Looking back on everything that came out last year made it that much more apparent that 2011 will solidify itself as one of the best years for music in the past decade. Electronic artists finally putting out full albums made this list an all around keeper. Takes me back to 2007 when Justice, Soulwax, Boys Noize and others set the bar for solid electronic albums. Here are the picks for best of 2011. Happy new year everyone!
^click for all the tracks on this post
After Dillon Francis remixed “Hits Me Like A Rock” my curiosity took over and became an infatuation for all things CSS. La Liberacion is CSS’s third release and arguably their best yet. The band’s name stands for ‘Cansei de Ser Sexy’ which translate to “I’m tired of being sexy.” The album is definitely on the feminist’s side, but hey! It’s fun.
CSS – You Could Have It All
Nero’s been in the game for almost a decade and their debut full length could not have come out at a more significant time. Dubstep is finally accepted by the masses, and electronic in general has received world praise. This album encompasses all that is Nero. Bone chilling dubstep, fast paced drum and bass, and dancy electro. They play it all out like it’s a soundtrack for a movie or something. There’s a little bit for everyone in this LP.
Nero – Reaching Out
Portugal the Man’s sixth studio album shows their transformation as a whole from the early days with It’s Complicated Being A Wizard. We got to go see them perform a free show for this album release and they play out the tracks better than the recordings. An all around band, fully bearded and mustached. A hipster’s dream come true!
Portugal the Man – You Carried Us (Share WIth Me the Sun)
Ok ok…I know a lot of people are going to look over this or be pissed they made it into the top ten considering how overplayed “song-that-shall-not-be-named” was, but come on! I stand by this album just as I stood by their first EP. Even though the songs were overplayed, I can’t keep this album from it’s deserved spot in the top ten. The guys kill it live too. Got to see them for free at Amoeba records and you can see the vid here.
Foster the People – Waste
It took me long enough to get into the Kooks, but I jumped on the band wagon just in time to fall in love with Junk of the Heart. Although they got lazy with the track names, as they’re all pretty much the first words said in the song, the whole album is packed with feel good indie rock tracks that you can’t help but want to dance to. Brit rock is alive and well!
The Kooks – Runaway
Before you homophobes freak out, that picture is sebastiAn kissing himself. Is that gay? Fuck it! My love for the godfather of filth is unconditional. SebastiAn should have been among the big artists that released albums in 2007, as I previously mentioned. For some reason his album was 4 years late, but has all of the tracks he included in his earlier EPs. He’s one of the most talented producers I follow. I feel like the guy should be producing conciertos or some shit. Instead he decides to stay with filthy electro.
SebastiAn – Jack Wire (Instrumental Version)
Witler turned us all into these guys later this year. Definitely were sleeping on them because they’re unbelievably awesome. I love how Madeline Follin’s voice harmonizes so well with the instruments. Reminds me of songs you’d hear at an 80s prom, but captures all the great indie vibes of today.
Cults – Never Saw the Point
More Brit rock for your face! Arctic Monkeys should be a household name at this point. Releasing their first EP in 2005, the band’s sky rocket of success comes with a hell of a lot of talent and shear rock and roll revival status. This album recording is a little less raw than what we’re used to, but still shows all the good sides of Arctic Monkeys.
Arctic Monkeys – Reckless Serenade
The Black Keys make their way back in the number two spot of our top ten list, just as they did last year. Even though they’re not #1, I don’t want you to think it was an easy decision. The level of The Black Keys’ consistency is almost ridiculous. If you go back and listen to any of their six former albums, you’ll see that they’ve stayed true to their sound and only the recordings have gotten better. Expecting big things from them in 2012, especially considering their doing an arena tour with Arctic Monkeys…in the east coast only. Lucky bastards.
The Black Keys – Hell of A Season
It was no question the first time I ran through this album that it was going to be one of the best albums of the year, let alone one of my favorite albums of all time. You can’t be sure with those kind of things until you give yourself time to come back and listen to the album again. Needless to say, a year later, the album hasn’t lost any magic. It’s solidified Starfucker as one of my favorite bands ever. Closely behind The Strokes and Soulwax. They’ve created a new beautiful sound when it comes the indie/electro combo, that sheds light on the future of indie music. With synths becoming more popular in music production for indie bands, Starfucker sets the bar for the limits one can go. We were fortunate enough to see them play for their biggest crowd and even got an interview with them. Looking forward to see where they take their sound in 2012, because hopefully they’ll get the following they deserve.
Starfucker – The White of Noon
Real Estate – Days
Wolfgang Gartner – Weekend In America
Radiohead – King of Limbs
Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines