Top Songs From 2011 : Part One

A staff-compiled list of some of our favorite songs from the year 2011, in no particular order or with allegiance to any particular style.

Best Of 2011 Year End ListsBest Of 2011 Best AlbumsBest Of 2011 Top SongsBest Of 2011 Album Cover ArtBest Of 2011 Year End Lists

Alex Winston – “Velvet Elvis”

Alex Winston is simply charming in this tune about the late rocker. KATIE

And So I Watch You From Afar – “Think:Breathe:Destroy”

Less post more rock in this instrumental band.
PETER

Battles – “Wall Street”

Battles at its finest is a well tuned bizarro machine of made up noise. No band does it quite like them. PETER
ALBUM OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP

Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”

A song to start your morning off. KATIE

Bon Iver – “Holocene”

His voice, especially on this song, is just divine. JUDY ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Burial – “Stolen Dog”

B-side from the “Street Halo” single is a little more adventurous than the title track but keeps his toe firmly dipped in his new minimal house. TROY
TRIP REPORT MIXTAPE

Chad VanGaalen – “Sara”

This is fairly arbitrarily chosen from a slew of potentially excellent candidates. You should really just listen to the entirety of Diaper Island. VIVIAN
CHAD VANGAALEN INTERVIEW

Childish Gambino – “Bonfire”

Admit. You thought this was early Kanye as well. #savecommunity PETER

Chris Brown – “Look At Me Now” (w/ Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes)

Man, Busta’s part alone makes this worthy of listing. The beat is also super ridiculously rad. VIVIAN

Cloud Control – “Ghost Story”

Earth-shattering, spirit-dwelling indie folk. VIVIAN

Cults – “Go Outside

Dream pop at its best. KATIE

The Drums – “Money”

These guys are the MOST fun live, and I saw them preview this song a few months ago at a small show. This is the best from the new album. JUDY

Eleanor Friedberger – “My Mistakes”

This song sets the tone for an album full of great songs. It is quite a self-conscious record, and “My Mistakes” sums that up perfectly. JUDY

Frank Ocean – “Novacane”

“Novacane” sucks you in like an opium den. As does this video. VIVIAN

Fucked Up – “Turn The Season”

This song perfectly sums up the sprawl of Fucked Up’s epic album.
PETER
ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Gang Gang Dance – “Chinese High”

This song is a beautiful epic set within an even more epic record. VIVIAN
ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Gardens & Villa – “Black Hills”

What an album opener! This got me hooked on the album almost immediately. JUDY
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
GARDENS & VILLA BAND INTERVIEW

Gillian Welch – “The Way It Goes”

I really really hope it doesn’t take Gillian Welch another seven years to pump out her next album. PETER

Goapele – “Play”

The most interesting R&B song I’ve heard in a long while. I can’t wait for more of this new-school revival. VIVIAN

Griever – “The Forgetter”

Featuring ex-members of the wildly destructive Lewd Acts, Griever shows how great a simple sludgy hardcore song can be. PETER

The Head And the Heart – “Lost In My Mind”

A Seattle native’s theme song. KATIE
THE HEAD AND THE HEART – SELF-TITLED ALBUM REVIEW

James Blake – “The Wilhelm Scream”

The way James Blake builds this song out of nothing into a sonic cresecendo of noise and bass is mesmerizing. PETER
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (x2)
JAMES BLAKE – SELF-TITLED ALBUM REVIEW

Hot Water Music – “The Fire, The Steel, The Tread”

Post-hardcore stalwarts doing it better than everyone else even after a long hiatus. PETER

James Blake & Bon Iver – “Fall Creek Boys Choir”

These two dudes live in the same world of the SADS, so a collaboration like this really just makes too much sense. VIVIAN

Junior Boys – “Itchy Fingers”

“You’ll Improve Me” is actually my first choice for tracks from It’s All True — but “Itchy Fingers” comes close. As with all Junior Boys tracks, subsequent listens will reveal the stuff brewing underneath is way weird. VIVIAN
JUNIOR BOYS BAND INTERVIEW

Kassem Mosse – “A1″

“Ensuality” eh? Robot sex drone from of Cronenberg’s 808 dream book. TROY

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