Top 10 Songs 2011
IRC Popular Playlists & Mixes*
* featuring hundreds of songs, artists and bands.
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17
The closer it gets to Christmas, the less albums are released because bands and labels know that it’s hard to get any attention with all the noise of the holidays. But still, we had enough releases to squeeze out a top ten songs. Of course, as has been the case for almost two years now, the top ten are determined by which songs IRC regular listeners and visitors stream and download the most in a give week. The Best New Releases post for the second week of December was one of the most popular posts for the entire month, tallying over 25,000 page views in just six days. It was the DIY indie folk rock band The Lower 48 who took the No. 1 for the week with their new lead single, “The End,” from their terrific self-released album, Where All Maps End, followed by a new Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) song, “Gathering Stories” from the We Bought A Zoo soundtrack.
The band Dolfish scored the No. 3 spot with their new 7-inch single, but to keep things in perspective, had half as many streams and downloads as “The End.” We were thrilled to see that a band we came across via our submissions inbox, The Coast of Nebraska, edged their way into the No. 4 spot with the track, “Hope Swallows,” one of two songs from the Austin band that made it into the Top 10. Securing the No. 5 slot was the rock band The 65′s, whose track, “Walk on Selfishly.” The second half of the Top 10 Songs of the Week went to, in order, The Coast of Nebraska for “This Old Home,” followed by one of our favorite DIY singer/songwriters of the modern era, Josh Ritter.
What was really surprising was the fact that the band Telekensis‘ cover of The Smiths‘ “Shelia Take A Bow” had so few streams and downloads – either there must have been something wrong with the track at the time people were trying to play or download it, or simply weren’t interested in hearing the cover song. Admittedly, it’s not the best Smiths’ cover song, but it’s still a bit baffling. Listen/download the cover, and check out the other tracks from the week’s Best New Releases. It was also cool to see another DIY band that submitted their music directly to IRC get both of their tracks into the Top 10.
Trip Effect and The Coast of Nebraska are proof that there are so many bands out there that slip under the radar, which is cool because people tell us it’s one of the main reasons they regularly come to hear new music and bands on IRC. Are you a music writer? Yeah? Cool, we’re looking for more writers all of the time. Please use the comments section to send us a link to your writing and we’ll check it out and contact you directly.
“The End” – The Lower 48 from Where All Maps End (self-released)
“Gathering Stories” – Jónsi from We Bought a Zoo
“Your Love Is Bummin’ Me Out” – Dolfish from the 7″
“Hope Swallows” – The Coast of Nebraska from Hope Swallows
“Walk On Selfishly” – The 65′s from Strike Hard!
“This Old Home” – The Coast of Nebraska from Hope Swallow
“Latern” (Live) – Josh Ritter from Live at the Iveagh Gardens (self-released)
“Codify” – Kurt Von Stetten from Cyclops
“Past The Edge” – Trip Effect from Second Life
“The Rain” – Trip Effect from Second Life
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10
This time of year the number of new releases starts to drop as many labels and bands wait until after the holiday season to release many new albums, EPs and singles. But there is at least one big exception this week – the release of The Black Keys’ new album, El Camino. Not surprisingly, IRC listeners overwhelmingly voted – by their streams and downloads – the first single, “Lonely Boy,” off El Camino as the No. 1 track of the week. The other single from the album, “Run Right Back,” easily was the No. 2 track of the week.
Following The Black Keys’ No. 1 and 2 songs for this week’s Top 10, the Portland synth-pop band, Lovers, grabbed the No. 3 spot with the sweet and infectious “How Beautiful You Are.” Taking the No. 4 spot is the new track from Thee American Revolution – a band we’ll be featuring more in-depth in early 2012. The relatively unknown band, Inspired and the Sleep, rounded out the top five songs of this week’s Top 10 with their new single “Chops.”
“Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys from El Camino
“Run Right Back” – The Black Keys from El Camino
“How Beautiful You Are” – Lovers from I Was the East
“Blow My Mind” – Thee American Revolution from Buddha Electrostorm
“Chops” – Inspired and the Sleep from Kaliedoscope Years (self-released)
“Ain’t It Fun” – Rocket From The Tombs from The Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs (reissue)
“Fyrsta” – Olafur Arnalds from Living Room Songs
“Romance” – Great Aunt Ida from Nuclearize Me
“Mesentery” – Bitch Magnet from Bitch Magnet (reissue)
“Love (featuring Merrill Garbus)” – Mwahaha from Mwahaha
Nov. 26 – Dec. 3
Just like last week, this was a thin week for new releases. In fact, we have more releases from bands that submitted via our submission form than any of the other ways we get tracks and albums to review for IRC. Our favorite song of the week, the lead single from the new album by David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels was also a majority of listeners favorite track of the week as well, and following right behind was another promising band, My Empire of Sound.
