by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Here are my 50 favourite songs of 2008: the ones I really, really, really, really like.

I decided not to include any artist twice, nor any songs from albums I heard last year.

I made similar lists in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The best way to browse this list is to click the little arrow beside each song and then listen as you read. The things you like you can then download by right- or ctrl-clicking with your mouse. Please buy albums, singles and EPs by bands that you enjoy.

You can also download complete zips of the fifty songs here, via Mediafire.

See also: Dan's favourite albums of the year.

Said the Gramophone's Best Songs of 2008. Original photo by lala ladcani.
(original photo by lala ladcani)

  1. Antony & the Johnsons - "Another World" [buy]
    2008 did not have a "Hey Ya!", a "Crazy in Love", a "1 Thing" - a song so essential that it felt like a new page ought to be added to the calendar. (If anything, it had "Paper Planes".) So my favourite song of the year is not a dancefloor-filler, not an anthem; it is just my favourite. I don't know why "Another World" seems so essential to me, this December... Whether it's Antony's moth- and butterfly-wing voice, the piano like first snow. Whether it's a response to the Year of Obama. "Hope" and "Change" seem like true and important things, this year, things we crave and wish to put in our briefcases, but I sense how fragile they are, and how dreamed. Of course maybe it's just that this is a pretty, sad song. Maybe it's Antony's microphone, full of tears.
  2. Lykke Li - "Dance Dance Dance" [buy]
    In February I wrote a premature valentine: Were you born in Sweden? Wait, what? A Portuguese mountaintop!? Was it cold? Sure, I'll hold on to it for you. What do you want me to do? Rattle it? And stamp my foot too? Are we recording a song? Who's that? That's a very large saxophone.
  3. Rye Rye with MIA - "Tic Toc" [MySpace]
    There is no single component that makes this song sing. It is, yes, like a clock. Rye Rye slow-loping, MIA tick-tocking, Busy Signal hey-heying, zither-thing glittering, and all of us setting our time to its diamond-hard 6-jewel movement. (Previously.)
  4. The Low Lows - "Modern Romance" [buy]
    There's no reason to put a cover-song so high on a list of the year's best except that the Low Lows' remaking of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is beautiful. Dan wrote about this song on New Year's Day. The Low Lows will shake me around in their cup, they'll keep me humble and working inside this sock-drawer winter apartment until something gives way, he wrote. I have to think that something gave way.
  5. tUnE-YaRdS - "FIYA" [buy]
    The same way that someone might use every part of a deer, Montreal's Merrill Garbus uses every part of her ukulele. It's a toy and a weapon, a calendar and an engine. And she uses every part of her voice, too: the high part, the low part, the pretty part, the roar. It's four seasons in five minutes and too thrilling to call just lo-fi "pop". No -- this is "bang", it's "boom", it's "kablooey". (Previously.)
  6. School of Seven Bells - "Half Asleep" [buy]
    Fly to Greenland in a twin-engine plane, your pockets filled with Jolly Ranchers and freshwater pearls. Set down on a flat of snow, like the back of some vast arctic hare. Leave the propeller going & dig. Put your back into it. Yes, the Northern Lights seethe, yes there's much to explore in Nuuk & Kangerlussuaq. But dig. After two long winters it's time to dig. The airplane's roaring beside you, the sky teeming above you, the sting of sweat in your eyes. But sooner or later you'll hit spring.

