Today, July 1 marks the start of the second six months of 2011, so why not start it off with a recap of my favorite albums of the first six months of the year. I did this very unscientifically and just picked what I feel are the best records of the year, factoring in both my opinions and opinions of how they affect the scene at large. I came up with the list after the jump. What could go wrong?
24. Panda Bear – Tomboy
I’m not Panda Bear’s biggest fan, but this record has its moments with some quality tracks. Plus, pandas are awesome.
MP3: “Last Night At The Jetty”
23. James Blake – James Blake
This album’s fallen off for me and I haven’t listened to it in-depth since I reviewed it for The Diamondback, but it’s a solid debut full-length.
22. Beach Fossils – What A Pleasure
Dustin Payseur is getting a little cloudier than the debut full-length, but Jack Tatum’s appearance boosts this a lot. But my vinyl of it skips. So there’s that.
21. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
The band creates an epic atmosphere that it grows right into.
18. Seapony – Go With Me
It’s pretty cutesy stuff, but some of the lead guitar riffs are so killer. Grunge not from Seattle.
15. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
This album is mindblowing from start to finish.
14. Craft Spells – Idle Labor
More music from Seattle that isn’t grunge; the lovechild of Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing.
MP3: “After The Moment”
13. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
They might be sorta jerks to some people, but they make really freaking catchy tracks.
12. Yuck – Yuck
It took me a while to make it through the wall in listening to this one, and I’m still tryna make it through the wall of seeing them.
11. Wye Oak – Civilian
Intense shredding from Jenn Wasner on this album. It’s bound to be underrated, but it’s just so, so good.
10. Woods – Sun and Shade
Third awesome release in three years. These guys know how to do it.
“Any Other Day”
8. Family Portrait – Family Portrait
The geniuses behind the Underwater Peoples label finally showcase their own genius on this record, which feels like it’s bound to be underrated.
MP3: “Other Side”
6. Vivian Girls – Share The Joy
The one record not recorded in studio is the cleanest and most mature yet.
MP3: “Take It As It Comes”
5. La Big Vic – Actually
Just burst onto the list about a week ago and it comes in high. Such a good piece of music.
4. Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
Beck-produced acoustic goodness.
3. Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
This is expected coming from me. A great step forward.
“Understand At All”
1. Julian Lynch – Terra
Julian Lynch is a very prolific man, and this LP shows why. It’s the ultimate mix of different types of music from all over the world, put together in an enjoyable package.
Stay tuned for the top 25 songs of 2011 later today. Share yr grievances below.