Obviously people really liked the unsigned San Francisco band, Cuban Cigar Crisis, whose double-shot of tracks landed them in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots for the week. Nice going guys. In fact, C3 (for short) just beat out a re-issued song from Gorillaz for the No. 4 spot, sending the latter to the No. 5 slot. Comprising the bottom half of the Top 10 were two tracks each from Jaybee and Moe’s Implosion, and Desmond Grundy, all artists who sent their songs into IRC via the submission form, and who we usually refer to as ‘In Dee Mail’ (a play on ‘in the mail’) artists. As a bonus, we included one track at the end which is one of the few songs from the ‘indie’ music world so far that we know about which ties into the Occupy movement that has swept the country.
“Paint the Town” – David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels from Paint The Town EP
“Early Morning (A New Beginning)” – My Empire Of Sound from The Empire Of Sound
“Love Between The Sheets” – Cuban Cigar Crisis from Sourpuss
“Wuthering Heights” – Cuban Cigar Crisis from Sourpuss
“Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz from The Singles Collection: 2001-2011
“Found on Putney Bridge” – Jaybee from Found on Putney Bridge
“FM” – Moe’s Implosion from Light Pollution
“Took A Bus” – Desmond Grundy from Tiles from the Amber Room
“Doctor” – Moe’s Implosion from Light Pollution
“Jump You Bastard” – Jaybee from Found on Putney Bridge
“Let’s All Redistribute Wealth” – Sans Serif from I’m Not in Love (I’m in Dartmouth)
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25
Due to the holiday, it was a thin week for new indie and alternative rock releases. Thankfully, there was still enough to make a top ten mixtape – the 48th weekly Top Ten Songs post of 2011. It’s hard to fully comprehend that another year is just about over. Remember when you had to get used to writing 2001? It’s just crazy that that was almost 11 years ago.
Anyways, the new year is right around the corner, and we’re in the process of putting together our Best Songs of 2011 series (just about finished with volume IV); plus, Best Albums of 2011; Best New Bands of 2011; Best Debut Releases of 2011, and of course, the Best Videos of 2011. We’ll need your help because, for example, from the Best Songs of 2011 series, we’re going to take only the top four songs from all 12 volumes – based on IRC listeners’ votes – and in late January, post one mega-mixtape of the Top 50 (we’ll throw in two more tracks to round it out) songs – basically the IRC Reader’s Choice Awards of 2011.
Returning from that tangent, it wasn’t a huge surprise that this week’s No. 1 song – “Give Love a Try” – is the new single from Sunbears‘ latest album, You Will Live Forever. We just had a good feeling that when we heard the album, and selected a couple of singles from it for the Best New Releases, people would like the band.
“Give Love a Try” – Sunbears from You Will Live Forever
“Neverglade” – Trentemøller from Reworked/Remixed
“Glowing Heart of the World” – Calexico from Selections from Road Atlas, 1998-2011
“I Should Be Sleeping” – Sea Lions from Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask
“I Don’t Wanna Go to the Party” – Marvelous Darlings from Single Life
“They Think They Are Sooo Philosophical” – Sunbears from You Will Live Forever
“Better Days” – Fonda from Better Days EP
“Love Is Strong” – Fires In France from Fires in France
“You Don’t Care” – Eddy Current Suppression Ring from So Many Things
“Let The Record Play” – Wait For Green from Wait For Green
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18
We think the new single from Los Campesinos is fantastic, and you guys agreed, by your streams and downloads, making it the No. 1 song for the second full week of November’s Top Ten Songs mixtape. Trailing right on the heels of Los Campesinos all week were two new singles from the Crystal Stilts’ EP, Radiant Door, which grabbed the No. 2 and No. 3 spots for the week.
This week’s top ten is another example that IRC listeners have excellent taste in music, and it’s reflected in all of the hundreds of songs on this page. In fact, you could spend the next week streaming, or downloading, the mixtapes on this page, and you’d still have plenty left over. Need to fill up your MP3 player? Go crazy!
