Best tunes of 2011

Two thousand and eleven. It was the year embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned. A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami hit Japan, resulting in failures at multiple nuclear plants. William and Kate were married and the hunt for Osama bin Laden ended with his death. The New York Stock Exchange suffered heavy losses and the Occupy Wall Street protests started, eventually becoming a movement that spread to 82 countries. The US officially declared the end to the Iraq war. And we lost the following people to that cheeky bugger death: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (wrestler), Peter Falk (“Columbo”), Amy Winehouse (singer), Joe Frazier (boxer), and Jack Layton (Canadian politician).

On a personal note, the year was notable for a trip my wife Victoria and I took out to the west coast, visiting Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler in the midst the Canucks’ failed attempt at the Stanley Cup, us narrowly missing the ensuing riots by a few days. It was also the year I started my old blog, “Music Insanity”, embroiled myself even deeper into music, and eventually found myself as a part of a great music blogging community. I saw a lot of great shows that year, including a slew of great Ottawa Bluesfest sets and my first voyage to this same city’s folk festival, and discovering a mess of superb new music. There was just so much great stuff being released. You’ll notice as I go along that there are very few instances of a band having more than one song on this list. In fact, it may be just the one. I hope you enjoy this revisit of 2011 as much as I did.

#30 Dawes “A little bit of everything” (from Nothing is wrong)

#29 Death Cab For Cutie “You are a tourist” (from Codes and keys)

#28 The War on Drugs “Baby missiles” (from Slave ambient)

#27 Noah And The Whale “Life is life” (from Last night on earth)

#26 Gotye “Somebody that I used to know” (from Making mirrors)

#25 Lanterns on the Lake “Lungs quicken” (from Gracious tide, take me home)

#24 Lykke Li “Love out of lust” (from Wounded rhymes)

#23 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! “Hysterical” (from Hysterical)

#22 R.E.M. “ÜBerlin” (from Collapse into now)

#21 Peter Bjorn and John “Tomorrow has to wait” (from Gimme some)

#20 Florence and the Machine “Shake it out” (from Ceremonials)

#19 Handsome Furs “Serve the people” (from Sound kapital)

#18 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart “Heart in your heartbreak” (from Belong)

#17 Girls “Alex” (from Father, son, holy ghost)

#16 Young Galaxy “Peripheral visionaries” (from Shapeshifting)

#15 Kasabian “Let’s roll just like we used to” (from Velociraptor!)

#14 Elbow “With love” (from Build a rocket, boys!)

#13 The Rural Alberta Advantage “North star” (from Departing)

#12 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “The death of you and me” (from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds)

#11 I Break Horses “Winter beats” (from Hearts)

#10 Dan Mangan “Post-war blues” (from Oh fortune)

#9 M83 “Midnight city” (from Hurry up, we’re dreaming)

#8 Cults “Go outside” (from Cults)

#7 The Decemberists “This is why we fight” (from The King is dead)

#6 Rich Aucoin “It” (from We’re all dying to live)

#5 Dum Dum Girls “Bedroom eyes” (from Only in dreams)

#4 Austra “Lose it” (from Feel it break)

#3 Sloan “Unkind” (from The double cross)

#2 Young Galaxy “We have everything” (from Shapeshifting)

#1 Frank Turner “I still believe” (from England keep my bones)