My Top 11 Artists of 2011

This post is going to outline 11 great artists I found in 2011. This does not mean that they had their first hit in 2011 or even their album was released in 2011 – I just discovered them this year. There’s no order – no music is better than the other – it’s just 11 bands I hope you might like!


Childish Gambino: “EP” – AKA the amazingly talented Donald Glover, I discovered Gambino after watching Community. His raps are clever and well delivered. Lots of puns and good lines (“An elephant never forgets, so my dick remembers everything.”) I loved his music so much I did a cover or Freaks and Geeks and did my best to recreate Gambino’s style and flow.

Favourite Songs: Freaks and Geeks, My Shine

Dan Mangan: “Oh Fortune” – Shown to me by a friend, Dan Mangan’s style is the folk/acoustic stuff that I really enjoy. His voice can be calming and haunting all at the same time and his songs incorporate a lot of different musical elements. Definitely worth checking out.

Favourite Songs: Oh Fortune, Post-War Blues

Dance Gavin Dance: “Downtown Battle Mountain” – I found Dance Gavin Dance after searching Alexisonfire on Jango radio (similar to Pandora), the lead singer is part of a new band called Emarosa which I really enjoy. This is a lot heavier than the previous three entrees – but if you like melodic screamo with technical instrumentals, then you will like Dance Gavin Dance. They’ve got a large discography but are no longer a band (I think) so you’ll have lots of music to go through.

Favourite Songs: The Importance of Cocaine, And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman

Jamie T. : “Sticks and Stones EP” – I picked up this CD at a random book and CD sale at school for $1. It’s definitely a stellar find. Jamie is a British artist whose music is light and go lucky. A mix between acoustic and rap, it’s an interesting blend between the genres.

Favourite Songs: St. Christopher

Kimbra: “Vows” – By now, everyone has heard Kimbra in Goyte’s Someone I Used To Know, and after listening to both of their albums, Kimbra was the one that I enjoyed most. Her music is layered and thick, and her voice rises above all the production giving you something to grasp onto all the time. There’s a mix of pop, soul, and RnB on “Vows” – so a little bit of everything for everyone!

Favourite Songs: Cameo Lover, Two Way Street

Klaypex: “Loose Dirt” – I don’t usually listen to dubstep/techno/electronic music. But this free album definitely caught my ears. I dunno really how to review it or whatever. But I enjoyed it!

Favourite Songs: Chinter’s Will, Rain

Macklemore: “The Language of My World” – One of the strengths of Macklemore’s music is his story telling ability. Most of his songs have a linear progression and try to send a message by the end. His flow is impeccable and the songs have you going along with him as he gets angry, sad or in love. He’s embraced his story and is working it.

Favourite Songs: Otherside, White Privilege

Nicole Byblow: “Nicole Byblow Plays All The White Keys” – Hopefully you saw my review earlier of this CD, if not –>link<– . Nicole’s a great musician, singer and pianist, her songs are witty and she’s not afraid to drop an F-bomb or two here and there. She’s definitely worth checking out.

Favourite Songs: Things I Learned When I Worked At The Hospital, About A Lover

Reason: “Fools” – A band I’ve never heard of and randomly bought their CD in HMV, they turned out to be a hidden gem. Straight forward rock and roll

that leaves you with a good feeling when you turn it off. Don’t have to say much more than that.

Favourite songs: Where Do We Go From Here, Run, The Longest Highway Home

Tim Hecker: “Ravedeath, 1972” – Another electronic CD, but more based on the ambient and slow developing side. It’s more a transformation of sounds than typical music. Hecker was nominated for the Polaris prize for his efforts and many in the contemporary music community also enjoy his work. He’s one of the only artists I’ve listened to first, and then found out that the contemporary music world likes him too.

Favourite Songs: In The Fog I, In The Fog II

Watsky: “A New Kind of Sexy Mixtape” – Along the lines of Childish Gambino, Watsky is a rapper with clever rhymes and songs with little to no message. Best known as the “Pale Kid Who Raps Fast” on YouTube, where his video has over 16 million views. He doesn’t rap that fast on the album, but you can definitely see he has the potential to do it. It’s fun music with wit.

Favourite Songs: Kidnap Your Boyfriend, Ten Fingers

Honourable Mentions:

The Rural Alberta Advantage


A Tribe Called Quest

Stars of the Lid

Of Monsters and Men


One comment

  1. Pingback: Looking Back « Silence As Sound

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