Taking the No. 4 spot is the fresh track, “Slippery Slope” from the popular Paris band The Do’s new album, Both Ways Open Jaws, followed at No. 5 by “Horrorscope” from the relatively unknown artist Carter Tanton, who dropped his new album, Freeclouds, this week. We’ve seriously listened to all five of these tracks about seven times. The same is mostly true for the second half of the songs in this week’s Top 10.
Don’t miss the Best Songs of 2011 mixtape series – there will be 12 by the time we finish it up sometime in January. Lots and lots of killer songs.
“By Your Hand” – Los Campesinos! from Hello Sadness
“Dark Eyes” – Crystal Stilts from Radiant Door EP
“Radiant Door” – Crystal Stilts from Radiant Door EP
“Slippery Slope” – The Dø from Both Ways Open Jaws
“Horrorscope” – Carter Tanton from Freeclouds
“School Glue” – Pterodactyl from Spills Out
“Ný Batterí “ – Sigur Ros from Inni
“Starfield” – The New Division from The Rookie
“Cheat On Each Other” – Whalers from Paddle Easy
“Upper Hand” – Ex Norwegian from Sketch (self-released)
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11
A new release from Bradford Cox‘s solo project, Atlas Sound, is always welcomed here in the cafe. As one of the most prolific and talented artists in the world of indie music – whether with his band Deerhunter, soloing as Atlas Sound, or collaborating with other artists and bands – Cox continues to turn out terrific music as evidenced by his latest release, Parallax. This week, one of his new singles, “Terra Cognito,” is the No. 1 track, according to IRC listeners. Canadian band Said The Whale has really impressed a lot of music fans, including ourselves, with their releases over the past year, but their recent EP, New Brighton, has put them in our Best Breakthrough Bands of 2011 realm, and made the EP one of the best Eps of the 2011.
The almost iconic track, “New Brighton,” deservedly captured the No. 2 spot for this week’s Top Ten Songs, followed by the The Band of Bees, who remind us of early Van Morrison, especially on their No. 3 track, “I Really Need Love.” Right in the top five is the upbeat girl pop track of Summer Girl‘s “Better Off Without You,” which sounds as close to Best Coast then any other band we can think of. Another Breakout Band of 2011, in our opinion, is Built Like Alaska, who took the No. 5 song of the week with the superb track, “Antique Love,” from their new album, In Trouble Times. We like the album so much that we’ve also noted Built Like Alaska as a Band to Watch in 2012.
“Terra Incognita” – Atlas Sound from Parallax
– Said The Whale from New Brighton EP
“I Really Need Love” – A Band of Bees from Every Step’s A Yes
– Summer Camp from Welcome to Condale
– Built Like Alaska from In Troubled Times
– Kurt Vile from Smoke Ring For My Halo (deluxe edition)
– Bear & Moose from Bear & Moose
– ARMS from Summer Skills (self-released)
– Built Like Alaska from In Troubled Times
Oct. 30 – Nov. 4
It’s always cool when a lesser-known artist takes the No. 1 spot on the weekly Top Ten Songs list. That’s exactly what happened this week. Rich Aucoin‘s “It,” from the just-dropped album, We’re All Dying to Live. Aucoin is a Canadian musician and songwriter who has criss-crossed The Great White North a number of times on tour, including one time by bicycle.
He has performed on stage with artists like Dan Deacon, Girl Talk, Deerhoof, The Weakerthans, The Golden Dogs, Holy Fuck, The Constantines, Dirty Projector’s and others.
The virtually unknown indie band Jupe Jupe grabbed the No. 2 spot with their new track, “Once Around The Sun,” followed by another relatively band, Low Roar, and their lead single from their self-titled, debut release. Also, the more well-known band, Girl In A Coma, chimed in at No. 4 with the new track, “Smart” from Exits & All The Rest. Surprisingly, the rather famous, Florence + The Machine only came in at No. 5 with their latest single from the album Ceremonials.
“It” – Rich Aucoin from We’re All Dying To Live
“Once Around the Sun” – Jupe Jupe from Reduction in Drag
“Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” – Low Roar from Low Roar
“Smart” – Girl in a Coma from Exists & All the Rest
“Shake It Out” – Florence + the Machine from Ceremonials
“Low Wishes” – Air Review from America’s Son
“Dark into Light” – AM & Shawn Lee from Celestial Eclectic
“For the Hooves That Gallop, and the Heels That March” – The Loom from Teeth
“Total Decay” – The Soft Moon (courtesy of Pitchfork) from Total Decay EP
Oct. 23 – 29
Not a surprise one bit that Phantogram’s new single, “Don’t Move,” took the No. 1 spot for the last week of October’s Top Ten Songs. What was a surprise is that it beat out Surfer Blood’s No. 2 spot single, “Miranda,” by a 3-to-1 margin. This top ten is solid, with Deer Tick taking No. 3; Woodsman in at No. 4 and a Band to Watch in 2012, Bear Lake, to round out the Top 5.
