Monday, December 19, 2011

50 Favorite Songs of 2011 (Part I)

Last year I spent some time putting together my 50 favorite songs of 2010. I got a lot of great feedback from the project and I figured I'd put together another list this year. I actually started a bit earlier this time around, tracking songs since about July and just adding to my list throughout the year. I'm sure many of you will know a good portion of the songs but I'm hoping you can find some gems in there that you haven't heard until now. I was also able to see many of these bands throughout the year so you'll see some links to recaps/videos/pictures that I took throughout 2011 at various venues in the writeups for each song.

I've split the list into two days of 25 songs, you'll find some repeat bands over the entries from my favorite albums of 2011 (I mean your favorite albums of the year should have at least 2-3 of your favorite songs, right?) Anyways, probably easiest said, this list represents the soundtrack to my 2011. A little something for everyone, a little something for every mood. Almost everything is available on Itunes so you'll be able to pick any of these up if you like something you hear. Hope you enjoy this, as always thanks for reading/listening along! In no particular order, I present to you the Tremagazine favorite 50 songs of 2011 (Part I)........

"Rolling In The Deep" - Adele (From the album, "21")

This is a fantastic album, what a tremendous talent Adele is. Hoping I can finally see her live in 2012.....

Throw your soul through every open door
Count your blessings to find what you look for
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold
You'll pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow

"Swim Good" - Frank Ocean (From the album, "nostalgia, ULTRA")

If you don't have this album, you have to get it today. One of my favorites from 2011, you can simply search for it on google and find a free download as Ocean actually released this over the internet. I just got to see him perform at the Bowery Ballroom a few weeks ago and loved the show, the guy is a real talent. Expect big things from him in 2012.

I'm about to drive in the ocean
I'mma try to swim from something bigger than me
Kick off my shoes and swim good, and swim good

"The Honest Truth" - Typhoon (from the EP "A New Kind of House")

I had this EP sent to me very early in the year and I can honestly say that it's something that never left my rotation in 2011. This is easily one of my favorite songs of the year. Really interesting band with double-digit members, percussion, horns, etc. Caught them at the MERCURY LOUNGE and it was everything I hoped for. Look forward to catching them again in 2012.

So be kind to all of your neighbors
Be kind to all of your neighbors
‘Cuz they’re just like you
They’re just like you

"Fools" - Chamberlin (from the album "Bitter Blood")

Another band I got into early in 2011, I was fortunate to catch them at the Communion Showcase at PUBLIC ASSEMBLY in Brooklyn this year. As much as I love this album, I thought their live performance was even better. In my opinion, one of the most underrated bands around right now. People definitely need to check these guys out, the album is fantastic and these guys are just a really talented group.

Came across pain face to face,
With what I lost

"My Way Back Home" - Dawes (from the album "Nothing Is Wrong")

Following up their tremendous debut album "North Hills", Dawes put out another great album in 2011. I got to see these guys a few different times this year (most recently at MAXWELL'S) and they never disappoint. At about 4:30 of the clip I've posted, you find the lyrics I listed below. Beautiful harmonies from the Goldsmith brothers, love this.

I admit that these answers that I seek
Are all to questions I’ve never known
But I pray to keep on looking for as long as I can roam
And when the world finally fulfills me
I will not forget my way back home

"Cassette 2012" - Delay Trees (from the self-titled album)

I was sent this album earlier this year and I've really gotten into it. Hard to find a lot of information on these guys as they're from Finland and I don't believe they've played the US. They were scheduled for SXSW in 2012 but I just checked their homepage and it looks like that's been cancelled unfortunately. I'm hoping Delay Trees makes it over at some point but for now I'll keep enjoying this album.

"World ends in 2012" - headlines straight from hell
But don't lose your belief
Don't lose your belief, not now

"Blue Eyes" - Middle Brother (from the self-titled album)

I've written about this collaboration at length but for those that don't know, Middle Brother is made up of the lead singers of three bands: John McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and Matt Vazquez of Delta Spirit. Another group I was lucky enough to see a couple times this year. I'm a big fan of all three of their bands so it's no surprise I love this album but it's one of the best of the year, the harmonies throughout the album are outstanding. I had a hard time picking songs as I felt I could have gone five or six different ways but you'll see three that made my list and here's the first..... (and while you're at it, check out THIS live version I recorded this past summer in Newport, Rhode Island at this tiny club called the Newport Blues Cafe).

Just a look at you make my heart skip
And to think of you does jumping jacks
Told myself that you're the one
And I told myself I could get you back
When I came back you still werent mine
Then I left again and you still werent mine
I'm back again so just be mine
I am so tired of runnin'

"Grown Ocean" - Fleet Foxes (from the album "Helplessness Blues")

Sometimes a song just hits you from the first time you hear it and that's how this song was for me. Absolutely loved it the first time I heard it and it's still my favorite track on the album.

In that dream I could hardly contain it
All my life I will wait to attain it

"No Silver" - Chris Bathgate (from the album "Salt Year")

One of the singer-songwriters I was introduced to in 2011, thought this song had a great feel to it. Really enjoy the backing strings and percussion.

I ain't got no silver, I ain't got no gold
In dead street daylight, and shadow
And in a dark so cold, and calm
I'm all callow and gone

"Get Away" - Yuck (from the self-titled album)

The first time I heard this album, I felt like I was back in the mid-90s and was pretty surprised that this was a young band from London. It reminds me so much of that "alternative" sound, definitely hear some Sonic Youth influence in there.

not even the pain kicks in
tell me when the pain kicks in

oh i can't get away

"Stamp" - The Rural Alberta Advantage (from the album "Departing")

Just a great rock song, the tempo and drumming is fantastic. Saw these guys perform at Coachella earlier this year, if you want to check out the live video I shot HERE.

