Owl and Bear writers’ favorite albums of 2007.
Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
Band of Horses could’ve easily disappointed with their sophomore effort, but instead produced one of the most instantly engaging albums of the year.
Download: Band of Horses – August 11, 2006
Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
Wilco fully disclosed their appreciation for the Steely Dan era, but also wrote songs that translate to the live stage better than any of their past efforts.
Download: The Wilco Archive
The National – Boxer
Piano-laced and drum-laden tracks are enhanced by lead singer Matt Berninger’s unexpected baritone. Not one wrong move in 12 tracks.
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Bon Iver, a.k.a. Justin Vernon, debuted with this folky, sad release that sounds like it was recorded in a lonely Wisconsin cabin. Hey, what do you know, it was!
The Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Try to not shout along with the lyrics, thick Scots burr and all.
White Rabbits – Fort Nightly
Every musical element—from voice to guitars to keys—interlocks to give each song an identity without emphasizing one component over the others.
Kevin Drew – Spirit If…
Drew and special lady friend Feist will make countless Best Of lists in 2007—with or without the need to name-drop Broken Social Scene.
Georgie James – Places
Former Q and Not U drummer John Davis and D.C. songwriter Laura Burhenn teamed up as Georgie James to release the Pollard-esque, powerpop 70s throwback Places.
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? is a vital album, a living work that honors—but does not feed upon the corpse of—the past.
Download: Of Montreal – March 5, 2007
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga has a well-developed sense of sound and production that enhances an already strong album.
St. Vincent – Marry Me
Is Annie Clark friendly or frightening? Marry Me implies a lot of both.
Okkervil River – The Stage Names
This record takes the listener places, or maybe it’s already gone places and we’re trying to keep up.
Kanye West – Graduation
Kanye has proved his worth yet again. Let’s hope he can keep it up.
Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is cathartic and emotional—a deep breath.