Below lists the albums I enjoyed the most in 2011. 2011 overflowed with good music from numerous artists and genres. Hip hop, country and polka are sadly underrepresented on my list.
- Bon Iver – Bon Iver: The album swirls with lush arrangements and endearing, if cryptic lyrics. The tracks are places, whether a state of being or emotion, with Perth, Holocene and Michicant being standouts. Seeing Justin Vernon lead his Bon Iver creation in concert at an opera house is definitely a highlight.
- Feist – Metals: A more subdued album (read: no 1234-esque track) seeks a more introspective take to the coffee house chill fest Leslie Feist creates. Graveyard builds to an anthemic chorus and the album’s closer, Get it Wrong, Get it Right, sing simple, meditative phrases to close your eyes to.
- Seryn – This is Where We Are: Out of Denton, this quintet of super talented multi-intrumentalists created an album that ebbs and flows with emotion. A mix of folk, rock, blue grass, jam band chamber pop, there’s much to discover. So Within perfectly starts out the album–short, dramatic, leaving you wanting more. River Song and We Will All be Changed lead in so many different directions. I even had them play an unplugged set in my living room for my birthday.
- Wild Flag – Wild Flag: Ex-Sleater Kinney bandmates lead this foursome of rockin’ ladies. Romance charges out and makes punk seem fun again. Glass Tambourine is a throwback to the 70s acid rock.
- The Calm Blue Sea – We Happy Few: Post rock is basically instrumental rock. The Calm Blue Sea put together satisfying arrangements to sit back and enjoy a glass of bourbon on the patio. They never reach the dramatics of Sigur Ros or the quiet/loud/quiet of Explosions in the Sky, and that’s not a bad thing.