Top Ten
January 25, 2012

Ten Favorite Albums 2011

It's time to play "Which CDs was Whitney Too Lazy to Remove from Her Car in 2011"!

I'm exaggerating.

A little.

So here are my favorite albums from the year. Remember, that doesn't mean they were actually released this year, it just means these were on constant repeat around these parts. Who are we kidding. They were on repeat in my car, because honestly, that really is where I listen to almost all of my music (damn you, 6-disc CD changer).

Let's get on with it (in no particular order):

Bombay Bicyle Club - I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose
I don't remember how I found these might have been Pandora, but I fell hard for this album. It's catchy, but not catchy enough to hear it all over the radio. I still find songs getting stuck in my head though. It's been stuck in the car for the past 6 months, and as I'm gearing up for an actual CD switch, I may keep this one in there.

Beach Fossils - Self Titled and What a Pleasure
These may very well be my favorite find of 2011 (Thanks Turntable Kitchen!). They're mellow, surfy and shoegaze-y and apparently that's the prefect combination for me. I LOVE both of these albums. I can't pick a favorite. It doesn't help that I've got them both burned on one cd so they just blend together (in a totally good way).

Katie The Pest - This Giant Will Kill You
I discovered Katie the Pest on a compilation album five years ago and was instantly hooked. In that time, I think this CD has left the disc changer in my car for only a couple of months. This may be one of my "desert island" records. They're a little bit grunge, but still lady-like and damn can they play. I sing along with every song at the top of my lungs (that may be why I love this album so much).

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
Another one I found through Turntable Kitchen, and I'm so glad I did. I don't know how else to describe this album except BIG. The music fills my car, and I love it. It's another one I sing along with all the time.

Gotye - Like Drawing Blood
The boy-fiance became a bit obsessed with Gotye late last year, and once I heard him, so did I. We played "Somebody that I Used to Know" over and over again, but since the album wasn't out at the time, I bought this one. We listened to it over and over again and it amazes me how one album can cross so many genres but still feel like it all goes together. I think this may be Gotye's thing though. I'm listening to the latest album as I type, and it's got the same kind of vibe.

Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
I hope I'm not the only one that does this: buy/download a cd, listen to it once, and forget about it. Then months later discover a song in a commercial or movie credits and realize it's on an album you already own. This album has been sitting almost unlistened to in iTunes, and then a few months ago I discovered "Tenousness" playing during the credits of "Crazy Stupid Love" and now I can't get enough Andrew Bird. I guess it's a good thing I already had some.

The Drums - Portamento
After I became obsessed with Beach Fossils last year, I went in search of more surfy/shoegaze music and found The Drums. They're a bit more poppy than Beach Fossils but they still fit the bill and I couldn't be happier.

Beirut - The Rip Tide
I was so excited when this album came out, and while it took a little while for me to warm up to it, it was worth the effort. There's a reason it's still in the car's disc changer (and it's not due to laziness).

Thao - We Brave Bee Stings and All
Yet another "sing along at the top of your lungs in the car" album (I guess I kind of like those). If I was ever having a bad day, the song "Bag of Hammers" never failed to help cheer me up. I may need to put this one back in the car!

My preferred place to buy music is Amazon, so that's where all those albums link to. Go have a listen and discover some new-to-you music!



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.