For most of 2011 I was under the impression that I have become some old hag that simply couldn’t stand the “noise” coming out these days. I could barely find any new music that I liked or thought was compelling enough to listen to more than one time. Granted, I spent most of the year listening to the bums serenade me from the alley way and half the year without computer speakers as I awaited my belongings’ arrival in Seattle. I also spent the larger portion of this year without a car. It wasn’t until I was without a car that I realized my most intimate time with music is blaring it through my car speakers while dancing/driving or prepping for a social situation. This list is the best I could do considering my having a very music-less year (listening to Nirvana and Death Cab blare from the EMP down the street hardly counts). Since I can’t be bothered to pick favorites, this list will be in alphabetical order.
Austra: Feel it Break
Beat and the Pulse is such a good song. It has all the components to it that warrant pretending you are in the music video while at home alone in front of the mirror. I love screaming along to this album, and I love the weird NSFW video that you can’t seem to find unedited anymore (Oh no! TITS!). For some reason I thought they were from Australia but instead they are from Canada.
CANT – Dreams Come True
When I saw that Grizzly Bear had a member split off to start his own musical project I was all over it like a cat in heat. There are some awesome dancy numbers on this album with slower counterparts. “Too late too far” speaks to me, every time I hear that song I can’t help but tell my cat “this song is so good!”. Anyhow the rogue member is Chris Taylor, apparently born in Seattle (yay!), and once stared me down when I went to see Grizzly Bear live in Orlando when they were a mere opening band. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I am flattered nonetheless.
Class Actress – Rapprocher
I’m not exactly sure why I kept ignoring recommendations that I should check out Class Actress, but I’m glad I finally caved. There are so many catchy songs on here. I haven’t heard pure pop genius on the level of “Sheilia – Atlas Sound” until I heard her song “Keep You”. I don’t care what kind of music you are into, you will have that song stuck in your head. You’re welcome.
Neon Indian – Era Extraña
Psychic Chasms was on constant rotation in my car so this is a no-brainer. This album has to be in everyone’s top list. If it isn’t, you hate music.
Purity Ring – Ungirthed 7″
Ok… so I can be bothered that Purity Ring is in my top 2 for favorite of 2011. I can’t wait until an album is released. They are categorized as chillwave but I think that is bullshit, they are 5 triangle symbols away from being witch house and I refuse to take that back. The two songs they do give us makes me feel like a starved music whore that can barely rustle my jimmies with what I have. I need more.
Shadwbx – Lady Doome EP
How quaint! The alphabet allowed me to put my top 2 next to each other! However, I regret I already said I felt like a music starved whore in reference to Purity Ring because now I have to become something far more depraved to express how much I love Shadwbx. I have not been this excited about an artist since oOoOO. If I could pick an artist that fully envelops what I love about music, I wouldn’t hesitate to put this on like an overzealous hipster stuck teaching elementary school music. I love artists that prompt me into imagining having secret, dirty car sex to their music. Anyhow, I could gush on and on about how I would lez out for her but her music speaks for itself. For the addict: she has some youtube videos of her performing two songs that you can’t get on the EP.
Starfucker – Reptilians
I have been having a love/hate relationship with chillwave. I love the conception of chillwave, the early releases of MillionYoung, Discovery, Toro Y Moi still get me excited. Then, as time passed, it seemed that everything that was released by those bands were steps backwards and newer bands aiming for their style became copies of copies. If I already own Causers of This and Be So True, why would I download a band that sounds like a cover of something that was done right the first time? This is why I like Starfucker – Reptilians, it feels like a progression of chillwave rather than a stake of claim to the genre.
Tropic of Cancer – The End of All Things
This album isn’t exactly new music, but a compilation of songs. I think. Honestly I know nothing about this band, the bits and pieces I read only confuse me. I know it is a duo, they signed with a label in the UK, their music reminds me of a very dark Psychic Ills, yes this is dark synth wave, and I really like their music.
Visions of Trees – Sometimes it Kills EP
Normally I’d be pissed that something like this is labeled as Witch House, but I actually ended up liking the band despite my expectations. Visions of Trees is more like Gang Gang Dance or Panda Bear. They have an ethereal electronic sound that is a bit more beat heavy than their counterparts. I imagine their music as the background to frolicking through a forest in springtime when suddenly awestruck by a beautiful waterfall, pink mist, and a group of prancing unicorns but, sensing the outrageous circumstances and their rare presentation, you decide to rest and observe nature silently while contemplating the finite within the infinite. There is nothing wrong with being a hippy every once and a while.
Washed Out – Within and Without
This is a solid album, start to finish. I don’t find myself skipping between songs every time I put this album on, that is a music miracle.