  7. Carl Spidla - "Blackfly Rag" [MySpace]
    Too much to say about this track. "Blackfly Rag" is obviously one of the finest songs I've heard this year, and it's clearly the finest folk song. I mean here's just a dusty live recording of a guy with a guitar, mouthfuls of lyrics and a heart full of blackwing birds. Carl's not channelling Dylan so much as dream. He's planning a CD for next year.
  8. Chairlift - "Bruises" [buy]
    A song whose beauty is in the singing - part "Close To Me", part yodel, part spring, part summer, part six-month anniversary. Pop music.
  9. Baby Dee - "Safe Inside the Day (ft. Bonnie Prince Billy)" [buy]
    Eleven months ago I wrote, A song that is hurled with so much spirit that it could pin ... tomorrows to todays and wills to oughts. It's a manifesto and a prayer and an inflammatory writ ... the greatest utterance of the word "safe" that I've heard in my life. Dee's day will dim yours, cast yours into half-light and make you aspire to ... find a peace so gloriously hard-fought as this.
  10. White Hinterland - "Vessels" [buy]
    "Vessels" is my favourite song on Phylactery Factory and I keep it in a small pouch attached to my belt. I use it when I am lost in a forest, trapped on a glacier, or longing for home. ... I use it when I'm not so sure about myself, and when there's not much light on the water. ... It's always seemed wrong, to me, speaking of "hope" unbordered. Better to speak of enough hope; to stop there. Well there is enough hope here for me.
  11. Sister Suvi - "The Lot" [buy]
    People say: okay, Montreal, played out. You've indie-rocked yrself dry, right? Running on fumes? And then we say a lot of things back. We throw fruit; we whip bagels and lob pierogies; we have snowballs and ice-cream cones. We take you the fuck out, you mess with us. I could name a lot of bands, some of the reasons why this city keeps catching me by the throat. But tonight I will name just one: Sister Suvi. ... [Tune-Yards'] Merrill's got the big bad wolf in her gut, blow you down.
  12. Kanye West - "Say You Will" [buy]
    His line about "your neck" is one of the creepy-crawliest this year, but still I'm mesmerised by this. "Say You Will" is the opening track on the new album by one of the biggest artists in the world. And its last three minutes are just empty synths, barren drum loop, silence. It's a stupid one-liner, calling 808s & Heartbreak Kanye's Nebraska; but the loneliness here, the desolation, is just as potent as any 4-track-slinging singer-songwriter. Heartbreak has rarely filled so many Walmart shelves.
  13. Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman" [buy]
    Dan may not agree, but I love Vampire Weekend. I loved it last year, too, and so none of its tracks festoon this list. Happily, Vampire Weekend released a new one, and it's no less sweet; chamber pop with secret-weapon drums, a "Peter Gabriel" call-back, as wistful a fade-out as any I've heard.
  14. Frightened Rabbit - "Keep Yourself Warm" [buy]
    Still think Scott Hutchison's lyrics are turgid, but Frightened Rabbit nonetheless turn it into one of the year's best rock songs - desperate, melancholy, awesome. Scotsmen finding the middle ground between the Constantines and the Foo Fighters.
  15. Beyoncé - "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" [buy]
    A song with a thousand handclaps and a hundred bird-coo synth-squiggles. Oh, and some 8-carat "Whoa-oh oh oh oh ohh oh oh ohh oh oh oh." Never have I so wished to be a single lady. (As Tyler writes: It's fabulously easy, you just need to sing all the best notes in the best way.)
  16. Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal" [buy]
    Not a fan of the album, but still love this song as a warm keep-cosy ski-lodge thing, as a beautiful sleigh-ride of a song, a mulberry jingle-bell snowflake of a song. In other words, I like it quite a bit.
  17. Y'all is Fantasy Island - "With Handclaps" [buy]
    This song could be called "Mostly Without Handclaps", or "With Guitarline". The handclaps wait almost the entire song to appear, and it's the guitar-line that marks your brain, colours your day, sends you humming a scale to yourself while you wait in line at the fruit-stand. There are handclaps though, and a song worthy of carrying them.
  18. The Tough Alliance - "Taken Too Young" (a remix of Taken By Trees' "Too Young") [buy other things]
    The Tough Alliance rediscover "Too Young", by Victoria Bergsmann's Taken By Trees project (& which I wrote about last July). They make it one of the songs of the year. And when I say rediscover I mean they found it in among diamonds, saffron and milkweed pods; in with childhood, sex and distant waters; in with the way you feel, your eyes laying on hers, when all that's green in you curls.
  19. Forest Fire - "Slow Motion" [buy]
