Best of 2011 Lists


1 Ene 2012, 20:30

Now that the year is officially over I can't put off this list anymore, there are a lot I'm still unsure about and more records that I haven't listened to much yet but have potential to be favourites. Without further ado here is my list of releases of 2011 (calling it releases not albums so I can include EPs and live albums in one list).

Top 50 Releases of 2011

50. St.Vincent - Strange Mercy
Good album but for some reason it never clicked with me fully, I'm sure it will in the future but this isn't a future favourites list.

49. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
One of the best pop albums of the year.

48. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
Discovered this album late from /mu/ and is very well done.

47. Sam Roberts Band - Collider
Upon release I was a little disappointed compared to some of Sam's other albums but it is a great album still and adds to his great track record.

46. Real Estate - Days
May not agree with all the hype, good and bad, about this album but it is very good.

45. Craft Spells - Idle Labor
Very good synth-pop album with a lot of 80s influences but with their own twist. Great live as well

44. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
One of the most adventurous albums this year and while I'm still not fully into it, it still deserves a spot on here

43. Campfire Ok - Strange Like We Are
I saw them open for Craft Spells and they were very close to stealing the show. Very fun indie "folk" record.

42. Alcoholic Faith Mission - And The Running With Insanity EP
Nothing inherently special about this EP but for some reason it seemed to click with me when it was released and thus why it is on here

41. Yuck - Yuck
This has been a very slow grower for me but over the year I've definitely come to appreciate it.

40. Jets Overhead - Bystander EP
Good release by Jets Overhead and raised by expectations for next years album.

39. Dinosaur Bones - My Divider
This album kind of came out of nowhere and I've really enjoyed listening to it over the year.

38. Imaginary Cities - Temporary Resident
Another surprise release very nice rocky-pop album with a lead singer obviously influenced by old soul singers.

37. Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over for these albums but a good release by Los Campesinos! not much more than that.

36. Teen Daze - Tour EP
Among my favourites electronic albums of the year and recent artists. I was unrealistically anticipating a Beach Dreams 2 which is why this is so low and A Silent Plant is left off but very excited for what he does next.

35. Mother Mother - Eureka
A bit of a let down from O My Heart but a fantastic album in any case. Plus seeing them preform it live 3 times helps.

34. Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and his wife take a more synthy approach to this new album and it works out well for them.

33. We Are The City - High School
Great local band and a very good EP with an interesting story behind it

32. Austra- Feel It Break
Another fantastic debut from this year and another band to keep an eye on

31. Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On
A fantastic release by Timber Timbre, improving on their last. Excited to see what comes next.

30. Eisley- The Valley
A fun, well done pop album. Not much else to say, nothing groundbreaking just enjoyable.

29. Aidan Knight - Friendly Fires EP
A bit unfair since it's so short but one of my favourite local musicians giving me hope for a new full length. Plus these songs are great anyways.

28. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
I've liked this album since it came out but for some reason that last part still hasn't clicked I don't think that would propel it closer to the top.

27. Said the Whale - New Brighton EP
Not my favourite release by them by far but still a great EP and gets me excited for the new album.

26. Chad VanGaalen - Diaper Island
A very good addition to Chad's already great discography, and it has one of my favourite songs of the year "Sara".

25. Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
This album totally grew on me over the latter part of the year and will probably continue to do so in the future

24. Starfucker- Reptilians
Their S/T album may still be a little above this one for me but it's pretty damn close. Great album and great live

23. Mike Edel - The Last Of Our Mountains
Just personal non-assuming songs by Mike, it has you wondering if you are supposed to feel happy or sad during the album.

22. Sigur Rós - Inni
Partly the excitement of seeing Sigur Rós back together again but mostly the fact that Inni is a wonderful album, not just a live album. Plus it's packaging is fantastic as well.

21. M83- Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Really love this album and I think it totally deserves the attention it is getting, may not be their best but it is still up there in the M83 discography. Really like how well Zola Jesus' vocal work along side them on the Intro as well.

20. Arkells - Michigan Left
I've enjoyed all of Arkells releases and while many find this one rather plain in comparison I think it's a better cohesive record then anything else they have done. I also really enjoy the style change they underwent, adopting a little softer of a sound.

19. The Albertans - New Age
For the longest time I could only find a couple songs from this album and loved them, then finally I got my hands on the whole thing and it is a fantastic release. I'll be keeping my eyes on these guys for a while to come.

18. Braids- Native Speaker
One of, if not the, best debut of the year. A really simplistic description would be think AnCo with a female singer but they also bring their own style to the table. Plus the put on a killer live show.

