Yes, in addition to religiously listening to copious amounts of hip-hop, I also listen to a TON of indie rock. I absolutely love it. These are my top 11 songs of 2011, and if you haven’t checked out my list of The 30 Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2011 I highly recommend you do.
1) Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
- I can’t praise this song enough. Honestly one of the most profound pieces of music I’ve ever known. As a Jewish/Atheist this is exactly how my mind comprehends the world. It speaks to me on a level so deep it sometimes makes me feel like tearing up. If you don’t put blind faith in a god and instead accept the stark reality that humanity knows absolutely nothing about our purpose in the universe, you can feel pretty helpless in the face of the overwhelming unknown…but we still march on in the name of humanity…quietly keeping our helplessness blues to ourselves. Longing for a predefined purpose, such as tending our orchard.
2) Lana Del Rey – Video Games
- Keep an eye on Lana Del Rey. I expect 2012 is going to be HUGE for her, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about her as time goes on.
3) The Wooden Sky - Child of the Valley
- I randomly came across this band a few months ago, and I’m extremely glad I did. They are absolutely incredible. They have such profound/beautiful/earthly music…I can’t get enough of it. Their 2011 EP “City of Light” is outstanding as well. I highly recommend it.
4) Bon Iver – Holocene
- Bon Iver really surprised me with his 2011 self titled album. I didn’t realize how amazing his music truly could get. He definitely far exceeded all of my previous expectations. This song is extremely epic. Boasting vague yet extremely deep lyrics to be left up to interpretation, a sexy background guitar, and Bon Iver’s warm haunting vocals dragging you deep into his world.
5) Adele vs Gnarles Barkley - Crazy in the Deep
- Truthfully I love Adele’s original, but something magical happened when it was mixed with the Danger Mouse’s legendary instrumental. I’ve probably played this an unhealthy amount of times.
6) jj – New Work
- Even though jj’s “Kills” mixtape wasn’t as great as I had hoped, it still had a few really solid songs. This one being my favorite. Her voice is just so damn angelic.
7) Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Problem Queen (ft. Norah Jones)
- I really enjoyed the entire album “Rome”. It is a beautiful work of art. Danger Mouse definitely knows what he’s doing, which is why he is one of my favorite producers. This is my favorite song off of the album.
8) Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
- Even though it was technically released in late 2010 as a single, their debut album didn’t come out until May 2011, and I must say, it is one hell of a album. “Torches” is easily one of my favorite albums of 2011.
9) The Decemberists – Down By The Water
- When harmonica is used perfectly with the harmonious vocals of a male and female singer, it gets me ever time (hence why I love Neil Young’s song Heart of Gold so much). Simply put, it’s an extremely well put together piece of music that I still haven’t grown tired of.
10) The Wooden Sky - City of Light/Dancing at My Window (Reprise)
- This 6 minute 30 second piece of soulful art is pretty damn amazing. It has more than enough personality and intelligent lyrics to go around. The first time I heard it, I couldn’t stop saying to myself, “holy shit this is good!”
11) My Morning Jacket – Circuital
- From their album also named “Circuital”. Just keep in mind everything is connected…