by Francis Andrews in New Music on Monday 15 December 2008

It’s getting towards that time of the year when ‘The Lists’ start to come out. They are the end product of endless screaming matches over whether 2008 was one to remember, or whether it went down deep. Yes, there are still a few weeks left, but mid-December is a time when the belly rolls out and our musicians carry a stiff whiskey into hibernation. Music-wise, 2007 was a hard one to follow. Hidden amongst all the offensive tripe that made the charts were some real gems: Tinariwen, Panda Bear, Yeasayer, and so on. This year was no different, but missing from the respected lists out there were some classics. Yes, Bon Iver may well have trumped it, followed closely by a whole armada of artists such as Fleet Foxes [White Winter Hymnal, DJ Doc Rok Remix below], Santogold, Vampire Weekend, M83, and others — and most people are in agreement about them. But what about the ones that somehow slipped off the radar? The genre-traversing Richard Swift; tropical Velvet Underground-style Shortwave Set; the knee-quaking sexiness of The Do; the afro-dream pop of School of Seven Bells; the beautifully stripped-down subtlety of Au Revoir Simone [above]; and more, more, more. So if your partner thinks you’re pretty cool, thinks you left the middle of the road years ago, then prove her right this Christmas.