    I wrote a story about this song in July. It's a sort-of folk-song. "Sort-of" because there it is filled with slams, bangs, booms and howls; like a man falling down a lighthouse stairwell.
  20. Adam & the Amethysts - "Bumble Bee" [buy/MySpace]
    Civil and shaking, Dan wrote. It's true. Anchored by drummer-boy snare and a battered guitar riff, "Bumble Bee" pretends everything's cool as cuke, locked up in old diaries. But there under it all - under the friendly fanfare, the slacker doo d'doo, - there's something trembling, buzzing, shaking with black-&-ochre resolve.
  21. Elbow - "Starlings" [buy]
  22. Karl Blau - "Before Telling Dragons" [buy]
    Karl Blau's Nature's Got Away is a weird album, with teeth and feathers and amplifiers. Bits of Harry Nilsson, the Zombies, Spoon, Smog. "Before Telling Dragons" is a forest anthem, recorded in a basement. Girl-group drums buried six feet under and ... words of wisdom from a man who has eaten seventeen wild, unidentified red berries.
  23. Styx Tyger - "String Strikes" [MySpace]
    A pop-song from Sweden - but whereas usually that means shyness and shimmy, here it's gold, glitter, croon, and a copy of the Cure's Disintegration. (Previously.)
  24. Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire - "Voice in Headphones" [buy]
    This is my favourite song from Lost Wisdom, probably my favourite album of the year. It is Phil Elverum singing with Julie Doiron, one of my favourite singers. That is a lot of favourites, all together. "Voice in Headphones" is about how recorded music - particularly a song called "Undo", by Bjork, - makes Mount Eerie cry. Which is, all snarkiness aside, a good question. (Previously.)
  25. Shearwater - "Leviathan, Bound" [buy]
    Like when you're at your piano, scared, and every key turns to grey. Jonathan Meiburg sings about apocalypse, hard and loud, joined by dulcimer, strings and glockenspiel.
  26. Withered Hand - "New Dawn" [buy]
    You know how some people, especially old-fashioned people, hang their carpets on clotheslines and then beat all the dust out of them? Or how some people knock their snowy boots against the side of the car before getting in? Here's Edinburgh's Withered Hand using mandolin, guitar, cello and his voice to shake all the dust from him, all the stray feelings, all the loose longings; so that at end of song he'll be just a body and the light in his eyes.
  27. Ponytail - "Beg Waves" [buy]
    Ponytail get it exactly right in the opening track to Ice Cream Spiritual: electrically live and still marvellously composed, like a Duke Ellington suite for hoarse throats, scraped knees, joy. It's The Fall, not Deerhoof, I hear clearest in their song - but with fewer regrets, fewer chips-on-shoulder ... beautiful and squalid.
  28. Final Fantasy - "Blue Imelda" [buy]
    Final Fantasy released two albums this year. One was recorded at a CBC studio, and one - from which this song is taken, - was recorded at a forest in the fictional country of Spectrum. It was recorded in the 14th century. If this sounds far-fetched, you are not a student of history. "Blue Imelda" has all the hallmarks of Spectrum ca. 1360 - steel drums, tuba blasts, a melancholy to puff seafaring sails.
  29. Ne-Yo - "Mad" [buy]
    It's only in my twenties that I came to appreciate the slow-jam - the perfect catchy yes yes yes r&b form, the perfect thing for slow-dances and lip-sync and romantic montages. Though this one I mostly listen to as I tramp in the snow on the way to get some work done. (thank-you s1utsky)
  30. Meursault - "The Furnace" [buy]
  31. Sigur Rós - "Gobbledigook" [buy]
    A pity the Sigur Rós-meets-Animal Collective vibe didn't carry over to the rest of the album, but this is still great. Breathless dashing flashing dancing strum coo dive jump dive jump jump jump go go nightfall fire and dawn.
  32. Lord Dog Bird - "The Gift of Song in the Lion's Den" [buy]
    Here's a song for the day the river turned to wine, the city turned to chalk, your heart turned to tin. The same way that a lantern reminds me of a campfire, this reminds me of early Wolf Parade. And from a woefully ignored album!
  33. François Virot - "Say Fiesta" [buy]
    François Virot's songs are both simple and crooked - like gnarled hooks you can hang your coat on. The way he sings radio on "Say Fiesta" - well it's silly, endearing and French but it lets the song's emotional oomph come out of nowhere, like an alleycat with violets in its mouth.
  34. John Maus - "Do Your Best" [buy]
    You swing through the hills with headlights silver, alone & the forests darkly. Dreams of stags and music-boxes. Down below are a thousand black Mercedes, men with watches, women in sequin dresses. A satellite passes over your head. The motels lie docile as you pass them, singing in low voices, trying to make sure you're ok.
