Category Archives: The Top 20 Tracks 2011

The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 1

Number 1: Bon Iver-Holocene

This was Justin Vernon and Bon Iver’s year. Their self-titled second album finally chopped down the myth of Vernon just being a folk singer living in a cabin, an amazing record full of vast musicianship and Justin’s voice expansive and open. ‘Holocene’, the Grammy nominated track, was the highlight of a remarkable ten tracks, although anyone of them could have been included here. The beautiful acoustic guitar intro and Vernon’s perfect falsetto, the expansive horn section and the warm piano build to a massive crescendo as he sings “and at once I knew, I was not magnificent.” This band are magnificent.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 2

Number 2: Lana Del Rey-Video Games

I remember hearing this for the first time via Skream’s Facebook back in June and being spell bound by Lana Del Rey’s timeless voice. I could have sworn I had heard it before, it could have  sung by the Motown legends of the sixties and seventies, such is the quality of her voice. Her new album ‘Born To Die’ is out next year and her name has exploded all over the net, but this is were it all started.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 3

Number 3: Moths-Summer

As someone from Dublin, the undoubted breakthrough act of 2011 was Jack Colleran a.k.a Moths. His series of singles showed new levels of creativity and eclectic taste, so it is even more exciting that he is Irish. This track, as the title suggests, has such a summery feel. This gorgeous, relaxing  track incorporates chillwave and electronica. Definitely one to watch.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 4

Number 4: Tyler, The Creator-Yonkers

I remember my reaction when I first watched the controversial video for Tyler, The Creator’s single ‘Yonkers’ and being blown away at its audacity. The creepy beat, the hard-hitting lyrics(“Stab Bruno Mars in his God damn esophagus and won’t stop until the cops come in”) and Tyler’s mock-hanging at the end of the video just struck a core. A track that started a new teenage obsession.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 5

Number 5: Jay-Z & Kanye West-Niggas In Paris

‘Watch The Throne’ sums up Jay-Z and Kanye West perfectly. Obscene wealth, hot girls, serious rhymes and the eclectic beats you would expect from a ‘Yeezy’ production. ‘Niggas In Paris’ has all of these in abundance. As ‘Hova’ spits out “So I ball so hard mothafuckas wanna fine me first niggas gotta find me/whats 50 grand to a mothafucka like me can you please remind me.” The track features a sample out of ‘Blades Of Glory’ and the Reverend W.A. Donaldson recording ‘Baptizing Scene’, typical of Kanye’s versatile pallet.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 6


Number 6: The Cast Of Cheers-Family

Despite only released in the last few weeks, ‘Family’ by ‘The Cast Of Cheers’ is a seriously exciting track. The killer hook and jangly math guitars make you wanna bounce around the room. The band are obviously going to have Bloc Party and Foals comparisons, but that is a little unfair. Gaining attention in the UK on the back of airtime on Zane Lowe’s Show on BBC, these Dubliners could be around for a long time.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 7

Number 7: Adele-Rolling In The Deep

Although another track by Adele would become a smash hit and create records, ‘Rolling In The Deep’ was the first single off her massive selling record ’21’ and the best. Featuring a killer hook and jazzy piano, the guitar riff and crescendo of drums lead to an absolutely timeless vocal by the English star. A brilliant, uplifting track.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 8

Number 8: The Weeknd-House Of Balloons/Glass Table Girls

One of the great discoveries of 2011 was the magnificent ‘House Of Balloons’ mixtape by The Weeknd. In the same vein as Frank Ocean’s laid back R’N’B vocals, what separates Abel Tesfaye is the amount of different musical styles he incorporates in his music. From R’N’B vocals, Dubstep beats, Electronic chords and sweeping soul, this track epitomises the mood of the record. With a epic chorus and a killer beat and seriously trippy, sex filled lyrics. It suddenly drops into dirty, grungey dub beats. Awesome track and record.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 9

Number 9: Florence + The Machine-Shake It Out

When Florence+The Machine released their debut album ‘Lungs’ in 2009, everyone was surprised by the sheer magnitude of the sound. It just is made for stadiums. When ‘Shake It Out’ was released earlier this year, if possible it sounded even more enormous. Recorded in a church, the album ‘Ceremonials’ is just huge. This single captures everything great about the group and Florence Welch’s voice is at its massive best.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 10

Number 10: Drake-The Real Her [Featuring Lil Wayne & Andre 3000]

Drake apparently kept a copy of James Blake’s debut record in the studio while recording ‘Take Care’ and you can see the influence it had. It is a hazy, chilled out recording, unlike his first album Thank Me Later.’  ‘The Real Her’ is an example of this, with a tender hook by Drizzy and spitting beats by Lil Wayne. The undoubted highlight though is Andre 3000’s vintage 12 bars. “Quote-on-quote bad bitches work the whole floor/listening to Adele, I feel you baby/someone like you, someone unlike you.” Essential stuff.

Words By Conor Kelly

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