American Pancake is not yet a year old but proudly (and with much fanfare) releases our 20 BEST SONGS OF 2011 (super boffo) LIST as compiled by our own lovely and talented Alyssa Holland.
This year involved me being attacked by a shitload of bands releasing new, amazing albums. I’m still in awe, and I’ve comprised a list of my favorites, that I couldn’t stop listening to all year. It was hard to narrow it down to these, but they’re undeniably great songs from wonderful albums and artists. However, I now have zero dollars because of these releases.
In no particular order::
“Walking Two By Two” by The Strange Boys –This song is as relaxing as a Spring day on the prairie. All of The Strange Boys’ albums are very different. It is hard to say which sound is better, but they are all akin by the term “I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n roll.”
“I Need a Doctor” by The Drums –When I saw these boys live with their endless energy and eccentric bowl cuts, I fell in love with this song. The lyrics bring out the psycho lover in all of us, and the therapeutic music compliments it perfectly.
“Bad As Me” by Tom Waits –Tom Waits, you bad. Amy Winehouse would have loved this jazzy soulful, dark song. The entire album, Bad As Me was well worth the wait, Waits.
“Rumour Has It” by Adele –Sing it, girl. If you listen to this song directly after breaking up with an unfaithful rat, you will either come out stronger or kill him. I can’t shake this bluesy soulful hit, and I admit it makes me feel badass to be a woman.
“My Ma” by Girls –Girls’ sound changed dramatically for the better this year (holy shit), and gave me good vibes of classic rock and a new thing entirely. This song hits me in the gut, and makes me sway with a smile on my face.
“Little By Little” by Radiohead –Don’t kill me, but King of Limbs is nothing compared to Hail to the Thief, or any of Radiohead’s previous albums for that matter. This song reminded me of their true sound, which is why it is my favorite off of the album.
“I Heard You Say” by Vivian Girls –The recording quality of Vivian Girls’ music improved greatly, and that’s enough to get them on this list. On top of that, this song contains beautiful harmonizing, and dreamy music.
“Taken For a Fool” by The Strokes –I didn’t expect this random new album to be very good, since The Strokes were on a seemingly forever hiatus. Yet this track was a good example of their new sound, with a hint of their old funk.
“Otis” by Kanye West & Jay-Z –An ode to Otis Redding, this song combines the classic soul of Otis with the new age soul of the powerhouse team of Kanye and Jay.
“Smile” by Smith Westerns –Although I initially bashed Smith Westerns for trying to sound like T. Rex, this song is a good resurrection of Marc Bolan. I think he’d like this song; it makes me (cosmic) dance at least.
“Eyes” by Peter Bjorn and John –These three Swedes are the nicest men I have ever met. My brother’s cat Kevin will probably live forever, because Bjorn touched him with his beautiful funky bass slapping hand.
“Shameless” by Man Man –Even though this song is quite lengthy, I can never skip it. It goes through slow dramatic sounds to loud, fast, and powerfully emotional.
“Mr. Driver” by Black Lips –Although the Black Lips can be childish punks, they are hilarious and soulful musicians. “Mr. Driver” is the sexiest song they’ve given to me this year, and I adore it.
“You Should Close The Door” by Craft Spells –This song is the definitive 80’s song of 2011. Craft Spells, you kill it live. I hope that their album Idle Labor is the first of many more.
“Face It” by Beach Fossils –I will listen to this song every day (or atleast every few days) for the rest of my life. If you haven’t heard it, hear it.
“Breakin’ the Law” by The Babies –I guess I love Cassie Ramone enough to put her music on here twice. She’s a modest musical genius, combining punkass riffs with “woman problem” lyrics.
“Millennium Dodo” by Atmosphere –I’ve been an Atmosphere fan for a long time, and I’ve devotedly collected all of their albums. They are artists that truly grow with each release, but it is somehow never definable as “what’s better, new or old?”
“Drinking Problem” by Surfer Blood –I was drawn to this song off of Surfer Blood’s four track EP Tarot Classics because of the name, and it is terribly catchy as all of their music is. I saw them live twice over a span of about 7 months, and they’ve improved greatly. Keep it up.
“Future Starts Slow” by The Kills –I’ve never seen The Kills live unfortunately, but I’d imagine that they are often told to keep it down. They’re so fucking loud, and it’s beautiful.
“Shake the Shackles” by Crystal Stilts –I literally listened to this song every single day for about 3 months after it came out. It truly is addictive, and disgustingly catchy.