This year is over halfway over? Unbelievable. I haven’t even put away all of my winter clothes and the summer is sweating through the windows.
The whirlwind year has spit me out just in time to list out a few of my top songs of 2011. Making this list was difficult in part because when asked on the spot what songs I love so far, I blank entirely. But they came sinking back slowly and in no particular order…
The Dodos – “Black Night”
They’re at it again. The Dodos have managed to remain stripped down to primarily drums and guitar and still create music that fills a room. Meric Long’s frantic strumming and yelps burst through the heavy percussions in the opening track from No Color. This is the sound of bottled emotion escaping.
Tyler, the Creator – “Yonkers”
I’m a sucker for a strong beat and this song well exceeds that. The steady rhymes of lead rapper from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All parallel the even keel of the beat behind the music. He rhymes “triceratops!” The video is pretty unsettling, complete with vomit and bloody noses.
Thao & Mirah – “Little Cup”
One of the most beautiful female voices out there (Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn) paired with one of the most eclectic (Thao Nguyen) forms the powerhouse Thao & Mirah. This song fronted by Mirah and supported by Thao’s soft whispers. The end carries me away every time.
Panda Bear – “Slow Motion”
Repeat offender on the TWJ staffers favorites list. And for good reason. Panda Bear’s signature layering undulates from one refrain to the next. This song meanders and in the end the repetition of “it counts” leaves an impression in your mind.
Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”
This is the quintessential modern day love song. ‘Nuf said.
Fool’s Gold – “Street Clothes”
It’s good to hear again from this worldly LA band. I was privledged enough to write on this song earlier in the summer and look forward to hearing the rest of Leave No Trace when the album comes out in August.
Cee Lo Green – “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care”
This man can do no wrong. His cover of this ditty is a perfect fit to pay tribute to the ultimate crooner, Buddy Holly. Both boys pack lungs but Green adds his characteristic fun that makes it worth the listen.
Future Islands – “Before the Bridge”
I recently fell for this band and have torn through their 2010 album In Evening Air. So when the single to their next album (out in July!) surfaced, it made a stealthy play for my affection. “Do you believe in love?”
Beirut – “Santa Fe”
While a kick ass beat will have me fixated, the peppy keyboards in this song has its appeal. The daftly orchestrated band surrendered their big brass sound for a little more pop in this song.
Rubik – “Laws of Gravity”
This song will undoubtedly get me dancing through the apartment. This band from Finland created a video that captures the song’s crescendo perfectly by pairing it with video of ski jumpers from the 80’s. And that’s about all that makes sense.