Part 3: MUF’s Top 100 Songs of 2011 (26-50)
musicunderfire | On 28, Dec 2011
As we enter the bottom half of our top 100 songs of 2011, the music sounds even better than you could imagine. MUF put a lot of work into widdling down these tracks, so we encourage you to look through every one and even look further into the artists behind them. Here are our 26 through 50 top songs of 2011.
50. The Airborne Toxic Event – Half of Something Else
Very similar to 2008′s “Sometime Around Midnight”, TATE is back with a similar formula and not a bad album either. I guess if you’ve got the chemistry down, why change it?
49. Radiohead – Lotus Flower
Random clapping, Thom Yorke being awkwardly talented and synthesizers controlling your mind. Yes, The King of Limbs was a strange addition to the Radiohead collection, but it’s amazing when they get a song right.
48. Washed Out – Amor Fati
Electronic interludes with some subtle singing captured thousands of eager fans of Washed Out’s Within and Without.
47. Beirut – East Harlem
There are quite a few Beirut tracks on our top songs of this year. So many that we’re not sure it justifies the creative “East Harlem” to give our reasons as to why it fell at 47. However, this track didn’t top our Beirut tracks for this year. There’s more to come….
46. Is Tropical – Lies
The allure of the Native To album lies in the quirky hollowed vocals behind a mask of techno-tronic beats. It’s weird, but gets better with each listen.
45. Folly and the Hunter – Chasing Trains
In terms of risers and fallers, F&H lay down some sensitive material and lightly touching vocals that will fit that peaceful time in your day. Among the poppier, loud songs here, this track was impressive enough to be quietly loud and make it to #45 here.
44. Clock Opera – Belongings
Fans of Elbow found another group to love this year, particularly with the half piano, half digitizing track “Belongings”. The clipped piano and build-up throughout the song made this one an easy pick.
43. City and Colour – Fragile Bird
Dallas Green airs his spooky rock in “Fragile Bird” through a series of symmetrically delivered lyrics. Always keep an eye for the man with the city and color for a name.
42. Peaks of Valleys – Crest
It’s as if some emo group wizened up and decided to go Postal (Service) on us. “Crest” is great, guitars and all. Peaks of Valleys has their composition down and we fell in love with this song pretty quickly.
41. Starfucker – Reptilians
Instrumental jams are an anomoly these days. They’re either hit or miss, whether they’re meant for adding some rhymes or just keeping the vocals to the side. Starfuckers’ ability to churn out a fantastic album with this year’s Reptilians album made sure their title-track followed suit as well.
40. Royals Bangs – Back Then It was Different
Something about the composition and erratic singing of songs from Royal Bangs takes a place in our hearts. They named the album Flux Outside and lead singer Ryan Schaefer carries that flux attitude.
39. Motorboater – Rainy Dayz
While lyrics don’t make or break this album, the fantastic beats here turned this song into a gem. Couldn’t listen to this one enough in 2011.
38. CSS – Hits Me Like a Rock
The Brazilian outfit doesn’t alter things up too much, yet their hooks tend to hit. “Hits Me Like a Rock” comes across with no exception as a bouncy rhythm and catchy refrain light up speakers once again.
37. Tycho – Epigram
Perhaps we have a theme going here or maybe instrumental electronica groups were dominating in 2011. Either way you look at it, Tycho’s album Dive was phenomenal and turned into quite the head-turner we thought they would be. “Epigram” features tight loops and atmospheric synths like that of Hammock. Seriously, is Ulrich Schnauss being channeled here?
36. Battle Flags – Siren Song
The low-fi vocals mixed over a sweet bassline reminds me of an early Chili Pepers / Jane’s Addiction effort. Heck, I’ll even say these guys have Blind Melon beat in terms of the simple composition and repetitive nature here.
35. Tycho – Hours
While it was one of the most popular tracks this year we posted, the solo work by Scott Hansen goes beyond just well-thought out, it wins as the best instrumental song this year.
34. The Dodos – Black Night
For an opening track, The Dodos wasted no time in creating an instant favorite in the manner that suites them best -fast drumming, high-tempo guitars and an acoustic feeling around it all.
33. Eulogies – You Hide
Eulogies’ 2007 self-titled album reminded a lot of this song style. Given how much we bent over backwards to gab about that one, the fact that “You Hide” fell into a similar sound made us drop everything we were doing and make sure this one made it into the top third of our list.
32. Mona – Listen to Your Love
This rock track likens to that of Kings of Leon, except they haven’t broken out yet which proves to be why they are on this list. In another year it will be played out, so get your kicks in now.
31. Under Electric Light – This Moment
As close as the overall composition fell to one of our most highly praised groups, The Radio Dept., we were so duped into this song it’s not even a laughable matter. Under Electric Light were one of our break-out groups of the year. We weren’t quite prepared for what we discovered when listening to Waiting For The Rain To Fall album.
30. William Fitzsimmons – The Tide Pulls from the Moon
Fitz’s most complete song, instrumentally, on his Gold In The Shadow album didn’t have us waiting for the instruments to pick up, the beat come in or something to actually wake us up right off the bat. “The Tide Pulls From The Moon” will certainly be the rock his career will be based on.
29. Fitz and the Tantrums – Don’t Gotta Work it Out
Fitz and the Tantrums seemingly led a frenzy for soul music this year with this track. It deserves much more credit than the #29 spot might imply.
28. Beirut – A Candle’s Fire
“Don’t forget, a candle’s fire is only just the flame.” Lots of comparisions and downplays on the flames are made here as well as words that rhymed with ‘flame’. Beirut continues to include all of the traditional brass instruments into this one.
27. Rubik – Laws of Gravity
I guess in terms of what an indie pop-hit would be to us, Rubik’s “Laws of Gravity” would be it. Keyboards, weird animal-like screeching vocals and one memorable refrain. How could you not include this one here?
26. Folly and the Hunter – Old Friend
Sometimes the more folksy the song gets, the more endearing it becomes. The harmonizing and string instruments made this one so easily likeable.