Don’t Move – Phantogram from Nightlife
“Miranda” – Surfer Blood from Tarot Classics EP
“Main Street” – Deer Tick from Divine Providence
“In Circles” – Woodsman from Mystic Places EP
“Only War” – Bear Lake from If You Were Me (self-released)
“Doing As I Do” – The Beets from Let the Poison Out
“Pretend” – Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble from Mr. Machine
“(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” – Dntel from Life Is Full of Possibilities
“Gypsy Town” – Wet Illustrated from 1x1x1
“Forever Boy” – A Classic Education from Call It Blazing
No. 11 Song – “This Town Doesn’t Have Enough Bars for Both of Us” – Gospel Music from How To Get To Heaven from Jacksonville, Florida
Oct. 16 – 22
The newest single, “Yellow Missing Signs,” from the latest album by one of indie rock’s most interesting band names, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (the former Russian president), was the favorite song of the week as determined by IRC regular readers and visitors. Gauntlet Hair came at No. 2, only three ‘votes’ (number of times played/downloaded) away from SSLYBY.
Forest Fire, The Trophy Fire and Mommyheads rounded out the Top 5 Songs. Fresh Tracks from Brown Bird, Gauntlet Hair, My Brightest Diamond, Springtide and Brown Shoe also made the Top 10 this week.
“Yellow Missing Signs” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin from Tape Club
“Top Bunk” – Gauntlet Hair from Gauntlet Hair
“Mtns Are Mtns” – Forest Fire from Starting at the X
“Modern Hearts” – The Trophy Fire from Modern Hearts
“Hello Friends” – Mommyheads from Delicate Friction
“Thunder and Lightning” – Brown Bird from Salt to Salt
“Keep Time” – Gauntlet Hair from Gauntlet Hair
“Reaching Through To The Other Side” – My Brightest Diamond from All Things Will Unwind
“This Is The End” (Haste Edit) – Springtide from single release only
“Colt Rider” – Brown Shoe from The Gift Horse
Oct. 9 – 15
For the second week of October, the rarely heard stateside band, Enation, captured the No. 1 spot with the lead track from their new album, “Prodigal.” Coming in at a close second at No. 2 is the new track from Future Islands, “Balance,” followed by Library Voices‘ “Traveller’s Digest” at No. 3; Color Radio at No. 4 and Casiokids to round out the Top 5.
“Prodigal” – Enation from My Ancient Rebellion
“Balance” – Future Islands from On the Water
“Traveller’s Digest” – Library Voices from Summer of Lust
“Quiet House” – Color Radio from Architects
“Golden Years” – Casiokids from Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen
“Starlight” – Rachael Yamagata from Chesapeake
“The Rushing Wind” – Enation from My Ancient Rebellion
“The Wrong Things” – The Morning Clouds from Wasted Youth Blues EP
“Woefully Intentional” – Drunk Monk from Drunk Monk
“Year Off” – High Places from Original Colors
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8
No big surprise that We Were Promised Jet Packs grabbed the top slot for this week’s Top 10 based on the lead track – “Act on Impulse” – from their latest album, Tape Club. Following at a distant No. 2 is “Bird In A Cage,” from the UK indie rock band, The Walls, who have not really hit it in the U.S., but this placement in the Top Ten List, is an indication they could with the right exposure. Afterall, these top ten lists are based on what some half million people a month are listening to, and downloading, the most on IRC. Loney Dear takes the No. 3 position with “My Heart,” from their new album, Hall Music, followed by Bonnie Prince Billy and Feist to round out the Top 5 songs of this week’s Top 10. See the original mixtape, Best New Releases, for more details and songs.
