Okay, here we go with Part II, the other half of my favorite songs of 2011....
"Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye (from the album "Making Mirrors")
I first heard this song when a friend of mine posted it on her Facebook page a couple months ago. I love the sound of this tune, almost reminds me of Sting singing over a Manu Chao beat.
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know
"No Church In The Wild" - Kanye West & Jay Z featuring Frank Ocean (from the album "Watch The Throne")
My favorite track off the "Watch The Throne" collaboration. Good combo, Kanye, Jay Z, Frank Ocean..... instant success.
Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king? What's a king to a God?
What's a God to a non-believer who don't believe in anything?
Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no church in the wild
"Non-Populus" - Matthew Good (from the album "Lights of Endangered Species"
A repeat artist from my first list of 25, this was absolutely one of my favorite albums of the year. I could have found two or three more songs to put on this list but kept it at two. An excellent album that's worth picking up if you like the two songs I've posted in the list. Here's a great live performance of this song from last month.....
What you escape
Let it be done to you
What you take away
Let it be done to you
For what you war
Let it be done to you
What you ignore
Let it be done to you
Oh, let it be done to you
"Santa Fe" - Beirut (from the album "The Rip Tide")
I'm a big fan of this band, love their albums and they always put on a great live show. This track really stood out to me on their latest album.
Your days in one
This day undone
(The kind that breaks under)
All day at once
(for me, for you)
I'm just too young
(And what of my heart)
"Blood & Guts" - Middle Brother (from the self titled album)
Another song from Middle Brother, this was an album that I just had on rotation all year. This song in particular actually didn't really make a huge impact on me until I saw the band perform at the Music Hall of Williamsburg early in the year. Taylor Goldsmith just completely owned this song, extremely powerful to hear in concert.
I decided to post a version below that I saw at the Newport Folk Festival this summer, great performance with members of Dawes and Deer Tick as the backing band. I love at 4:35 when you hear the crowd come in and pick up the vocals. Amazing tune.
The older we get, the older we are.
I woke up this morn driving my car
And that is not how it's supposed to be.
Am I killing time or is it killing me?
And I wanna sing with blood and guts
So someone will know that I'm here
I wanna sing with blood and guts
"This Old Dark Machine" - James Vincent McMorrow (from the album "Early In The Morning")
I was sent this album during the summer and spent some time giving it a good listen over the last few months. This is a really chill album, very listenable from start to finish, nice to just throw on and let it play through. I think fans of Fleet Foxes would really dig this album.
near the town where we were living
was an old abandoned farm
every year we’d plant an orchid
in the shelter of it’s arm
to protect us from the madness
of the future still to come
it will be like this forever
i will keep you safe from harm
"Perth" - Bon Iver (from the self-titled album)
Another great song from this album. So many ways to go with this album but this was one of the songs I listen to most. I grew up playing in big bands (school bands) and every time I hear this song I think how fun it would have been to play something like this. So many layers, the horns, the strings, the percussion..... I love the structure. I've attached a live version because I think it gives a better sense of all the pieces coming together.
still alive who you love
"Baby Missiles" - The War On Drugs (from the album "Slave Ambient")
I saw these guys at the CAMEO GALLERY at the same show with Caveman, what a great bill, especially for such a tiny venue. This is one of my favorite driving songs of the year, has a great beat, great energy.
He wanna leave but he don't know how
He wanna drive but he don't know why
"Down By The Water" - The Decemberists (from the album "The King Is Dead")
Listening to this song I almost feel like I'm back in high school listening to REM......
So knock me down, tear me up
But I would bear it all broken just to fill my cup
Down by the water and down by the old main drag
"St. Peter's Cathedral" - Death Cab For Cutie (from the album "Codes & Keys")
This was an album that I haven't seen mentioned on many "best of" lists this year but I think it's real solid and has some great songs. This was my favorite of the bunch, especially love the ending (from 3:20 to the end).
It's either quite a master plan
Or just chemicals that help us understand
That when our hearts stop ticking
This is the end
And there's nothing past this
"Tarantula/Holding On" - Delay Trees (from the self-titled album)
The Delay Trees making their second appearance on my list. Like I said in the first half, I've really enjoyed this album and it's been in a solid rotation for me most of the year. If you like the two songs posted, you'll love the rest of the album.
Through every morning
Through the fields of sleep
I'm always found in a corner
But I'm holding on
"Words" - Givers (from the album "In Light")
A friend of mine sent me this album a couple months ago and I've been listening ever since. Real good album, reminds me a bit of Vampire Weekend.
