@The_Glendon Top Tracks of 2011
So it’s almost June and I thought I might as well still get this out. I had the list narrowed down by the end of the year, but it took me this long to get my shit together and do a write-up. And it’s getting worse. The first year I started at 50, now it’s creeping to 85.
Anyway, overall great year for music. I still find myself listening to a lot of these, despite it being mid-way through 2012.
As always, the rules I applied to myself were: only one track per artist (unless they happened to appear, be featured in, or remixed by, someone else). Also, these are really my most played tracks of the year and apply only to me. And it only places songs I’ve heard. I can’t listen to everything, natch. (Downloads links at the bottom.)
1. Midnight City - M83
One of my fave bands put out their gem of an album, and this single still gets a ton of play in my rotation.
2. Blue Truth - Jamie Woon
This song is… sly. I guess that’s the only way I can put it. Just meanders around and can adapts to whatever mood I’m in. Can be happy, melancholy, whatever, and it fits.
3. Out Getting Ribs - Zoo Kid
Never heard of this dude before. Haven’t really researched much other music. But heard this back in January of 2011 and it still gets lots of play. Like a new Billy Bragg with the hollow, stripped down sound.
4. I’m On One - DJ Khaled feat Lil Wayne, Drake & Rick Ross
This track actually reminds me a lot of M83’s Midnight City, but instead of dreamy vocals it’s chock-full of braggadocioio from Drake, a solid verse from Rick Ross with plenty of “hmmphs” or whatever that is he does, and Lil Wayne manages to not… detract.
5. Spank - The Naked and Famous
I already liked this track, but when @TrustTheDust had the genius idea to use it in this masterpiece of salad destruction, I fell hard for it. https://vimeo.com/26040703
6. Ego - Burial & Four Tet & Thom Yorke
Three pillars of musical goodness got together and made two awesome tracks. I love both, but this one still stands out.
7. Ice Cream - Battles (feat Matias Aguayo)
Battles is still one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. Can’t wait to check them out again since this album dropped. This is probably their most single-y song on the album.
8. The Last Huzzah - Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire feat Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown & El-P
Indie rap supergroup? Every verse on here is great, but El-P puts together what in my opinion is the best verse of 2011.
9. One Sunday Morning - Wilco
A 12:00 track? And it never gets redundant and boring. Well done Wilco. When I listen to this, I picture myself brunching in Chicago on a sunny June Sunday.
10. Get Away - Yuck
I love this Yuck album. Reminds me of some of my fave mid-90’s bands like Superdrag and Matthew Sweet. Grungy, low-fi and melodic. I would totally have gone to a Superdrag/Yuck show at Metro back in high school.
11. Monopoly - Danny Brown
This is the craziest track of the year. Danny Brown chews this up, and as he says, “literally shits all over” other rappers mix tapes.
12. Niggas in Paris - The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
I couldn’t not have Kanye on my annual list. And this is the best track of the Jay-Z/Kanye collaboration. Plus, Kanye embedded the term “That shit cray” into our national consciousness. And I approve of that. I probably would’ve ranked this higher, but I noticed d-bag A-Rod is using it as his walkout music. And that’s lame.
13. Magic Fountain (Krissy Sell Out’s Dark Crystal Version) - Art Vs Science
This ended up being my top track to run to for the year. A lot of builds and the bizarre Talking Heads-like lyrics stood out.
14. STSisGold - STS
The Phantogram sample is perfect under this track. STS just chugs along on top and uses the breakdowns as the only breather on the whole track.
15. Regenerate (Russ Chimes Remix) - Booka Shade
I love me some Booka Shade and Russ Chimes even more. So I knew I was going to love this track.
16. Need You Now - Cut Copy
Another great full album, but this single still holds up. Another great spring/summer track.
17. A Key Turns - The Depreciation Guild
This album actually reminds me of older M83 stuff. So that’s probably why I like it. Dreamy indie-pop with layers and layers of synths.
18. Calgary - Bon Iver
Ever since Justin Timberlake did his Bon Iver impression on SNL I have a hard time listening to this album. Still really good, but it does… make… me… sleepy…
19. Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins Rework) - Star Slinger
Heaven or Las Vegas… Always love that track, so this is a nice new addition for my ears to enjoy.
20. Stolen Dog - Burial
Burial keeps cranking out the mood. Rainy, foggy nights in London on the reg.
21. Separator - Radiohead
I liked the King of Limbs, but it did kind of blend together. So the name of this track was accurate, as it separated itself from the rest for me.
22. Rotation - Big K.R.I.T.
I love Big K.R.I.T. I listen to his stuff, literally every day. He offers some soul in what is currently a pretty mediocre rap scene. Gripping wood grain and candy paint never sounded as smooth.
