Top 100 songs of 2011

Here is my subjective ranking. A mix of acoustic, pop, rock, dream pop, electronic, folk, etc. To make the list a little different from top 100 songs of 2010, I've decided to limit myself to one song from each artist. The emphasis in this post is on emotional resonance, repeatability, and the tracks having a pleasing sound to my ears. The Drive soundtrack is missing below, because the songs were from 2010. Enjoy!

1. Chinatown - Destroyer
2. Stone's Gone Up - David Lynch
3. Tell Me A Tale - Michael Kiwanuka
4. Don't F*ck with My Money - Penguin Prison
5. One for You, One for Me - Bright Eyes
6. Nuclear Seasons - Charlie XCX
7. Humdrum – Pallers
8. She Wants - Metronomy
9. Runner Ups - Kurt Vile
10. Human Condition - Joan As Police Woman
11. Cult Boyfriend - Jeffrey Lewis
12. I'm Losing Myself - Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) feat. Ed Droste
13. Take the world - She Wants Revenge
14. Some Children [ft. Michael McDonald] - Holy Ghost!
15. Gone Kerouac - W. Travis
16. Dig Your Own Hole - Gotye
17. Re-wired - Kasabian
18. Thanks for Nothing - Middle Brother
19. The Sun Always Reminds Me Of You - Marissa Nadler
20. Wall Street - Van Dyke Parks
21. Forget That You're Young - The Raveonettes
22. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (U2 Cover) - Garbage
23. Smart - Girl in a Coma
24. Lotus Flower - Radiohead
25. Oh My Heart - R.E.M
26. House – Amanda Mair
27. Think you can wait - The National
28. An Argument With Myself - Jens Lekman
29. Call Me Back - The Strokes
30. Black (feat. Norah Jones) - Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
31. Blue Jeans - Lana Del Rey
32. Evening Song - Hymns From Nineveh
33. Beth/Rest - Bon Iver
34. Can’t Keep – Eddie Vedder
35. Cover Your Tracks (CFCF Remix) - Young Galaxy
36. Stickers - Sleep ∞ Over
37. I – Nicola Roberts
38. Halftime - Amy Winehouse
39. Reunion - M83
40. Diamond Heart - Active Child
41. Speed vs. Distance - Fotoshop
42. Sparrow Song (Feat. Caroline Polachek) - Acrylics
43. The Twilight Hour - Still Corners
44. The Same Thing - Cass McCombs
45. Paris Collides - Rufus
46. Dreaming - Adam & The Amethysts
47. Hiding Tonight - Alex Turner
48. Anymore - Blue Belt
49. Growing Pains – Grieves
50. The Vent - Big K.R.I.T

51. Never Let Me Go - Florence + The Machine
52. Warm In The Winter - Glass Candy
53. Letters Home (Memoryhouse Remix) - CFCF
54. Take Another Look - The Cars
55. Here in Heaven 2 - Elite Gymnastics
56. Godless Brother in Love - Iron & Wine
57. Wonder Years - Real Estate
58. Love Is A Laserquest (Live on KEXP) - Arctic Monkeys
59. Open Your Mind (live) - Wilco/Jeff Tweedy
60. Glorious - The Pierces
61. Love Song (Lesley Duncan cover) - Marianne Faithfull
62. Natural Rhapsody - Jonathan Wilson
63. Between The Bars (Elliott Smith cover) - Chris Garneau
64. Like They Say It Does - Geoffrey O'Connor
65. Over the Hill and Back Again - Paleo
66. So Alive (Love and Rockets cover) - Duncan Sheik
67. Avenue - Agnes Obel
68. Reach A Bit Further - Wild Beasts
69. Wild Thing - Noah And The Whale
70. No Part Of Me - Steven Wilson
71. Steak Knives - Man Man
72. Come Around – Sarah Jarosz
73. Keep Me Young - Trent Dabbs
74. Country Dumb (Piano Version) - Josh T. Pearson
75. The Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse - The Nightwatchman / Tom Morello
76. American - Sean Rowe
77. Night After Night (Live at WFUV/The Alternate Side) - Laura Marling
78. Put on Cologne – Donovan Woods
79. Future Shadows - Forest Fire
80. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie - Red Hot Chili Peppers
81. Balance - Future Islands
82. Taking You With Me – Daniel Tashian
83. On Our Own - Diamond Rings
84. To Begin (Live) - Alela Diane
85. Call It What You Want - Foster The People
86. Lamentations - The Dears
87. Honey Mine (Memoryhouse Remix) - Korallreven
88. Amor Fati - Washed Out
89. Spaced Out Orbit - Thao & Mirah
90. Hey Moon (Molly Nilsson cover) - John Maus
91. Even Better Than The Real Thing (Jacques Lu Cont Mix) - U2
92. All or Nothing - Mutemath
93. Conquest – The Sound Of Arrows
94. Dying Hipster (feat. Maria Due) - Torgny
95. Still Life – The Horrors
96. Faith Found Me In Dreams - Craft Spells
97. Common Burn - Mazzy Star
98. 38 Stories - Indoor Voices
99. No Widows - The Antlers
100. This Aint No Hymn - Saint Saviour