Act on Impulse – We Were Promised Jet Packs from In The Pit Of The Stomach
“Bird In A Cage” – The Walls from Stop The Lights
“My Heart” – Loney Dear from Hall Music
“Quail And Dumplings” (remix) – Bonnie Prince Billy from Wolfroy Goes to Town
“How Come You Never Go There” – Feist from Metals
“The Sea” – Exitmusic from From Silence EP
“Take Me” – Jesse Payne from Buffalo
“Twigs and Stones” – Siskiyou from Keep Away the Dead
“The Feel” – BlacknBloom from Music for the Modern Monkey
“Horizon” – The Drift from Blue Hour
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1
The No. 1 track for the last week of September goes to the hot new single, “Hoop of Dreams,” from Dominant Legs, which just out ranked No. 2 Youth Lagoon’s “Montana”. We were a bit surprised that Wilco’s terrific track, “I Might,” did not take the No. 1 spot. The Gift and Dum Dum Girls rounded out the Top 5.
“Hoop of Love” – Dominant Legs from Invitation
“Montana” – Youth Lagoon from The Year of Hibernation
“I Might” – Wilco from The Whole Love
“Race Is Long” – The Gift from Explode
“Post-War Blues” – Dan Mangan from Oh Fortune
“Breakers” – Gem Club from Breakers
“Races” – Vanish Valley from Get Good
Sept. 18 – Sept. 24
We hear a lot of people saying that this year wasn’t as hot for indie rock as 2010 and 2009, and in some ways, we agree. But there is still plenty of great music coming out. In fact, it’s kind of nice not to have so many stellar releases because who really has time to listen to them all?
This week the No. 1 song is the lead track, “Same Mistake” from the new album by indie darlings Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Following at No. 2 is WATERS‘ “For The One,” which just squeaked by Nurses and Jens Lekman.
The top single, “Dinosaur Bones” from White Orange‘s self-titled, debut album rounded out the Top 5 songs of the week, according to IRC listeners and visitors.
“Same Mistake” – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah from Hysterical
“For the One” – WATERS from Out In The Light
“Trying to Reach You” – Nurses from Dracula
“An Argument with Myself” – Jens Lekman from An Argument With Myself EP
“Dinosaur Bones” – White Orange from White Orange
“Free My Mind” – Katie Herzig from Waking Sleep
“By Song Through the Americas” – Blessed Feathers from From the Mouths of the Middle Class
“Adam Roberts” – CAVE from Neverendless
“The Last Line” – Tammar from Visits
“La Verdad” – Bio Ritmo from La Verdad
Sept. 11 – Sept. 17
This week’s No. 1 spot goes to The Drums‘ new single, “Money,” off their newly-released sophomore album, Portamento. Following right behind at No. 2 is Grouplove‘s single, “Colours,” from their new album, Never Trust A Happy Song. All of the tracks in this latest 10mix are from the popular Best New Releases of the week, and the recent Fresh Tracks mix.
The Summer Chill Mix playlist does not qualify for the Top 10 because, even though it’s loaded with hazy, lazy mellowed out ‘summer’ themed songs (and definitely worth checking out), those tracks are mostly not from new releases.
So, back to this week’s countdown. Blitzen Trapper gained the No. 3 most listened single for the week, followed by The Kooks‘ latest single, “Is It Me,” and the lead track from Pajama Club‘s self-titled, debut album to round out the Top 5 songs of the week.
Both Neon Indian and The Drums, according to IRC readers’ preferences, have two songs in this week’s Top 10.
There wasn’t any blockbuster releases this week in as far as a consensus among the more mainstream press and popular music blogs. However, new albums from Peter Wolf Crier and Gold Beach are among the exceptions – capturing the No. 1 and No. 2 spots of the week, respectively. Aside from the week’s Best New Releases, the latest Fresh Tracks mix’s featured songs scored a number of spots on the latest Top 10, including new tracks from Wilco, Warm Ghosts and Andrew Adkins, among others.
Another popular mix of the week, IRC’s Labor Day playlist, featuring top-notch tracks with titles and lyrics about summer. Because the summer mixtapes were enjoyed by so many IRC regular listeners, and new visitors alike, we were compelled to put together and publish another summer mix for the Labor Day holiday weekend – what for many people is the symbolic end of summer. Because we only count newly released songs for the Top 10 lists, none of the many terrific tracks from the latest summer mix are included below.
“Right Away” – Peter Wolf Crier from Garden of Arms
“Diving Bell” – Gold Beach from Habibti (self-released)
“The Year Things Fell Apart” – The Golden Seals from Increase the Sweetness
“I Might” – Wilco from The Whole Love
“Born Alone” – Wilco from The Whole Love
“Make Up” – Wiretree from Make Up
“We Knew It All Along” – Andrew Adkins from Troublesome My Love
“Fountain Tesserae” – Sea Pinks from Dead Seas
“Letter To A Friend” – Pregnant from Life Hard: I Try
“GTWS” – Warm Ghost from from Narrows
August 28 – Sept. 3
Playing catch up with the Top Ten Songs list as some of you know – sorry guys and gals, it’s been a crazy busy past few weeks. It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start prepping our Best of 2011 lists. Anyways, the last week of August, first partial week of September was not a blockbuster for new releases. However, there were some big drops that not surprisingly made it on this week’s Top 10. This was the week of the official release of Beirut‘s latest album, The Rip Tide.
