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Top 40 Songs of 2011

A much harder list to compile than the albums but sher we’ll give it a lash.

40) Gang Gang Dance – Glass Jar
Below is the shortened version, which is kinda cheating, it’s all about the five and a half minutes of anticipation.

39) Hudson Mohawke
Turn the volume up to 11 at 0.43

38) Shabazz Palaces – Are You…Can You…Were You (Felt)
“It’s a feeling”

37) Neon Indian – Polish Girl
The cool kind of catchy

36) Cage The Elephant – Shake Me Down
Great to hear the return of the uncomplicated rock tune, got a late 90’s/early noughties feel to it, love it.

35) A$AP Rocky – Bass
“Bass”

34) Washed Out – Eyes Be Closed
Could have picked any song off the album, this was the fist one to grab my attention, ultimate chill.

33) Clams Casino – Realist Alive
Hautingly brilliant instrumental hip-hop

32) Big K.R.I.T. – R4Theme
“Forever, forever-ever, forever-ever”

31) tUnE-yArDs – Gangsta
Fuuuunnnnky.

30) Youth Lagoon – Afternoon
Class for whistling along to.

29) TV on the Radio – Second Song
1.27

28) Ghostpoet – Cash and Carry me Home
“I’m still got some whiskey left, maybe I’ll just take a sip”

27) Balam Acab – Oh, Why
Handle with care, it’s fragile.

26) Bon Iver – Holocene
Lovely

25) Frank Ocean – Novocane
“At least you workin”

24) Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX – I’ll Take Care of You
“I’ve loved and I’ve lost”

23) Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers
Drums!

22) Toro Y Moi – Still Sound
Try not to dance.

21) Jamie Woon – Lady Luck
This is the jam right here

20) EMA – Breakfast
“Just like a breeze to me”

19) Grimes – Vanessa
Indie pop ftw

18) Moths – Summer
Uncontrollable head-nod

17) Cults – Abducted
0.38

16) The Weeknd – House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls
“Bring the seven on seven out”

15) WU LYF – Dirt
“No matter what they say dollar is not your friend”

14) Yuck – Get Away
Welcome back grunge, it’s been too long.

13) Purity Ring – Lofticries
Class

12) Drake – Marvin’s Room
Drake’s locked and ringing da ex, dose!

11) Holy Other – Touch
1.12

10) James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream
“Might as well fall in”

9) Jay-Z and Kanye West – Otis
“You ain’t ‘customed to going through customs, you ain’t been nowhere, huh?”

8] SBTRKT – Trials of the Past
“A loyal soldier who acts who acts who acts. But never asks.”

7)Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Some set of lips on yer wan

6) SBTRKT – Never Never
“Singing ooooh I’ve only let you down”

5) Tyler the Creator – Yonkers
“Here’s the number to my therapist, you tell him all your problems, he’s fucking awesome with listening”

4) Star Slinger – Mornin’
Happiness bottled.

3) Ambassadeurs – M.O.P.E.
Yes!

2) M83 – Midnight City
From the hair-raising intro to that glorious sax solo, perfect.

1) Childish Gambino – Freaks and Geeks
Swag!

Childish Gambino – Bonfire

CAMP is Donald Glover/Childish Gambino’s first commercial release following several free-to-download productions including the mixtapes I Am Just A Rapper 1 and 2 as well as 2010’s Culdesac album. Glover’s career as an actor and writer for popular television series Community and 30Rock sparked  interest among indie circles about this multi-talented rapper who spat lyrics about being a role model for middle class black kids and making “white” rap.

It’s obvious from opener ‘Outside’ that CAMP is going to go heavy on production, perhaps feeling the pressure to produce an album worthy of a price tag after gaining a significant following from his free releases. After only a few listens the album still needs to grow on me but initial impressions suggest the attempt to make a ‘big’ album hasn’t really paid off with a few epic choruses bordering on cringeworthy. He still triumphs when he sticks to his tried and tested aggressive flow on tracks like ‘Backpackers’, ‘You See Me’ and the brilliant ‘Bonfire’ which calls to mind his anthemic gem ‘Freaks & Geeks‘.

“I rap about my dick and talk about what girls is fly, I know it’s dumb, that’s the fucking reason I’m doing it” he asserts on ‘All the Shine’. Well whatever the reason/justification for it, the fact remains; the same lyrical content (having sex, being written off, being an actor and rapper, changing ‘the game’) which came across as witty and clever in early releases have grown tiresome.

Perhaps the LP’s finest moment comes in one of Glovers’ moments of modesty. One of the album’s highlights ‘That Power’ concludes in a story which confirms Glover’s knack for writing/storytelling, an eloquently told four and a half minute tale about the bus home from summer camp. While it’s likely to be skipped after one or two listens much the same as Chris Rock’s episode at the end of Kanye’s ‘Blame Game’, it’s poignancy cannot be denied. Check it out here.

Awesome video for Bonfire too…

ASAP Rocky – Palace

Opening track from the LiveLoveA$AP mixtape.

Artist: WU LFY

So I was driving round a few days ago, twas evening so I was flicking between Paul Mcloon and Jenny Huston. I heard a track on Todayfm and thought it sounded pretty different and interesting and Mcloon accredited it to a band with a really random long name. Cue my change over to 2fm and an equally compelling tune was being blasted by Huston and sure enough it was that same random band I’d never before heard of. I punched the words “world unite…foundation” into my phone and only got around to looking them up tonight.

The band’s real name is WU LYF pronounced ‘Woo Life’ and the full breakdown is ‘World Unite! Lucifer Youth Foundation’. Apparently they have kept to themselves since initially appearing on the Manchester scene in 2008, releasing little to no information and refusing interviews. However with the release of their debut album Go Tell Fire To The Mountain on June 13th they’re creeping back into the spotlight and with good reason.

When I first listened to the track below – Split it Concrete like the Colden Sun God – it reminded me of my first meeting with Sleight Bells last year. Not the actual music itself but the impact it carries. Not only is it different to everything else out there it sounds bigger, more important, it demands your attention. If the rest of the album is as good we could be looking at the biggest breakthrough act of 2011.

 

Album: Former Monarchs – The Wisdom of Crowds

They say our generation are too lazy or cowardly to take to the streets in rebellion against the political forces which have left our country in its present dire state. They may not have been waving placards outside Leinster House, but the lads in Former Monarchs were doing the other things synonymous with economic depressions, like the musicians of Seattle and Toronto in times past,they used their frustration to fuel their creativity. The result is EP opener ‘My Friend Has No Job’,an ultra-aggressive yet touchingly poignant portrayal of what the recession means for so many of the ‘lost generation.’

Read the rest of the review here.