The end of another year, how quickly they roll around! This year was a big year for me personally, and it was a big year for music too. I’ve enjoyed many of the releases this year, and below is my top 10 of 2011. When I think about years gone past and the memories attached, for me they are often defined or at least linked to music I’ve been listening to at the time. This year will be no different, I’ll remember partying to Foster the People at my 30th birthday, listening to King of Limbs while grieving a loss, and relaxing in my new house with the Helplessness Blues. Well done 2011, you delivered, 2012, we expect big things.
Beirut – The Rip Tide
Beirut‘s 2011 release The Rip Tide was my introduction to the band, it’s a solid album from beginning to end. From catchy tunes with horns to more laid back tracks backed with strings. At times it seems more big band than Alternative, but it certainly keeps the listener interested. Title track, The Rip Tide is a stand out for me, check out it out on YouTube and you’ll get a feel for the album.
City and Colour – Little Hell
City and Colour are one of those little gems you stumble across and tell everybody about, 2008’s album was more acoustic by contrast, Little Hell loses some of it’s rawness, but makes up for it in more complete and polished performance. The first track We Found Each Other in the Dark must be the wedding song of the year too!
Liam Finn – Fomo
I sometimes wonder if Liam Finn gets frustrated by people wanting him to be Crowded House. I love the fact he hasn’t fallen into to the trap of trying to recreate that success and has his own unique sound and is pushing his music’s creativity. A fantastic sophomore album from this extremely talented Kiwi. Proudly Made in NZ, get this.
TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
TV on the Radio’s Nine Types of light has a bit of everything. Opening track Second Song starts slow but takes things up notch once the beat kicks in. A creative album that is unique, interesting and brilliant at the same time.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
I was a little underwhelmed with Blood Bank, and the side project Volcano Choir took a different direction so I was happy upon first listen knowing that this was going to be an album that would be on high rotate. Checkout the Bon Iver website for a listen and visual overload. Beautiful music.
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Helplessness Blues is one of those albums that I find I put on a lot. While it doesn’t break any new ground for the band, I’ve really enjoyed this album and its not just for Foxes fans. Have a listen, then go buy it.
Wilco – The Whole Love
Wilco keep delivering and I’ve enjoyed there last two releases more than any other albums. The alternate version of Black Moon on the bonus disc is one of my favourite tracks of the year. Proof that the drugs don’t work, another sober album from Tweedy has become a favourite.
Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
Elbow is one of my favorite bands, they are one of those groups that should be far more successful, although I guess they are huge in the UK, especially after taking out the mercury prize for Seldom Seen Kid. The lads can chalk up another success with Build A Rocket Boys! Highly recommended. Imagine this live! Goose bumps and chills ensue.
Radiohead – King of Limbs
I’m an unashamed Radiohead fanboy. While King of Limbs is probably more of a fan album than something like 2007’s In Rainbows, for me it delivered in every way. The vinyl press splits the 8 tracks down the middle and each side has a different feel. Side A is more similar to Thom’s solo work with an electronic underpinning whereas Side B is beautiful Radiohead through and through. Give up the Ghost was one of my favourite tracks of the year, and as usual with Radiohead the recording is top notch.
Gareth Thomas Band – Lady Alien
Ok so technically Lady Alien was released late 2010, sue me. What a wonderful album, and recording too. This has been a favorite of both Tiens and I, and I’m sure many of our clients this year were shown the ways of this glorious album from Goodshirt‘s front man Gareth Thomas. Made in NZ. Buy it. Now. Here’s a live video of Get Along Better.
So, what have you been listening to?
Thanks so much for your support this year, we are now closed and all orders will be processed on 9th of January (sorry we need a break too!).