The waves high, slow tide, see them, go
You’ll see them again, you’ll see them again
And if the waves ride high, then so will I
Before you know, before you know, before you know, you’ll know
You’ll see them again, you’ll see them again
"Truth" - Alexander featuring RZA (remix from the self titled album)
You might not recognize the name "Alexander" but this is a side project of Alex Ebert from the group Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. One of the first songs I was sent this year, listened to it constantly, never got old. Love the guest appearance from RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan.
I've grown up some
Different kind of fighter
And when the darkness come let it inside you
Your darkness is shining
My darkness is shining
Have faith in myself
"Fire Away" - Dawes (from the album "Nothing Is Wrong")
Another favorite off of Dawes' latest album. You can probably hear the influence as Jackson Browne lends backup vocals on this track.
this ones going out to you
if you ever start to slip
and you learn to read between these lines you've drawn
when what is wrong and what is right
seem more like just the ocean and the ship
and the straight line that you've followed here is gone
"Act On Impulse" - We Were Promised Jetpacks (from the album "In The Pit Of The Stomach")
I love the energy in WWPJ's music and this song falls right in line.
We act alone
We act on impulse
"Turn Around" - Chamberlin (from the album "Bitter Blood")
This was actually the first Chamberlin song I heard and I fell in love with it instantly. I immediately got my hands on this album and like I alluded to in Part I, this quickly became one of my favorite albums of 2011.... and stayed there all year.
please don't make me lie
the loyal are the left behind
and I won't turn around
"Heartbeat" - Childish Gambino (from the album "Camp")
You may know Childish Gambino better as actor Donald Glover from the tv show "Community". The guy is obviously really talented, this is an album worth getting your hands on if you don't have it yet.
I come around when you least expect me
I'm sitting at the bar when your glass is empty
You thinking that the songs coming on to tempt me
I need to be alone like the way you left me
"Book of James" - We Are Augustines (from the album "Rise Ye Sunken Ships")
Powerful song lyrically, equally powerful video.
I guess your either headin' somewhere or endin up somewhere..
cause I tried the bible, tried the bottle, tried the needle, tried to
And in the end there ain't nothing to say
And in the end there ain't nothing to say anyway
And i stand here in my shoes, unable to move
my hat in my hands, at the bottom of the ocean.
"Hold On" - Alabama Shakes (from the self-titled EP)
Another great tune from the Shakes, their full length album in 2012 cannot come out fast enough.
So, bless my heart
bless my mind
I got so much to do, ain't got much time
"Can't Keep" - Eddie Vedder (from the album "Ukulele Songs")
This is actually an older song, previously released by Pearl Jam on the album "Riot Act". I always loved this song and it isn't played live all that much but I think it's a great tune. Vedder redid it a bit for his Ukulele album and I think I even might prefer this version better (and it's a damn cool video). Definitely worth sharing......
I won't wait for answers
oh you can't keep me here
"Lonely Boy" - The Black Keys (from the album "El Camino")
Not only a super catchy song but this has to be the video of the year. Amazing.
Oh, oh-oh I got a love that keeps me waiting
"Chains of Love" - Ryan Adams (from the album "Ashes & Fire")
Probably wouldn't be a complete list for me without including a Ryan Adams song, one of my favorite artists. This latest release is solid the whole way through but this track stands out to me.
Clouds moving over the house
I think about those days
Wish I had something to relax my mind
Send me off to heaven I've got nothing but time
"Novacane" - Frank Ocean (from the album "nostalgia, Ultra")
This was actually the first track I heard from Frank Ocean and it immediately caught my ear. I made sure to download everything I could shortly thereafter and have been listening to all his material since. Can't wait for his next album.
Met her at Coachella
I went to see Jigga
she went to see Z-trip
"Go Outside" - Cults (from the self-titled album)
Just think this is a catchy tune.
I think it's good to go out
cause if you don't you'll never make a memory that will stay
I think that you should wake up
I think I want to live my life and you're just in my way
"Million Dollar Bill" - Middle Brother (from the self-titled album)
This song actually appeared on both this album and the Dawes album this year. I prefer this version because I like each singer taking a verse and then I love where the harmony kicks in at 2:25, reminds me of Crosby, Stills & Nash.
When it hits me that shes left me alone
When I finally move on with my life
Her goodbye written into stone
And her shadow moving through the night
Well, that does it for my 2011 list. Thanks for reading and listening and a special thanks to everyone that's emailed, texted, tweeted or passed along the list to others, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Hopefully you were able to find some stuff you hadn't heard previously and can enjoy over the holidays and into 2012.