From the Dylan-esque ‘Salinas’ to the Leonard Cohen lilt of ‘Night After Night’, Laura grows in the shadow of the greats. MWk, When attention spans are increasingly shot to pieces,
Axel Willner makes music that circumnavigates the Tumblr-numbed brain, tuning instead into some natural, eternal rhythm. For roughly a decade, Juliet Simms and Andy Biersack have dominated as the sweethearts of our corner of the music community, sharing an undeniable connection not only as artists but as soulmates. Frontman Daniel Blumberg created a wholly believable (and transcendent) fiction that was his own. Not bad for a bloody guitar player. SW. Back at the beginning of the year, Slow Club were a band wrongly tagged with some of
the most undesirable adjectives around; a twee duo cut from the Mumford cloth of rambunctious folk, they had devoted fans but were hardly contenders for any boundary-pushing crowns. Sure, their debut dug deep into the combined, low-slung, tunneling DNA of messrs Mascis, Moore and Malkmus, but this wasn’t pure parody. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=741469507001, Having proved their avant-garde credentials with ‘West Ryder…’, album four allowed Kasabian to get on with the simple business of being Britain’s most beloved band. So to see touts scrambling to buy and sell tickets outside their tour dates here last month felt like a proper victory – that as well as being praised by every cool band on the planet, the wider world was finally starting to take notice too. On first glance, Janine Rostron’s Planningtorock project seemed a peculiarly art-world experiment. “Do you wanna live?” Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards screamed at crowds across the world this year, brow furrowed and voice a low growl, like she’d personally be over with her warpaint to sort you out if you didn’t answer yes. The delicate choirboy grace of the Kendal quartet remained from their previous records, but on their third album it pulsated with urgent desire and need. The multi-talented indie artist made 2011's best CD. The New Jersey trio were initially lumped in with the chillwave subgenre that reached its hazy apotheosis last year, but there’s nothing ‘borrowed’ about their particular brand of nostalgia. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=664750481001. BN, http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1000324330001, One of the crispest electro-pop records of 2011, this Toronto outfit’s debut was as buoyant
as it was bleak. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=992215648001. Cue ‘Paradise’ – an album that showed the band’s true colours in all their sassy yet soulful glory. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1154665844001. ‘Cherish The Light Years’ was less fractured than 2009’s ‘Love Comes Close’, but no less fraught as Wesley Eisold observed his grim surroundings, blackened his synths and faced the coming apocalypse. ‘A supergroup featuring members of The Spells, Helium and Sleater-Kinney’ wasn’t exactly an email header that had editors banging their desks and demanding cover shoots when Wild Flag’s coming-together was announced last September. His debut was bruised basslines
that beat heavy with anxiety, but his masterstroke was bringing together a group of unknown vocalists – Sampha, Jessie Ware, Roses Gabor – who embodied a lifetime of sprawling city pain in a single sighed note. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. The record drips with psych lo-fi nostalgia, unsurprising given his heroes are Syd Barrett and RZA. Losing to PJ Harvey must be about as galling as coming second at Scrabble to Stephen Fry – a foregone conclusion that’s unlikely to give Joe Mount sleepless nights. LB. It takes a while for its greatness to register – but as the year has progressed, it has become NME’s go-to album for those troublesome dark nights. In 2011 they returned obsessed with Suede, Marc Bolan and Noel Gallagher’s six-string set-up (circa 1995), churning out one of the great guitar albums of the year in the process. Fast-paced and full of energy. There’s something special about Girls going kinda overground in 2011. That it all comes together sounding like the Ramones goofing on The Beach Boys is their enduring genius. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1262106790001. Sign up for our newsletter. In reality, though, it’ll take more than a few months and a scrabble for words to assimilate just what it was that Death Grips left on our doorstep earlier this year. Success can change a girl, but from the moment she announced her return with a song based around an image of Virginia Woolf’s suicide and named after a neurotic Frida Kahlo painting, any doubts that Flossie would let global success dampen her possessing spirits were duly drowned. AltPress - December 23, 2011. The best albums of the year included Adele turning personal turmoil into a blockbuster for the ages on 21, Jay-Z and Kanye reveling in luxury rap on Watch the Throne and Lady Gaga channeling S… On ‘Looping…’ he perfected his style of rich techno fastidiously built from loops of sound. Alex Turner’s soundtrack to the movie has been an equally unexpected success. Grohl made up with the spirit of Nirvana by getting Butch to produce and having Krist pop over too, but he also made peace with the white-hot, throbbing testoste-rock that had marked him out ever since his early days as Nirvana’s engine room. JF, http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=738496402001. Instead we got the indie rock album of the year. Best New Artist. Instead it stood tall with effortless authenticity. Image via Complex Original. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1226752338001. JF, http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=673240170001, From the catatonic opening fuzz of ‘Armed For Peace’ to the pulverising, siren-flecked ‘Sweet Nothing’, Suuns can stake a claim for being the iciest newcomers in rock this year. A song and app-based project including but not limited to the invention of exciting new musical instruments, the exploration of Alan Turing’s work applying mathematics to biological patterns, tectonic plates, daring orange haircuts and awesome video games, it quite possibly amounts
