Best of 2003: Top 10 Local/Northwest Imaginary Albums of the Year

Since the top five on this list all also appear on our Top 10 overall imaginary albums of the year list, we’ve added some Honorable Mention local bands!

The Postal Service, Give Up#1 The Postal Service — Give Up (Sub Pop)
Winning our imaginary best of 2003 by overwhelming majority, the Postal Service gorgeously blend the electronic delicacy of Dntel with the effortless vocal bliss of Ben Gibbard (plus stellar girlie cameos from Jenny Lewis and Jen Wood).
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow#2 The Shins — Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop)
The sophomore effort from James Mercer et al lived up to lofty expectations and was well worth the two-year wait for this crystaline, poppy, Kinks-esque songwriting masterpiece.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism#3 Death Cab for Cutie — Transatlanticism (Barsuk)
Oh that Ben Gibbard; look at him go, with two of the three top spots in our 2003 countdown! Death Cab offers yet another amazing blast of indie-pop perfection.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

The Long Winters, When I Pretend to Fall#4 The Long Winters — When I Pretend to Fall (Barsuk)
For the second year in a row, John Roderick has created a darkly hook-and-harmony laden disc of metaphorical, wisely dysfunctional romantics. Just like us.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

Her Majesty the Decemberists#5 The Decemberists — Her Majesty the Decemberists (Kill Rock Stars)
Their songs are the “Lost Archives of the true beginning of rock & roll.” They’ve created their own brand of songwriting that blends “the storytelling of folk through the rhythm of the sea shanty and regularly incorporating instruments like the upright bass or the accordian.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

The Divorce, There Will Be Blood Tonight#6 The Divorce — There Will Be Blood Tonight (Fugitive)
Not only can these fellows do killer buttrock karaoke and holiday cover songs, but the Divorce are also mature songsmiths in their own right. This, their debut album, rocks with edgy evolved melodies and catchy lyrical hooks, and their live performances makes us swoon. These guys are destined to be superstars.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

Visqueen, King Me#7 Visqueen — King Me (Blue Disguise)
Visqueen is an indie-rock braintrust: sassy, infectious Rachel on guitar and vocals. Iconic, superhero Kim Warnick on bass. Sweet, brainy Ben on drums. And together they create a powerpuff of perfect indie-rock that is exactly what the world needs now.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

The Thermals, More Parts Per Million#8 The Thermals — More Parts Per Million (Sub Pop)
The Thermals have united the traditionally battling East and West coasts in harmony. Combining the smartest parts of the recent New York retro revolution with the infectious evergreen Berkley punk chronicles, they’ve taken created an sum that is far greater than its parts.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

Dandy Warhols, Welcome to the Monkey House#9 The Dandy Warhols — Welcome To The Monkey House (Capitol)
Ok, ok… it doesn’t FEEL like they’re a local band, but “the best britpop band from Portland” is well, from Portland. Sure, they’re sexy, and wordly… and their most recent album was co-produced by Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran… but I am confident that they spend hours in Powell’s Books just like the rest of us.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

The Lights, Beautiful Bird#10 The Lights — Beautiful Bird (Bop Tart)
As one wise imaginary girl once said, “The Lights’ raw jangly antagostism broiled my ears, provoked my imagination, and moved my writing pen to metaphor.” This grindingly dissonant debut is a modern punk-garage-rock masterpiece.
{official website} * {buy it} * {tig review}

 

Honorable mentions…

Other amazing local bands who topped your lists…

  • Wonderful, “God Bless Our Pad”
  • Damien Jurado, “Where Shall You Take Me?”
  • Menomena, “I Am the Fun Blame Monster:
  • Exploding Hearts, “Guitar Romantic”
  • The Minus Five, “Down with Wilco”
  • Downpilot, “Leaving Not Arriving”
  • The Malinks, “Can’t Shake Last Night”
  • United State of Electronica, “Demo EP”
  • Anna Oxygen, “All Your Faded Things”
  • The Fitness, “Call Me For Together”
  • Heather Duby, “Come Across the River”
  • The Slender Means, “The Slender Means”
  • The Gossip, “Movement”
  • Heather Duby, “Come Across the River”
  • All Girl Summer Fun Band, “2”
  • Kinski, “Airs Above Your Station”
  • Amy Blaschke, “Self-Titled”
  • I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in The House, “Put Here to Bleed”
  • Ms. Led, “Afternoon in Central Park”
  • Blue Sky Mile, “Blue Sky Mile” EP
  • Dolour, Surburbiac
  • Slo-Mo Rabbit Kick, “Bass Monster Lives in the Bass Forest”
  • A-Frames, “2”
  • The Dead Science, “Submariner”
  • The Joggers, “Solid Guild”
  • The Ruby Doe, “Dream Engine Blue”
  • Sushirobo, “The Light Fingered Feeling of Sushirobo”

 

,