In my previous posts in this series (covering 2006 and 2007, respectively), I only reported on the “new” (to me) artists I’d come across during that year. This year, though, I’m going to look at both the new artists, and the overall top ten, for reasons that may become obvious.
So first up, here are my top ten artists by number of tracks listened to during the past year:
Last year’s top 10 new artists are well-represented, with Eels (a late entrant last year after I bought Blinking Lights in late December), Cat Power, Rufus Wainwright, Neko Case, the New Stenographers (who have grown on me over the past year) and Aimee Mann all staying in this year’s overall top 10.
Number 11, incidentally, was the Beatles, with 253 plays. Quite impressive given that I first got into them back in 1980…
Chumbawamba are not technically a “new” artist – I’ve had Tubthumper in the collection for a decade – but their recent albums are such a departure from their earlier stuff, and made such an impact on me this year, that I’ve given them a wildcard entry into the chart. I’ve also included Shearwater and Bon Iver, who were way down the field, just to show how far down the field they were. If you follow.
It has to be said that, in contrast to 2006 and 2007, 2008 was not an epic year for discovering new artists. Only four new artists – the National, Chumbawamba, the Magnetic Fields and Fleet Foxes – beat the Beatles in my overall chart for the year.
But let’s not be churlish: those four bands are all absolutely superb. In the end I can hardly complain about a year which introduces me to four artists of that quality. And the others are all pretty good: just less earth-shattering in their impact than, um, the Beatles…