  35. Kasai Allstars - "Quick as White" [buy]
    Thumb-pianos like light in lamps; bells, sticks, shakes, slips, a hundred kinds of glimmers. Though the Kasai Allstars are from Kinshasa, Congo, and this is the third in Crammed's Congotronics series, the Kasai Allstars are not some mere Konono no. 2. They are sorcerers, wonder-workers, enchanters pulling hopes from throats and making me wonder, here in Montreal sun, if maybe one day I will touch a magic sword.
  36. The Dodos - "Fools" [buy]
    This is what the Dodos do: strum hard at acoustic guitars, beat methodically at drumkits. But a little bit of horns, a little bit of shouting - they go a long way. Before you know it, you've signed on the dotted line.
  37. Weezer - "Pork and Beans" [buy]
    It doesn't matter that I am tired of Weezer, nor that Weezer (2008) is a piece of ess. It doesn't matter that "Pork and Beans"' lyrics are effing stultifying. What matters is that, well, [bass riff] this song is dumbly dee oh pee ee.
  38. Kleerup - "Until We Bleed (ft. Lykke Li)" [buy]
    Part dance track, part pop song; a soundtrack for dial-tone, brrrrrrr, Hello?, click. (Previously.)
  39. Lil' Wayne - "Mrs Officer (ft. Bobby Valentino" [buy]
    It's not so much Lil' Wayne's rhymes, nor even the Wee-oo-wee-oo-wee, that do it. It's the spectacular supple sing of his raps, the way he does whatever the hell he wants with his voice, whatever as old leather. (thanks, liz.)
  40. We/Or/Me - "Tell Sarah" [buy]
    This is a very careful song. "Tell Sarah" glows, just of itself, like fireflies in a jar.
  41. Pretend You're Happy - "The Other Side of the Earth" [buy]
    One of the last additions to this list - sprawling, messy and brilliant, like Handel's Requiem rearranged for lo-fi drums, whining violins, bullshit and whistles. Takes decades of practice to fuck-up this good. (Previously.)
  42. Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit - "Dinosaur on the Ark (ft. Ben Brewer)" [free album download]
    Mwamwaya is everything I used to love about "World Music", before my world got shaken by a thousand other sounds, before I learned that "World Music" is a fucking stupid term. But that's just to say he sounds eminent and good and warm, not unlike Phil Collins, the sort of man I would follow into a desert arena. Plus: it's the best song this year to feature MIA's fiancé! (Previously.)
  43. Beck - "Walls" [buy]
    Perhaps the best production of Danger Mouse's life, and one of the finest Beck tracks in years, this song has several interesting bits: Beck's half-a-melody, the drums that clatter like collapsing drywall, the way Cat Power's backing vocals have been sucked as thin as cassette-tape.
  44. Jib Kidder - "Windowdipper" [buy]
    Cyber-booty baby-crunk glimmer-bump ghetto-DOS. And genius. (Previously, in short story form.)
  45. ((Sounder)) - "Daily I Will Calculate the Distance" [buy]
    Another hardly-muttered-about band made one of the best indie rock albums of the year. It's ambitious, dusty, rumblingly rock - but not an album of singles. "Daily I Will Calculate the Distance" is as close as ((Sounder)) come. Brazen, yearning, crack-lipped, welcome.
  46. Ratatat - "Mirando" [buy]
    No idea what this song is for. It's not for dancing, moshing, kissing or meditating. It's not even for riding the bus. Maybe if you have a piano-playing robot to assemble, this is the splendid, somersaulting ticket. I envy you.
  47. Young Coyotes - "Momentary Drowning" [MySpace]
    A song that's yell and thump but is still brilliantly slow - relaxed as it booms, as it dings and claps and bobs. Young Coyotes play this music like they've figured it out, like they've solved it.
  48. Hologram - "Ghosties" [buy other things]
    Said the Gramophone loves this burgeoning band. One day Hologram are going to be a gigantic baby-blue chrysanthemum and everyone is going to stick their nose in, but in the meantime here we are with a ceramic chrysanthemum pinned to our lapels, the image of what we're dreaming, and we listen to the clanging, beautiful, clamoured song called "Ghosties", and we lug a busted amp waiting for a lover to hand it to.
  49. Helvetia - "Old New Bicycle" [buy]
    A ramshackle conversation between drumkit and electric guitar. Sure, vocals chime in at some point - slurring and murmurs, - but it's the guitar + drums that matter. They're the ones that'll figure this shit out, that'll solve all the ills that ail ya. (Previously.)
  50. Johnny Foreigner - "Cranes And Cranes And Cranes And Cranes" [buy]
    it'ssort of like Los Campesinos meets Avril Lavigne, but i mean tht in a totally gd way. call+answer+yells, but bttr dynamics, bttr places to sing alng, like instd of thnkng of witty twee songtitls they focusd on BEING AWSOME.

