Music is something I greatly enjoy, yet it is something I rarely get to talk about. I have a few friends on Twitter that have similar tastes but the subject just does not come up that often. So, in order to share a little bit about what I like and have been listening to this year, I thought I’d share a smattering of music I purchased and enjoyed in 2011. No human alive, save for those for whom it is their job, can listen to everything that comes out. So if you by chance see my selections and think there’s another artist I might like, don’t hesitate to comment or speak up!
In no particular order, here are a few albums I bought this year, along with links to Amazon and, if I could find one, a YouTube video.
This is a fantastic album. The title track, “Civilian”, was one of my most listened-to tracks of the year. Wye Oak creates a sound that is complex and somewhat haunting, with interesting religious overtones and just enough of a rock edge. Listen to the track below… it is awesome.
As a massive fan of Fleet Foxes’ first offering, this one had high expectations from me, and did not disappoint in the least. This is one of those albums that gets better with each listen as you discover new levels. Expertly crafted songs. My favorite track is hard to pick, but I’ll go with the title track, “Helplessness Blues.”
Now this one was a bit of a departure for me. I’ve never been a fan of music with a lot of electronic sounds. But this one quickly won me over. It is a complex, interesting collection of songs that is simply a great listen. Tracks I particularly liked include “Cruel” and “Cheerleader”.
I don’t buy a lot of country music (maybe one or two albums a year). A lot of it, quite frankly, sucks. But the Pistol Annies go back to classic country goodness to produce a very enjoyable record. Favorite tracks include “Lemon Drop” and “Bad Example”. Below is the only one officially on YouTube, the title track.
This is just a fantastic debut by two musicians who have amazing chemistry and produce some of the most pleasant music I’ve heard this year. Pretty much every track is a nice listen. One of my favorites is “Girl With The Red Balloon”.
I’ve heard this band compared to Mumford & Sons, another one of my favorite groups. But I found this ensemble to be somewhat lower-energy, a little more laid-back. There are some great tunes here though, I’d suggest “Lost in my Mind,” “Ghosts,” and “Down in the Valley” to start.
This one I just discovered about a week ago so it just made it under the wire. Really good music, with a harrowing theme about England in turmoil. Worth a purchase for both reasons.
Yes, first of all I do realize this album came out in 1996. So I’m a little behind here – give me a break, I wasn’t always a big music fan. But if you’re someone who has not heard this, or even more so if you’ve never heard Belle and Sebastian, this is pretty much the most perfect indie pop I’ve heard. Every song’s a winner. I’m so glad I decided to dig into B & S this year – better late than never.
So there you go. As promised, a sampling of what I was buying and listening to in 2011. I bought plenty of other stuff too (through eMusic and Amazon) but I either haven’t had the chance to fully take it in, or it just simply did not stick with me. I might add one or two if I discover a glaring hole. But for now, I’d invite you to enjoy the videos I posted and perhaps discover some wonderful new music!