10. Craft Spells – “After the Moment“
Catchy. Pop. Music. It’s a song that truly understands and encompasses that perfect night with someone else. We’ve all been there, and we all can listen to this jam and remember the past moments, live the present ones, and hope for more to come.
9. Twin Sister – “Bad Street“
A song with some serious vibe and sex appeal. Not to mention a funky beat. “Feel it with you, in you feel it. Feel it with you, feel it in you. I want it bad!” Really, enough said, this song brings some funk, pop, and a great voice all together perfectly.
8. Smith Westerns – “All Die Young”
Probably cliché to say, but when I hear this song I get some serious Beatles vibe going on. From the wailing guitar to the boisterous chorus, it’s a big project from a young band. And they pull it off.
7. The Antlers – “I Don’t Want Love“
My initial favorite off this album was “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out”, but as the year went on, this song stuck out more and more. The falsetto vocals bring so much feeling, and heartbreak, that for me, this song hits me right where it counts. Add in the haunting wail at the end, and this fits in right behind” Two” as my second favorite Antlers song.
6. Cults – “You Know What I Mean“
Two people. A girl singing like it’s 1965. A guy playing guitar. And perhaps the best chorus of 2011. Feel that drum beat and say it, “Cause I am afraid of the light, yeah you know what I mean.”
5. Bon Iver – “Beth / Rest“
Simply put, this song makes me want to cry. It reminds me of listening to 1980’s songs on the radio on Sunday nights courtesy of my Mom while growing up. From the lyrics, to the guitar solo, it’s my favorite track off Bon Iver’s self -titled masterpiece.
4. Friends – “Friend Crush”
A newcomer to the scene in 2011, this song struck me the first time I heard it. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and I don’t think I ever want to. It says everything about wanting to feel connected to someone else.
3. Real Estate – “Out of Tune”
I know this song was released in 2010. I don’t care, because I didn’t hear it then. It’s my favorite song off an unbelievable album. An album about getting lost in life in the suburbs, this song is its anthem.
2. Holy Ghost – “Jam for Jerry“
This is an ironic song for me. While it’s a tribute to their late drummer Jerry Fuchs, it’s the song of 2011 that brings me the most happiness whenever I hear it. As soon as those first words come out, “You set the tempo, set the pace”, a smile hits my face and life is good again.
1. M83 – “Midnight City“
Well Anthony, the city is indeed my church. And this is the song of the year. Why? Well, you only need to listen to it to understand:
Written by Greg Dahman
5. Wavves – Life Sux
It was quite the year for Nathan Williams highlighted by his hilarious twitter stream of his group’s antics at the MTV Music Awards. What more can you say about Wavves other than that they just absolutely rock? This EP spans singing about Dave Grohl, a song featuring his girlfriend Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast: “Nodding Off”, to some punk rock with the members Fucked Up, the perfectly named “Destroy.”
4. Dom – Family of Love
This EP features one of my favorite songs of the entire year in Damn. Dom are a self proclaimed “EP band”, but as long as everything continues to be as great as this album and their previous, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, I’ll never be disappointed.
3. Surfer Blood – Tarot Classics
This EP picks up right where Astrocoast left off, and that’s a very good thing. Beachy pop music is a favorite of mine, and Surfer Blood do it to perfection. My only complaint is that they couldn’t have put 6 songs on it instead of 4. Be sure to listen to “I’m Not Ready.” Hopefully a new full length is to come in 2012.
2. Toro Y Moi – Freaking Out
While Chaz Bundick’s second full length LP, Underneath the Pine, was released in early 2011 and seemed to go more jazzy than his more DJ-ish sound on Causers of This, this EP shows Chaz still can drop that beat. I actually liked this EP more than the full length. It’s straight-up fun weekend music.
1. Beach Fossils – What a Pleasure
Beach Fossils play dream pop perfection on this EP. Almost a full length at 8 songs, it listens like an LP, and this would have made my Top 10 albums of the year had we not separated the EPs out. “What a Pleasure,” “Fall Right In,” and “Out in the Way” are brilliant songs and three of my favorite of the year. Put on a good pair of headphones, listen to this EP, and relax, because life is good.
Written by Greg Dahman