Top Tracks of 2011 #60-41

#60 Bobby – “Sore Spores”

Indie rock newcomers Bobby wrote a song that gets stuck in your head and doesn’t leave for months… It guides the listener through quirky synth and charming female vocals. When you finally hit the chorus, the smooth transition to the sly male counter-part evokes a particular chemistry that most artists don’t have. (Brennan)

#59 Chrome Sparks – “All There Is (feat. Steffaloo)

The debut EP my ❤ by Jeremy Malvin AKA Chrome Sparks was a surprise hit at KZUU this year. “All There Is” is a bouncy tune led by a music box melody and chopped and screwed vocals courtesy of Steffaloo. The track becomes heavenly midway through when the beat drops out and the vocals are front and center. (Adam)

#58 Grieves & Budo – “Lightspeed”

One of the truest songs I had heard in a good while. Normally I don’t get obsessed or replay a song over and over, but this was definitely an exception. First off, Budo produces a masterpiece of a beat and Grieves paints the story of the last few years of his life while he made his way to the Rhymesayers family. (Bryce P.)

#57 Atlas Sound – “Terra Incognita”

On “Terra Incognita”, Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox showcases his ability to not only create experimental, ambient-leaning music, but also his tendency to write beautiful folk-inspired songs. (Kelsie)

#56 Youth Lagoon – “July”

Pretty much any track from the incredible Year of Hibernation could fit here, but what pushes “July” over the edge is how Trevor Powers really strains his voice near the end, shouting “I made a bridge between us then I slowly burned it.” (Adam)

#55 Los Campesinos! – “Hate for the Island”

It’s the execution of the chorus that sold me. Gareth Campesinos’ tear filled delivery competes with the ambience of a squealing violin to create a feeling of dread and sorrow (Josh)

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#54 Dr. Acula – “Welcome to Camp Nightmare”

Starting off with a piece of dialogue from a horror movie, we are instantly transported to exactly
that… Dr. Acula’s audio horror movie. I honestly have no idea how many deathcore bands have breakdowns explaining how someone is getting murdered, then an awesome chill interlude with more dialogue from slasher flicks in the background, but I think we’ve found the kings. (Monika & Tall Kyle).

#53 Explosions in the Sky – “Postcard from 1952”

Most people know Explosions In The Sky from their score on Friday Night Lights. While their work for that movie was beautiful, they have learned how to take those attributes and build on them. On “Postcard From 1952” they utilize their gorgeous guitar riffs and amplify them to a ridiculous degree. (Brennan)

#52 Blue Scholars – “Seijun Suzuki (feat. Thig Nat)”

Once again, Seattle’s Blue Scholars change up their sound on the new album. “Seijun Suzuki” is one of the best tracks off the album, discussing how music is their lives. With a Sabzi beat that makes it impossible not to move your body or nod your head and a little spit from Thig Nat of The Physics, this song is not one to miss off of Cinemetropolis. (Brittany W.)

#51 Dirty Beaches – “A Hundred Highways”

“A Hundred Highways” ends up being the centerpiece on one of the best albums of the year: Dirty Beaches’ Badlands. Built upon a sample of Les Rallizes Dénudés “Night of the Assassins”, Alex Zhang Hungtai sounds like he’s torturing his guitar near the end, eventually drowning out the bass loop with squealing feedback. (Adam)

#50 Peaking Lights – “All the Sun That Shines”

For their 2011 release, 936, husband/wife duo Peaking Lights created spacey, psychedelic pop. A nearly 7 minutes, “All The Sun That Shines” is a dub-heavy, lo-fi track that takes you on a journey. (Kelsie)

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#49 A$AP Rocky – “Brand New Guy”

A$AP is straight with you, he loves forties, quality greens, and knows that he’s the best. He brings a cockiness to the game that is backed up by his hyped up style and bass busting beats. If you’re looking for your driving song, look no further. (Kyle S.)

#48 Atlas Sound – “The Shakes”

Idiosyncrasies make this song so wildly unique. You can hear each time Bradford Cox’s voice cracks or when his tongue hits the roof of his mouth as if he’s singing into the loudest microphone in the world. Finally in the last thirty seconds while the chord progressions pick up and Cox’s voice floats around, I swear you can hear someone dialing buttons on a spaceship in the background. (Brennan)

#47 Mayer Hawthorne – “The Walk”

C’mon, how did Mayer not win half of the Top-15 hip-hop tracks? The smooth RnB singer could get even the shyest of dancers to do a little groovin’. Plus the music video for this song is ridiculous. Ridiculously Awesome. (Bryce P.)

#46 George Stone – “Straight Ahead”

This tune is, as the title indicates, a straight swinger from beginning to end. It is a song composed by George Stone himself, and he put together a big band comprised of the best studio musicians in L.A. to make this recording. It is modern-sounding jazz harmonies played in an old-fashioned big band setting. (Tom)

#45 Yuck – “Rubber”

Globe-spanning 90’s revivalists Yuck did their best to emulate indie rock of the past on their self-titled debut, but nothing on that album sounded as true to it’s influences as “Rubber” did to late 80’s wall-of-sound shoegaze. (Adam)

#44 Active Child – “Playing House (feat. How to Dress Well)”

Harpist/keyboardist Patrick Grossi enlisted help from crooner How To Dress Well on “Playing House”, to create one of the most exciting indie R&B tracks of the year. (Kelsie)

#43 M83 – “Steve McQueen”

This track seemed like a hidden goldmine in a lackluster double album, it proves to be an explosive track with every passing second, accompanied by swirling synth, frenetic drumbeats, and face melting guitar chords. It’s the kind of song you want played when your traveling down a desolate highway going 90 miles-per-hour with the cops chasing you. (Brennan)

#42 Holy Other – “Touch”

Holy Other was one of the many critically acclaimed acts to emerge in 2011 from Tri Angle Records with their debut EP With U. “Touch” is a Southern hip-hop inspired masterpiece. There’s no need for more lyrics other than “I’ve been looking for your touch,” especially when the beat flips in the second half. (Adam)

#41 Coma Cinema – “Eva Angelina”

Mat Cothran is the definition of prolific when it comes to solo indie musicians. On his third album under the Coma Cinema moniker, Blue Suicide, Cothran ventures out from his standard 2-minute upbeat song repetoire to create his longest and most beautiful track to date. (Kelsie)

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