Songs of the 2011
Ah, December, a month of cheap tinsel; sadistic shoppers; and over-mulled wine. It’s the season to compile a list of songs that made 2011 bearable. By now the ‘serious’ blogs have predicted the next big thing. So they have more time to wrap presents and make up stupid names for genres. I’m talking to you founder of ‘shitgaze’.
Here at TAOS Towers we take a more relaxed approach. The playlist offers a run-down of some of my favourite songs. From the scuzzy Eagulls to the celestial Braids, and the melancholic Kurt Vile to the playful Real Estate, oh and not forgetting the audacious Odd Future. Listen here: TAOS//Songs of the Year
TAOS Albums of the Year:
1) Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes. Robert’s debut promised to bring intelligent pop music to the masses. Sadly people missed the point and not even Pop Justice’s campaign could save her. Grossly underrated.
2) SBTRKT – SBTRKT. Best described as euphoric electronica, the masked producer pays homage to UKG and his pop sensibilities with this addictive and exciting effort.
3) Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter and Melancholy Jam. The Coventry born rapper rightly turned heads with his original take on hip hop. We all know he should have won the Mercury Music Prize.
4) Toro y Moi –Beneath the Pine. Chaz shrugged off the tired old chillwave tag, picked up some instruments and made an infectiously funk heavy album.
5) Panda Bear – Tomboy. Person Pitch was a hard act to follow, luckily Noah Lennox has excelled himself with another psychedelic and languid offering. Expect synths, over dubbing and spaced out vocals.
6) Real Estate – Days. Made for introspective autumn walks, all reverb and soft vocals. I’m still getting over missing their gig in October.
7) Das Racist – Relax. The highly anticipated album from Heems, Kool AD and Dappworth bring weed induced satire and humour by the bucket load.
8) Beirut – The Rip Tide. Zach Condon has added a more uplifting pop tinged vibe to his usual Eastern European soundscape. Recorded in a hut in the backwaters of New York, the Rip Tide is bursting with catchy hooks, horns and pleasing melodies.
9) Drake – ‘Take Care’. An honest portrayal of the loneliness that comes with success in the rap game. Drake uses his arrogance and vulnerability to his advantage here with impressive results.
10) White Denim – D. The Austin band stays true to their rock roots, whilst embracing their softer side. A triumph.
It was around this time last year that The Art of Stuffing came to life. I’m keen to keep this charade up for as longs as possible and I can only do that if all you bands, djs and promoters continue to keep me in the god damn loop. Finally, I’d like to thank all the taxidermy enthusiasts who visited the site by accident.
Lana Del Ray//Born to Die
I hope you enjoyed Sophie’s ‘Wayward Winter’ playlist. Like most people, Sophie has been ‘into music’ since time began. She used to run a much bigger and more successful blog, endorsed by the people at This Is Fake DIY. Sophie has kindly come out of retirement to sporadically update the site with aural delights. Lucky us.
Lizzie Grant or whatever her name isn’t has spent 2011 lounging in the spot light. The New Yorker has endured a fair bit of backlash of late, but with her debut album entitled ‘Born to Die’ set for release next month she seems unperturbed.
On her latest single of the same name Lana applies her husky and soulful vocals to 60’s inspired pop tune. ‘Born to Die’s’ delicate strings and beats contrast with song’s morbid content. Stalwart fans will recognise a subtle lyric change to make it more family friendly. I’m undecided as to whether she sounds bored or deeply moved.
In the ‘official audio’ Lana embraces a gentleman friend with tunnels and an abundance of tats in front of the American flag. There are rumours the as yet unreleased video will feature a tiger. However, I suspect this version will still go viral; thanks to LDR’s hint of side boob, suggestive wink and million dollar pout.
Leave those unworn scarves, hats and gloves pessimistically piled in to your bag at the start of each day, wrap yourself in some winter beats a little less crisp than a true December morning. I hope the tracks work together to paint a bleak blustery soundscape, some new, some old all available to buy.
Peaking Lights - Key Sparrow
Bibio - Haikuesque (When She Laughs)
Sea Oleena - And
Broken Social Scene - Guilty Cubicles
High Places - Banana Slugs
Library Tapes - Fragment III
Sea Oleena - Island Cottage
Grouper - Heavy Water/ I’d Rather Be Sleeping
The Microphones - The Gleam Pt.2
All I Need (Soulja Boy) - Clams Casino
Ince Ore - Wedding Day
Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place
Arthur Russell - Loosing My Taste For The Night
If you find something beautiful please support the artist.