34. Phosphorescent - Pride
33. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
32. Interpol - Our Love To Admire
31. Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
30. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
29. The National - Boxer
28. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
27. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
26. Caribou - Andorra
25. Babyshambles - Shotter's Nation
24. Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
23. Editors - An End Has A Start
22. Old Time Relijun - Catharsis In Crisis
21. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
20. Bishop Allen - Broken Strings
19. Band Of Horses - Cease To Begin
18. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
17. The Films - Don't Dance Rattlesnake
16. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
15. Radiohead - In Rainbows
14. Burial - Untrue
13. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
12. Feist - The Reminder
11. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

10. Cloud Cult - The Meaning Of 8

09. The Besnard Lakes - Are The Dark Horse

08. Battles - Mirrored

07. Okkervil River - The Stage Names

06. St. Vincent - Marry Me

05. Mumm-Ra - These Things Move In Threes

04. Pela - Anytown Grafitti

03. Panda Bear - Person Pitch

02. Friska Viljor - Bravo!

01. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

Top 15 Hip-Hop/Rap albums of 2007:
15. Timbaland - Presents Shock Value
14. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
13. Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth
12. Freeway - Free At Last
11. Cunninlynguists - Dirty Acres
10. El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
09. Talib Kweli - Eardrum
08. Pharoahe Monch - Desire
07. Common - Finding Forever
06. Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
05. Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab
04. Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3
03. Jay-Z - American Gangster
02. Kanye West - Graduation
01. M.I.A. - Kala

Top 20 EPs of 2007:
20. High Places - High Places
19. The Harlem Shakes - Burning Birthdays
18. Junior Boys - Dead Horse
17. Animal Collective - People
16. New Young Pony Club - New Young Pony Club
15. SoKo - Not SoKute
14. Joanna Newsom - And The Ys Street Band
13. The Tuss - Rushup Edge
12. Deerhunter - Flourescent Grey
11. Why? - The Hollows
10. Ra Ra Riot - Ra Ra Riot
09. Bright Eyes - Four Winds
08. Beirut - Lon Gisland
07. Grizzly Bear - Friend
06. Cut Off Your Hands - Shaky Hands
05. Of Montreal - Icons, Abstract Thee
04. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Is Is
03. The Black Kids - Wizzard Of Ahhhs
02. The Draytones - Forever On
01. Los Campesinos! - Sticking Fingers Into Sockets

Top failures of 2007 (or 'do it better next time' list):
10. The Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
09. KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
08. Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire
07. Brett Anderson - Brett Anderson
06. James Blunt - All The Lost Souls
05. Ian Brown - The World Is Yours
04. Athlete - Beyond The Neighbourhood
03. Stereophonics - Pull The Pin
02. She Wants Revenge - This Is Forever
01. Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion

Top mainstream:
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Bruce Springsteen - Magic
Led Zeppelin - Mothership

Note: This will be the last post in 2007. Hopefully, I'll continue posting in the second week of 2008. I hope you've enjoyed Indie Surfer in 2007. I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take Care and Have Fun!


Anonymous Daver from Chicago said...

Wow, this is an amazingly comprehensive list. Thanks! I'm thrilled to see Pela at No. 4 -- that was probably my favorite album of the year.

Thanks for all you do. This is still the best music blog on the Web.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Amie said...

happy holidays!! you deserve the break..but come back sooon!!!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Wendyqueridaluzdemivida said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

8:00 PM  
Anonymous mikeC said...

Have a very merry christmas. thanks for everything all year.

8:22 PM  
Blogger ill twig in seed said...


thanks so much for everything.

i appreciate everything you write

8:36 PM  
Anonymous TomPL said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Indie-Year :) Great list, it maybe helps me to find something new/something i don't...

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Lists - Thanx for all the posts in 07, look forward to more in 08. Happy Holidays.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all 07 posts.

Definitely the Best Blog Ever!

By the way. such a great list!

Thnaks Again

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas!!! And thanks for being so informative all years! :)

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ziggy, it has been a great year indeed. All the best.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything this year
Your blog has helped share all kinds of music with people who would never know

Happy holidays!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Props to quality blog :)

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

judging by the rest of your list i'm baffled that you didn't include the apples in stereo. ah well. keep up the good work in the new year.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous its the ben said...

thanks for showing that indie rock is more than just sweaters and guitars. best wishes for your holiday(s) and good luck in the '08!

12:01 AM  
Blogger nawanda37 said...

thank you ziggy for a wonderful is one of the few that i have checked nearly every day for a very very long time.

enjoy the holidays!

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice lists there. I like your choice of Of Montreal. Great album. Cloud cult at #10 is an inspired choice. A very nice album. Happy holidays. Hope to continue to see your quality blog in 08.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a superb list! Much better than Pithforks. Thanks for such a great blog Ziggy. I hope you have a great Holiday! And look forward to hearing from next month!

