Last week, we launched the first mixtape of IRC’s Best Songs of 2011 to a relatively strong response from regular readers and visitors. The first volume includes more than 30 top songs originally released in January of this year. They were chosen from dozens upon dozens of tracks emailed directly or that we found surfing a variety of music sites and blogs.
During the planning for this series, we wanted to do things differently than all of the other music sites and blogs. So, there will be a total of 12 Best Songs mixtape editions – one for each month of 2011, appearing chronologically from January to December. We asked a few other trusted advisers, and they all liked the concept.
If you felt like 2011 just flew right by, or simply fancy reliving it all over again organically, this series is a great way to experience the best indie rock songs of 2011 as they were released month to month. We’ve looked and this is the only ‘best of 2011’ playlist series that we know of that published chronologically.
More importantly, all of the songs for the Best Songs of 2011 playlist series were chosen by listeners and visitors based on the tracks that literally millions of people worldwide streamed and downloaded the most on IRC. So far, the first edition, highlighting the most popular songs of January 2011, has received tens of thousands of visits since it was published last week
Whether it was songs like “Umder Cover of Darkness” by The Strokes, or “Bloom” by Radiohead, two hot tracks, “holing Out” and “Rubber” from one of the best new bands of 2011, Yuck. Plus, IRC exclusive release of Opus Orange’s new single, “Crystal Clear,” was one of the four number one songs of February 2011.
The No. 1 Songs of February 2011 – Reader’s Choice
– Radiohead from The King of Limbs
“Queer Eyed Boy” – Rumspringa from Sway
– Opus Orange from Opus Orange EP
The shortest month of the year was jam-packed with hot tracks that are still among the best songs of the year, eight months later. IRC regular and new visitors also approved of lead tracks off new albums by The Dodos, Panda Bear, Beach Fossils, Fleet Foxes, Generationals, Cut Copy, Holy Ghost, Real Estate, Datarock, Scattered Trees, Akron/Family, The Go! Team, Times New Viking, In These Woods, Class Actress and more.
In case you missed it, you might want to start first with Volume One, published last week, with the focus of songs released in January 2011. From all of the eventual 12 volumes, we will use the same concept to reveal the IRC Reader’s Choice for the Top 50 Songs of 2011.
Best Songs of 2011 – February 2011
“Black Night” – The Dodos from
British Sea Power from Valhalla Dancehall *
* This single was originally released in late 2010, but the album, one of the best of 2011, was released on Jan. 11, 2011. Therefore, this track should have been ideally featured in Volume One of Best Songs of 2011.
“Calyer” – Beach Fossils from
“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes from Helplessness Blues
“Take Me Over” – Cut Copy from
– Scattered Trees from Sympathy
“Buy Nothing Day” – The Go! Team from
“Whiplash” (RAC Mix) – Jayme Dee from Whiplash EP
“Silly Beans” – Akron/Family from
“Omega Dog” – The Dears from
– Real Estate from It’s Real
“Catcher in the Rye” – Datarock from Catcher in the Rye 7″
“No Room to Live” – Times New Viking from Dancer Equired
– Suns from Close Calls in the U.S. Space Program
The Evolution of the Single Concept
For decades, it has been common practice for new singles to be released weeks, even months, before the album itself to help promote album sales. In the heyday of vinyl, advanced LPs and 45’s were sent by record labels to deejays at thousands of radio stations across the country and the world.
Nowadays, it is common for singles to be released as MP3 links, files and scripted embeds that can be streamed, and sometimes downloaded, from the web. While much has been lost in sound quality during the transition from master tapes to vinyl and especially to the common MP3 format, singles are more significant than ever before because more music consumers cherry-pick singles and buy fewer albums in the age of digital formats, iTunes and MP3 players.