SowingSeason
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Last Active 09-02-14 9:58 pm
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Sowing's Soundtrack To 2011

Just as I did in 2010, I have compiled what I feel are the best 20 songs of the year. I was considering making this into a blog, but I already did my end-of-year summary with albums, so I didn't want to give myself two turns in that regard. Enjoy!
1M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming


"Midnight City": The larger-than-life electronic atmosphere drives this song to stratospheric heights. Here, the vocals are a mere accompaniment to the wide ranging synths and heavy beat - making for one of the easiest songs of the year to lose yourself in.
2Submotion Orchestra
Finest Hour


"Back Chat": The flawless marriage of jazz and electronica make for one of the smoothest, downbeat songs of 2011. The eccentric pianos and unpredictable rhythm gives it a bit of a mysterious vibe as well.
3Destroyer
Kaputt


"Chinatown": Although the album as a whole doesn't live up to the promise of this individual song (and others like it, such as the title track), "Chinatown" shows us Destroyer's wonderful ceiling. There is nothing like a melting pot of horns, electronic beats, and smoother-than-silk vocals to create a sublime feeling sure to lift your spirits no matter the time of day.
4Quiet Company
We Are All Where We Belong


"You, Me, & the Boatman": Wild, frenzied, and yet somehow tidily contained, this song shows us why Quiet Company is neither quiet nor easy company, as their "primary sound" is difficult to grasp. Acting as a microcosm of the entire album, "You, Me, & the Boatman" contains a wide range of tempos and styles that are relentlessly enthralling.
5The Antlers
Burst Apart


"Parentheses": While The Antlers' latest endeavor possesses a plethora or highly regarded tracks, this is the one that stands out the most. Rocking back and forth to one of the most memorable guitar riffs of the year in alternative rock, the gentle sway of "Parentheses" will lull you into a trance all the while making you wary of the creepy keys and vocals that loom around every turn.
6Needtobreathe
The Reckoning


"Oohs and Ahhs": Their vocalist may be a little bit country, but on this song Needtobreathe is all rock n' roll. Everything from blazing electric riffs to intriguing drum fills can be found here, and the solo during the final quarter of the song should be enough to finally turn some serious attention this band's way.
7Armistice
Armistice


"Mission Bells": The liberating sound of ?Mission Bells? surges with a mariachi background and heavy string section that open the curtain to an experience completely free of restraint. It is this carefree sensation that manages to permeate all of Armistice.
8Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver


"Holocene": More beautiful than anything from For Emma, "Holocene" stands tall as the most natural sounding song created by a folk artist this side of the millenium. Every single aspect of this is gorgeous.
9The Dodos
No Color


"Black Night": The best word I have seen used to describe this song is "gallop", because the intricate drum patterns and layered textures give the listener the sensation of bouncing up and down while moving towards a very specific destination. It is dark without being gloomy, and lighthearted without being sappy. I guess that contradiction makes this qualify as "mysterious", but the best way to find out would just be to listen to it.
10The Roots
Undun


"Lighthouse": Raw, heavy, and emotional. This is one of those songs that is unforgettable not only because it is mind-blowingly catchy, but also because it marks a step firmly entrenched outside of the artists' comfort zone.
11Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist


"Master of Art": Even though the beginning is suspiciously reminiscent of both The Ronette's "Be My Baby" and The Explorer's Club's "Forever", this is arguably better than either of those songs. Laura Stevenson's voice is the kind that can completely take over a song, and "Master of Art" highlights her stunning and completely unique skills. A must listen kind of song.
12The Milk Carton Kids
Prologue


"Michigan": As depressing as the song may be, lines such as "when it hurts, you'll know it's the right thing" will carve a nook right next to the heart of anyone having trouble letting go. The gentle Paul Simon-esque serenades don't hurt its cause, either.
13Manchester Orchestra
Simple Math


"Simple Math": Lyrically profound and musically sweeping, this just may be the definitive rock song of 2011, and that's assuming its impact doesn't resonate well beyond this year.
14Lanu
Her 12 Faces


"Fall": An indie love song with all the potential in the world to become a huge pop hit. It is effortless in its fluid progression (thanks to soundscaping artist Lance Ferguson) and easy on the ears (thanks to guest vocalist Megan Washington). The duo is absolutely on fire throughout this song, just as they are on the entire record - one of the best summer albums of '11.
15Jenny O.
Home


"Well Ok Honey": With something of a throwback 70's vibe, Jenny O delivers one of the funnest and catchiest songs of the year. From its slow, chilled out vibe at the start to its overdubbed infectious chorus, this will remain lodged in your brain for weeks.
16Florence and the Machine
Ceremonials


"Shake It Out": Florence Welsch shows us what fighting off your demons is really like: cathartic, celebratory dance.
17Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues


"The Cascades": Although only an instrumental piece, "The Cascades" encapsulate all the beauty of Helplessness Blues, and all in under two stunning, picturesque minutes.
18Chad Vangaalen
Diaper Island


"Burning Photographs": With Diaper Island being a garage rock album at heart, "Burning Photographs" exemplifies the album's true nature while still displaying the eclecticism we have all come to expect from Vangaalen.
19Parts & Labor
Constant Future


"Fake Names": Experimental noise rock with a triumphant kick. Worth a glance for anyone in need of something a little bit off-the-wall but still technically and structurally sound.
20Hey Rosetta!
Seeds


"Welcome": Is there a better way to welcome your child into the world than with the gift of music, present in the form of the best song from your best album to date? The line "you're the most incredible thing" rings with a newfound sense of pride here.
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