2011: Let Me Hear That Song

Kaputt and Northern Gospel, 2011’s two albums that I wrote about here will both likely end up high on my best-of-the-decade list at next year’s end; looking over the songs below, I can see more than a few placing high on the adjoining tracks list: M83’s 2011-meets-1986 anthem, Iron and Wine’s Christine McVie pastiche, Ivy’s house-pop resurrection, Wilco’s catchiest tune (without Billy Bragg), kd lang’s finest ballad, Lana Del Rey’s still-startling debut and R.E.M.’s sweet last gasp.

And that’s not all! Don’t forget Jens Lekman’s cautionary note to the lead actress of a Lars von Trier film, spirited one-shots from alt-country rocker Jessica Lea Mayfield, garage punks Those Darlins’ and Aussie duo An Horse (it was the golden age of discovering new music through iTunes’ free Song of the Week), awesome cover versions from James Blake and Kris Delmhorst, the eerie, Norah Jones-led “Black” (made immortal by Breaking Bad late that year), and of course, Kate Bush’s 13-minute paean to fucking a snowman.

As for The Rapture’s urgent, exuberant dance-rock opus (also a last gasp from them), it’s not a Bee Gees cover—it’s much better than that.

Click here to listen to my 2011 playlist on Spotify.

1. Wilco, “I Might”
2. Those Darlins’, “Screws Get Loose”
3. Atlas Sound, “Mona Lisa”
4. Beth Ditto, “I Wrote The Book”
5. Jens Lekman, “Waiting For Kirsten”
6. Smith Westerns, “Weekend”
7. Jessica Lea Mayfield, “Blue Skies Again”
8. Destroyer, “Kaputt”
9. Emm Gryner, “Heartsleeves”
10. Iron & Wine, “Tree By The River”
11. PJ Harvey, “The Words That Maketh Murder”
12. Kate Bush, “Misty”
13. M83, “Midnight City”
14. The Kills, “Future Starts Slow”
15. Junior Boys, “Playtime”
16. James Blake, “Limit to Your Love”
17. Lykke Li, “Youth Knows No Pain”
18. Kavinsky featuring Lovefoxxx, “Nightcall”
19. Paul Simon, “So Beautiful or So What”
20. Kris Delmhorst, “Tonight She Comes”
21. Lana Del Rey, “Video Games”
22. Ivy, “Distant Lights”
23. St. Vincent, “Strange Mercy”
24. Lady Gaga, “Marry the Night”
25. Florence + The Machine, “What The Water Gave Me”
26. My Morning Jacket, “Outta My System”
27. Cut Copy, “Need You Now”
28. Raphael Saadiq, “Movin’ Down The Line”
29. John Maus, “Hey Moon”
30. Laura Marling, “The Beast”
31. R.E.M., “Uberlin”
32. kd lang & The Siss Boom Bang, “The Water’s Edge”
33. Danger Mouse & Daniel Luippi feat. Norah Jones, “Black”
34. Gillian Welch, “Scarlet Town”
35. Meshell Ndegeocello, “Chance”
36. Lindsay Buckingham, “That’s The Way Love Goes”
37. Washed Out, “Amor Fati”
38. An Horse, “Dressed Sharply”
39. The Rapture, “How Deep Is Your Love?”
40. Tune-Yards, “Bizness”

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