Most music outlets have already gone and forgotten 2011 but we wanted to share some of our individual favourite tracks of the year after giving it some considered thoughts. Listen to my top ten tracks of 2011 in YouTube playlist below, featuring everything from hot tips for 2012 Zulu Winter and Alt-J to new rap "sensation" Azealia Banks.
10. Zulu Winter - Let's Move Back To Front
The sounds from this London based band more than make up for the lack of information about them online. ’Let’s Move Back To Front’ begins with jangly guitar chords and pitch-perfect falsetto vocals over a solid beat. As it progresses, it grows and develops into something much darker and moves away from its dreamy opening, ending on a guitar fuelled crescendo, full of reverb and distant vocals. If this track is anything to go by, Zulu Winter are definitely a band to watch out for in 2012.
9. Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers
The music video for ‘Yonkers’ by Odd Future’sTyler The Creator is definitely one of the best promo clips I’ve seen in a long while and is taken from his debut album ‘Goblin’ which came out last year surrounded by a whole world of hype. The album is by no means an easy listen, but with music and accompanying visuals as strong as ‘Yonkers’, all eyes will be on Tyler and his new album which is due to drop in early 2012.
8. SBTRKT - Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)
South London’s SBTRKT got a lot of attention in the electronic music scene last year with the release of his debut album. As a whole it was an incredibly strong album, but my personal favourite had to be ‘Wildfire’ featuring Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon. She provides perfectly pitched vocals over the instantly catchy, wobbly bass that made this track one of my top tracks of the year.
7. Arctic Monkeys - Brick By Brick
I have always been a huge fan of Arctic Monkeys and their ability to release consistently brilliant albums that people seem to genuinely care about. The first track to emerge last year from their latest effort was the superb ‘Brick By Brick’. A lot heavier than some of their previous outings, but still instantly recognisable with Turner’s trademark witty lyrics and fuzzy guitar solos.
6. Azealia Banks - 212
Now prepping her debut album, Azealia Banks released the video for ‘212’ last year, a certified club banger that certainly shows what all the buzz is about. Whether her music hits you with seasoned bars or her angelic voice and hooks, Azealia Banks gave everybody a reason to rewind that track with ‘212’. Download it for free below.
5. Breton – The Commission
Breton are by quite a way one of the most exciting sounding projects I’ve come across in a long while. Signed to FatCat Records, the label who discovered Sigur Ros and Animal Collective, ‘The Commission’ is a beautifully atmospheric song on the surface, with an incredibly dense sounding core, giving it an overwhelming sense of inevitable foreboding. The accompanying video encapsulates this perfectly and was directed by BretonLABS and Stuart Sinclair. Definitely an album to look forward to in 2012.
4. White Russia - O Jerusalem
White Russia's debut LP is a real body of work and album closer 'O Jerusalem' showed this best clocking in at a powerful 9:23. From start to finish the track grows and grows into the most spacious, hypnotic sound, really drawing the listener into their world of distorted bass and beautiful atmospheric vocals.
3. Bon Iver - Holocene
Bon Iver's latest album 'Bon Iver' showed a progression from his debut with the addition of a band. I was cautious at first having been such a big fan of 'For Emma, Forever Ago', but from the word go completely fell in love with it. 'Holocene' is such a beautiful track and summed up for me what the album was about, and also showed what great musicians were involved.
2. Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Lana Del Rey is soon to become a regular household name and her rise to fame has taken just a mere few months. Video Games kicked things off last year and the combination of a quirky home made video and her laid back, seductive vocals was enough to draw me in. It is an instantly catchy song that stuck in my head for days and hopefully shows the beginnings of 2012s next big star.
1.Alt-J - Tessellate
There aren't many bands that excite me from the word go, but Alt-J have made my top track of 2011. With their sublime vocal harmonies, jittery indie beats and intricate guitar parts, Tessellate is an incredibly infectious song and shows why 2012 is set to be a big year for the Leeds band. Download the demo version below for free.
Listen to the playlist in full on YouTube or in the embed above.