In keeping with tradition, here are my favorite albums of 2011.
10. The King is Dead by The Decemberists. I saw them play in 2010 for the first time and was blown away. I bought this album the day it came out and loved it on first play. Great record.
9. Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron & Wine. For whatever reason, I’ve never been into Iron & Wine. Just never been my thing. But then I heard “Walking Far From Home” which was unlike any other Iron & Wine song I had ever heard.
8. The King of Limbs by Radiohead. I’m a Radiohead fan. This record won’t challenge the top Radiohead record ever made (that title goes to the Bends). But it’s solid and I’m happy that Radiohead is still putting out quality music after so many years.
7. Nine Types of Light by TV on the Radio. Do you own this record. If not, go get it. Thank me later.
6. I Am Very Far by Okkervil River. Found out about the new record on fredwilson.vc. Downloaded it and digging it since.
5. Hysterical by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. This one caught me by surprise. It took me a few listens. Then I was hooked.
4. Bon Iver by Bon Iver. Wow, what a record. Holocene gets a lot of airplay but the entire album is great. Bon Iver is my go to place when I just need to get my head on straight.
3. The People’s Key by Bright Eyes. I’ve been listening to Conor Oberst for a long time and seen him live in various bands. This year we saw Bright Eyes play at the House of Blues (fka Avalon). It was classic Bright Eyes all the way. Love this album.
2. The Year of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon. This record simply blew me away. I can’t stop listening to it. It somehow changes every time I listen to it. I heard Trevor Powers talk about recording this in a garage to get the right reverb effect.
1. The Head and The Heart (self titled). Die hard fans will call me out on this one. This was technically released by the band back in 2009. A year later then they were signed by Sub Pop Records and the album was remastered and re-released in 2011. Whatever, this band is amazing. We saw them live at the Bowery in Boston and I danced my face off. Great record from the first song to the last.
It’s been an amazing year for new music. I’m a little sad I only saw two of these bands play this year. My resolution for 2012 is to see more live music. Who’s in?