Saturday, 15 October 2011

Favourite Releases of 2011 So Far

So we're well past halfway through 2011, a year which has so far provided us with a plethora of great releases from an ever-increasing range of genres. I've been keeping a mental list of favourite records probably since April, though in my inability to be decisive I keep adding to this and in doing so I seem to have a fair few more albums than the ten I initially set out to have. Make no mistake, this is no bad thing - more good music is always a positive - although it does make selecting just a few albums difficult. Below you can see the "few albums" I've chosen (that is, the "few albums" from each month of the year so far!) A link to download highlights from each album can be found at the end of this post.

DISCLAIMER: My attempts at reviewing/summarising albums are mediocre at best so apologies if you were expecting any commentary (you're better off checking Pitchfork/Drowned in Sound for actual reviews etc). BUT LOOK AT THE PRETTY ALBUM COVERS AND LISTEN TO THE MUSIC ANYWAY. Please :)

*EDIT* Apparently links weren't working properly for everyone so I've split it in two parts and uploaded it to a better site.


L-R: Native Speaker - Braids ; Dye It Blonde - Smith Westerns ; Kaputt - Destroyer

L-R: Zonoscope - Cut Copy ; Underneath the Pine - Toro y Moi ; Space Is Only Noise - Nicolas Jaar

L-R: Wounded Rhymes - Lykke Li ; Civilian - Wye Oak ; 936 - Peaking Lights

L-R : Apocalypse - Bill Callahan ; Wit's End - Cass McCombs ; W H O K I L L - tUnE - yArDs


L-R: Eye Contact - Gang Gang Dance ; Smother - Wild Beasts ; D - White Denim

L-R: Cults - Cults ; Bon Iver - Bon Iver ; Go Tell Fire To The Mountain - WU LYF

L-R: Within and Without - Washed Out ; nyc stuff and nyc bags - Vondelpark ; Player Piano - Memory Tapes 

L-R: The Rip Tide - Beirut ; Wander / Wonder - Balam Acab ; Bad Vibes - Shlohmo

L-R: Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Girls ; Strange Mercy - St Vincent ; In Heaven - Twin Sister

For your listening pleasure, I've put together a mixtape of what I think are highlights from these albums; hopefully you'll be encouraged to check out any albums you may not have listened to so far.

(same as last time, if you could listen to the tracks in file name order at least the first time that'd be great as the sequencing is almost as important as the tracks themselves ;) )

Small Addendum...
In the ridiculous time it's taken me to compile this post (almost a month, have kept on changing my mind) there's been another great release I'd like to mention quickly as it may've passed people by due to it only being an EP. Jens Lekman's EP An Argument With Myself is a brief but hilarious record of five songs which cannot fail to make you smile at the very least. Seriously, listen to the lyrics in the opening and title track and think of all the times you've been walking along debating something in your head. Plus the Graceland-esque instrumentation can't be faulted.