Tag Archives: 2011

Car Seat Headrest – Nervous Young Inhumans (2011)


I have been keeping an ear open for Will Toledo ever since I first listened to the remarkable ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ a couple of years back. I am pleased, yet disappointed, to see that he has just released a video and single edit of an old track. ‘Nervous Young Inhumans’ featured on his album Twin Fantasy, which he self-released in 2012. New material, Mr Barnes!

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Raphael Saadiq – Good Man (2011)


“I’m a good man, food’s on the table, working two jobs/Ready willing and able check your name.” The vocals of Taura Stinson kick off this soulful track before the lonesome Raphael Saadiq questions his woman’s betrayal. His sound is reminiscent of Isaac Hayes. Have a great weekend.

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Princess Chelsea – The Cigarette Duet (2011)


Continuing the unusually fey electropop this week, it’s Auckland’s Chelsea Nikkel. On ‘The Cigarette Duet’, the Princess sings alongside fellow singer-songwriter  Jonathan Bree for her debut studio album Lil’ Golden Book.

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Alain Bashung – Variations Sur Marilou (2011)

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In 2011, the Paris-based Barclay Disques released an Alain Bashung album posthumously. Bashung’s rendition of the Serge Gainsbourg’s concept album L’Homme À Tête De Chou was an explicit dedication. ‘Variations Sur Marilou’ is a story of a forty-year-old man (perhaps with the head of a cabbage) who falls in love with a shampoo girl in Chez Max hairdresser for men. Full of eroticism, the song is classic Serge Gainsbourg. Bashung was due to tour his version of the project in November 2009, but passed in March of that year. Thank goodness it had already been captured on record. Have a great weekend.

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Brett Dennen – Must Be Losing My Mind (2011)

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To these ears, Brett Dennen is more Hanson than Paulo Nutini. However, in 2011 he released the amusingly titled Loverboy. Drawn to his in-tongue cheek, I listened to ‘Must Be Losing My Mind’. The song’s funky start and catchy vibe followed.

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Shabazz Palaces – Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt) (2011)



In 2011, a hip-hop collective from Seattle, Shabazz Palaces, released an an album called Black Up. The music was serious, but not as much as the title would suggest, audacious and off kilter. On ‘Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)’, Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire exclaim “It’s A Feeling!”
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Noir & Haze – Around (Solomun Vox) (2011)

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Malaysian DJ Haze’s CV past collaborations include a notable roll call of house music institutions (Kings of Tomorrow, Fanciulli, MJ Cole, Defected Records and Strictly Rhythm). In 2011, he worked with Danish DJ Noir (aka Rene Kristensen) and together they produced ‘Around’. And then, they enjoyed collaboration squared when German DJ Solomun cut his own downtempo Vox mix of the single. The remix became a floor-filler.

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Julia Holter ‎- Goddess Eyes (2011)



In 2011, not only did Julia Holter draw on the work of Arthur Russell and Laurie Anderson, but also she had the composure to create something totally original. Her debut album Tragedy features ‘Goddess Eyes’ in all its vocoder-processed glory. “I can see you, but my eyes are not allowed to cry.”

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Michael Kiwanuka – Tell Me A Tale (2011)


Michael Kiwanuka 2011

Londoner Michael Kiwanuka started his musical career working as a session guitarist. It was not long before his creative ambition and vocal talent propelled him into singer-songwriting. Communion Records released his debut EP ‘Tell Me A Tale’ in the summer of 2011. To those hearing it for the first time, it was like hearing Terry Callier incarnate.

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Neon Indian – Polish Girl (2011)


Neon Indian

Neon Indian is Mexican-born Alan Daniel Palomo from Denton, Texas. The stage name was conceived by an ex-girlfriend of Palomo’s, who was also the subject of his song ‘Should Have Taken Acid With You’. She was not the ‘Polish Girl’. Paloma had already worked on a collaboration with The Flaming Lips in 2011. On his second album Era Extraña, he was lucky enough to retain the production of Dave Fridmann. Have a great weekend.
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James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream (2011)


James Blake

‘The Wilhelm Scream’ is a cover of the song ‘Where to Turn’ by James Blake’s father, James Litherland. The single featured on Blake’s self-titled debut released in 2011. Robotic, cold, stripped back… the sound was/is strangely alluring.

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Toro Y Moi – Divina (2011)


Toro Y Moi 2011

Toro Y Moi’s ‘Divina’ features on the 2011 album Underneath The Pine. Chaz Bundick, please stand up and take applause for a classy touch of piano instrumentation – it provides this week’s Wednesday interlude.

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M83 – Intro (2011)

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Tony Gonzalez

Antony Gonzalez recruited Zola Jesus’ Nika Roza Danilova for the opening track of M83’s 2011 LP Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Her vocals serve as the perfect start by ushering in the expectation of an immense electronic dream. She was not wrong. Oh, to be hearing ‘Intro’ for the first time again. Have a great week.

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The Unthanks – Last (2011)

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The Unthanks

After yesterday, perhaps I/this blog needs a purge. Nowt better than some earnest folk music. I spent much of my childhood holidaying in the coastal towns of northern Northumberland. Sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank hail from those parts are able to produce a sound that conveys the desolate landscape. The title track off their 2011 album Last combines a simple piano with some bleak lyrics. “We are lost/We are lost/We are lost/On and on and on we go” – like a long and cold coastal walk. The song was written by fellow band member, and multi-instrumentalist, Adrian McNally.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2011

2011 …


In no particular order …

Bon Iver – Holocene

Daughter – Youth

Destroyer – Kaputt

Lana Del Rey – Video Games

Glass Candy – Warm In The Winter

Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever

Metronomy – Love Underlined

M83 – Midnight City

The War On Drugs – Baby Missiles


Honourable mentions also go to: Ghostpoetfor ‘Survive It‘; Connan Mockasin for ‘Forever Dolphin Love‘; Bombay Bicycle Club for ‘Shuffle‘; The Black Keys for ‘Run Right Back‘; Cass McCombs for ‘County Line‘; Grimes for ‘Vanessa‘ King Creosote & Jon Hopkins for ‘Bats In The Attic‘; Girls for ‘Alex‘ and Beirut for ‘Santa Fe‘.

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