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Part 1: MUF’s Top 100 Songs of 2011 (76-100)
With the horizon of a new year seemingly inches away, we’re proud to present our best songs of 2011. We have been slaving over albums and hidden tracks for the past month, but now the beginning of our five-part list of the best of the best.
100. Maritime – Paraphernalia
The charmer of Human Hearts held the ethereal appeal from a group we come back to with each new record. The group signed with Dangerbird this year and we only see bright things in their future.
99. Sleepwalkers – Chasing the Lupine
Drifting into our subconcious, we didn’t really know what we were entering into when we heard Sleepwalkers’ Pause EP. For something bordering on the mechanics of Radiohead with the balance of Nine Inch Nails, Sleepwalkers suprised us and stuck with us this year.
98. Kontakte – The Owls Won’t See Us In Here
For a project that reminds us of Explosions in the Sky with the layered guitar riffs and synthesized drums rapping away, it’s simply a song/album (We Move Through Negative Spaces) work checking out.
97. The Shivers – Used To Be
We ‘used to be’ enamored with songs that laid down melancholy layers and dragged the listener into oblivion. This song is quite the opposite: Redemption, cander and simple strumming like that of the Strokes. It’s hard to miss with an upbeat song like this one.
96. Tapes ‘n Tapes – Badaboom
These fellas just keep on kicking with yet another successful endeavor with Outside. However, even more stunning is this particular track. If you’re a cherry-picker/ single-love , get your dirty paws ready for this one.
95. Radiohead – Separator
Radiohead was able to transition themselves quite seamlessly from In Rainbows to their semi-album The King of Limbs. “Seperator” could have just as well been on IR but for one reason or another, it just didn’t make the cut into their limiting 10-track album. Although KOL leaves much to be desired, this geniusly layered ensemble fits into Radiohead’s more toned-down extention of tracks.
94. The Remainers – Another Moment Like This
In terms of subdued party tracks, The Remainers have something on their hands with “Another Moment Like This”. Perfect for the bar, for hanging low with your friends or for just jamming out in the car. Whatever it is that the Remainers have, they’ve got “it”. We couldn’t resist putting this track on our list.
93. Miracle Fortress – Raw Spectacle
Once an unknown to us before a stellar opening set before Junior Boys, Miracle Fortress outdid anything played the entire night when the LCD Soundsystem like drum machine warmed up and captured an attentive audience.
92. Starfucker – The White of Noon
The tempo in Reptilians slowed down here, but kept the magic from one of the year’s best albums.
91. Small Flowers – Human Uprise
Although the track name seems quite fierce and curious, it leads one to believe that perhaps artists who create instrumental music such as Kruder and Dorfmeister are running out of ideas. However, despite the apocolyptic or adventurous premise of a name set her, this track has some great booming bass. Turn it up and cruise. You’ll love this track no doubt.
90. The Glass Canoe – First Ideas
If there were a Garden State II, I wouldn’t be surprised if this track were on it. There’s something so indie and escaping from this song, it’s hard to tether all of the keyboards and ethereal string plucking into one sentence. Perhaps I just did just so, but in any event, this track is a grower.
89. Chocolate Horse – Make It Up Tonight
Sang in earnest by Jason Snell and backed by beautifully tuned instruments, this has an organic, fluid feel from start to finish. Press repeat and soak it in.
88. Mitten – Cavalcade
Two girls make music, drink whiskey and hang out with kittens. At least that’s what they’re website says… Mitten had us at square one with “Cavaclade”. Drum loops, some elegant guitar and most importantly, simplicity dragged us into this track until we couldn’t fight it any longer. We highly recommend keeping your eyes on these gals.
87. Lowlands – Summer of Regret
Using a classic rise at the beginning and fall at the end, this tracked amazed us when we came across it in April. Expect big things from The Netherlands and Lowlands in 2012.
86. Peaks of Valleys – Like a Daisy
Driving guitar strums rise and fall like that of an expanding countryside. The drawing melodies of Peaks of Valleys will have you yearning for more. We couldn’t put their whole album on here since we’re head-over-heels for anything resembling lo-fi, but if you like flowers, then you would most likely pick this track. Nicely done here.
85. Stripmall Architecture – Daylight Machine
Once again Stripmall Architecture placed their best foot forward on the opening track, this time with Feathersongs for Factory Girls (Part Two). This female-paced group creates a space that delivers from start to finish in their five-track EPs.
84. Vetiver – It’s Beyond Me
Looking for something resembling those classic track compositions? Steady guitar and some tunes that remind us of Wilco are everything we love about American Folk indie-jam bands. This song is smooth and shows lots of promise. Keep your eyes peeled for anything Vetvier.
83. Cut Copy – Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat
Do you remember when you flipped out over In Ghost Colours, then practically peed yourself when you heard Zonoscope? Unfortunately, not too many were fond of this album, but if there was one thing you could pull out of the Aussies’ latest effort its that “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat” was cut from the same mold as IGC. If you’ve avoided this album but yearn for some more Cut Copy, this track is a must-have.
82. Strange Talk – Climbing Walls
Yes. YES!!! Drop those crazy appregiators and club beats all over the place! This track has the feel that it’s already been remixed by RAC, however Strange Talk beat everyone to the punch by making a song so remixable, so perfectly modified to fit the 3:42 of pure glee that no remake of this song will top it. Drop this track into your NYE playlist and thank us later.
81. Friendly Fires – Show Me Lights
Using a poppy refrain and flashy, fast drums pulls this track from Pala into the limelight. It’s more of a summer jam, but it can also work for a dance hall.
80. Ki:Theory – Holiday Heart
Something screams, “f- you” and “eat my shorts” about this track. Whether you can put your finger on it or not, the 80s tones are quite accomodating to Joel Burleson’s vocals. Keep em’ coming, Joel. We love this song.
79. Art Imperial – Bugs Out My Mind
In terms of beach tracks, Art Imperial’s Surf Suburban EO not only features a sillouhette of a woman on the front of the album, but a great big ocean in the background to accomodate to their grungy Beach Boys style here.
78. City and Colour – Northern Wind
Dallas Green’s versatility to go from a meandering, acoustic vibe for City and Colour to the grunge punk of Alexisonfire amazes at every turn. He’s a talent at any genre he plays at, and this track highlights the half we love.
77. The Pear Traps – Come Home
Some things we just can’t explain. Why this album latched onto us so much this year and stuck with us like a stubborn Winter cold baffles me. But there’s something so musty, yet airy enough for me to play this song again and again yet never tire of it. The Pear Traps are one of our favorite underdogs of this year with their self-titled The Pear Traps EP.
76. Peter, Bjorn & John – Second Chance
Perhaps too poppy for some, this remix-happy track has the foundation PB&J use: memorable lyrics, a shifting background and clever kicks. Check out the RAC remix, too.