Rather than try and name all the best albums that came out last year, I thought I'd try something a little more personal. I think my list of albums would suck anyway because, as a whole, I found 2011 a little disappointing musically. I suppose everyone is allowed an off year.
So here are my notable music thingys, kind of a list but not quite, of 2011!
Suprise Hit Of The Year:This British rap duo broke out with their debut album Stero Typical in a big way. Their song "Down With The Trumpets" was one of those summer anthems that got my attention. They've been popping up everywhere since and have become the darlings of the UK music scene with their radio-friendly hip-hop and their infectious, youthful, fun.
The UK rap scene had been building momentum for a while but these are the first guys who I think could genuinely break America. They're definitely a very English entity but I'd be shocked if the rest of the world don't take to them. Don't beleive me? See what they do with "Fly Me To The Moon", live from someone's back garden.
And their ability to work with remixes doesn't end there. Rizzle Kicks' mixtape, which is free to download, features some great stuff. Making the likes of Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys sound even better (or in the case of Allen, just sound good).
Personal Discovery Of The Year:I have a good friend who adored Interpol for years. I liked the couple singles I had heard but he was never able to convert me. I guess it was part disconnection and part adversion to Interpol fans. For the same reason I never really converted to The Smiths, Interpol fans are... well, lets say "dedicated" and leave it at that.
Their album Antics was on sale for a ridiculously low price one day and I figured I should give them the shot that my friend assured me was worth it. I remained sceptical. Then I heard this...
Sometimes you can't describe how or why a song/album/band gets under your skin. But this did. In a big way. I listened to it on my way home from work pretty much every day for about 3 months in the spring of 2011. I became converted. There is no looking back now.
If you've thought they are in any way decent but never took the plunge, I implore you to do it. Don't ignore your friends like I do.
Band I Said Goodbye To:I went into my love of this band at great length in a blog post once I had heard they were splitting up. They formed a massive amount of my teenage years and luckily, I've made a lot of good friends from going to their shows in my twenties.
I won't repeat all the tear inducing gush from my blog but I will mention that I was there on their last tour, got to meet the band, had a ball, and will miss them dearly. People complain about those cynical band reformations but this is one band I'd gladly cough up money to have back.
Thank you, Bluetones, it was worth it.
Hope For The Future:If you don't know who The Tastydactyls are, then we have obviously never met. Hi.
Brothers Or Not
2011 was my first Tastydactyl-less year since I was introduced to the band oh... 6 years ago(?). The Texas four piece were not only a band I loved but also became some good friends of mine, when they split I became a little lost. I realise how sad that sounds, but it's true. I travelled from Ireland to Texas on more than one occusion just to see them. They were a big deal in my life.
However, Tasty's frontman Blake Rawlings is back(!) with a new band. Brothers Or Not are so new they only have one song up so far. But I hope to see more soon and that my faith in Rawlings' talent stays solid.
No video yet but check out their Facbook Page and Bandcamp one.