Honourable mentions in random order:
Face to the Highway – Tom Waits
Moon in The Water - Dawes
Mary's Gone - The Deep Dark Woods
Wu Tang Clan - Allo Darlin
It's Windy - Ida Gard
Apple Like a Wrecking Ball - Hoots & Hellmouth
Used to be a cop – Drive by truckers
Face In The Crowd - Joseph Arthur
Kentish Town Waltz - Imelda May
No match - Bonnie Prince Billy
The Afterlife - Paul Simon
Eastwood (Feat. Clint Eastwood) - Brad Paisley
Marcy's Song (Jackson C. Frank Cover) - John Hawkes
Sourdoire Valley Song - The Mountain Goats
Masterpiece - Madonna
Te Amo - Atlas Sound
Animal Dreams - Sapphire Slows
My Body Is A Cage (Arcade Fire Cover) - Anna Rose
No Title (Molly) - John Maus
Drop Me A Line - Midnight Magic
Shadow - Alan Wilkis (feat. Lyrics Born and White Hinterland)
Caution Repetitive - Princess Chelsea
Life's What You Make It (Talk Talk cover) - Duncan Sheik
Already Gone - Milano Sun
Bed of Nails - Wild Beasts
Accolade - Chris Malinchak
Wash – Bon Iver
Hollow Bones - Zoe Boekbinder

(Last updated 20th January 2013)

If I find (or I'm informed about) any great 2011 songs in future, I'll be adding them to the mentions list, providing they are my taste.

What were your favorite albums from last year? Let me know what you think of the top 100 in the comments box!

Thanks to for the artwork


  1. Wow, amazing list, Chris. I agree with Glorious and Foster The People. I should check the rest for music reference!

    1. @Andina: Thanks, hope you enjoy the list as much I am. You missed mentioning Daniel Tashian, recommended by you as well ( :

  2. John Hawkes from Martha Marcy May Marlene is an inspired choice on the honorable mention. good stuff.

    1. @Jared: Didn't realize John Hawkes could sing, was a haunting cover. Thanks again for letting me use your artwork.

  3. Amazing list! Love the inclusion of "Blue Jeans", I can't stop listening to this song.

    1. @Sati: Thanks, the Lana Del Ray singles that surfaced in 2011 are incredible ( :
      ps Did you hear the great news? Pitchfork writes the record label are aiming to release Fiona Apple's new album late June 2012

  4. Awesome post! Destroyer's album was my favorite of last year, and there are quite a few here that I've not listened to yet. I wish there was a way to have everything in a single playlist.

    1. @Bonjour Tristesse: Several music blogs I follow use "spotify", an opinion to consider perhaps, not sure how it works in terms of playlists

  5. Tons of great stuff here, seriously excellent list. That David Lynch album is insane. Glad M83 made the cut!

    1. @Alex Withrow: Thanks, enjoy it, that's what the music in there for ( :

  6. Wow, awesome list, man! Love the variety of genres you selected, and you included quite a few of my favorites from last year (Destroyer, The National, Radiohead, M83, etc.). I agree with BT -- it would be sweet if you put this in a Spotify playlist. That would take a lot of work though... dig the YouTube/Soundcloud links all the same!

    1. @Eric: Thanks, glad you liked the list! Is tempting to share in its entirety for my followers, I logged in today as a non-spotify member via twitter, and none of the playlists worked, unless you become a spotify member, probably have to get the software, so I doubt I'll bother.
      Feel free to make your own playlist of the top 100!

  7. It amazes me why Bright Eyes isn't an international mega star really - an excellent choice at number 5.

    I've got quite a few of these artists in my 'to listen to' pile - Sarah Jarosz, Metronomy, Joan as Police Woman and M83 but they never quite rise to the top.

    I've toyed with The Antlers as well, but they're only at 99. Worth a listen?

    1. @doccortex: I'm not a follower of Bright Eyes to be honest, his vocal a little too sad in the long run, though that song is very haunting I think.
      Actually the ranking of The Antlers at 99 you mention has nothing to do with my opinion of the overall quality of the album, in which case you should check my top albums of 2011 list, where Antlers made my top 25 LPs:
      Their 2011 album Burst Apart is very atmospheric with an electronic flavour, definitely worth a listen, if you are into that type of music, I'm a fan.

  8. Wow....Amazing list. Great collection.


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