The year is not close to over, but there have been multiple great albums so far! This is my top 10, and obviously this doesn't include the many albums I haven't even gotten a chance to listen to yet. Also, there's so much more to come this year. Read more after the jump.
Wye Oak - Civilian
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We’re New Here
Decemberists - The King is Dead
Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde
Cults - Cults
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
10. The Weeknd - House of Balloons
I am a sucker for R&B. Blend in a little electronic and I’m sold. This is my guilty pleasure album of the summer. I love a smooth voice that is trying to undress me. Sexual lyrics – check. But there is more to this album than just sex and drugs. Self-loathing is so deeply rooted in the track ‘Wicked Games’. There is a lot of depth here if you really give this album a chance. Also, 'High For This' was used in Entourage Season 8 preview.
9. Bright Eyes - The People’s Key
Conor Oberst is really a lyrical genius. He is the tortured artist that is completely eccentric. But don’t lie to yourself, you fucking love him. He seems a little less depressed than usual and if there is one thing he’s got, it’s conviction. Listen to ‘Jejune Stars’ and ‘Shell Games’.
8. Man Man - Life Fantastic
What a dark album! You can’t resist the myriad of instruments Man Man utilizes. The track ‘Shameless’ is just awesome. I can’t get enough. For some reason this album reminds me of the fox in Antichrist… Seriously. Some of you know what I’m talking about. CHAOS REIGNS.
7. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
You won’t be able to stop dancing. This is a solid, fun listen all the way through. Just let it take over and you won’t be disappointed. ‘Pharaohs & Pyramids’ has lots going on and it will make your body sing.
6. Middle Brother - Middle Brother
This album oozes American blood. Definitely lives up to the label super group. Corey pretty much summed it up in his post. Check out ‘Blood and Guts’.
5. Destroyer - Kaputt
This album makes me feel like I have time traveled to the past and brought a musician to the future. I feel like I’m floating on the music when I listen to it. I love the brass intertwined. It’s got a very eclectic feel to it and I’m totally into it.
4. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
Electro, jazz, soul. This album is feel good. If you haven’t ever listened to TV on the Radio then you should probably get with the program. Start with ‘Will do’ and move on from there. Accompanying the deluxe edition of the album, there is a video for each song, which collectively make an hour-long film. Sick!
3. The Antlers - Burst Apart
I’m just so impressed with this album. It’s not easy to follow up and album like Hospice. ‘Putting the Dog to Sleep’ is absolutely soul-crushing. The emotion Silberman puts into his work is unbelievable. Every time his voice cracks, I’m tempted to well up.
2. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
I didn’t expect this album to be so damn good. I am so haunted by this album, but more specifically ‘The Shrine/An Argument’. I feel like I’m being pulled through these emotions myself while listening. One minute I’m on top of the world ‘sunlight over me no matter what I do’, and then all of a sudden I’m ‘in the ocean washing off my name from your throat’. Powerful.
1. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Michicant is my favorite song of 2011 right now. For me, music has the greatest impact when I’m feeling most vulnerable. I can’t remember a time more perfect than high school when you are trying new things, experimenting for the first time, and impressionable. This song reminds me of that time. It’s comparable to how I felt when I listened to DCFC ‘Tiny Vessels’ at that point in my life. The lyrics ‘both were climbing for a finer cause’… Shear brilliance. I would have a hard time believing you can’t think of a time when you completely related to this song. This whole album is just incandescent.