Friday, December 23, 2011
my 30 favourite albums of 2011
You can really get lost in the mysterious and ghostly atmosphere of Violet Cries,
it is the perfect winter album.
A punk record with a hint of old-school garage sound... wonderfully fast and messy!
This ultra mellow and futuristic/spacey sounding album can really expand your imagination.
Refreshingly happy and wonderful.
A crazy drone black metal album with electronica/industrial beats—think of Suicide meets Sunn)))—Kurdaitcha is one weird, but amazing sounding album.
Download the album for free here!
Raw and catchy skate/pop-punk album by a band from Cornwall.
Download the album for free over the Banger's Bandcamp page!
It's crazy how such minimalistic vocal style and downtempo beats can convey so much emotion.
Wickedly loud hardcore album!
While I have included two separate albums here—a mixtape, Cyberspace and Reds released shortly before the official album, Computers and Blues—they feel like one big album for me. Both records are equally great and feature some of the catchiest beats and wittiest lyrics by The Street.
Dark and mysterious grime beats make Dedication feel like something out of a dramatic thriller movie.
I love this band and their incredible live shows! Although not nearly as good as their masterpiece debut, Helplessness Blues is still a damn fine folk album with unforgettable lyrics. The title track is one of the best songs of the year!
Homeward Bound feels intimate and honest for its DIY and aggressively raw sound. It is fast, catchy and one of the most energetic records of the year!
Gorgeous up-beat music juxtaposed by some ironic and horrific lyrics.
A great compilation that shows off the band's talent and potential; can't wait to hear their proper full-length debut, No Gods, out on March 20, 2012!
An album that echoes the melodic riffs, pounding drums and aggressive vocals of 90s emo... absolutely LOVE this record!
20 explosive minutes of shouted vocals and sincere lyrics over some ridiculously flawless production. Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me features some of the most memorable lyrics of the year in "Condolences": "If you fantasize about your funeral, I understand / I've been there before / If what's more important, is the music played / Than who'd attend / We are the same..."
Alex Schaaf's soft and layered vocals make for a beautifully gentle album; "WHALE" and "Mary" are two of my favourite songs of 2011.
A fantastically nostalgic sounding album— it's like all my favourite punk/indie bands from the 90s merged to form a super band... think Jawbreaker + The Promise Ring + Guided by Voices + Pavement... so fucking good!
The ambient and experimental chiptune rhythm make the album dynamically mesmerizing. Future, Towards the Edge of Forever is my favourite instrumental album of the year.
A brilliant avant-garde jazz album full of soothing piano lullabies and minimalistic percussion. The best part about Everything's Getting Older is the fascinating lyrics and Aidan Moffat's wisely sounding voice provides engaging spoken-word stories, philosophies and rants.
This strange record sounds like something out of an epic, medieval or fantasy adventure movie; the dark-theatrical-folky-raw-punk style make it he most unique sounding record of the year!
A fascinating album that features some very sincere, personal and relatable autobiographical lyrics backed by smooth and minimalist production by Budo.
Fast, youthful, energetic and catchy as hell style reminisce of mid-90s punk bands such as Jawbreaker and The Promise Ring. There is not one bad song in this S/T debut... the only setback is that it is over way too quickly!
Stream the entire album here.
"In your new leather jacket, you're somebody else. / It's not nice to meet you in a fortress of self. / Thanks to your new leather jacket, we're nobodies now."
What singer/writer Itch does so entertainingly well is his ability to include humour (often in a mocking fashion) to his serious subject matter. Punk & Poetry is filled with punk attitudes, folk passion, it is inspiring, angry and lively; and even if you don't pay attention to Itch's great lyrics, you would enjoy the album simply for its insanely catchy chorus!
Creepily clever post-relationship lyrics and wonderfully strange arrangements produce an eerie sounding, yet very soothing folk-pop album.
I think this is the most entertaining album of the year simply for Denny Brewer's spoken word contribution. In addition, this sounds like early Bright Eyes—Fevers & Mirrors with a little bit of Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. The People's Key features great lyrics and sharp (but not overly produced) production.
"I was dressed in white, touched by something pure / Death obsessed, like a teenager / Sold my tortured youth, piss and vinegar / I'm still angry with no reason to be..."
Hands down the catchiest album of the year. The remarkable chemistry between the two members Brian Sella and Mathew Uychich makes this album ultra enjoyable! Together, they've created an youthfully fun and energetic sing-along record.
Awesome fast classic surf-punk sound (Agent Orange) combined with the raw attitude of hardcore (The Shitty Limits). This one is pretty obvious based on my love for both 80s surf-punk and hardcore.
If you ever wonder what Hüsker Dü music with Ian Curtis-like vocal sound like, this is it. I just love the explosively noisy, raw, and carefree sound—really reminds me of old punk music. FUCKING BRILLIANT!
#1 La Dispute: Wildlife
"Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself? / Can I ever be forgiven cause I killed that kid? / It was an accident I swear it wasn't meant for him!" —Very powerful stuff!
Perhaps the most memorable lyrics are the ones that sound like they came from Dreyer's subconscious; which in many ways, feel remarkably personal and frighteningly relatable.
"I know I never used to feel like this. / I used to never think of death or hear voices. / I used to feel like everything was perfectly in order, a normal life, / but I guess then came a departure."
—from "a Departure"
"I think the thing is that I shut off from everything. / From friends and family and my own ambitions. / From having fun. / I just shut off from everything."
—from "a Letter"
Wildlife is one of the most passionate and intimate albums I have ever heard and it features some of the best melodic hardcore music in recent years.
Stream the entire album here!