<< REWIND: Best Albums of 2011

December is always a time of reflection and nostalgia for me; some of it sweet, some not so much. But revisiting my favorite music of the year always falls on the sweeter side of the spectrum and inevitably puts a smile on my face as I trace back all the music that moved me through the course of the year. Whether it’s musing over the hype and hyperbole of a buzz band that’s come and gone (ahem, The Vaccines) or rediscovering a gem that time almost forgot (read: Lia Ices), compiling my annual ‘Best Of’ list has become a ritual I cherish.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite albums of 2011. My 2011 rewind. Kinda sorta listed in order but I find the process of ranking music to be like splitting hairs. All that really matters is that this is the music that moved me this year. The albums I came back to again and again. I enjoyed them. Immensely. Hope you will too.

Unknown Mortal OrchestraSelf Titled

Kurt VileSmoke Ring for My Halo

Mikal Cronin, Self Titled

Washed Out, Within and Without

Widowspeak, Self Titled

Ty Segall, Ty Rex

Abbe Mae, Design Desire

The Sandwitches, Mrs. Jones Cookies

Vetiver, The Errant Charm

Blouse, Self Titled

Fungi Girls, Some Easy Magic

Quilt, Self Titled

Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts

Nick Waterhouse, Is That Clear EP

Charles Bradley, No Time for Dreaming

Lia Ices, Grown Unknown

Thee Oh Sees, Carrion Crawler/The Dream

Shannon and the Clams, Sleep Talk

Wooden Shjips, West

Papercuts, Fading Parade

That Ghost, Songs Out Here

Tune-Yards, WHOKILL

Yuck, Self Titled

Jeff the Brotherhood, We are the Champions

Black Lips, Arabia Mountain

Future Islands, On the Water

Radiohead, King of Limbs

Yellow Ostrich, The Mistress

White Denim, D

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Mirror Traffic

Low Roar – “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”

Artist: Low Roar
Album: Self Titled
Homeland: Iceland by way of San Francisco
Featured Track: “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”

A simply gorgeous album. If you’re a sucker for pathos and Bon Iver (like me), this album is your anecdote. Ryan Karazija is the man behind Low Roar, who just released his debut, self-titled album this November. Ryan moved from San Francisco to Iceland and began writing this album as he found himself in a state of loneliness struggling to provide for his family in a foreign land. Anyone who as ever picked up and left a stable life in hopes of finding something new/better/different or just to escape from their past knows this feeling of despair, fear of the unknown, and hope of what’s to come. Dive in and wallow in it.

One Last Attempt At Missing Someone…

Artist: Vic and Gab
: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Genre: Indie Pop
Featured Track: “I Haven’t Seen You”

That is the track description from song writing sister duo, Vic and Gab, that I stumbled upon trolling Soundcloud recently. And it is just … perfect. The description, the lyrics and the tune.  Indie pop perfection. Sounding like the next generation Tegan & Sara, the Wisco pair have made their childhood hobbies in music  their passion in life. Check out their entire EP on Facebook.