BEST SONGS OF 2011 #11-30

 

**BONUS** Childish Gambino – Heartbeat

I first heard this song a couple weeks ago. I haven’t had enough time to evaluate where this would fit into the ‘best of’ list, or where it will end up in the social zeitgest. But maybe in a few months it will change my life and it will be high on the best of 2012 list. Childish Gambino = Donald Glover aka Troy, the black guy from the underrated and under appreciated NBC sitcom “Community”.

30. Cults – Go Outside

Let me start off by saying I’m pretty sure these first 3 songs (#28-30) came out in 2010, but I think the albums all came out in 2011. It’s grey area, but I think they all made their biggest impressions in 2011. They’re all very similar in style; dreamy, poppy indie rock from young newcomers. They’re all catchy and get more infectious upon more listens. They all also got heavy play in advertisements and mainstreams radio. Cults also released a pretty impressive video with James Franco’s little brother and Julia Robert’s niece Emma.

29. Foster the People – Pumped up Kicks

Another one of those dancey indie pop tracks that blend into each other. Again, I gotta give it props because it was pretty damn infectious. My friend Faith clued me in that this song is apparently about the Columbine shooters, which makes the lyrics “Better run faster than my bullet” make a lot more sense. Proving that all you need is a good melody for a song to be popular.

28. The Naked and Famous – Young Blood

Infectious, poppy, indie. You know the formula by now.

27. Tyler the Creator –  Yonkers

The brash, controversial, and polarizing frontman of Odd Future had a HUGE single for an underground (no more) rapper. His rough lyrics and beefing with Tegan and Sara might have over-shadowed the fact that this is the only radio-friendly song on his whole record. The dude’s got a lot of growing up to do, both mentally and musically, but this was a pretty dope song, and an even more amazing music video.

26. Lana del Rey – Video Games

After a makeover Lana Del Rey was ready to take over the blogosphere. Producing one of the best poolside jams of the year. But all anyone can talk about are her huge silicon lips.

25. New Boyz – Crush on You

It’s hard to tell whether or not the new New Boyz album was a flop or huge success. There definitely wasn’t anything as big as “You’re a Jerk” on it, but they got tons of play on televised sporting events and in general. Most of the album is dismissible, but Crush on You was that sound that I was looking for you. Heavy bassline, minimal production, cool whistling. Solid party rap.

24. Portugal. The Man – Got it All (This Can’t Be Living Now)

I don’t have much to say about this song. I like the dude’s voice, and the chorus even more. The Portland rockers have been around for a few years, but haven’t made me take notice until this song. We’ll see where they take it from here.

23. Clams Casino – She’s Hot

I posted this recently, ranting and raving about this great instrumental from Hip-Hop producer Clams Casino. He often works with Lil B, but I think he shines on his own. There’s an instrumental album out there somewhere. I’ve heard some of his other productions, this track is not a fluke.

22. Carte Blanche ft. Alexis Taylor – With You

Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip adds some great vocals to a great dance track from Riton and the late great DJ Mehdi. This is not a tribute placing. This song was in my constant rotation and was in a mixtape from this year before Mehdi passed. I love Carte Blanche’s sound, and it’s a shame that this act now ceases to exist.

21. My Morning Jacket – Holdin On to Black Metal

My Morning Jacket and Jim James always come correct. I wouldn’t call this indie rock, it’s just good old fashion rock music. A mix of Americana and 6o’s classic rock like Stones or even Beatles. My favorite part is the faux ending at about the 2:45 mark, then it picks back up and keeps rocking.

20. Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci

One of the biggest hits of the year. And maybe the first big hit from a white female rapper ever. I cant think of another. But if Nicki Minaj didn’t make it so big this year, Kreayshawn would have the genre all to herself.

19. Kanye West & Jay-Z – Otis

One of the biggest, most important tracks of the year. It kind of takes a hit in the rankings because after you listen to The Throne album on repeat for weeks at a time like I did, this song ceases to stand out anymore. But a head-nodding soulful Hip-Hop track. Much like most of the Throne. Oddly enough I heard a lot of white women did not like this song. Go figure.

18. Firefox AK – Boom Boom Boom (Coucheron Remix)

I get sent music all the time from unknown artists, and people ask me all the time if the music I get is any good. Well I think this may be the best track I got sent all year. I fell in love with it glitchy-electro track featuring Firefox AK’s catchy vocals immediately and I haven’t been able to stop playing it ever since. I play it in gigs and for friends, and now its in the ‘best of’ list. Firefox AK is a cute little lady and I know even less about Coucheron, but thank you both for this gem.

17. Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx – Nightcall

The lead-off track to the impressive Drive Soundtrack features two familiar musicians, French electro-producer Kavinsky and CSS frontwoman Lovefoxxx. The two create a moody, cinematic ballad that takes you instantly into a head-nodding frenzy. It’s a perfect track to start off a dancey set, or to just throw on when you’re chilling on the catch in a smoky haze.

16. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If I Had a Gun…

I remember being impressed with the songwriting the first time I heard this song. I was thinking to myself, “this ain’t your average, run-of-the-mill indie rock track.” And I couldn’t have been more righter. The one and only Noel Gallagher, the mind behind the pen of those great Oasis songs, leaves his brother and continues to make great music. Though somehow even sadder than before.

15. Beth Ditto – I Wrote the Book

Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto, journeyed out or her own and released a 4 track EP. The standout track was the dancey “I Wrote the Book”. If you are a fan of Gossip’s work this is a release you can not miss. Everything she touches turns to gold, just checkout her work with Simian Mobile Disco from their last release.

14. Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know

Gotye has apparently been hustling as an underground musician for years, but didn’t get what he deserved until he released this super-infectious track. It’s solid songwriting, good female backup vocals, and nice instrumentation. It shows hard work does payoff. As of today (Dec. 30th) this song has over 30 million plays on Youtube!

13. The Weeknd – What You Need

This song is so good that Drake adopted The Weeknd’s sound for his entire sophomore album. I constantly get asked “who is this” when I play this in a DJ set. Well everyone his name is THE WEEKND. He’s a Canadian soul singer with a sharp tongue and an ear for mysterious, ethereal production. I just heard one of his songs on pop music radio station KIIS FM last week, and with his collaborations with Drake, I feel you will be hearing his name a lot more in the very near future. Like tomorrow.

12. Metronomy – The Bay

Yowsah. I played this in a set, and then a couple weeks later I heard 2manydjs (my favorite DJ group) play this in a set. Need I say more? Dancy, rocking, melodic, fancy.

11. Raziek – Addiction

I lied earlier in the post, and I dont feel like going back to delete it, so I’ll just ratify it hear. THIS SONG, not Firefox AK, was the best unknown track I got sent all year. The guys at Top Billin sent this to me and I have been addicted ever since. This is Raziek’s Moombahton-esque take on R&B crooner Ryan Leslie’s “Addiction”. It’s super impressive, as are most of Raziek’s other productions, but this one hit the head of the heart for me. If this don’t get you dancing, go to Church, cuz you have no soul!

3 Responses to “BEST SONGS OF 2011 #11-30”

  1. I have the whole song +lyrics at my blog
    http://nowroz-newsongs.blogspot.com/
    be the first to watch it full and comment with ur opinion and click on ads please!

  2. I have the whole song +lyrics at my blog
    http://nowroz-newsongs.blogspot.com/
    be the first to watch it full and comment with ur opinion and click on ads please!
    i love this song!!!!

  3. Some great tracks, especially Metronomy’s ‘The Bay’!

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