So, I’m snowed in and have yet to be able to head home for the holidays… and because one can only re-watch so many Mad Men episodes in a row (actually, I could probably watch reruns of that show all day…), I have decided to use my idle time in a “productive” manner and compile a little list of albums from 2011 that I have been enjoying this past year! wahooo.
perhaps you may enjoy them too!
I. Bon Iver // Bon Iver
This album is beyond good. I might even venture to say it’s perfect (but that could just be the wilderness-loving, winter-longing, mountain man inside me talking…) I do believe the track Holocene is one that every person alive needs to hear before they die.
tracks to check out: the whole thing. just buy it already.
II. Ben Howard // Every Kingdom
This album totally snuck up on me, and I’m not even sure why I love it so much. All I know is that I have been listening to it in unhealthy portions lately. Well done Mr. Howard, well done.
tracks to check out: Old Pine, Everything, The Fear, Keep Your Head Up
III. Manchester Orchestra // Simple Math
I’ve loved Manchester since their I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child days. I feel they simply get better and better with every release. This album is filled with the catchy melodies, witty lyrics, rad guitar tones, and abundance of gang vocals that makes me love Manchester Orchestra, plus some fun extras. The music video for the title track, Simple Math, is totally brilliant. I’m already looking forward to their next album.
tracks to check out: Deer, Pensacola, Leave it Alone
IV. Tom Waits // Bad As Me
I still hold to the belief that Tom Waits is the coolest man alive. Bad As Me only reinforces this belief. I feel that Mr. Waits tries on a rather creative and bold direction at times in this album. For example, when I first heard the track “Talking At The Same Time”, I was convinced it was featuring a female guest vocalist. Turns out it’s just old Tom himself tearing it up in falsetto. This album is a smorgasbord of devilishly creative moans and groans from a man who never ceases to amaze me.
tracks to check out: Pay Me, Bad As Me, Hell Broke Luce, New Year’s Eve
V. John Mark McMillan // Economy
So far, this album is my favorite release from John Mark. Crazy good guitar hooks, lyrics that create a pain in the listener’s mind which can only be relieved by thinking, and plenty of reverb in the mix keeps this album on a rather heavy rotation in my iTunes library.
tracks to check out: Sheet of Night, Daylight, Economy, Chemicals
VI.M83 // Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
mmmmm…. two discs (22 tracks) soaked in catchy electronic goodness. I don’t really feel like I need to say more. This is a terribly fun album. Give it a listen.
tracks to check out: Raconte-Moi Une Histoire (if this track doesn’t make you smile and/or want to run through a sunny field of flowers, you might want to make sure you have a soul…)
VII. Radical Face // The Family Tree: The Roots
I am honestly extremely impressed Ben Cooper could create an album that is even more enjoyable than his 2007 release, Ghost. But The Roots is more of the same catchy melodies and haunting stories. I’m excited to hear the next two releases in this concept album trilogy.
tracks to check out: Black Eyes, Severus and Stones, The Dead Waltz, Always Gold
VIII. Tycho // Dive
Ambient, instrumental, and electronic all in perfect harmony. This stuff is good for the soul. tracks to check out: all. of. it.
IX.Lykke Li // Wounded Rhymes
Nutso rhythm sections and funky melodies totally had me hooked on this album. Enough so that I’d say it makes the list. Totally worth a listen if you’re looking for something to jam with the windows down in your car… or if you’re just feeling particularly hipster one day.
tracks to check out: Youth Knows No Pain, Love Out of Lust, Get Some, Sadness is a Blessing
X. Washed Out // Within and Without
I stick Washed Out in the genre of “public transport music”. It’s the perfect album to jam while on the train or riding the bus around the city. It almost creates a surreal experience (I realize this sounds crazy). It’s the perfect album to tune out the noise of downtown when you’re out and about. (other artists I throw into this genre: Slacker, Delorean, Emancipator, DJ Shadow)
tracks to check out: Amor Fati, Far Away, You and I