Twenty Five of the Best Songs of 2011 - Part One

I almost didn't post this (there is an obvious element of repetition between this and my favourite albums of the year) but as it was half finished decided to see it through, posting the first half now and the second half a little later today... the following are twenty five of (let's face it there were a lot more than 25 great songs this year) my favourite tracks of the year, not specifically displayed in order, impossible task!

25. Wild Flag - Future Crimes
Posted 7th September: "A guitar heavy, spunky track with infectious riffs, dancing drums, playful organ and catchy lyrics"

24. Dark Dark Dark - Daydreaming
Posted 20th January: "...the lead track "Daydreaming" is a really treat, vivid landscapes created by the beautifuly complex yet delicate and well-crafted instrumentation, soulful vocals and soaring melodies."

23. Battlekat - All The Useless Things
Posted 18th October: "All The Useless Things" continues along a similar vein to the earlier tracks we've heard, combining radio-friendly electronica and experimental mysticism, its relentless, thumping beat might just be the best thing I've heard from them so far"

22. The National - Think You Can Wait
Posted 16th March: "A slow-burning ballad with some achingly beautiful orchestration and an intoxicating backing vocal from Sharon Van Etten. You may guess I'm a bit of a sucker for female vocals but Matt Berninger's is arguable one of the most striking and impressive of his generation, especially with such heart-wrenching emotional songs as this."

21. Fever Ray - The Wolf
Posted 8th March: "Karin has contributed a track to Catherine Hardwicke’s (Twilight) new film Red Riding Hood, as much as it pains me to say it with the Fever Ray / Gary Oldman presence the film looks horrendous... "The Wolf" however is anything but horrendous, it's a sinister and frankly insane track. I'm sure it fit's in well on the dark adaptation of the classic Grimm fairy tale, if this doesn't make you want to run naked through a wood then nothing will, be a bit chilly though..."

20. Cold Cave - The Great Pan Is Dead
Posted 8th February: " The song, “The Great Pan Is Dead” is fucking great, generating an almost indistinguishable explosive wall of noise, a pummelling beat accompanies fuzzy guitars all washed around with mind blowing synths. A massive statement for the new album, can't wait." Shame, for me at least the album turned to be slightly disappointing.

19. Help Stamp Out Loneliness - Record Shop
Posted 30th August: "The themes are not in your ordinary indie-pop territory, playful melodies often hiding bitter-sweet lyrics such as rock star stalking on "Record Shop" and the romances of Nico on opener "Cottonopolis And Promises" but it's just as accessible and alluring all the same. Vocalist D. Lucille's cool, nonchalant vocals sound in contrast to the instrumentation but it works perfectly, HSOL are simply glorious."

18. Softspot - Holy Father
Posted September 7th: ""Holy Father" is an absolute monster. It starts peaceful enough, Sarah's hauntingly beautiful voice hits you straight away, it's unique, stunning. Accompanied by the rat-a-tat of drum sticks, slowly increasing in intensity as Brian's textured guitars glisten on the edge simmering until finally it explodes, cumulating in a euphoric cataclysm of aural pleasure, heavy-hitting drums, guitar buzz and hard bass-line riffs"

17. Veronica Falls - Come on Over
Posted 11th July: "The outstanding and hopeful closure "Come on Over" is certainly one of the highlights of the album and contains just about everything I love about Veronica Falls, urgent pacing where cleverly constructed male/female vocal harmonies deliciously combine whilst infectious, head-nodding melodies which embed themselves around your brain"

16. Clytem Scanning - Massue
Posted 26th January: "it's propulsive industrial beat is intense, addictive, brilliant. Marianne's vocal pierces through and then there are the crunching, dirty, sludge-like guitar riffs. It's one of the best electro tracks I've heard this year"

15. iamamwhoiam - John
Posted 19th May: "iamamiwhoami is certainly no gimmick, her Knife-esque electro soundscapes push every known boundary with their overall presentation and artistic creativity. It's definitely ambitious and it's unbelievably stunning, take her come back track "; John" with a long sprawling and frankly creepily weird video (that's one hell of a lot of toilet roll!) it's just outstanding, perhaps surpassing her own highs heard on "O" and "Y" the additively melodic electro dance track is simply one of the best tracks you'll hear this year, iamamiwhoami have raised the bar again, I hope it's the start of a new series of clips from her."

14. Lykke Li - Sadness is a Blessing
Posted 1st March: "Wrapped around her intimate, vulnerable lyrics are amongst the most beautiful songs I've hard this year combining sumptuous melodies, Lykke's gorgeous voice and pounding, tribal percussion, lots of percussion... On the starkly arranged "Sadness is a Blessing" we hear a heartbroken Lykke sing with sincere emotional tenderness of a victim of unrequited love."

13. Planningtorock - Living It Out
Posted 17th September : "this invigorating single version features some frenetic strings and convoluting beats to improve an already stunning track. The video sees Janine mystical and menacing, prancing around the streets of Berlin in a hazy, funky stomp - sensational."