If you missed yesterday’s #25-#11, here it is. I ran through my rules yesterday and they’re pretty simple. Only one song per release is allowed, and after the top six or seven I wasn’t too concerned about the numbers. Was #19 one notch better than #20? I really don’t know, but for the sake of putting out a tidy list the songs are ranked. As a whole, these 25 tracks are the ones I went to most often in 2011.
If there’s a download of the song posted somewhere, I’ll link to it. If not, it’s good ol’ YouTube or Soundcloud links.
10. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]tUnE-yArDs[/lastfm] – “Bizness”
We saw Merrill at Lincoln Hall in early 2011, the Pitchfork Music Festival in July, and at Lincoln Hall again for two sold out XRT shows in November. It was November when she had her famous hug sale.
9. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]M83[/lastfm] – “Midnight City”
I really wanted to put “Steve McQueen” on this list, but leaving “Midnight City” off would’ve been a crime.
8. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Charli xcx[/lastfm] – “Nuclear Seasons”
I always seem to have a soft spot for pop songs that aren’t yet wildly popular, or are big in countries that aren’t the USA. Charli xcx released a couple singles in 2011 and we should have a full album from her in the spring of 2012.
7. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foster The People[/lastfm] – “Houdini (Valida’s Step Out Mix)”
Not the most challenging record of the year, but the songs are all catchy, they’re easy to get into and they were pretty much made to be remixed.
6. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bass Drum of Death[/lastfm] – “Get Found”
A band from Mississippi that started the year as a duo and later became a trio. There’s really no messing about with these guys. You wanna rock? Here ya go.
5. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Eleanor Friedberger[/lastfm] – “My Mistakes”
If you like Eleanor’s work with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Fiery Furnaces[/lastfm], then she’s got a solo record she’d like you to hear. The sax solo in this track is an awesome surprise and if you missed the music video, do yourself a favor and check it out. Major bonus points if you can identify the young couple. Or, major bonus points if you care enough to look it up.
4. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bon Iver[/lastfm] – “Holocene”
The best song from (maybe) the best album of 2011? I’m posting the video instead of simply the audio because it’s one you need to see. Yes, the video might remind you a lot of the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sigur Rós[/lastfm] clip “Glósóli,” but I can personally never see enough of Iceland, so if a video comes out every 4 or 5 years highlighting the beauty of the country, then so be it. We actually got two this year that I know of (Washed Out’s “Amor Fati” being the other), but whatever, like I said, Iceland rules. If you’d like to visit some of the places shown in the video, here you go. The best 12300 ISK you’ll ever spend.
3. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Tycho[/lastfm] – “Hours”
Tycho is San Francisco’s Scott Hansen and his music meshes nicely with the cover of his album, Dive. Seriously, stare at the cover while you listen to “Hours.” See what I mean?
2. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Death Set[/lastfm] – “It’s Another Day”
It’s a little Andrew WK-ish, yeah, but the message is strong. Focus on what’s in front of you and make the best of it. Negativity and cynicism are fun and easy and we all bitch and moan from time to time (some of us quite a bit, actually) but once in a while we need a little spark of positive energy.
1. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Cut Copy[/lastfm] – “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution”
If this one leaves you scratching your head, I won’t be shocked. The first few times I listened to Zonoscope, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even pay attention to this song, but at the end of the year the massive iTunes play count told me I liked this track more than I thought I did. So it backed in to the #1 slot, I guess. Weird. Good performances from this band at the Pitchfork fest in July and the fall show at the Riviera was great even though we sat through one of the longest change-overs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll…
Be well in the new year.