Top 42 Songs From 2011

Seems it’s time for the annual Top 42 Songs of the Year award (6th edition!). If you’ve missed the other five, well, I wish you good luck as they lay in various states of disrepair around the site. The plan is to have each of the entries from the previous 5 years streaming endlessly for your pleasure, but for the moment you will have to do with the less than exciting text versions.

For this year’s Top 42 I’ve decided that the songs shall be downloadable for the traditional 12 days, after which they will switch to stream only. So if you are reading this in a week’s time you can still get a flavour of the music that made our world go round this year. Speaking of which, 2011 was the year that we lost interest in music. Now, that’s not as startling a development as you might imagine for it only means that we’ve stopped trying to read each of the hundreds of the rss feeds we follow, ceased chasing bands who don’t include mp3’s in their emails and ended wondering how we could conceivably match forkcast for its prolific output. In essence we’ve decided to play it by ear and drop the self conceived pressure of trying to listen to everything that was buzzing in our section of the internet.

The above decision gave us our lives back and it meant that we could play the songs we liked for more than the usual 30 secs. So, this year’s Top 42 may not have been plucked from a great expanse of mp3s, but in many ways we believe it is among the best we’ve curated thusfar. Just one other development this year, quite worrying it is too, and that was our near complete disregard for albums. There just wasn’t the time, just have to wait until the kids grow up.

This Top 42 appears in reverse order so as to build some faux tension and anticipation. As per usual we’ve left out anything that appeared on our label Indiecater. The final caveat is that each act can only appear once. There is a link to the original post in each case, where you’ll find links to the bands website and information on where you can procure their output. Commentary welcome. KD

This is how our 2011 sounded

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42) Saganism ““ The Information

“¦an Orbesque type venture”¦

Saganism ““ The Information

41) Slowwave ““ Scrapheap

“¦darkly turned out, like a glorious non-single from Doves”¦

Slowwave ““ Scrapheap

40) Sweatshop Union ““ Oh My

“¦hip hop’s gotta work extra hard to catch our attention so when it swings by it’s pretty great”¦

Sweatshop Union ““ Oh My

39) High Highs ““ Flowers Bloom

“¦attracts grey haired people on the lookout for vestiges of the sound from their youth”¦

High Highs ““ Flowers Bloom

38) New Animal ““ I Think It’s Working

“¦may take a little time to work up a head of steam but once it does it is one locomotive you’ll want to catch”¦

New Animal ““ I Think It’s Working

37) ““ Pacific

“¦simple electro bounce and peppy vocals”¦ – Pacific

36) Youth Lagoon ““ Afternoon

“¦a woozy delight, flush with creativity and otherworldness”¦

Youth Lagoon – Afternoon

35) For Those Who Know – Wimbledon

“¦the juxtaposition of white noise, melody and pure as driven snow vocals”¦

For Those Who Know – Wimbledon

34) Grand Pocket Orchestra ““ Ooh La Te Woo

“¦the clouds cleared and out popped Julian Koster and his Singing Saw”¦

Grand Pocket Orchestra ““ Ooh La Te Woo

33) Snails ““ She’d Like An Hour

“¦put together in a fashion that would embarrass most veteran embroiderers”¦

Snails ““ She’d Like An Hour

32) Celebration – I Will Not Fall

“¦out of focus patterns, drifting dollops of scuzz that intersect occasionally to a form a blaze of sucrose uniformity”¦

Celebration – I Will Not Fall

31) Real Estate ““ Municipality

“¦you’ll know our penchant for soft rolling chords and Real Estate appear to have hills of the stuff”¦

Real Estate – Municipality

30) Last Days of 1984 ““ River’s Edge

“¦all well and good dallying in electro gadgets but it’s the quality of the human parts that distinguish songs”¦

Last Days of 1984 – Rivers Edge

29) Generationals ““ Ten-Twenty-Ten

“¦has the rhythm, groove and all round feel of a song that could go viral”¦

Generationals – Ten-Twenty-Ten

28) Mapuche – She Unsaid (Edu K Midnight Remix)

“¦fresh from serious nodding on foot of Mapuche’s mysterious email I was intrigued enough to find out about the basis for the wondrous noise”¦

Mapuche – She Unsaid (Edu K Midnight Remix)

27) Girls Names ““ I Lose

“¦post break-up Vaccines.”¦

Girls Names ““ I Lose

26) PJ Harvey ““ The Colour Of The Earth

“¦sounding as demure as I’ve ever heard her (genuine kettle putting on mood)”¦

PJ Harvey – The Colour Of The Earth

25) Mint Julep – Invisible Waves

“¦Ms. Kenniff does a great job matching the digital splinters for effervescent energy and the gear change at chorus time adds the necessary focal point”¦

Mint Julep – Invisible Waves

24) Algodón Egipcio ““ El Ingenio Humano

“¦like El Guincho were he to concentrate on the audio rather than on the splendid visual”¦

