Recently, I've spent a lot of time picking up all of the albums released in '08 that I hadn't yet had the chance to check out.
**MP3s removed due to DMCA** (High five Google cache!)
Amongst them was Ex-Simian / current Black Ghost vocalist Simon Lord's self-titled solo effort under the alias of Lord Skywave, released through This Is Music back in June.
The name Lord Skywave is taken from one of the UK's earliest synthesisers. The Lord Skywave was designed by Simon's father Jeremy in the 1970's, only ten were ever made and remarkably, one of it's most striking features was a joystick controller.
To call the album an ensemble piece would be a slight understatement as it incorporates elements of classical (featuring compositions from his late grandmother Madeleine Dring), dub and soul amongst others, yet sounds far less contrived than those of his contemporaries Jamie Lidell and Sam Sparro.
Buy Lord Skywave @ Rough Trade
Although it's never going to top any 'Albums of 08' charts, it's definitely a hidden gem, along with Hot Chip front man Alexis Taylor's stealthily released solo album of home recordings Rubbed Out (thanks Slutty Fringe!).
Released through Treader, if you're a fan of the second half of Made In The Dark, this will be right up your street. It's perfect for late nights and lazy afternoons, consisting of fifteen affectionately crafted, stripped down love songs.
It's a really beautiful album and as well as some really breathtaking, deeply personal song writing, it features a cover of Paul McCartney's Coming Up which is done to perfection. Definitely highly recommended.
Buy Rubbed Out @ Cargo Records
I'll round it up with another album that narrowly missed out on my un-finalised top ten albums of the year, The Jade Motel by Sweden's Zeigeist.
To the unfamiliar, Zeigeist are Princess, Pearl and Mattias and their debut is a high-style, high energy electro-pop roller coaster.
Undoubtedly, comparisons to The Knife will be made, but this trio should be respected in their own right. Packed full of synth, beautiful production and bursting with great melodies, it's yet another reminder that no one does this kind of music like the Swedish.
Buy Zeigeist merch @ Drella
Care to share your hidden gems?