So, we expected Beirut to capture the No. 1 slot with the album’s fantastic lead track “East Harlem.” Coming in at No. 2 is the newest song from Male Bonding‘s sophomore album, just edging out the title track from Beirut’s fresh LP. Rounding out the Top 5 were Cymbals Eat Guitars and one of our favorite tunes of 2011, Jacuzzi Boy‘s “Cool Vapors.”
By the way, if you didn’t get a chance to check out the Best New Releases for this week, you really shouldn’t miss it – the entire mixtape is chock full of 22 of the best singles of the week, and the week before too – with Ganglians, CSS, Active Child and many more. Enjoy.
August 21 – August 27
If you’re a fan of bands like Wavves, Woods, even Pavement and The Beach Boys, chances are you will dig the Sacramento four-piece band Ganglians. Their new album, Still Living, is the foll0w-up t0 their widely acclaimed 2009 debut, Monster Head Room.
We were lucky enough that their label, Lefse Records, made three tracks from Still Living available before the album officially dropped this week. And because of that, all three of the tracks made it into the Top 10, including No. 1, No. 2 and No. 7. CSS grab No. 3, followed by the No. 4 track from Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), and to round out the Top Five, Little Gold‘s “Sisters & Friends.”
“Drop the Act” – Ganglians from Still Living
“Sleep” – Ganglians from Still Living
“Hits Me Like A Rock” (Feat Bobby Gillespie) – CSS from La Liberación
“Forever and a Day” – Stephin Merritt from Obscurities
“Sisters & Friends” – Little Gold from Weird Freedom
“Swell Window” – Zee Avi from Ghostbird
“Jungle” – Ganglians from Still Living
“2012″ – Young Circles from Jungle Habits
“Lazy Bones” – Wooden Shjips from West
“Daylight Moon” – Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick from The Glad Birth of Love
August 14 – August 20
This week was one of the easier Top Ten Songs lists to put together because there were only two posts during this week because we were so busy with the Outside Lands Festival and spending some much needed family and vacation time.
That said, the Best New Releases mixtape for the week of August 14th through August 20th contains a nice batch of 26 MP3 singles from the week’s top albums. So, the competition for the top slots was nothing to scoff at, in fact, it was quite fierce simply because the number of terrific tracks from excellent artists was plentiful.
But it was lead single, “You Should Do Better,” from the new album by Cut Off Your Hands that took the No. 1 spot this week, according to how many times the track was played and downloaded by all of you.
“You Should Do Better” – Cut Off Your Hands (courtesy of My Old Kentucky Blog) from Hollow
“Bronx Sniper”- Mister Heavenly from Out of Love
“Amanaemonesia” – Chairlift from Amanaemonesia 7″
“Street Clothes” – Fool’s Gold from Leave No Trace
“Cruel/Kind” – Gold Leaves from The Ornament
“Water Parker” – Botany from Feeling Today
“High Horse” – The Jim Jones Revue from Burning Your House Down
“Whale” – Yellow Ostrich from The Mistress
“Come to the City” – The War on Drugs from Slave Ambient
“You’re Like a Bad Song” – Trophy Wives from Old Scratch
August 7 – August 13
We were really stoked to see Pepper Rabbit’s newest single, “Murder Room,” from their latest album, Red Velvet Snowball, take the number one spot for this week’s Top 10 Songs list. That means more people listened to, and downloaded, that track than any other song posted during the week.
It’s great to see more people turning on to this still relatively unknown band.
“Murder Room” – Pepper Rabbit
>“Four Days” – Scattered Trees
Cosmonauts – Kites with Lights
“Moving Further Away” – The Horrors
“Die to Rest” – Prophets & Kings
“Allison” – Pepper Rabbit
“Smile” – Sleeping Bag
“Harsh Realm” – Widowspeak
“Forget The Past” – The Irrepressibles
“Bliss Is This” – Jason Ajemian & the HighLife
July 31 – August 6
On July 31, we published a post that we had been working on for a couple of weeks – Best Soundtrack Songs as recommended by IRC regular listeners and new visitors. It’s a fantastic mix if you haven’t heard it yet, just click the link above to check it out – in fact, we just listened to it again.
