This is the year that I really started to feel a bit old when it comes to music. Like it was an effort to keep on top of things. Like the kids are listening to bands I've never heard of. I don't really like that.
Songs (that didn't have albums to match)
Wugazi - Sleep Rules Everything Around Me
When I first heard about the Wugazi album I just freaked right out. I had higher expectations, as a whole. Sleep Rules Everything Around Me shows the promise of this concept.
Yacht - Shangri-La
This is my favourite song of 2011. It reminds me of the slow jams that I listened to throughout my childhood. Radio NL, the greatest hits of all time. It's a bit Afternoon Delightish. Just an extremely catchy and beautiful song.
Albums (the obvious ones)
Panda Bear - Tomboy and Atlas Sound - Parallax
I listened to both of these a lot. See? Obvious.
Albums (the less obvious ones)
Louis CK - Hilarious
Did this even come out this year? I really enjoyed this album as it made me think about a few things for a few hours afterwards. I can't really remember what they were, but it really resonated at the time.
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
I remember trying to explain to somebody a few years ago that a great album can be created in just a few moments. The 5 seconds in the middle of a song that make you want to listen to the whole album. Of course, you need an album to support those 5 seconds. Without the album, you're just going to yell at BTO to get "workin' overtime". To dig way into the past, I think the Unicorns were a band that really captured these moments. The Fiery Furnaces as well. This album, while not quite on that level, does a spectacular job of capturing moments and sprinkling them throughout.
Wu Lyf - Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
This is really the only thing this year that came out of nowhere (well...Pitchfork) and got me really excited. I honestly didn't know what language they were speaking the first time I heard it. I was worried that the live show was going to bring the whole thing crashing down but it actually made everything better (although I've only listened to the album once since then).
See what I was saying at the top? That's a pretty sad list right there.