The 10 Best Albums of 2011
wowz. This has been so amazingly difficult. It’s been a year of evolution in regards to my music taste – a year when maamf featured perhaps more local stuff than ever before, and a year when the local scene in general was pretty freaking strong. It’s also been a year where my taste has gotten even broader…I don’t know how, but it has.
Attempting to dwindle this down to 10 was so hard. Others aren’t doing a top 10, but are instead doing a top 50. That be cray cray is you ask me.
I’m also too lazy.
So, like other years, a bit of an honourable mention section. The peeps that so nearly made the top 10 were:
Big Scary – Vacation, Feist – Metals, M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, Seekae +DOME, Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine, Total Control – Henge Beat.
There were also a whole heap of albums that made a super long list of about 48 albums or so – you can check out those on our facebook.
Anyway, from 1-10, these are my fave albums of 2011. Complete with a stream of a track from each. If you dig, you should get them out again. If you don’t have ’em, grab ’em!
1. Twerps – Twerps
From that opening riff, you know that this is going to be an amazing album. I guess time will tell, but to me, this album is already an Australian classic. Sounds super wanky, but it sounds Australian – I think it’s those big sweeping guitars and the strong bass lines. And it’s the fact that it straddles that line between sounding big and grand but still sounds like it’s just a few mates messing around.
Twerps – Who Are You
2. Adalita – Adalita
An album pretty heavy with emotion is Adalita’s debut. Dean Turner, bass player with Adalita’s old band Magic Dirt helped in the production of some of this album before he passed away two years ago. The album itself sounds quite restrained and considered – Adalita super strong vocals doubled up with a solo guitar full of distortion is almost haunting.
Adalita – The Repairer
3. Oscar + Martin – For You
This was so close for my album of the year. The thing I love the most about this disc is the beats. And the vocals. And that pretty Melbourne sounding floor tom. And the 90’s r’nb influence. But nah, yeah, it really is the grooves that get me on this.
Oscar + Martin – Do The Right Thing
4. Gotye – Making Mirrors
It would be stupid of me if I didn’t include this on the list. People are calling this album of the year, and you can see why. The amazing production on this album will ensure it has it’s place as a bit of an Aussie classic. Wally is an incredible musician and such an amazingly great songwriter. There isn’t a bad song on this disc.
Gotye – State of the Art
5. The Middle East – I Want That You Are Always Happy
Perhaps one of the most anticipated local releases of the year, this, as an album, is a bit of a work of art. The shear emotion that builds right across the disc is moving. Sure there are the sometimes out there lyrics (jesus you’re a fire in my foreskin everyday – Merry Christmas everyone!), but yeah, all together, it’s an album that evokes such clear imagery – and I don’t necessarily mean the lyrics. These guys definitely went out on a high note.
The Middle East – Ninth Avenue Reverie
6. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
When this album finally dropped I was initially a bit disappointed. It’s definitely no In Ghost Colours, but after a few more listens, it’s actually a pretty solid release. There are definitely some great tracks on here and I really like the way it all somehow melds together. It’s no secret that I absolutely love these gents!
Cut Copy – Pharaohs & Pyramids
7. Oh Mercy – Great Barrier Grief
Yeah, so bad puns aside, I really like the work of Alexander Gow. I think their first album was a bit of a sleeper hit – flew under the radar a bit. This disc definitely has had a lot more promo, but i think there’s a real sound that comes through on this record. hearing interviews with Gow, he’s quite romantic about the idea of Australia and the shear vastness of land in this country. I think the record has captured that pretty nicely.
Oh Mercy – Doldrums
8. Single Twin – Marcus Teague
To me, this was an album that I gave one listen and then it gathered dust, well, it gathered digital dust. There were one or two tracks on there that I knew were great, well crafted pop songs, but man, I’m so glad I went back. All the tracks on this album are so well crafted. But easily, I think the thing that makes this go from a good album to a great album is the bed of noise that sits beneath each track – the samples, the slight distortion. They sound quite separate, but they seem to compliment each other really well.
Single Twin – The Blow (Fell Out The Window)
9. Step-Panther – Step-Panther
This is a disc that holds one of my fave tracks of the year. My Neck is such a killer, sweet, smack in your face packet of slacker-kid goodness. But then, so is the album. I never really expected this disc to be near the top for me, but after giving it a few listens, man, it’s just a heap of fun.
Step-Panther – Rock And Roll Alien
This is seriously one of the albums that gives me tingles. Warm lovely nostalgic tingles. English peeps Yuck, do fuzzed out indie pop goodness – sure, some of the stuff sounds the same, and it is massively tinged with 90’s fuzz stuff like Dinosaur Jnr, but the sounds that they do produce, to me, are some of the best.
Yuck – Georgia