these lists are often difficult to compile, but this year it was quite easy to find the top songs. some of the artists chosen are old favorites while some bands are discoveries as recent as a month ago. i could probably list 20 or more, but more than ten seems a bit overkill. i love reading other music lists to check out stellar stuff that i might have missed in the last year. largehearted boy does a fantastic job at compiling some of the best end-of-year music lists on the web.
in alphabetical order, these are my choices for best singles of 2011. what are some of your favorites?
astronautalis – contrails (featuring tegan quin of tegan & sara)
astronautalis (aka andy bothwell) is a touring machine and has made an interesting progression with all of his album releases from his electro/rock/spoken word beginnings to his current alt hip-hop sound. i’ve been a fan for years since his days as a resident of north texas (he has since lived in seattle and now local to minneapolis). and can say his fourth full-length album, this is our science, is incredible from start to finish. check him out live if you have the chance. i took some friends to see him at sxsw and they were incredibly impressed.
bad lamps – never know the difference
this is a catchy song with an interesting video… so interesting that it was all over reddit so naturally the song got some notice. bad lamps are a dude duo with just four songs under their belt, aka the soultronic ep. hopefully they will release more in the near future.
beirut – santa fe
zach condon continues to pop out amazing albums one after the other. the most recent album, the rip tide, has the same balkan sound we all love about beirut while adding a bit more pop. i’ve been a fan of beirut since 2006’s gulag orkestar and finally got to see zach live for the first time a few months ago. i guess that is what happens when touring is mostly spent overseas and that hiatus when beirut’s future was in question. one of my favorite songs of all time will always be postcards from italy.
dom – living in america
the drums – money
i dare you to listen to this track from the drums and tell me you don’t like it. the band’s second album, portamento, was just released a few months ago and already this song is in heavy rotation, especially on kexp. the album is fantastic!
check back tomorrow for part two!
also coming this month…best music festival, best live shows and best beers list!