to Björk’s defining statement. Beyoncé Shows Support for Joe Biden Ahead of Election Day, Trump Brags About Supporters Harassing Biden Campaign Bus, Video: Trump Supporters Allegedly Tried to Run Biden Bus ‘Off the Road’, Trump Will Declare Victory Before All Votes Are Counted, Report Says, See Rare Syd Barrett Photos, Artwork From Official Book on Pink Floyd Co-Founder, Don’t Panic If You Missed the Mail-in Ballot Deadline. While they’re still a cult concern in the UK, you’d be hard pushed to find a better band from Canada since, well, Arcade Fire stumbled into the open all those years back… MW, http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=782513130001, The kaftans. Twang Nation named it their Top Pick of 2011, and I can’t argue with that. KM, http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1113159178001, And now for the science bit. Recorded in Grohl’s garage, the Foos rediscovered their mojo but also other unfussy, blue-collar virtues like, you know, songs. Of course, had those same editors simply been given their debut record and told that these girls were 19 instead of ’90s survivors, they’d have been dialing the picture desk faster than you could say ‘New Strokes Speak: See Pages 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 18’. Every song is different.” – Nicole Taylor, Adelaide, Australia, “It has amazing breakdowns and doesnt sound like all the other bands.” – Amanda Arce, Jefferson City, MO. Ten months later and we’re still playing ‘Big Talk’ so often it’s probably quite unhealthy. Recorded on the sort of vintage equipment you thought only existed in Dr No, it’s no wonder SCUM think they’re from another age. Everywhere you turned this year, there was the smell of fear. One gushing writer exhumed the spirit of avant genius David Foster Wallace to provide a literary analogy. In 2011 they returned obsessed with Suede, Marc Bolan and Noel Gallagher’s six-string set-up (circa 1995), churning out one of the great guitar albums of the year in the process. Slingshotting straight into it after his fun-funk solo album as Maximum Balloon, the sense of Sitek actually having a laugh making music – rarely present in TVOTR’s previous stuff – duly shone through. And while on the face of it melody appears to be king, listen a little closer and you’ll find ‘Strange Mercy’ to be an album stuffed full of insecurity, depression and break-up blues. And thusly, with a whole load of grunting, was the world greeted by Battles MK II and their single ‘Ice Cream’, the first lip-smacking taster from ‘Gloss Drop’. They call it “post-Satanic, post-Christian”. However, as proud of that album as we are, I’m ready to go make another one, because with Set The World On Fire doing so well and meaning so much to our audience we owe it to them – and ourselves – to make a record of the same caliber, if not better.”, Falling In Reverse, The Drug In Me Is You, “The songs are great and very catchy.” – Stephanie Campagna, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Yellowcard, When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes, “Perfect comeback album! With tracks like ‘Spellwork’ and ‘The Choke’ leading the charge with their dancefloor undulations, the piano-led ‘The Beast’ touched on compositional beauty. A hip-hop wrapped package, sure, but way, way more than that. And you can have it for free. SCUM have always risked being Anton Newcombe-like figures of fun. winner. Album of the Year Winner Josh Garrels. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. Before ‘Skying’, there was a lot of talk that The Horrors could be on the verge of creating their masterpiece – their ‘Screamadelica’, their ‘The Stone Roses’, their ‘Ladies And Gentlemen…’. “Epic guitar solos, crazy drums and amazing lyrics. Share This Story. A student of African dance, Garbus has rhythm running under her skin. That was fine, of course, but what a leap! A really promising, slightly rushed album that’d tick the hype box for The Vaccines and see them through to make a slightly disappointing second effort. Heavily influenced by the sinuous electronica of Four Tet and the emerging UK bass scene, its slithering grooves also housed some of Radiohead’s most affecting melodies, not least on the heartbreaking ‘Codex’. AD, 2011 was neo-Americana’s sophomore crunch, with the genre’s two most prominent scions – Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver – releasing follow-ups to breakthrough debuts. Distortion glimmers with an almost metaphysical sense of hope. Touching on the sheer weirdness that started creeping out of Brit-rock in the late ’60s (Bowie, Abbey Road-era Beatles) and combining it with the same ‘anything goes’ sensibilities of Kurt Vile and Ariel Pink, she’s become a siren for intelligent, pure alt-rock. DM. The result of all the narcotic boshing? UMO’s Ruban Nielson subscribed to both schools of thought, manipulating his already unhinged mind with a dangerous cocktail of pills and acid, before retreating to his bedroom to weave his masterpiece. ““This is the greatest peace I’ve ever known”, belted out a blissful Patrick Wolf from under his mop of shiny russet hair on ‘House’, the towering pop pièce de résistance on the Londoner’s epically loved-up fifth album. Annie Clark’s third album is not only her best yet, but her most beguiling too. Here, they expanded their remit to include ‘Who’s Next’-style theatrics, Afro-Cuban funk and downhome country rollers, pinballing between genres without pausing to draw breath. http://players.brightcove.net/19012535001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1145604329001, What did we expect? Lots
of people tar it with Odd Future’s brush. TW, Turbo-charged twonk Calvin Harris eulogising the ’80s was one thing; Destroyer’s Dan Bejar doffing his cap to the bygone decade with smooth lashings of saxophone and honeyed vocals was decidedly sweeter. Song Of The Year/New Song Of The Year. From the swishy, Ennio Morricone-style opener ‘Rider To The Sea’ to the weighty, purring PJ Harvey-isms of ‘Suzanne & I’, she was the missing link between Nick Cave and Patti Smith, appearing fully formed, brimming with a fully realised confidence and promise of wonderful things to come.