17. Ookpikk- Static Moon EP
My favourite electronic album of the year. Ookpikk put out quite a number of releases this year but this one stands above the rest. Shameless plug: you can get the EP free from his soundcloud

16. Portugal. The Man - In The Mountain, In The Cloud
This album passed me by pretty quietly upon its release but rediscovered it later and it really stuck with me.

15. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
Many people seem to be disappointed with this album after Hometowns, and I'll admit I was at first as well. But it soon grew on me and while I still don't believe it is as strong it is still a fantastic album.

14. Destroyer- Kapputt
Another one that I didn't pay much attention to at its release. I've always preferred Dan in The New Pornographers over his solo work but this album finally helped all his albums click just that much more and I realized that he is an amazing artist on his own as well.

13. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
Liked this album when it was released but wasn't in love with it, still prefer Sam's previous efforts. But when I was going through my albums from this year for this list I realized just how much I had listened to it. Still may not be as stand out as his other albums but it has subconsciously been a go to for me this year and is a very well done album

12. City and Colour - Little Hell
Dallas takes a step away from the sound of his previous records of just him and his guitar and opts for a full backing band, and while at first I missed the intimacy of his other albums I grew to love his new sound as well. It creates a nice mix between solo and band work in his discography made all the more apparent to me when seeing him live.

11. The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy
I have to credit /mu/ for showing me this album. I discovered it late too but it is a fantastic indie folk release that I will be listening to for a long while. Just wish they didn't disband after it.

10. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
The Decemberists take a step away from the most adventurous aspects on The Hazards of Love instead settling on a familiar Americana sound. This release proves though that you don't need to be totally experimental to produce a great album that still sounds new and refreshing when pitted against past ones.

09. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong
I could pretty much copy and paste my description of The Decemberists one for this and just change a few words. May not be as adventurous or noisy as their S/T was but this is an album I've felt connected to the whole year and will for the foreseeable future.

08. Dan Mangan - Oh Fortune
Similar to City & Colour, Dan takes a rockier approach to the new album that fits the theme perfectly. It's not as intimate as Nice Nice, Very Nice which allows the rockier side of him to come out while sounding just right. I still like Nice Nice better but they are completely different types of albums

07. Feist - Metals
Feist won my heart again with Metals, while I liked The Reminder, it felt like an awkward shift for a singer with an anything but pop background. Metals goes back to the feeling I got on my favourite album of hers Let it Die and is apparent that she doesn't compromise what she wants to do because of the commercial success of her last album.

06. The Lonely Forest - Arrows
Out of Anacortes, Washington, these guys have hooked me with every release and Arrows expands upon that. They also put on a super energetic live show that can make a stadium feel like a small venue.

05. J Mascis - Several Shades of Why
This album seemed to totally go unnoticed this year, and it's a real shame. Dinosaur Jr. front-man J Mascis loses the loud rocky sound in exchange for just a guitar with which he displays wonderfully done and personal songs that allow you to feel as if you are getting a sneak peak inside of him. Then right when you get comfortable he whips out a huge riff as if he is still playing for Dino Jr. His live show reaffirms this feeling of intimacy and personalty.

04. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
When it was first release I was rather underwhelmed by this album, but as time went on I gave it another listened and discovered aspects I hadn't before and it really grew on me. Probably wouldn't say more than For Emma but enough to make the top 10 (even if it's position in the top 10 is somewhat random as I couldn't decide exactly where). That said I can also see why some wouldn't like his new offering but luckily for me I'm not one of those people

03. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Nothing too special about this album, just basic fun electronic-pop music that has been a constant on my playlist all year. A very well done album in my opinion.

02. The Coppertone - Hymns for the Hollow EP
Well at only 4 songs,placing this at #2 may be a bit unfair but man this release has made The Coppertone one of my favourite bands, gritty blues rock and an amazing live show this album totally expands on their last and laps it in quality which gets me excited for their next full length!

01. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
OK yeah so I'm not being unique picking this album but maybe there is a reason for that? Out of everything I've heard this year this has stuck out since it's release showing that Fleet Foxes can compete with their first LP and EP in terms of quality.

Top 10 Shows of 2011
10. Pixies w/ Imaginary Cities @ Save On Foods Memorial Centre (May 5)
09. Library Voices @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
08. Jets Overhead w/ Maurice @ McPherson Playhouse (Feb. 9)
07. Mother Mother w/ Rococode @ Alix Goolden (March 28)
06. Starfucker @Bumbershoot (Sept. 3)
05. City & Colour @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
04. The Copertone @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
03. The Lonely Forest @ Bumbershoot (Sept. 4)
02. Broken Social Scene @ Rifflandia (Sept. 23)
01. Hollerado @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)


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