Finally - 50 is an arbitrary cut-off. There were way more great tracks in 2008. Said the Gramophone has written about 500 of them over the course of this year. If you're new to the site, please come again (or subscribe)! We update every weekday, writing about the songs we love. Thanks for reading.

Posted by Sean at December 12, 2008 1:01 AM

Oh, man, this is great, as always. Thanks again for another year of amazing chronicling of this stuff.

Posted by Tony at December 12, 2008 1:56 AM

Thank you for this, by far the best year-end list I have read, it's almost like you listed the songs you actually liked and didn't just put the same 20 songs/albums in a different order, revolutionary idea! And thank you for Y'all is Fantasy Island, exactly the sort of gem I look forward to discovering on year-end lists.

Have a great holiday!


Posted by Jon at December 12, 2008 4:15 AM

mm. thankyou once more. :]

though 'bloody sunrise' should have made the list, oh...

Posted by the boy satellite. at December 12, 2008 4:32 AM

Haven't digested the whole list yet, but the link to buy Adam & the Amethysts doesn't lead anywhere that you can actually buy it. I've looked to buy that record off and on this year and haven't found it possible.

Posted by Bob at December 12, 2008 10:09 AM

I really appreciate the list and the mp3s. I just want to let you know that the link to #33 goes to #32.

Posted by bmichael at December 12, 2008 10:46 AM

Thanks, all!

bmichael - fixed!

Bob - Eek! I know Adam's been struggling with distribution (esp since Fusion3 went out of business). Have updated the page with a link to where you can buy it digitally, but you can also DEF get in touch with him direct via MySpace to buy a copy. It is TERRIFIC.

Posted by Sean at December 12, 2008 11:44 AM

I've had a lovely time the last couple of hours, and it's entirely your fault, Sean. :-)

(BTW, all year, I've been expecting one of you to make a post about any one of the unbelievable, throat-quenching grandfather-masterstrokes on the Music Tapes' "For Clouds and Tornadoes". Seeing as it hasn't come yet, the possibility that you've yet to hear it has coughed and made itself known. If such is the case, then consider this your public service announcement. Get that album! It's imperative for so very many unrelated things.)

Thanks again! I love these end-of-year posts, almost as much as I do the preceding year of them.

Posted by Andrew. at December 12, 2008 11:51 AM

Really enjoying this list. Lots of new discoveries.


Posted by uwmryan at December 12, 2008 12:00 PM

Nice list! I love Lord Dog Bird as well.

Posted by theOCMD at December 12, 2008 12:10 PM

Great list. "Leviathan, Bound" gives me chills.