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great music and info.

7:00 AM  
Blogger LMS said...

The mind boggles at attempting to order 150 of the greatest releases of the year...

7:36 AM  
Anonymous tom gr said...

Thanks for all the great music throughout the year Ziggy. Merry Christmas! And a very detailed top list!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Chrimbos Buddy
Thanks for putting out the best blog in 2007. Sure Fire Winner!
ENjoy the break. See you next year...

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Tommo said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for all the great music mate.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous cmb said...

Happy Holidays!

Your blog is an everyday destination for me. Thanks!

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beirut on 16 is my favourite of the year

thx for the list, th eblog and the dirs

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Luke said...

Thanks for the posts! An excellent blog!

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Indie_dinosaur said...

This is a pretty immaculate list! I think Feist should def be in the Top 10 though, but with all these other indie heavyweights, 12 is not a bad spot. Have you ever seen the London Live footage of her over at They have tons of performances by many artists on your list.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous said...

i'm a little surprised to see no mention of Film School's 'Hideout'.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like battles very much
see my top 50 albums in 2007

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of Montreal are from Athens, Georgia, aren't they?

I'm pretty sure they're not Canadian.

3:32 AM  
Blogger Ziggy said...

Yeah, they are from Athens, of course. I should sometimes read what I write ;) Thanx.

I also realize that I missed to include some good releases on my list - Apples In Stereo, Nine Black Alps, Sambassadeur, Film School, The Long Blondes, Alaska In Winter, Jesu, Magik Markers, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Charlotte Gainsbourg ,Maria Taylor, etc.

Certainly there are some more, but
no matter what, I'll never manage to list them all.

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy holidays...or "boas festas" in portuguese!!

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Bryant said...

Thanks for the spectacular blog. It has helped me sample music far better than any magazines or other blogs on the net.
Merry Christmas.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Tinuz said...

Thanks for this years albums, and wishing you great holidays from The Netherlands.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

Ahhhh, editors 23, interpol 32???
but why? i love "our love to admire"....
nevertheless thx for the list and the whole blog...i love it!!!
merry christmas and a happy new year!!

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with lots of Love and Peace

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of your posts and shares this past year. The Silent Years album and its wonderful video are a great way to round out 2007. We all need someone to keep us warm. Indeed. Paul nyc

6:15 PM  
Anonymous green plastic said...

Thank you sooo much for this! Awesome lists.
Love what you do - this blog keeps me goin'
Merry Christmas

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty good list. The national is my top album of 2007

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Matt P said...

Cheers ziggy. Thanks for all of your hard work.

4:59 AM  
Blogger King George said...

Thanx for sharing your top 2007 with us. I know how much work it can be. Since Pela and Friska Viljor were high in your list and I never heard of them before I downloaded their albums to give them a listen.
Thanx for all the posts this year. I'll keep visiting in 2008.


3:10 PM  
Anonymous Olivia said...

of Montreal at number 1 - ace. Possibly the greatest band ever.

7:25 PM  
Blogger robertolunico said...

thank you. i knew some very good music, reading this blog.
happy new year!
buon anno!

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that with 150 spots, Manu Chao's La Radiolina did not find a place! He even made Time Magazine's top ten! "Me llaman Calle" was def. my top ten songs.,30583,1686204_1686244_1690649,00.html

P.S. Devendra Banhart #69?

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great list...what's the word??? comprehensive! i'm psyched that pela was at the of the BEST records i've heard in a while. you've gotta check their shows. real rock.

thanks for the blog!


9:35 PM  
Anonymous dan said...

thanks so much for taking the time to keep up this blog!

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent and well thought out post. no matter how big you make your best of lists each year, you'll always leave out amazing music because it's everywhere. thanks for what you do.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

12:05 PM  
Anonymous elperrodelmar said...

Feliz Año Nuevo!!!, vuelve pronto por favor! (come back soon please!)

6:22 PM  
Anonymous EgoHead said...

La multi ani!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Vainzine said...

Hi Ziggy,

Just came across your blog, it's very impressive. I think one of my favourite albums of 2007 (and there were so many) has to be Film School 'Hideout'. Have you heard it?


8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey stumbled upon your blog... interesting stuff... specially liked your top albums of 2007 post... i've done a similar one... however only 15 albums... i'm in the process of reviewing each one... check it out here...


3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant blog great music

6:27 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Is Ryan Adams, Wilco, Radiohead really Indie anymore. Way to big to call indie. Sunset Carcrash from Georgia or Blue Mountain ( Brother is in Wilco ) from Mississippi - they are indie bands.

4:37 PM  

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