Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Rough Trade People's Voice Prize - Press release

Rough Trade People's Voice Prize, powered by

Two of independent music's most authoritative voices have combined forces to create a new People's Voice award to highlight the year's best independent releases.

The top 50 albums of the year have been nominated by Rough Trade staff, and now readers of Drowned in Sound have been asked to pick their favourite three records. The list includes the likes of TV on the Radio, Crystal Castles, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Friendly Fires, Kings of Leon, Portishead, Foals and Last Shadow Puppets. The award also provides a platform for releases you might not have discovered (yet) like Fuck Buttons, Vivian Girls, Zombie Zombie, Johnny Flynn, Crystal Stilts...

From today, and for the next month, music fans can vote for their favourite three albums and one lucky winner will also win all 50 albums. The record which receives the most votes will be announced on December 17th. The band behind the winning album will receive £1000 worth of Rough Trade shops vouchers and DiS will reveal what they'll spend their winnings on.

For the full list of nominees and to vote click here . For queries regarding the award or about DiS contact

For more details regarding special in store events and to purchase all of the nominated albums visit or contact

Friday, 14 November 2008

First end of year quiz I've been asked to do...

hey sean,

i know you are probably dead busy, but is there any chance you could maybe spare five mins to answer a few question for a piece i'm doing for my next zine? it is just an end of year review type thing, and it would be ace if i could get you involved as DiS has played a big part in why i am writing over the years.

dan xx

Gig of the year – The National @ Coachella, just as the sun was setting over the mountains.

Best thing to get in a Christmas cracker – earplugs = escapism

News event of the year – Ryan Adams writing an angry blog about me

Plans for NYE – a pub crawl around Camden before my friends Ultimate Power night

Fave Christmas song - Blue Christmas

Best new band/artist of 2008 – Friendly Fires, they've become an addiction

Favourite Christmas Pressie as a kid – Gameboy

Festival of the year – Coachella

Most important thing on the table for Christmas Dinner – ketchup

Musical moment of the year - pretty much any and every time I play the Cut Copy album

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Today I am mostly asking for 2009 music-related predictions

Next week we've got some Polish people in to clean our crystal balls and DiS is running our 2009 preview. This first part of our preview comes somewhat prematurely as there are bugger-all good records left to come out and well, with the web it's always good to be first.

Today I'm asking people who are always 'on it' the following questions:

- what do you think the dominant sound(s) of 2009 might be?
- what records due in 2009 are you excited about?
- any new bands you recommend people check out?
- [for those in bands/the industry] what projects are you working on / will you be working on in 2009?

As readers of this blog you can submit contributions too (either comment below or drop me an email sean aaaaatttt drownedinsound dottydot com ). Feel free to write as little or as much as you like and we'll be compiling it all at the tail-end of the week.

Many thanks
Founder //

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Best Albums of 2008 (getting it out of the way early to avoid the rush)

Apparently it's not too early, my ol' mucker Mike Diver has already done his over on his blog. As there's little left to be released this year and as I'm bound to be asked what mine are about 20 times in the next few weeks (and give out a different list and have them in varying orders whenever asked) here're the albums I've not been able to get enough of this year...

1. Cut Copy In Ghost Colours (Modular)
I've been utterly addicted to this mongoloid-space-monkey-disco album all year. (My Review)

2. Crystal Castles Crystal Castles (Last Gang)
I struggle to think of a record that sounds quite so refreshingly inventive for quite some time. Can totally believe Alice was frustrated being in a hardcore band and I won't be shocked if they implode before making another album.

3. The Stills Oceans Will Rise (Arts & Crafts)
I was obsessed with their debut and loved the follow-up so much that I released it. This record is a step above and beyond the previous two, it still has shimmering guitars and a definite brood to it but there's something perfectly sinister about the way the melodies stalk you for days after listening to it.

4. These New Puritans Beat Pyramid
5. Friendly Fires Friendly Fires
6. M83 Saturday = Youth
7. The Kills Midnight Boom
8. Youthmovies Good Nature (which, er, came out on my label and there are plenty left in the shops)
9. Panic at the Disco Pretty. Odd.
10. Nine in Nails Ghosts I-IV (available here for free)

Other notable goodness included newies from:
Lykke Li (lacks any genuine sparkle), Santogold (bit over affected), Hauschka (really lush but gets a little dull), The Raveonettes (not quite as good as The Kills), Cathy Davey (breaks its promises), Gemma Hayes (little beyond her great voice and some nice hooks), Martha Wainwright (out via my label), Rolo Tomassi (haven't managed to listen to the whole album), Foals (runs outta steam), TV on the Radio (not as addictive as previous albums), No Age (not a patch on the last one), Deerhunter (ditto), Errors (being better than Foals doesn't make you the best band ever), Bon Iver (got a little dull when the addiction to 'Skinny Love' wore off), White Williams (probably would have been better as a covers album), Chairlift (lacks any life-affirming personality), Dandy Warhols (nice try at inventing stoner-disco), El Guincho (rarely play more than the first three tracks), Death Cab for Cutie (something a bit cringey about it), Olafur Arnalds (haven't had it long enough for it to make the 10), and other stuffs thati'veprobablyforgotten...

And whilst we're being premature here're some of my tips for 2009: Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man., Catherine A.D., Baddies, Gentle Friendly, Sudden Weather Change...
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