Posted by Jeff at December 12, 2008 12:24 PM

other than those tiny oranges, your music lists are my favourite part of december. ;)

Posted by Amy Hasinoff at December 12, 2008 1:09 PM

Ahhh. Thank you. I've been trying for over a week now to make a mix for the boy I love, a boy who has never recieved a mix before but lives and breathes music. I had a few tracks that really stuck, and everything else just seemed wrong. And the order would not come. You reminded me of some great songs, showed me a few I missed, and I think I have what I need to finish this small but important token of my affection.

So an earnest "Thanks" from my swollen heart. (Also, yours is my favorite blog.)

Posted by aerin wiggans at December 12, 2008 3:08 PM

Should I download these all from StG, or should I wait for someone to post a MegaUpload?

Posted by Brendan at December 12, 2008 3:28 PM

I wish we lived in the same city so I could be constantly harrasing you to make me a new mixtape. As usual this is one of my favorite 'best of' lists at the end of the year, thank you!

Posted by Moka at December 12, 2008 4:19 PM

very nice, sean. congratulations on another fine year.

Posted by shane at December 12, 2008 5:23 PM

Oh, you men. How I love the way you capture a year in 50 songs!

Posted by Taryn at December 12, 2008 5:23 PM

um, i love you, basically.

Posted by j at December 13, 2008 4:48 AM

Another great list! Will have to wait until later to listen all-the-way-through as this computer is turtle slow. And THANK YOU for the shout-out! It filled me with delight.

Posted by Tyler at December 13, 2008 12:53 PM

Someone likes similes like a fat kid likes cake.

Posted by Jason at December 13, 2008 1:23 PM

Listen to the TTA song and then listen to "Sorrow" by the Merseys. Which is better? Which came first?

Posted by Ben at December 13, 2008 2:34 PM

Always love your year-end list, Sean. Here's to another great year of StG!

Posted by Dylan at December 13, 2008 3:15 PM

all i have to say is the same thing as everyone else has already said. also, i realize you might not have heard it or maybe you have heard it and loved it and just didn't think it was top 50, but in any case my song of the year is "south of france" by harlem ( and i implore you all to please listen to it.

Posted by sam at December 13, 2008 4:37 PM

Oooh, great. Really impressive.
And Rye Rye & MIA so desserve such high ranking!

Posted by STARSKY at December 13, 2008 4:55 PM

This is so poorly written, it's funny. Heart full of blackwing birds, indeed.

Posted by Paul Ramon at December 13, 2008 8:10 PM

The reason that I love this blog is its usefulness. I USE these songs, in millions of ways. They drive me to work. I wrap them around me when the winter's settling into my bones. In final exams, they whisper the answers to me. I'm comforted by the songs you choose - various textures and seasons, styles and sounds. I never get too safe and secure with them. I may expect a whisper, and I'll get a scream. I expect a hand to grasp my own, and I get knocked flat on my ass. But it's somehow always what I need. It's always something I can use to fashion the day. Thanks for that. The Frightened Rabbit song officially made my day. But on my list I'd have to add in a My Brightest Diamond song from A Thousand Shark's Teeth - it's tough to choose, To Pluto's Moon or From the Top of The World would be high up there. Thanks again.

Posted by Jaye at December 14, 2008 2:00 AM

And if Florence and The Machine didn't arrive too late to the party, Dog Days are Over floors me at every listen.

Posted by Jaye at December 14, 2008 2:03 AM

always the best "year end list." thank you!

Posted by chris from seattle at December 14, 2008 5:37 PM

I love Vampire Weekend as well. I just don't get tired of it.

Posted by vdoprincess at December 14, 2008 10:38 PM

This list is icecream. Thanks.

p.s. Indeed, that 'neck' line is the creepiest thing I've heard from a major artist all year. Glad it was picked up - great song though.

Posted by Aurelle at December 15, 2008 4:06 AM

Yay! I am so excited for this. I won't be able to make my top 100 songs list until later this week so this is nice to have... Some of my favorite songs of last year and this year I discovered through StG (Katie Dill, anyone??).

