Top Tracks of 2011 #80-61

#80. Star Slinger – “Dumbin’ (feat. Reggie B)”

This is the most unique Star Slinger track to date, Reggie’s R&B flare mixes seamlessly with the overcrowded production typical of the UK beat master. (Josh)

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#79 Joe Bonamassa – “The Meaning of the Blues”

With a slow and heavy electric guitar with an incredible drum backup keeping the pace, Bonamassa proves once again why he is one of the best in the business. Add in some of his trademark solos and his throaty heartfelt vocals and you have your self a classic tune. (Matt)

#78 The Field – “Then It’s White”

Taken from the Field’s album Looping State of Mind, “Then It’s White” extends hiccuped and warped vocals into an eight minute dream landscape, never building beyond a touching whisper. (Adam)

#77 Cass McCombs – “County Line”

Cass McCombs took a more somber approach to the first of of his two 2011 albums, Wit’s End. The soft Rhodes piano line of “County Line” backed McCombs’ dreary lyrics about his hometown to soundtrack the most essential song on the album. (Kelsie)

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#76 Hausu – “Weaving Spiders”

This dreamy Portland punk band has only been around for a year now, but “Weaving Spiders”, taken from their debut 7”, is an emphatic jam with one of the most singable choruses of the year. (Adam)

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#75 Brothers from Another – “Beeba Visions Pt. II”

The two boys in BFA have stepped up their sound from their previous projects. This song is a follow up to one of their earliest tracks. It undoubtedly has become a Seattle summer anthem, mentioning different spots in the town and mentioning being homesick while at college. The beat is best for summer car rides with the windows rolled down. (Brittany W.)

#74 Cut Copy – “Where I’m Going”

This Australian dance-pop trio found a way to sound like the Beach Boys with a sampler/synth, and producer Ben Allen played a crucial part in perfecting that vision. I can only describe this track in three words: rhythmic, anthemic, and psychedelic. (Brennan)

#73 As I Lay Dying – “Paralyzed”

I sat on my keister when this song started. I have never heard such a perfect mix of blast beats with an ethereal guitar channel. You can’t deny that it sounds exactly like what As I Lay Dying have defined themselves as, but where they have taken liberties and pushed the envelope, they have done nothing but thrive. The guitar solo takes me back to growing up with large, heart-felt solos that make you want to move; a wonderful homage to a style that has long since been considered dead. (Monika & Tall Kyle)

#72 Braids – “Glass Deers”

Braids’ profanity-riddled album Native Speaker never could receive daytime airplay on KZUU, which was a shame because “Glass Deers,” the 8 minute highlight from that album, features frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston repeating “Oh, I’m fucked up” in the chorus and then letting out a powerful shriek or two as the song explodes. (Adam)

#71 Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – “My Cloud”

When I reviewed We’re New Here back in February, I claimed that years from now we’d look back on it as one of the greatest remix albums ever. At the time, it seemed like an incredibly fresh, creative, and timeless reworking of Scott-Heron’s 2010 album I’m New Here. When Gil unfortunately passed away only three months later, We’re New Here became an even more important testament to the incredible influence he’s had on music. (Adam)

#70 Blouse – “Into Black”

Portland’s Blouse took music lovers by surprise in early 2011 with the release of “Into Black”, a poppy new wave tune with the now-characteristic vocals of Charlie Hilton and sharp production skills of bassist and UMO member Jacob Portrait. (Kelsie)

#69 St. Vincent – “Surgeon”

On Strange Mercy, Annie Clark focuses on pure primal anger. “Surgeon” starts tame enough, but when that schizophrenic guitar riff descends into chaotic synth solo hell, a lump of pure emotion never ceases to form in my throat. (Adam)

#68 Sir Michael Rocks – “Reach”

Proving he stands out from the rest and isn’t just half of The Cool Kids, Sir Michael spins your head with the quality of he’s spitting and reminds listeners that he can hold his own. “Reach” is exactly what other artists will be doing after listening to this track, because it’s going to be hard to catch up. (Kyle S.)

#67 Typhoon – “The Honest Truth”

The short gospel chant that made an appearance on Hunger and Thirst could not have been more appropriately woven into the bridge of this epic and orchestral track. “You’ve let the devil in your home.” (Josh)

#66 Witch Gardens – “So Many Parties”

Countless artists from Seattle have been hyped up this year, but none as fun as the surfy twee pop of Witch Gardens. “So Many Parties” is a playful autoharp and guitar led story about a crappy birthday party that recalls classic K Records acts like All Girl Summer Fun Band and Beat Happening. (Adam)

#65 Grimes – “Oblivion”

Taken from her upcoming album Visions, it’s spooky, dance-y, and catchy. What more could you want? I absolutely admire this track. (Andi)

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#64 Laura Marling – “Salinas”

English folk beauty Laura Marling channeled some serious legends while writing the lyrics to her 2011 album A Creature I Don’t Know. “Salinas” is a continuation of the previous track on the album, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, and Laura’s mature voice (seriously this girl is only 21 years old!) belts out some deep lyrics, making this one of the best folk tracks of the year. (Adam)

#63 Sam Yahel – “Taking a Chance On Love”

Sam opens this tune with a chorus of acapella piano before the rhythm section comes in. It is a nice, modern spin on a standard jazz tune, and Yahel is a phenomenal player. It takes a certain genius to make technique, expression and musical decisions to all come together in a recording. (Tom)

#62 M83 – “Midnight City”

On paper, everything about M83’s 2011 single “Midnight City” sounds tacky, from the overpowering synths and Anthony Gonzalez’s slightly autotuned vocals to the blaring saxophone solo in the bridge, but somehow it all comes together perfectly to be one of the most anthemic songs of the year. (Kelsie)

#61 Ricky Eat Acid – “Falling Forever and Ever”

When I was a kid, I used to play Zelda games until I got to my favorite part, and then I would record the background music on my boombox and make mixtapes for myself. Sam Ray (AKA Ricky Eat Acid) had a similar mindset when creating Seeing Little Ghosts Everywhere, his summer song diary and ode to little planets of music that exist all on their own. “Falling Forever and Ever” is the charming piano tune that best captures the essence of Ghosts. (Adam)

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