by Tiana Feng

Rather than post you some stupidly generic list of albums you are supposed to expect, I think my top 10 is going to be based on the fact I actually listened to these releases the most this year. Come on, if an album is good, it must be one of your top plays right? These are based on stats according to iTunes and Last.fm plays as well as the fact I physically own them. I don’t believe in people’s top lists if they didn’t even bother to PURCHASE the album. Many of these are Canadian titles, but not all of them are!

20. SBTRKT- SBTRKT

I love indietronic stuff and I was actually hesitant at first to jump on the SBTRKT bandwagon because his hype made him seem too mainstream for my tastes. However, I always give things a chance and now this is one of the albums I play when I want to have a secret dance-party by myself.
SBTRKT- Wildfire

19. Coeur de Pirate- Blonde

Considering this album just came out, making it into my top 20 must tell you something. I know it’s in French, and I can speak it, but even if you had no idea what she was talking about, you can fall in love with her adorably sweet voice.
Coeur de Pirate- Verseau

Graham Wright- Shirts vs. Skins

This album just has some hilariously fun song writing from Tokyo Police Club keyboardist Graham Wright.
Graham Wright- Soviet Race

17. The Express- The Express

I just love the effortless emotion that is in this song. It’s one of those albums I love to listen to while enjoying my morning cup of coffee.
The Express- Nobody Knows

16. Sloan- The Double Cross

Man, after 20 years, these guys can still write some fantabulous power pop songs. What I love about this is that the songs make great standalone tracks as well as fit well together as a whole.
Sloan- The Answer Was You

15. Slow Down Molasses- Walk Into the Sea

Slown Down Molasses was probably one of my favourite newly discovered artists of this year. I had the honor of meeting them and purchasing their vinyl at NXNE. Me and some of the dudes from Tympanogram had to carry that vinyl with us to some strange parties afterward but it was worth the journey. I love that each sound has a purpose: to slowly tug on your heart strings. In Bodies, the ticking sound you hear is a typewriter. When I saw them live, they actually had it with them!
Slow Down Molasses- Bodies

14. Dark Mean- Dark Mean

I don’t know what it is that draws me to this album, maybe it’s Mark Dean’s deep voice or the fun banjo.
Dark Mean- Dark Mean

13. Death Cab For A Cutie- Codes and Keys

When this album first came out, I actually hated it. I thought it was the weakest of their releases but I couldn’t stop coming back to it. It definitely became a sort of listening pleasure, whether secret or not.
Death Cab For a Cutie- Codes and Keys

12. Dan Mangan- Oh Fortune

Dan Mangan- Oh Fortune
Oh Dan Mangan, I’d marry him so he could sing to me all the time. Whenever this album comes on, his deep voice makes my heart tingle. Whenever any song from this album comes on, I know I will have to set the next hour aside so I can get lost in it. It’s just well written and arranged.

11. Teen Daze- Tour EP

Teen Daze had multiple releases this year but his Tour EP was probably my favourite of the two (the other being A Silent Planet). I love the musical atmosphere you become surrounded with when you listen to hist music.
Teen Daze- Cultus Lake

10. Timber Timbre- Creep On Creepin’ On

Dark, creepy and slightly perverted, yet there is something about this album that draws you in completely. If sung by anybody else, these would sound like perfectly normal love songs, but it’s the fact it’s slightly scary that makes me love it. The vinyl is a must own as the crackling only adds to it’s effectiveness.
Timber Timbre- Black Water

9. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues

I probably don’t need to introduce this album to you, easy to enjoy and one of my most spun vinyls.
Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues

8. Papermaps- Papermaps

This is both a great album to listen to in your headphones and if you get the chance, to watch them on stage. In both, they present you with energetic power pop that you can’t help but love. Even their angry tracks are a riot. What makes them awesome is they’re all great musicians as well as performers.
Papermaps- Reunion

7. Oh Land- Oh Land

This album is just so addictive and uplifting in it’s beats, vocals and instrumentals. I can’t find a reason not to like this album.
Oh Land- Break the Chain

6. The Submarines- Love Notes/Letter Bombs

This album is like one of those teenage guilty pleasure sort of things.. except I don’t feel ashamed for liking them.
The Submarines- Birds

5. Young Galaxy- Shapeshifting

I’ve always been a fan of Young Galaxy but Shapeshifting was a huge improvement from their previous. The album takes me to some cosmic wonders that haven’t been equaled by any other artist.
Young Galaxy- We Have Everything

4. Hey Rosetta!- Seeds

Seeds is a crazily, emotionally charged album. In the album there are songs to make you both laugh and cry.
Hey Rosetta- Bandages

3. Starfucker- Reptilians

Fuck you Pitchfork, this album deserved way more than a 6.5. It’s so much better than MGMT in so many ways. The electropop fused album works awesomely in headphones and if you want to kick it on the dance floor.
Starfucker- Millions

2. Mother Mother- Eureka

I’ve braved all ages crowds multiple times this year just because I loved this album so much. I don’t care if I’m 23, but this cutesy pop rock is so hard not to fall in love with. Their music is both clever lyrically and musically with it’s beat juxtapositions.
Mother Mother- The Stand

1. The Rural Alberta Advantage- Departing

Nils Denloff’s voice at times might be an acquired one but my I can’t get over the winter wonder that is The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Departing. It’s a subtle concept album, one of loving embrace that disappears as the album reaches end. Despite this, the songs work well when alone as well. If there’s any flaw with this album, it is the fact it’s only 33 minutes in length.
The Rural Alberta Advantage- Stamp

So, what’s on your 2011 lists? Do any of mine match yours =)?

  • shucksmalloy

    I’m in agreement with RAA at #1, and glad to see Hey Rosetta!, Slow Down Molasses.  Another favourite: Les Jupes.

    • Les Jupes was also an interesting album :).