Algodón Egipcio ““ El Ingenio Humano

23) Cut Copy – Where I’m Going

“¦not bad for a song that initially appears very like the start of something from Snow Patrol”¦

Cut Copy – Where I’m Going

22) Percolator ““ Yellow Fire

“¦succeeds in sounding like a song we’ve been committing to mixtape for the best part of our compilation forming lives”¦

Percolator – Yellow Fire

21) The Mummers ““ Call Me A Rainbow

“¦deserving of more than a half-lit underground berth, their music is the stuff of universal appeal”¦

The Mummers – Call Me A Rainbow

20) Cian Nugent ““ Sixes and Sevens (excerpt)

“¦while Cian Nugent doesn’t have Richard Kirby to help him out on arrangements he doesn’t suffer at all by that comparison”¦

Cian Nugent ““ Sixes and Sevens (excerpt)

19) La Sera ““ Watch Me Jump Start

“¦the longer Katy Goodman travels down the road with La Sera the increasingly gorgeous the results will become”¦

La Sera ““ Watch Me Jump Start

18) Siriusmo ““ Einmal In Der Woche Schreien

“¦a skittering joy, pulsing with more life than a thousand pulses it puts the I back in IDM”¦

Siriusmo ““ Einmal In Der Woche Schreien

17) PS I Love You – Leftovers’s the subtlety in the chord changes and the swish vocal dynamics beneath the din that distinguishes it”¦

PS I Love You – Leftovers

16) DEDE – Secrets

“¦blends dreampop with funk bass and trip hop beats”¦

DEDE – Secrets

15) Jonny – Candyfloss

“¦sugar, no spice, just all things nice”¦

Jonny – Candyfloss

14) Secret Cities – Love Crime

“¦a Grizzly Bear growl and a tender grip that won’t relent until you do”¦

Secret Cities – Love Crime

13) Février ““ Empress (Textural Reshape)

“¦approximate a form of the Field meets M83ism”¦

Février ““ Empress (Textural Reshape)

12) cfit ““ Dig Up

“¦awkwardly anthemic and deserving of a heaving blogosphere worth of plaudits it only suffers by being about a minute or so too short”¦

cfit ““ Dig Up

11) Malajube ““ Synesthésie

“¦classic pop so warm it could even make cities at -40C appear somewhat balmy”¦

Malajube ““ Synesthésie

10) Low – Try To Sleep

“¦like a still frosty morning and thereafter the pacing and atmosphere, while measured, is noteworthy for its warmth”¦

Low – Try To Sleep

9) I Break Horses – Hearts

“¦hero gazers”¦

I Break Horses – Hearts

8) Washed Out ““ Amor Fati

“¦a real song amongst the tropical flavourings”¦

Washed Out – Amor Fati

7) Other Lives – For 12

“¦Jesse Tabish vocals are instinctive, they swoop, they soar and are never less than imperious alongside the cinematic instrumentation”¦

Other Lives – For 12

7a) Doug Hoyer ““ Oh, The Wind Will Blow (ft. Jessica Jalbert)

“¦Hoyer brings the deep masculine, Jalbert the fragile foil and the music just whips the pre-existing hormones into a frenzy of activity”¦

Doug Hoyer ““ Oh, The Wind Will Blow (ft. Jessica Jalbert)

6) Faust ““ Herbststimmung

“¦what Chopin did next”¦

Faust – Herbststimmung

5) Winter Villains – Icebergs

“¦icy breath, frozen body parts and the realisation that nature will forever outstrip human invention”¦

Winter Villains – Icebergs

4) Treefight For Sunlight – What Became Of You And I

“¦perfect harmonies abound with a straight laced verse laying the perfect foundation for what is a chorus straight from the pet sounds songbook”¦

Treefight For Sunlight – What Became Of You And I

3) Brown Recluse – Impression Of A City Morning

“¦a cuddly cherub in the vein of old skool Belle & Sebastian”¦

Brown Recluse – Impression Of A City Morning

2) Little Jungles ““ Winter Was Warmer

“¦shoegaze note-perfectness of ‘Winter Was Warmer’ will be by our side for the longest time”¦

Little Jungles – Winter Was Warmer

1) Lower Dens ““ Batman

“¦Jana Hunter’s vocals stop just short of caterwauling and give the song such a distinct personality it surely announces the Baltimore act as one of the best prospects around”¦

Lower Dens – Batman

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  1. December 12, 2011

    Interesting to find the Cian Nugent track in your list. When the album came out there was quite a fanfare among Irish bloggers and then nothing … well nothing until this list!

    • hugger
      December 12, 2011

      Have to say I ignored the initial fanfare and when I finally heard this song I realised why there was a fanfare. I guess at this stage, and in keeping with the previous sentence, I’ve gone beyond being a fareweather fan.

  2. Stanley
    July 17, 2012

    Are the mp3s only available for a certain time?

    • hugger
      July 17, 2012

      Yes, only 12 days like everything else on this site.

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