Posted by Emily at December 15, 2008 10:43 AM

Lovely choices Sean, of course I have still to listen to most of them which I will be doing in a leisurely fashion whilst sipping Baileys. I like your number one choice especially because it's so much the opposite of a year-defining anthem. Heartening to see that Withered Hand, Meursault and eagleowl all sound as good on (what feels like) the other side of the world as they sound here in Edinburgh.

Posted by Milo at December 15, 2008 2:45 PM

Have you checked “She Got Her Own” by Jamie Foxx with Ne-Yo?? It’s on Foxx’s “Intuition” that just came out yesterday…

Posted by Kathy at December 17, 2008 6:00 AM

Eating it up with a spoon.

Posted by Jenna at December 17, 2008 12:13 PM

wow -- great list! it has it all :)

Posted by colleen at December 19, 2008 12:24 AM

Last year's list was what made me start following StG devoutly. This year's is, no doubt, the best holiday present I'll receive.

I also thought you should know that the link for 46 goes to 45.

Posted by Kaiya at December 19, 2008 7:52 PM

Thanks again, was looking forward to the list.

Posted by nitesh at December 20, 2008 5:33 AM

Thanks, guys! Beautiful. and Helvetia's Old New Bicycle… amazing.

Posted by Luke at December 21, 2008 3:40 AM

Thanks very much!
"Gobbledigook" is such a great song.

Posted by Kane at December 21, 2008 7:54 PM

I came across this while looking for School of Seven Bell's Half Asleep, and I'm so glad I did! I downloaded the zip file, and I'm only up to Bruises, but thank you so much!! Will definitely add STG to my favourites. Hope you have a nice Christmas and New Year's!

Posted by Cathryn at December 22, 2008 11:43 PM

you are a breath of fresh air (or ur music taste I suppose)
finally someone is not afraid to post original QUALITY music. (also someone not afraid to admit to liking some r&b too!)

thanks again and please pat urself on the back for being awesome :)

Posted by Annie at December 27, 2008 4:01 AM

"the way Cat Power's backing vocals have been sucked as thin as cassette-tape"

Nah, the vocals are from "Amour, Vacances et Baroque" (great song, Google it) which is heavily sampled in "Walls".

Posted by Telly at December 28, 2008 3:51 PM

Wow! Great list! Sister Suvi is AMAZING! I've never heard anything like it. They are actually the reason I came on this site in the first place, they posted your comments on their site which I found after I did some research on Islands, whose Arm's Way album is one of my favorites. Thanks again for your unfailing musical taste, looking forward to Mandala of Power.

Posted by ibelieveinlotsofthings at January 1, 2009 11:30 PM


Only one I don't agree with is #2 Dance Dance Dance, wouldn't rate that in the top 50 but otherwise a great list!!!!

Posted by David at January 8, 2009 6:10 AM

omg.. i dont see how every body likes this list, true is iv picked 5 random songs out the list and i dont really hate them but.. omg they suck lol, sucky list man..ouch looks like u zombified people to like thee lame songs cause i see no way >.>

Posted by Karlos at January 18, 2009 1:15 AM

one of my all-time best stumbles- you write beautifully about music, and awakened me to a lot of these songs.

had to blog it myself:

Posted by Victor at January 22, 2009 10:45 AM

A stray cat with violets in it's mouth...Your writing is rare. Beautiful music. Down with mainstream pop I say, just aint what it used to be.

Posted by Jess D at January 26, 2009 2:34 AM

Dude... thats awesome.. lots of gold there. Cheers

Love Kleerup

Posted by Nick at February 2, 2009 6:24 PM

i think lemerdurgen

Posted by dirk at June 30, 2009 5:46 PM


Posted by maddi at October 12, 2009 10:04 PM

Shoot! I'm in love with your 2009 list and am desperately trying to get the back catalog. Are these files still hosted anywhere?

Posted by wbknox at January 3, 2010 11:57 PM

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(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'

All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c

drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
The Skinny