Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Best of 2011: The Singles

Does exactly what it says on the tin: The best singles of 2011.

Cold War Kids - Royal Blue (Cooperative Music)//Cold War Kids returned with their third album Mine Is Yours in February, and the standout track from that record was this scorcher. Nathan Willett's soaring vocals mixed in with groovy basslines and hand-clapping percussions, showed the Kids at their damned good best.

The Horrors - Still Life (XL)//The Southend band's transition from goth rock to shoegaze continued in 2011, with their critically accliamed ablum Skying. The atmospheric basslines are evident of Joy Division influences, plus the dream pop vocals of Faris Badwan will help you drift off into the sunset.

Arctic Monkeys - Don't Sit Down, 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair (Domino)//The Sheffield band dropped the casual lad rock to a deeper grunge/psychedelia sound for their fourth album, Suck It and See. Alice In Chains would be proud of those kind of basslines that Nick O'Malley sported in this song. A definite return to form after the mixed Humbug.

Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks (Columbia)//You couldn't escape this song in the summer. After being used in a mobile commercial, the LA trio scored the catchiest hit of the year, with the re-release of "Pumped up Kicks." Despite it's catchy chorus and dancefloor vibe, the song had much darker connotations, written from the point of view of a high schooler wanting to go on a killing spree. Yikes.

The Antlers - I Don't Want Love (Transgressive Records)//From it's opening chords, you can feel the tears beginning to fall and this track doesn't get any happier after that. Peter Silberman's voice will break your heart, yet remains beautiful and poignant. A great song that makes you look back on past regrets.

The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines (Nonesuch)//The Akron duo's El Camino became an eleventh hour contender to the "album of the year" ranks. With tracks such as this, you can see why. Starting off with a "Stairway to Heaven"-style riff, the blues rock number gradually builds up pace and noise levels, before launching into a psychedelica-garage rock chorus and excellent solo from Dan Auerbach.

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