However, because the Top 10 is meant to focus on only new songs, we did not include it in this week’s Top 10 Songs; if we had, all of the Top 10 spots would have been taken up by the tracks in that special mixtape playlist – thanks again to everyone who helped put that mix together.
Instead, the No.1 song for the first week of August, was the new single from Rubblebucket, “Came Out of a Lady.” Following closely behind Rubblebucket is a new, terrific single, “America’s Son” from a band that we featured this week (that would otherwise be included in the In Dee Mail series) Air Review, followed by new tracks from upcoming albums by Neon Indian and Gauntlet Hair, and just released lead single from Magick‘s Triangles EP.
“Came Out of a Lady” – Rubblebucket
“America’s Son” – Air Review from America’s Son
“Fall Out” – Neon Indian from Era Extraña – Sept. 13th
“Cycles of Sine Waves Peaking Through Valleys” – Magicks from Triangles EP
“Top Bunk” – Gauntlet Hair from Gauntlet Hair – Oct. 18th
“And It Comes And Go” – Lightouts from Want
“50′s” – House of Wolves from Fold In The Wind - TBA 2011
“Sleep” – Ganglians from Still Living – Aug. 23rd
“Only The Smart Ones” – Lightouts from Want
“Baby You Were There” – TV Girl from TV Girl EP
July 24 – July 30
The newest single from the East London band Fair Ohs took the No. 1 spot for this week, with the new track from Chairlift, released via the Fresh Tracks mix, coming in at No. 2, followed by Cymbals Eat Guitars, Pallers, and Golden Bloom to round out the Top 5.
“Amanaemonesia” – Chairlift from Amanaemonesia 7″
“Come Rain, Come Sunshine” – Pallers from Sea of Memories
“You Go On (& On)” – Golden Bloom from March to the Drums
“Content” – The Features from Wilderness
“Bridges Break” – Little Horn from Twelve
“Eden Rocks” – The Fair Ohs from Everything Is Dancing
“Think In Stereo” – Boy + Kite from Go Fly
“Holy Grail” – Tidelands from If…
July 17 – July 23
It’s been a while since a band from the In Dee Mail series (bands that send us music in the mail) hit the No.1 spot on IRC, but we’re glad to say that Brooklyn band, Night Manager, had the No. 1 song of the week with their catchy track “Pizza Pasta,” beating out well-known artists like Portugal The Man, Young Buffalo and Wild Palms, to name a few. Following Night Manager, another In Dee Mail artist, Buxter Hoot’n, came in at No. 2 with “Blue Night,” followed by Portugal The Man, Crystal Antlers and Sun Airway to round out the Top 5.
“Pizza Pasta” – Night Manager from Fire Talk
“Blue Night” – Buxter Hoot’n from Buxter Hoot’n
“Sleep Forever” – Portugal The Man from In The Mountain In The Cloud
“Summer Solstice” – Crystal Antlers from Two-Way Mirror
“Wild Palms” – Sun Airway from Wild Palms 7″
“Vancouver Skyline” – The Teenage Lesbians from Canada Unlimited
“Only We Can Keep You from Harm” – Young Buffalo from Young Von Prettylips
“Being; Or, What You Will” – Ghastly City Sleep from Lunic Driftwood: Remnants & Remixes of Moondrifts
“Close To The Fire” – The Vain from Panda
“Is That You, Fr. Payeras?” – I Believe in Hotpants from The Teenage Pregnancy Party
July 11 – July 17
Following right behind “The Rip Tide” track, was the No. 3 song of the week, and the first lead single from The Rip Tide, a splendid track titled simply, “East Harlem.” The fact that Beirut took the No. 2 and 3 spots for this week’s Top Ten Songs is more evidence that the band’s popularity remains well intact four years after their last album. You can pre-order The Rip Tide from iTunes.
“Love and Crashing” – Oax from This Distance
“Do Not Feed the Radio” – Fiction 20 Down from Do Not Feed The Radio
July 4 – July 10
It only makes sense that the Tuesday after the Fourth of July would be a thin one for new album releases (most new albums are released on Tuesdays). The reason is because it is so much more difficult to create a buzz around a release when most people are busy with parties, picnics, vacations and so on. That said, there were still releases that caught our attention, and based on the web statistics, you agreed. A new single, “Yes I Know,” from Memory Tapes‘ latest album, Player Piano, took the No. 1 slot for the week, according to regular and new visitors to IRC.
