2011 has come and gone. I am a bit behind posting this but I have compiled some great songs from what I consider the best albums I stumbled across this past year. Some have been mentioned here before. Some have not. Either way, this collection makes a good playlist. At least, please seek out some of this stuff and you’ll agree that there is still plenty of great music coming out. Let me know if you think I missed anything.
1. THE DECEMBERISTS “Calamity Song” (from THE KING IS DEAD)
2. BIC RUNGA “Hello, Hello” (from BELLE) The first new album from Bic since 2005. Well worth ordering from New Zealand.
3. JENS LEKMAN “Waiting for Kirsten” (from AN ARGUMENT WITH MYSELF EP)
4. THE VACCINES “Wetsuit” (from WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES?)
5. NOEL GALLAGHER “The Death of You and Me” (from NOEL GALLAGHER”S HIGH FLYING BIRDS) I agree with the guest blogger’s last post. Noel has turned out to be one of the great English songwriters.
6. TUNE-YARDS “Bizness” (from WHOKILL)
7. LIA ICES “Daphne” (from GROWN UNKNOWN)
8. ST. VINCENT “Surgeon” (from STRANGE MERCY)
9. LIAM FINN “Cold Feet” (from FOMO)
10. ELBOW “Open Arms” (from BUILD A ROCKET BOYS!) What a great voice and a great collection of songs.
11. BEIRUT “A Candle’s Fire” (from THE RIP TIDE)
12. THE JAYHAWKS “She Walks In So Many Different Ways” (from MOCKINGBIRD TIME) Two great songwriters reunite the band. The care and craft put into the harmonies alone is outstanding and has been greatly missed. The collection of songs here are as good as those on TOMORROW THE GREEN GRASS. My vote for most welcome comeback.
13. LAURA CANTRELL “I Gave My Wedding Dress Away” (from KITTY WELLS DRESSES)
14. NICK LOWE “Checkout Time” (from THE OLD MAGIC) My favorite song of the year.
15. DAVID KILGOUR AND THE HEAVY EIGHTS “A Break In The Weather” (from LEFT BY SOFT)
16. THE FEELIES “When You Know” (from HERE BEFORE) Another triumphant comeback.
17. THE ANTLERS “French Exit” (from BURST APART)
18. BATTLES “Sweetie and Shag” (from GLOSS DROP)
19. DEVOTCHKA “The Common Good” (from 100 LOVERS)
20. PJ HARVEY “In The Dark Places” (from LET ENGLAND SHAKE) My choice for the best album of the year. I am certain people will be listening to this for years to come.
21. JUNE TABOR “The Grey Funnel Line” (from ASHORE)
22. TINARIWEN “Asuf D Alwa” (from TASSILI) The guests made this album seem a bit forced and exploitative. This is still, hands down, the best album recorded entirely outside in the desert.
23. RAPHAEL SAADIQ “Good Man” (from STONE ROLLIN’)
24. THE BLACK KEYS “Dead And Gone” (from EL CAMINO)
25. R.E.M. “It Happened Today” (from COLLAPSE INTO NOW)