Monthly Archives: December 2011

Top 10 Albums of 2011

2011 is coming to an end, which means pretty much every blog is releasing their “best of the year” lists… and I couldn’t get left behind. Again, don’t take the order too seriously and comment if you’d add/remove something from the list. Enjoy.

10. Little Scream – The Golden Record

9. We Are Trees – Girlfriend EP

8. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

7. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation

6. Panda Bear – Tomboy

5. Caveman – CoCo Beware

4. Chad VanGaalen – Diaper Island


3. James Blake – James Blake

2. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

1. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

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Album: Delicate Steve – Wondervisions

As usual, I’m late… Wondervisions was released early this year, but it’s still worth mentioning. After my first listen, I had to re-listen immediately after… twice. Steve Marion grabbed a bunch of styles and created the weirdest hybrid, Delicate Steve. A little bit of Ratatat here, some Dirty Projectors there; if Temecula Sunrise‘s main riff appeared in one of Steve’s songs, it would not feel out of place. But while he grabs all these styles, he also gives the tracks a personal touch; Steve’s sound is fresh and original.

I do feel like the album needed a bit more work though. It’s only 27 minutes long and while some songs are great, others feel like they’re just there to fill space. The album sticks to a certain style and some tracks feel like they shouldn’t be there, they don’t stick to the main “theme” (but maybe that’s just me). But still, even if it was a short album, there are many moments filled with awesomeness and amazing guitar riffs.

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Top 30 songs of 2011

I struggled a lot trying to put this list together. I felt like a kid doing last minute homework, listening to all the stuff I should have heard throughout the year… so if I missed any good music, that’s why (if you’d add something to this list, comment below). Also, don’t take the order too seriously, it was really hard to determine which song was better than the other. Enjoy.

30. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Ffunny Ffrends (Unknown Mortal Orchestra)

29. Ducktails – Killin The Vibe (Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics)

28. Girls – Honey Bunny (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)

27. Youth Lagoon – Seventeen (The Year of Hibernation)

26. We Are Trees – You (Girlfriend EP)

25. tUnE-yArDs – Doorstep (w h o k i l l)

24. Feist – Bittersweet Melodies (Metals)

23. Atlas Sound – Te Amo (Parallax)

22. Real Estate – It’s Real (Days)

21. Little Scream – The Heron and the Fox (The Golden Record)

20. Smith Westerns – Weekend (Dye It Blonde)

19. St. Vincent – Cruel (Strange Mercy)

18. Youth Lagoon – July (The Year of Hibernation)

17. James Blake – We Might Feel Unsound (Enough Thunder)

16. Ducktails – Little Window (Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics)

15. Panda Bear – Alsatian Darn (Tomboy)

14. James Blake – Unluck (James Blake)

13. Kurt Vile – Baby’s Arms (Smoke Ring For My Halo)

12. Fleet Foxes – The Plains / Bitter Dancer (Helplessness Blues)

11. Chad VanGaalen – Burning Photographs (Diaper Island)

10. Fleet Foxes – Battery Kinzie (Helplessness Blues)

9. Bon Iver – Holocene (Bon Iver)

8. James Blake – Lindesfarne I & II (James Blake)

7. We Are Trees – Colorado (Girlfriend EP)

6. High Highs – Flowers Bloom (High Highs)

5. Caveman – My Room (Coco Beware)

4. Chad VanGaalen – Peace On The Rise (Diaper Island)

3. Fleet Foxes – Blue Spotted Tail (Helplessness Blues)

2. Bon Iver – Wash. (Bon Iver)

1. Robin Pecknold – I’m Losing Myself (Feat. Ed Droste) (Three Songs)

Best albums of 2011 coming soon.

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Track: Bronson – My Idle Bed

Patrick Ebermann (under the pseudonym of Bronson) released the album Paper Tusk about 14 days ago. One of the tracks featured in it is My Idle Bed.  It’s not just one of those home recordings that are floating all around the interwebs. If you know where to look, you can find tons of lo-fi bands or solo projects attempting to get some attention, which is why it is very hard to actually stand out and be heard. Bronson is one of the artists that we should lend an ear to. My Idle bed is very enjoyable, catchy, melancholic yet not whiny. Do check it out, Bronson is still quite small (having a total of 563 listeners on, so if you like it, you can buy a tape, CD or the MP3s (you can also download a couple songs for free).

A different version of this song was released in 2010 by Patrick’s band, Horses. The recording isn’t bad, but you can tell how his music has progressed (in a good way). Check it out.


PS: Top albums of 2011 list coming soon.

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Track: James Blake – Give A Man A Rod (Second Version)

So, today I ran across a James Blake track I had never heard before. This thing has been around since May this year, as a part of a compilation released by the label Hessle Audio: 116 & Rising. The track has almost all the attributes that I like about James Blake: the tasteful use of samples and modified or pitch-corrected voices and the brilliant beats. Give A Man A Rod, differing from many of Blake’s tracks, is not so minimalist. I feel like this track is sort of a hybrid between the Klavierwerke EP (very minimalist) and CMYK (where the tracks are slightly more “club-leaning”).

I highly recommend this, get it here for about 3 dollars.

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Album: Other Lives – Tamer Animals

Released May 2011, TBD Records.

I had never heard of Other Lives until I randomly stumbled upon this video; when I saw it, I didn’t automatically love them, but I thought the band had good potential. Unfortunately, Tamer Animals didn’t really capture me as I had thought, although it was not a total disappointment either.

As I began listening to it for the first time I enjoyed it a lot, especially when I heard the opening track “Dark Horse”. They are clearly influenced by Fleet Foxes but manage to maintain an original sound. But there was something that kept me from loving this thing, and it took me a while to determine what that was. As the album progressed, my initial joy started going downhill. The tracks became less and less exciting, as if they had chosen the best three or four tracks and put them at the beginning of the album. I also had a strong feeling that they were trying way to hard, trying to be the next big thing, the production feels slightly forced and unnatural. When I finished listening to the whole thing I was pretty disappointed. But still, I’m sure some of it’s tracks will remain in my playlists for a long while. The songs themselves are not too bad, but I think that if Other Lives had recorded in a more modest way, this would have been way better.

Listen: Other Lives – Dark Horse

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Hello world!

I’m looking forward to share some good music here. These posts won’t necessarily be reviews, I pretty much just want to spread and discuss the music that I consider worthwhile . My ears are open to pretty much anything, feel free to comment and recommend any band or your own home recordings, all is welcome.

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