Sunday, December 18, 2011

Favourite albums of 2011

Here's the annual list of my favourite albums. These are the albums that I listened to most over the past year; the ones that inspired me and kept me going. Once again, while I've been waiting for the last half of December to yield that one final amazing album that would make the list, most of the other major music critics had jumped the gun and already posted theirs.

I always find it so hard to actually put these in any sort of order, but I can say that the #1 album was definitely my favourite by a mile. Your favourite albums from the past year will inevitably be different from what's on my list. But as I've said before, that's one of the great things about music - that it all affects each person in different ways. It's for that same reason that I've also refrained from writing any long-winded explanations of why I love these records so much. Though I know it's a rarity in the world of music critique, I really believe that that great albums must be heard rather than analyzed in writing. Indeed, the only long winded writing in this post is the introduction you are (possibly still but likely not) reading right now.

I hope you can give these records a listen, as maybe you'll find something that you really love as well. And because I'd rather share the actual music with you than write about it, there are songs from each one of these albums on the quarterly mixes that I regularly post here for free download. 

1. Destroyer - Kaputt
2. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
3. The Drums - Portamento
4. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
5. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
6. James Blake - s/t
7. Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
8. The Horrors - Skying
9. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
10. The Field - Looping State Of Mind
11. Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch The Throne
12. M83 - Hurry Up We're Dreaming
13. Neon Indian - Era Extra├▒a
14. Washed Out - Within And Without
15. Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
16. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
17. Toro Y Moi - Underneath The Pine
18. Tuneyards - Whokill
19. Holy Ghost! - s/t
20. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

There are a few other great albums that just barely missed the top 20 cut. In no particular order, here they are...

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - Mirror Traffic
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Feist - Metals
WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
The Strokes - Angles
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We're New Here
Cat's Eyes - s/t
The Black Keys - El Camino
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
The various singles released by Burial this year

And here are the download links for those mixes...

January-March mix:
April-June mix:
July-September mix:
October-December mix:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Best New Albums - Oct-Dec 2011

Once again, here's a mix of songs from my favourite albums of the past three months. This is getting to be a pretty regular thing now, which is good. I hope you are enjoying them, and that they have caused you to seek out some of the full albums.

There are 13 tracks this time around, and I promise that there are no Christmas songs. Here are the artists on the mix: The Field, M83, Feist, The Black Keys, Wooden Shjips, St. Vincent, AA Bondy, The Kooks, Atlas Sound, Factory Floor, Oneohtrix Point Never, Noel Gallagher, and Surfer Blood.

Enjoy! And as usual, please feel free to share the link with friends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best New Albums - July-Sept 2011

Here's a mix of songs from my favourite albums of the past three months. There are 14 tracks on this one, from the following artists:

Washed Out, Neon Indian, The Horrors, The Drums, WU LYF, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Wilco, Jay-Z & Kanye West, Beirut, Toro Y Moi, Caribou (remixing Radiohead), The War On Drugs, and The National.

Enjoy! And feel free to share the link, as music is made for sharing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Best New Albums - April-June 2011

There were a lot of great albums released during the second quarter of 2011. Here's the link to download a mix of songs from my favourite ones...

There are 17 tracks on this one, from the following artists: Friendly Fires, Crystal Stilts, TV On The Radio, Cat's Eyes, Radiohead, Ford & Lopatin, Handsome Furs, Gang Gang Dance, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Miles Kane, Foster The People, Tom Vek, Holy Ghost, The Rosebuds, Alex Turner, and Thurston Moore.

Hope you enjoy it! And if you do, please share the link with friends.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Best New Albums - January-March 2011

While the mainstream music industry overall is now largely based on promoting singles as opposed to entire records, there are definitely still a ton of musicians, labels, and music lovers out there who believe that entire albums remain the greatest expression of the popular music art form. Feel free to include me among those believers.

This ongoing series of mixes contains some of the best songs from my favourite albums (as well as the occasional EP or single if it's particularly great), released over the previous 3-month period. These are the albums that I feel are most worthy of your time and attention.

I've tried to include songs that should give you a pretty good idea of the overall character of the album. So if you like sound of a certain song or artist, I would encourage you to then seek out the whole record and give it a good listen.

Here's the link to download the mix for January-March 2011...

It features 15 tracks from the following artists: James Blake, Radiohead, The Strokes, Cut Copy, Destroyer, R.E.M, Jamaica, Toro Y Moi, Burial/Four Tet/Thom Yorke, Kurt Vile, Smith Westerns, Gil Scott-Heron & Jaime xx, The Weeknd, Burial, and Mogwai.