23. Cinema (Skrillex Remix) - Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go
Skrillex gets a lot of shit, but I’m on board. And this burned a place in my heart after being on a boat in Lake Mead on a hot July day, watching Paul dance in the most bizarre way. So if Skrillex can prompt more of that, I’m all for it.
24. Streetz Tonight - Araabmuzik
Every track I’ve heard of Araabmuzik I dig. This was the first I heard, and it kind of recalls the stuff Bird Petersen was doing mixing electro with hip hop beats. Araabmuzik has taken it another step and creating his own style.
25. White Noise/Red Meat (Bassjackers Remix) - Dada Life
Who doesn’t love champagne and bananas? This was another great running track. Still need to get out to see Dada Life. I know they’re nuts live.
26. Hawaii (Niva Remix) - Blackbird Blackbird
Smooth and sultry. Lay out by the pool music.
27. Hit Me Where It Hurts - The Booze
First off, great band name. Second, this sound really begs to be seen live. So keep your eye out for The Booze.
28. Can I Live Freestyle - Pusha T
Fear of God is a great mix tape. Pusha just doing his thing, without the commercial bent. Somehow makes it better. Lots of Vegas references, so I’m all about that too.
29. Disque Oh! (Eumig & Chinon Remix) - Beatacue
This track got remixed by a solid lineup. Don Rimini, High Rankin, etc… But the Eumig & Chinon remix stands out the most. Another good running track.
30. The Stranger - Lord Huron
Nice instrumentation, and a sleepy folksy bent, without the sleepiness of Bon Iver. And like I mentioned last year, I’m a sucker for whistling on tracks. So bonus!
31. Bo Jackson - The Carps
I have no clue what this has to do with Bo Jackson. Unless the chorus line of “I’m the best thing you’ve ever hard” refers to Bo Jackson’s invincibility in Tecmo Bowl. Cause then it’s right on.
32. Snake Eater - Joker
If they ever used dub-by electro as a James Bond intro track, then this would be it. Actually Snake Eater would be a great Bond movie title too.
33. Zan With That Lean - Soulja Boy
This track is too silly for me not to include it. It may be the most auto tuned track ever, but somehow it still works.
34. Cameras (Gucci Vump Remix) - Matt & Kim
Matt & Kim never sounded so electro. Great way to chop up the original…
35. Holla If Ya Hear Me (DJ Tritz Mix) - Avicii featuring 2Pac
Now that hologram 2Pac exists maybe we can start seeing him performing alongside Avicii at Marquee. I want a hologram Biggie too though. Maybe they could go on tour together?
36. Beautiful People - Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi
I’m not a Chris Brown apologist, mainly because I don’t care about the musicians lives outside of them continue to making good music. And bringing Benny Benassi in to produce tracks on his new album was genius. Definitely raising the profile of EDM.
37. Madder Red (Henning Furst Remix) - Yeasayer
This may have technically come out in 2010, but I didn’t hear it till this year. A really cool take on an already great Yeasayer track.
38. Blomman - MyBack
Some down and dirty dubstep to get you going in the morning.
39. Get Down, Make Love - Nine Inch Nails
Another one that got remastered in 2010, but I didn’t pick it up till 2011. Vintage NIN, it’s like a modern day gift from the past.
40. Stay Away - Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band
James Brown soul-style version of a classic Nirvana song. It just… works.
41. Honey I’m Home featuring L Fame - Fat Trel
This track was produced by Araabmuzik, and despite the DJ shout outs, it is a perfect piece for Fat Trel to lay down a fun, albeit cliche, drinking song.
42. Tonic - Russ Chimes
Another solid Russ Chimes track. I’ve heard it worked into a few DJ’s sets and it holds it’s own really well.
43. Get Low - Donnis featuring Gorilla Zoe and Young Dro
Another drinking track, more lean, more E. While the topic is played out, this is still a fun track.
44. Socialite Death Squad - The Idle Hands
A QOTSA flavor, a bit of angst, and some nice chunky guitars.
45. Lay Myself Down - Mazzy Star
So glad to have Mazzy Star back putting tracks out. I must have had 90’s nostalgia this past year… This would’ve gone in the rotation for sure back then.
46. Hey Moon - John Maus
I love me some John Maus. As unique a voice as there is in Indie right now. And laid in on this ethereal track is perfect.
47. Teenage Crime - Adrian Lux
I think this one’s been out for a little while as well. It takes a bit to get rolling, but it’s worth the wait.
48. You Know What I Mean - Cults
Cults sound is refreshing and definitely deserves to make the list.
