As we near the middle of the year, I find myself somewhat unimpressed by 2008 as a new release year. Granted, the second half of the year is almost always stronger than the first, and 2007 was no exception. But 2008’s best releases, so far, don’t feel quite as important as last year’s.

Of all the releases from last year that I loved, Yeasayer’s All Hour Cymbals has carried over into this year the best. Were I to rearrange my Top 10, it would make it to the top three, at least.

Those unconvinced or unfamiliar need only listen to “Ah, Weir.” Reaching only the 1 minute 21 second mark, it’s one of the more powerful, memorable moments of music to cross my ears in the past year.

Yeasayer: “Ah, Weir” (download)

Though there are no words in it, to call “Ah, Weir” an instrumental would, technically, be incorrect – the band members use their voices only to hold specific notes, acting as an accompaniment of sorts to the swaying of synths and percussion, their gorgeous harmonies undulating with the music. It’s the soundtrack of drifting out to sea on a raft, of driving into a sunset, of standing still while wind rustles everything around you. It’s hard to ignore and even harder to forget. And it’s just a minute and a half long interlude.