And the hardest thing about this love is that it's never gonna last.
And the hardest thing about this love is that you're never comin' back.

"Down in the Valley" - The Head & The Heart (from the self-titled album)

These guys have really taken off during 2011. I got into them early in the year and got to see them at the Newport Folk Festival over the summer but they've become very popular over the last few months. I think they've got some of the most well written songs that you'll find on this list. Add that to some tremendous harmonies and you've got an easy combination for success.

Down in the valley with
Whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin'
These are the places I will always go

"Calgary" - Bon Iver (from the self-titled album)

What a beautiful album this is, Calgary is one of my favorites but again another album in which I probably could have gone in five different directions. Over the last few years, Bon Iver has put out two of my favorite pieces of work. I got to see them perform this summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn and it great to hear the majority of this album live. Lead singer Justin Vernon added numerous instruments this time around and this album really showcases the backing band.

Don’t you cherish me to sleep

"The Day Is Coming" - My Morning Jacket (from the album "Circuital")

My Morning Jacket has become one of my favorite bands over the past few years, one of the best live acts around right now. This is my favorite track off their latest release....

Bang bang, on the door
You opened, not knowing what for
If opportunity, rears its head
Will you answer, or stay home in bed

"Helena Beat" - Foster The People (from the album "Torches")

I first heard of these guys right at the beginning of 2011 when my buddy Chris emailed me from California saying that this band was starting to get a lot of airtime out there. From that point I started following them and caught them a couple times both at Coachella and later in the year in NYC. "Pumped Up Kicks" was obviously a huge hit for them this year but there's about 3-4 songs I prefer. Really fun album, a lot of energy.

Yeah yeah and I’m alright.
I took a sip of something poison but I’ll hold on tight.

"How It Goes" - Matthew Good (from the album "Lights of Endangered Species")

I've been a huge fan of Matthew Good's music for years now, and really enjoyed his latest release from 2011. He mostly toured throughout Canada during the later months of 2011 but will return to the US early this year, I plan on seeing him in NYC in early March. This is definitely one of my favorite albums of the year and here's my top track....

Pushing against the waves, keelhaul years of the same program
Some of the faces change but not the game and not the tune
Because you know how it goes

"Dead and Gone" - The Black Keys (from the album "El Camino")

Just got a chance to see The Black Keys at their record release party for their latest album at WEBSTER HALL. This song jumped out at me and I've been listening to it constantly since the show. Fantastic album overall and this is one of the highlights.

Don't call me, I'll call you
Is what you say, I'll obey

"Yesterday Was Hard On All Of Us" - Fink (from the album "Perfect Darkness")

To be honest, I don't remember when I first came across this song. I think this album showed up in my inbox one day and I finally started listening to it a few months ago. This song really stuck out to me, almost reminded me of an old Ben Harper tune.

Where do we go from here
Where do we go
We’ve got nothing we can trust and nothing we can sell
That’s for sure

"My Time" - Caveman (from the album "Coco Beware")

One of the cooler bands I came across this year, this song is just super catchy. I got to see Caveman perform at the tiny CAMEO GALLERY in Brooklyn earlier this year.

And you would say that you'd never
Found a way for all the others
It's my time, my time, my time, my time

"Chapel Song" - We Are Augustines (from the album "Rise Ye Sunkin' Ships")

If you're listening to this song and recognize the lead singer's voice, it's probably because you've heard the band Pela which Billy McCarthy fronted for many years. Pela has since disbanded but Billy carries on with Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen as We Are Augustines. I had really dug Pela and even saw them a couple times so I was excited when this album was released in 2011. Some great songwriting on this album and Mccarthy's vocals are as powerful as ever. Highly recommend picking this one up if you like this tune.

Well there goes my girl
Into the chapel
Now she's walking down the aisle
And it feels just like a mile

"Natural Disaster" - City & Colour (from the album "Little Hell")

Another solid showing from City & Colour (Dallas Green), this song's a bit more upbeat than his usual C&C stuff but it's my favorite from the album.

Whether a natural disaster ripped it from it's foundation
Or an economic tragedy tore apart it's family
They're all empty.

"A Conversation About Life & Death On New Year's Eve" - Scattered Trees (from the album "Sympathy")

There are several good songs on this album but this is the track that constantly stands out to me. "Sympathy" deals with some pretty heavy material if you get into the lyrics but it's a well written album and I've enjoyed it throughout the year. I got to see these guys perform at BROOKLYN BOWL back in August and liked the show quite a bit.

that everybody's falling apart
you said it doesn't haunt you like it haunts me
that everybody's falling apart
you said i'll be there when you wake up from this dream
when you turn your life into a story

"Make Believe" - Deer Tick (from the album "Divine Providence")

I write about these guys all the time, one of my favorite current bands. Saw them several times this year both in Rhode Island and in NYC, always a fun show. This is a catchy song, I liked it from the first time I heard it and have had it in constant rotation this year.

Well, you, I think you know what I mean
That I'm not gonna stand around and play make believe

"Stuck In My Id" - Reptar (from the album "Oblangle Fizz Y'all)

This album was sent to me and has been on my playlist for awhile now, definitely some catchy songs.

yeah, i been missing hanging with you
there's nothing keeping me alone

"I Found You" - Alabama Shakes (from the self-titled EP)

Only started listening to these guys recently but what a find they've been. Some great music here, the Shakes only have an EP out right now but all four songs are fantastic, I'm in love with this one in particular. Can't wait for their full length album in 2012, for now this will have to hold us over......

I remember them days I waited so patiently
for god to bring someone who's gonna be good to me
and then he blessed my soul

That wraps up Part I, Part II to follow later this week....

No comments: