Eko's '11: LPs


Jan 2 2012, 6h11

35. Red City Radio The Dangers of Standing Still
34. The Horrible Crowes Elsie
33. La Dispute Wildlife
32. Hands Give Me Rest
31. Youth Lagoon The Year of Hibernation
30. Emery We Do What We Want
29. Sorne House of Stone
28. Old Man Markley Guts n’ Teeth
27. citycop The Hope In Forgiving & Giving Up Hope
26. Across Waters More Light Is Never Ending
25. Sainthood Reps Monoculture
24. Mutemath Odd Soul
23. M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
22. Laura Stevenson and the Cans Sit Resist
21. Bigfoot Wallace Malleable
20. Okkervil River I Am Very Far
19. Switchfoot Vice Verses
18. Bomb the Music Industry! Vacation
17. Radiohead The King of Limbs
16. Frank Turner England Keep My Bones
15. Hey Rosetta! Seeds
14. Russian Circles Empros
13. Owen Ghost Town
12. Death Cab for Cutie Codes and Keys
11. The Men Leave Home

10. Joyce Manor Joyce Manor

It’s quite difficult to imagine anyone not liking Joyce Manor. The way in which they have flawlessly carved out their high energy punk/indie niche quickly begs the question, “Why did no one think of this sooner?” Johnson’s manic voice may be the key. Frustratingly brief, yet entirely gripping.

9. The War on Drugs Slave Ambient

Slave Ambient is one cool customer. Granduciel’s command of subtlety helps to fashion one of easiest-listening albums of 2011, most evident in the spot on transition from “Your Love Is Calling My Name” to “Come to the City.” Anyone else think “The Animator” sounds remarkably similar to M83’s “When Will You Come Home?”

8. jeff jacquay La Cambria

It’s almost as if Jacquay didn’t want it to be heard and made the album for himself rather than for anyone else. His quiet, whispery voice barely rises over his muted acoustic guitar picking. Still, for those that take the time, listeners will find that La Cambria is an unquestionably consistent, charming, and heartwarming release.

7. Crash of Rhinos Distal

No album combined fun with proficiency quite like Distal. Crash of Rhinos always seemed to be doing a balancing act between chaos and composure while screaming their hearts out. It was hard to find a more exhilaratingly cathartic album in 2011 than this one. Play it loud, yell along, and feel better. “I had a future in failing!”

6. Josh Garrels Love & War & The Sea In Between

Garrels’s unassuming cadence and distinctive baritone are the only things holding the over-blown sprawl of Love & War together, but they are all that is necessary. He holds nothing back in these eighteen tracks, and finds himself succeeding at almost every turn, from his hip-hop dabbling to his tropical ballad to his numerous instrumentals.

5. Tim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972

I still don’t feel like I really understand this album, but for some reason it’s completely riveting. Hecker’s ability to produce such a bleak soundscape is topped only his skill at creating climaxes so subtle that the listener is almost unconscious of their occurrence, but can feel them all the same.

4. Manchester Orchestra Simple Math

No words rang truer in 2011 than “half a year and here we are again.” A slight disappointment at its release, it took several months of downtime for this album to show its strengths. And while I’m still not sure if it’s Mean Everything to Nothing with poise or without furor, it’s an excellent album on its own.

3. Kye Kye Young Love

In what some have called a strong year for female vocalists, Olga Yagolnikov of Kye Kye takes the cake on this user’s list. Her slightly low-end vocals are always poised, never overly dramatic or flirty. Intimate, organic atmospheres and skilled songwriting and production make this a highly notable debut.

2. Bon Iver Bon Iver, Bon Iver

At its release I was among the popular camp of “not as good as For Emma,” but the more I listen to Bon Iver’s self-titled such a tag seems a bit erroneous. While in one sense a huge departure from For Emma’s folk roots and in another sense very much the same, Bon Iver, Bon Iver establishes Vernon as an artist capable of a long and prolific career beyond his career defining masterpiece.

1. WU LYF Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

I have to admit that I’m a bit sad that Go Tell Fire To The Mountain has become so divisive. Wu Lyf should have been the uniting indie band of 2011. From the grandiose sweeps of “We Bros” to the ferocious yells of “Spitting Blood” to the epic build of “Heavy Pop,” Tell Fire seemed to be what indie rock desperately needed. Wu Lyf found the balance between gritty intensity and beautiful serenity as if they had been refining their sound for years. Even if it didn’t live up to the heights I dreamed up for it, Go Tell Fire To The Mountain is a huge achievement that hopefully will continue to resonate for years to come.


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