I’m terrible at putting music related things in any type of order. First to last, best to worst, I just can’t do it. So, here’s a list of 11 of my favorite releases from 2011, in no particular order. Most of these releases stayed on the record player, mp3 player or the CD player in my car for weeks. The repeat button was overused for sure. I still can’t get enough of these amazing albums.
Yuck – Yuck
I’m a huge fan of the ’90s – HUGE. My favorite band of all time is Pavement. “My So Called Life” is the greatest show. Ever. You get the picture. Anyway, I discovered Yuck on Pitchfork, they were featured as rising act and “Holing Out” was up for listen. My ears were in heaven and when I read that guitarist/singer Daniel Blumberg nearly shat himself the first time he heard Pavement, I just knew it was meant to be.
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Turf War – Years of Living Dangerously
Atlanta-via-Augusta boys Turf War make rock jams that go well with partying and PBR. Years of Living Dangerously is their debut release on Old Flame Records.
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New Animal – New Animal
I can always tell when a song or album is good when my chest gets tight and the hair on the back of my neck stands up straight. New Animal has this effect on me. Every time I listen to this album or see them live, I get goose bumps. They’re just that good.
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Read the full list after the jump…
Hundred Visions – Last Cab From Tunis 7”
I saw this guys at the most recent Daytrotter Barnstormer in Maquoketa, Iowa. I drove myself and three of my closest friends 10 or so hours to a barn to hear music by bands that I knew little to nothing about. I’m so glad I did. Austin-based Hundred Visions became an instant favorite the second they started their set. They’re just a whole lot of fun. I can’t wait for the full-length that’s coming soon.
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Gem Club – Breakers
Gem Club is an awesome duo that makes incredible music. It’s light, ambient and beautiful. You really just have to listen and be amazed by the haunting vocals, rich cello and piano music that these guys make.
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Real Estate – Days
Days is good without even trying. The album is super chill and fun to listen to. And the video for my favorite track, “It’s Real” features a bunch of adorable dogs. What’s not to love?
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Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers makes the dreamiest tunes that I just can’t stop listening to. That whole goose bumps feeling I was talking about earlier totally happens when I listen to this album. My favorite lyric on the whole album is in the track “17” and goes, “When I was 17, my mother said to me/Don’t stop imagining/The day that you do is the day that you die.” My emotions run crazy when I hear this line, it’s just beautiful.
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Keep Shelly in Athens – Our Own Dream EP
I owe my love for Keep Shelly in Athens to Chris of Gorilla Vs. Bear. He played this Grecian duo on his radio show way back in 2010 and I was completely blown away. I found myself wanting to hear everything I could by them. I absolutely love them.
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Girls – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Oh Chris Owens, he’s a dreamboat. His lyrics completely break my heart and mend it, just to break it all over again. I bought Girls’ first album based on a suggestion from my friends at Criminal Records and I’m so happy I did.
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The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
I think Under the Radar magazine coined the term “bossgaze” to describe this Philadelphia-based band’s sound. That’s seriously what it is, part Springsteen and part shoegaze. And I’m just going to go on record and say “Baby Missiles” is one of the greatest songs ever recorded.
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This last one that I’m adding on here was released in the US in December 2010, but it wasn’t released in the UK until May 2011, so it’s basically a 2011 release. Right? Well, either way Guards is worth mentioning. They have completely claimed my heart over the past year from the first moment I heard them. I saw them at SXSW in March and was completely blown away by their music. I had to see them again in April at Daytrotter‘s Barnstormer. They rocked that barn so hard the power. They are truly an amazing act that everyone should check out. The photo is of their 7″ release in the UK (the one released in 2011). It has three tracks on it: “Resolution of One,” “Hear You Call,” and “Swimming in the Dark.” It was released on Kitsune Records. The US release also has three tracks: “Resolution of One,” “Crystal Truth,” and “Long Time.” And it was released on Small Plates Records.
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