Who said anything about “best”? These are the songs we liked most from 2011. They’re the songs we played twice before leaving the house, the hooks we sang while biking, the requests we shouted out too loudly at the end of a show, even though you know they were gonna play it as the encore anyway. If we were a couple minutes late meeting you out, it was because we were just listening to one more song — and it was one of these.
So here’s to 2011, the first year of Whiskey Sherpa. Thanks for the laughs, dudes.
And, since we can never agree about anything, here’s our top records of the year, by your individual sherpas.
Andy: Personally, I thought 2011 was great. I can think of at least 20 more albums i could have easily included in this list. It seemed to be all about cut-and-paste, genre-busting, collage pop this year. The music was weird, but that seems to be what we were looking for. There were plenty of nods to musical styles of the past. Though, what seemed to grab everyone’s attention were the nods to the future.
Destroyer - Kaputt John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves Clams Casino - Instrumental Mixtape Real Estate - Days Pure X - Pleasure Ford & Lopatin - Channel Pressure Elite Gymnastics - Ruin Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact The Weeknd - House of Balloons Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Orr: I hate forcing my favorite records into a strict order, as if the #4 album of the year somehow won more points than #7, but goddamn if EMA’s “Past Life Martyred Saints” didn’t jump out of every list I scribbled and threw out. Not only is it a bunch of good songs (and a collection of distortion-as-art that scratches every weird itch), but it’s a near-perfect album album, draped over three movements — three long, slow-building songs that are composed of dramatic elements themselves. It also just rocks, with guitars. Take it how you want it, there’s enough life packed into this record to last a year.
1. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
The Antlers - Burst Apart Balam Acab - See Birds EP Blackout Beach - Fuck Death Deleted Scenes - Young People’s Church of the Air Destroyer - Kaputt Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact Mutual Benefit / Holy Spirits - Mutual Spirits (split 12”) Peaking Lights - 936 tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l Woods - Sun and Shade Wye Oak - Civilian
Drew: 2011 was a great year for sophomore albums. Tune Yards, Sonny and the Sunnsets, Guadalupe Plata, Yellow Ostrich and Mayer Hawthorne all released stellar second albums to build on great debuts. Some great new releases from a few reliable sources, and funky debuts from new arrivals like Gardens & Villa and Delicate Steve rounded out a 2011 that sounded great and bodes well for the future.
Sonny and the Sunsets - Hit After Hit tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l White Denim - D Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing Gardens & Villa - Gardens & Villa Guadalupe Plata - Guadalupe Plata Destroyer - Kaputt Mayer Hawthorne - How Do You Do Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress Delicate Steve - Wondervisions