- Yeasayer: All Hour Cymbals*
- John Vanderslice: Romanian Names
- Iron and Wine: Around the Well
- Neko Case: Middle Cyclone
- Lou Barlow: Goodnight Unknown
- Various: Dark Was the Night
- Bifrost Arts: Salvation is Created (A Christmas Record)
- The Mountain Goats: The Life of the World to Come
- Fanfarlo: Reservoir
*Yeasayer gets an asterisk, because All Hour Cymbals came out in 2007. However, the first I ever heard of them was their track on Dark Was the Night, and they're my favorite "new-to-me" band of this year.
A few late 2008 live/B-side collections that I listened to a lot this year were Belle & Sebastian's The BBC Sessions, Patty Griffin's Live from the Artist's Den, and Bob Dylan's wonderful Tell Tale Signs. In addition, there are a few older records that I finally discovered this year: Jeff Buckley's Grace (1994), Elliott Smith's posthumous From a Basement on the Hill (2004), and the Mountain Goats' Tallahassee (2002).
Not sure how this will work, but I made a sampler from these favorite albums using Rhapsody, which you can probably access here. Enjoy!