Best Albums of 2011: 20 – 11


MORE LISTS! Yes, list season continues, as I fight with borderline obsessive compulsive disorder and an overwhelming need to rank things using a system that makes no real sense and changes every ten or fifteen minutes.
Two disclaimers

  1. best just means my favourite, you are allowed to disagree without either of us being wrong.
  2. I’ve not heard every blooming album released this year.

Onward then, to the first batch of my twenty favourite albums of the year. You can find a bunch of other albums I liked that didn’t quite make the cut here.
In reverse order, like some kind of fancy countdown, here’s numbers twenty to eleven:

20. Fay Wrays – Strange Confessor

Noisy Americans. This was another one that came from the random blog submissions pile that i listened to loads, but never really did anything about writing up. We’ve long established that I’m useless though. Not quite sure why Strange Confessor ended up clicking with with me, but it did.
Fay Wrays – Paper Tiger Meets The Straw Man
Download Strange Confessor: Bandcamp

19. Zoey Van Goey – Propeller Versus Wings

I’ve had a wee bit of a Zoey Van Goey bandcrush thing going on this year, as they’ve generally done a bunch of stuff that has left me smiling like a fool. They started off that trend early in the year with their second album, Propeller Versus Wings. Playful, witty, fun, and with more hooks than the average fisherman, it’s a pretty easy album to fall for. Also “I am drunk and on a ladder” is the finest opening line in a song in ages.
Zoey Van Goey – My Aviator
Buy Propeller Versus Wings: ChemikalAmazoniTunes

18. King Post Kitsch – The Party’s Over

I’d been looking forward to this album for ages, such was my enjoyment of the first, and following King Post Kitsch EP. The Party’s Over didn’t disappoint. At times a fuzzy garage rock album, at times something more psychedelic  sometimes dreamy pop, occasionally all and none of these things, all excellent.
King Post Kitsch – Fante’s Last Stand
Buy The Party’s Over: Song, by ToadAmazoniTunes

17. Sparrow and the Workshop – Spitting Daggers

Picking up where they left off with Crystals Fall, Sparrow and the Workshop remain one of the more interesting sounding bands around. They are a bit more muscular sounding and in your face this time round, and none the worse for it. An album with swagger and stomp, balanced with moment of graceful calm and tenderness.
Sparrow and the Workshop – Snakes In the Grass
Buy Spitting Daggers: Sparrow and the Workshop – AmazoniTunes

16. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

You pretty much know what you are going to get with Mogwai, and this was the best thing they’ve have done in years. Up until they released the Earth Division EP later in the year, which was also excellent, but isn’t an album. George Square Thatcher Death Party is the best song title of 2011 too.
Buy Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will: Mogwai ShopAmazoniTunes

15. Remember Remember – The Quickening

This is an album I can never quite find the words to properly describe, so I’ll leave it at this: blooming gorgeous.
Buy The Quickening: AmazoniTunes

14. Take A Worm For A Walk Week – T.A.W.F.A.W.W.

As I’ve mentioned before, this year I’ve mostly been enjoying loud things. T.A.W.F.A.W.W. delivered in spades. A brutal and aggressive half hour of music that left more of an impression than the metaphorical Mouldmaster to the thigh on a frosty morning.
Buy T.A.W.F.A.W.W.: BandcampBigcartel

13. Martin John Henry – The Other Half of Everything.

I still miss De Rosa, but getting an excellent solo album from Martin this year lessened the nostalgia considerably. As I said when the album came out, if you can listen to Ribbon on a Bough without your head bobbing check your pulse, you might be dead. Martin is one of the best songwriters in Scotland, and it is a joy to have him back on record.
Buy The Other Half of Everything: Bandcamp

12. Doctors & Dealers – Every Sinner Has A Future

The second Sparrow on the chart, Doctors & Dealers being mainly the work of Sweden’s Sparrow Lindgren, Every Sinner Has A Future balances light and shade wonderfully. Tales of heartbreak and depression lurk behind pop songs, with a playful sense of humour lurking round the corner to save things getting too dark.
Doctors & Dealers – Carpet Burn
Buy Every Sinner Has A Future: AmazoniTunes

11. Black International – In Debt

Internal debate ahoy over whether to include this album or not. In the end it came down to the same old thing, I became quite friendly with Black International and got them to do a gig for me after falling for their music, not before, so In Debt can go on the list for the right reasons. Every song has something that catches my attention, and the whole album has been subjected to more listens than just about anything else to come my way this year. Also good and noisy, with some properly excellent drumming.
Read more about the album in Black International’s track by track guide here.
Buy In Debt: Bandcamp

We’ll be back tomorrow with the final countdown, the top ten Aye Tunes albums of 2011.


  1. Mike Newman says:

    While the lists are this good, long may your OCD persist!

  2. peenko says:

    I like the snow

  3. Jim Connick says:

    Ah, all those spelling mistakes are down to you being coked out your nut? Makes sense.

  4. GKM77X says:


    Lovely stuff, Jim. Off to listen to ‘In Debt’ again.

  5. Simon says:

    I haven’t heard any of these! I haven’t even heard any of these bands except Black International, so my vote goes to them. Except I don’t have a vote. But still, my intention should be clear. Serves me right for being two years behind schedule, I’d have easily got an honourable mention/pat on the head. Damn it, drink time again..