It was only officially released in late October, but one album that I've found myself returning to a couple times in these waning months of 2008 is School of Seven Bell's Alpinism.
The ethereal electronic rock act School of Seven Bells--or SVIIB, as the kids apparently abbreviate the act--you'll remember, is the new project from former Secret Machines founding member one-time Dallas act The Secret Machines. And though Benjamin's brother Brandon remained with the Machines, which released its own, self-titled release this year, I actually think it's Benjamin whose band released the better record.
And, apparently I'm not alone, as, today, the awesomely named blog SideOneTrackOne has named Alpinism as its pick for the year's sixth best release. And it also kindly offers up a free download of the band's sound to prove it's point: "Face to Face on High Places". Check it out.
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Also, since we've already brought up The Secret Machines, here's another treat: SubDriveMedia is offering up a free download of UK electronica producer KiD COLA's remix of "Atomic Heels" from the band's latest release. Be warned, though: Unlike the original version of the track, which was one of the best cuts on an otherwise pretty lackluster release, this one's got no vocals. --Pete Freedman