My top 10 albums from 2011

Kaputt - Destroyer

(Released in January, I didn’t find a better album all year. I love the laid-back, unhurried dream pop atmosphere. Pitchfork Media named it the second best album of 2011)
Favourite tracks:
Bay of Pigs (Detail)


Smoke Ring For My Halo - Kurt Vile

(Hit stores in March. My favourite folk album from 2011. I love his voice, lyrics, and guitar playing. Haunting and memorable)
Favourite tracks:
Baby’s Arms
Runner Ups
Jesus Fever


Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

(What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I have to admit the outbursts of violence put me off loving the movie, and I ended up only liking it. The soundtrack however I can’t get enough of, and the hazy dreamy tracks fit my taste perfectly)
Favourite tracks:
A Real Hero - College feat. Electric Youth
Under Your Spell - Desire
Nightcall – Kavinsky


Sea of Memories – Pallers

(Under the radar electronic album from Sweden. I feel these guys deserve more credit and attention than they're currently getting. You could argue the songs are a little similar, but the album is easy to listen to all the way through!)
Favourite tracks:
The Kiss
Another Heaven
Come Rain, Come Sunshine


English Riviera – Metronomy

(My 2nd favourite electronic album this year. Great sound, great beats, great videos)
Favourite tracks:
The Bay
The Look
She Wants


A Turn In The Dream Songs - Jeffrey Lewis

(American singer-songwriter. He’s a talented lyricist! You get the feeling he has really experienced what he‘s singing about, and a lot of effort has been put into each tune. He kind of jokes around on the LP how he ought to be more famous ( :
Favourite tracks:
Time Trades
Cult Boyfriend
How can it be
Krongu Green Slime
So What If I Couldn't Take It
Try It Again


Holy Ghost! - Holy Ghost!

(A pop album that is just so catchy that I love it to bits. And redemption for Michael McDonald after he was crucified by Judd Apatow)
Favourite tracks:
Wait and See
Some Children (feat. Michael Mcdonald)
Say My Name


Gentle Spirit - Jonathan Wilson

(A throwback to the Pink Floyd and Neil Young sound of the 1970s, Wilson's 2nd LP has a number of strong tracks. I'm surprised so few music sites are mentioning a truly under-appreciated album of 2011. I definitely want to find his debut album as soon as possible. Works best by listening to the LP in its entirety)
Favourite tracks:
Natural Rhapsody
Gentle Spirit


Making Mirrors – Gotye

(Up there for me with the very best pop/rock LPs released in 2011. I think the LP will sell very well, it hits US stores in January 2012)
Favourite tracks:
Giving Me A Chance
Dig your own hole
Somebody that I used to know
Smoke and Mirrors
Don't Worry We'll Be Watching You


Philharmonics - Agnes Obel

(Award winning Danish singer-songwriter. In my opinion among the best acoustic albums from 2011, instrumentation is reminiscent of Joanna Newsom.)
Favourite tracks:
Brother Sparrow


Albums 11-
Towards the Sun - Alexi Murdoch (reissue)
An Argument With Myself - Jens Lekman
Magic - Sean Rowe (reissue)
Shapeshifting - Young Galaxy
Blouse - Blouse
A Creature I Don't Know - Laura Marling
A I A : Alien Observer – Grouper
All Eternals Deck - Mountain Goats
Ashes and Fire - Ryan Adams
Apocalypse - Bill Callahan
All Of It Was Mine - The Weather Station
Helplessness Blues - Fleet Foxes
Submarine - Alex Turner
Burst Apart - The Antlers
Knees, Feet & The Parts We Don't Speak Of - Ida Gard
Fathers Be Kind - Ivan and Alyosha
Hymns From Nineveh - Hymns from Nineveh
Southerner - Trent Dabbs
You Are All I See - Active Child
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves – John Maus
Vanity Is Forever - Geoffrey O'Connor
Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler
Red Planet - Arborea
Nothing Is Wrong - Dawes
Move Like This - The Cars
The Deep Field - Joan As Police Woman
The King of Limbs - Radiohead
Grace for Drowning - Steven Wilson

Any thoughts on my top albums? Which of the LP's did you enjoy? Have I missed any great albums? Has 2011 been a good year for music in your opinion? Share your views in the comments below


  1. I haven't listened to over half of those, but I do agree with you on Kaputt, best album in a fairly weak in my opinion year in music.

  2. I am surprised I haven't listened to most of these. I will agree that the Drive soundtrack is pretty badass though. I'll have to listen to the others that I'm not familiar with.

  3. @Bonjour Tristesse: Kaputt is awesome, and Destroyer have been around for years without me knowing about it! I only followed music closely in 2010 and 2011, so I couldn't compare to previous years.

    @Eric: Love Drive, I'd like to see their music collection whoever put that soundtrack together ( : I recommend checking out the favourite tracks on my list, gives you an idea.
    I'm really behind in visiting and commenting on other blogs, hopefully in the next couple of days!

  4. It's great to see Kaputt on there. It was my #4 album of the year and was a big surprise for me. I also like that Kurt Vile album, which I just heard for the first time this week. The four opening songs on the Drive soundtrack are great, and I do like some of the score. I wouldn't list it as a top album, but I can't argue with it being up there. Nice list!

  5. i absolutely loved kurt vile's album! i saw him opening for thurston moore last summer, before i even knew who he was, and he just blew me away. i haven't heard destroyer's album yet, but i've been meaning to get around to it!

  6. Your taste in music is so different from mine. Out of your list I only know the Drive soundtrack. All the other ones I have never heard of. I guess I'm becoming an old man ;)

  7. @Dan Heaton: Since Kaputt is my no 1, I feel a bit embarrassed that I am so uninformed about Destroyer's back catalogue. I'll check your top 5 albums list shortly. Thanks for the comment, and the follow!

    @William Brower: Yes, that Kurt Vile album instantly made me a fan.
    Can't say Sonic Youth are my taste, but I liked Thurston Moore's new folk album, I even shared a couple tracks on my top folk songs from 2011 list. Kaputt is amazing, I urge you to check it out soon ( :

    @Nostra: Hmm, now you've made me curious ( : So what are your favorite albums of 2011 ?

  8. Well my number one album of 2011 matches yours...first album I heard and best:)

    Destroyer's back catalogue was quite varied (with his same unique vocal style) and quite folky/baroque at times...he released the awesome Bay of Pigs EP about a year or so before Kaputt, which I'm guessing kickstarted the ideas for the album.

  9. @Burning Reels: Kaputt is great, and first heard about Destroyer on your blog ( :
    Thanks for chipping in with the info, I'll listen to the old Destroyer records during 2012 if time allows. Was a bit underwhelmed the other day by Trouble In Dreams (2008), their eighth LP. The old suff I think will struggle to top Kaputt.

    I also just realized my top 10 album list comprises of 8 male singers, I kind of surprised myself on that statistic. It's just a coincidence this year I think, as I enjoy female vocalists equally as much.

  10. Just a random coincidence I suppose - i'm still catching up on some 2011 stuff.

    I haven't heard too much beyond the last 2/3 albums either - the track European Oils is a cool song. It could well be difficult for him to ever top Kaputt but that's nothing to be ashamed about!

  11. @Burning Reels: There sure were a lot of dream pop releases in 2011, and it doesn't look like stopping in 2012, so lots to enjoy ( :


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