Archive for January, 2012

The Best Songs of 2011

Monday, January 16th, 2012
  1. St. Vincent – Surgeon - Easy choice for me this year. Check your pulse after you watch the linked performance.
  2. The National – Exile Vilify – Didn’t expect them to be candidates the year after High Violet, but 2011 ended up seeing more new National material in the form of soundtrack contributions. This track, from the the game Portal 2 (for some reason), ranks among their best ever.
  3. Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever – Probably my favorite Kurt Vile song to date, a song I can listen to on repeat endlessly.
  4. Wilco – I Might - The Whole Love is no Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but it’s still a very good comeback record after the awful Wilco (The Album). This fantastic, organ-driven power pop cut is the highlight.
  5. Real Estate – It’s Real – Doing jangle pop like the pros. Should have been the song of the summer.
  6. Atlas Sound – Terra Incognita – Many options on Bradford Cox’s latest. Going with “Terra Incognita” over “Mona Lisa,” but both tracks capture a master at a real creative peak.
  7. PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder – Brutal highlight from the year’s best album (and PJ Harvey’s masterpiece), Let England Shake.
  8. Radiohead – Lotus Flower – I’m a fan of The King of Limbs, but I get where the dissenters are coming from. Everyone agrees “Lotus Flower” is brilliant, yes?
  9. tUnE-yArDs – Bizness – Coolest vocal performance of the year.
  10. R.E.M. – Überlin – Not giving them a spot as a tribute or anything, this is a legitimate selection and the band’s best song in over a decade.
  11. Lana Del Rey – Video Games
  12. Washed Out – Amor Fati
  13. Cass McCombs – County Line
  14. James Blake – Love What Happened Here
  15. The Antlers – I Don’t Want Love
  16. Beyoncé – Countdown
  17. Cults – Abducted
  18. Colin Stetson – Judges
  19. Destroyer – Chinatown
  20. The Strokes – Life is Simple in the Moonlight