49. Belispeak - Purity Ring
The little breaks make this indie-electro jam.
50. Kaputt - Destroyer
A great album by Destroyer, again. This song still stands out. Love the saxophone work on it.
51. Sweet 17 - Dirty Beaches
The bands name is a great indicator of what this sounds like.
52. Endless Summer - MagicFades
If the above track conjures night-time, rowdy beach parties. This is more on the mid-afternoon, baked in the sun snoozing vibe.
53. I Don’t Want Love - The Antlers
Great album. This track reminds me of older Band of Horses stuff.
54. Illest Alive (Main Attrakionz) - Clams Casino
Clams Casino was on fire this year. But a track superbly sampling Bjork? I’m obviously on board.
55. Lights On (Gigamesh Remix) - Katy B
The dubstep queen gets a little pop restyling thanks to Gigamesh. Think Robyn or Alphabeat.
56. Hearts - I Break Horses
Dan Deacon and Holy Fuck type builds on this track. With some dreamy female vocals.
57. A Lil More ft Bambu - Otayo Dubb
Some positive hip hop never does anyone wrong.
58. Ghost Town - Kurt Vile
Kurt’s always solid for a good, meandering track that is great for afternoon beer drinking.
59. Touch - HOLY OTHER
Slow grimy dub from Manchester. Deep, low baseline with some manipulated and effected vocals ala Burial.
60. Don’t Move - Phantogram
Nice dreamy pop.
61. Eyes Be Closed (Lovelock Remix) - Washed Out
Washed Out’s flavor has been bitten by a lot of people this year, so maybe this Lovelock remix was perfect. It added just a bit more structure and positive flow.
62. Saturday Love - Toro Y Moi
Great summer jam.
63. Excuse - Big Freedia
If Big Freedia’s sissy bounce is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
64. You’re A Song (That I Can’t Sing) - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Not exactly a breaking new track. But it’s the first time I heard it. And after seeing Jersey Boys (surprisingly good show), this stuck out.
65. Nuclear Seasons - Charli xcx
Nice 80’s vibe on this one.
66. there will be tears - frank ocean
I gotta say, Frank Ocean took a while to grow on me. But the understated production on this (when his counterparts would auto tune the shit out of it) definitely help it stand out.
67. LA Lights (SmarterChild Remix) - KOPPS
Tight little remix.
68. Wrestler - Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Aggressive track from DIOYY. Not sure where the sample is from. Anyone?
69. Then It’s White - The Field
Pencil The Field into my top lists every year.
70. s o c l o s e t o p a r a d i s e - elite gymnastics
The spaced out title of this track makes me want to hate it, but I can’t help myself.
71. County Line - Cass McCombs
This sounds like it would have had a home in the 70’s, or 80’s, or 90’s. So I guess that’s saying something.
72. Aurora - Fred Falke
Again, just pencil Fred Falke into my top list of the year.
73. Ship Of Fools - Fucked Up
I really wanted to try and like this album as a whole more than I did. But alas, there’s still a lot of really good stuff on there.
74. Wicked Games - The Weeknd
The Weeknd doesn’t have as much humor as R. Kelly does, but he does love to sing about sexin.
75. Romantic Streams - SLEEP OVER
Nice synths on this one.
76. Green Aisles - Real Estate
Another solid album worth checking out.
77. Moonstruck - Action Bronson
This isn’t Ghostface. Seriously? How can this not be Ghostface?
78. 212 - Azealia Banks
If AB wasn’t so foul-mouthed she’d be rising up on a more public level.
79. Forest Green - Mike G
Not all the Odd Future guys can create a hook, but Mike G certainly does on this track.
80. Another Girl - Jacques Green
Another manipulated vocal track. Sense a trend?
81. Lose It - Austra
I know Florence & The Machine blew up even more this year, but you gotta check out the pipes on this chick.
82. Seriously - Shlohmo
Nice, blippy slow jam. Complete with ambient shower drainage!
83. Swim Club - The Cave Singers
Some nice stuff to round out the overly electronic bent of this list.
84. Stuck On Fuckin’ You - Lady Gaga
(Sadly?) this is the best thing Lady Gaga did all year. A low-fi acoustic recording when she stuck on a tour bus in Minneapolis. Which makes sense, cause there’s a bit of a Prince vibe to it.
Lastly, I always try and throw in one full mix that I’ve been digging on all year. And here it is.
85. Expressway Mix, Pt 3 - Russ Chimes
Solid, indie electro all the way through. Built for what it implies. Hop on the road, let the street lights pass in rhythm.
Get em for yourself here: http://www.mediafire.com/?5gsx96p6gaab7pg