“Little Shocks” – Kaiser Chiefs from Future Is Medieval
“Secret Chiefs” – Big Spider’s Back from Memory Man
“Brown Haired Daughter” – Old 97′s from The Grand Theatre Vol. 2
“2 Hearts” – Digitalism from I Love You, Dude
“Carry Me Home This Way” – The Glorious from Stories from A Fractured Youth
“July” – Youth Lagoon from The Year of Hiberation – Sept. 27th
“Hidden Systems” – Bright Archer from Hidden Systems
“Nobody Knows” – The Express from The Express
“3311″ – Circuit Des Yeux from Portrait
The week leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, we published a number of posts, including a two-part Songs of Fourth of July Mixtape (listen/download 50 songs in Part One and Two), plus a Summer Songs Mixtape , and of course the weekly Best New Releases playlist. Blackbird Blackbird hit the No. 1 spot based on the IRC community’s votes (based on number of plays/downloads). Although we don’t usually include songs from Sunday mixtapes in the Top 10 (because the focus is on new songs), the plays/downloads of Blackbird Blackbird’s late 2010 track, “Sunspray” were so strong, that we had to make an exception to demonstrate how popular the track was for the week.
However, as far as new releases, technically the lead track, “Lately,” from Black Whales‘ new album, Shangrila Indeed, would be the number one track of the week if we hadn’t made the exception for “Sunspray.” Both tracks are killer, we think, so enjoy if this is your first time, or tenth time, hearing them.
We definitely were thrown for a loop that only one of the Buddy Holly cover songs from the new tribute album made it into the Top 5, and just barely. This is especially surprising considering that the artists who contributed to Rave On Buddy Holly include Paul McCartney (“It’s So Easy”), Modest Mouse (“That’ll Be The Day”), Lou Reed (“Peggy Sue”), Julian Casablancas (“Rave On”), The Black Keys (“Dearest”), Cee Lo Green (“(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care”), She & Him (“Oh Boy”) among others. For bands like Black Whales, Shabazz Palaces, and The Island of Misfit Toys, it must be nice to know that they beat out Julian Casablancas and Paul McCartney.
“Sunspray” – Blackbird Blackbird from Summer Heart
“Infinitum” – Shabazz Palaces from Black Up
“Hermit Crab” – The Island of Misfit Toys from Bear Hair
“Rave On” – Julian Casablancas from Rave On Buddy Holly
Simple Mechanics” – Quiet Lights from The Big Fear EP
“O Leãozinho” (Caetano Veloso) – Beirut from Red Hot + Rio 2
“The Woods” – Small Sur from Tones (self-released)
“Same Mistakes” – The Echo-Friendly from Same Mistakes
June 19th -June 25th
Bon Iver has been one of the top rising indie artists of the past five years, so it’s no wonder that Bon Iver’s newest single, “Calgary” was the top song for this week, both in the S-25 Tracks of 2011 and Best New Releases, Part One and Two.
The band was founded by the critically acclaimed songwriter Justin Vernon in 2006, but they are just now releasing their self-titled album (less-than- impressive cover album art to the left), which bucks the tradition of a band or artist reserving their debut album as their self-titled album.
We can’t think of a time an artist has self-titled their sophomore album. Maybe the reason is because this album really is the first of the band itself, since the full band has only been added since the explosive popularity of Vernon following the 2008 debut, and easily one of the best albums of the 2000′s – For Emma, Forever Ago.
The other interesting thing about this week’s top 10 is that the top two tracks are names of places. Following closely behind Bon Iver is the new single from Beirut, “East Harlem,” from their upcoming August release of Rip Tide, the band’s first album in four years, and easily one of the most anticipated of the summer.
Coming in at No. 3 for the week is the new track by Peter Bjorn and John, followed by Wonderful and Butcher The Bar to round out the Top 5.
“East Harlem” – Beirut from The Rip Tide – out August 30th
“Breaker Breaker” – Peter Bjorn and John from single release
“Only in My Double Mind” – Centro-matic (courtesy of Aquarium Drunkard) from Candidate Waltz
“Sore Spores” – Bobby from Bobby
“The Condition of Nothing” – White Hills from H-p1
June 12th – June 18th
“Old Age” – 13 & God from Own Your Ghost
“As Far As Your Concerned” – Last Dinosaurs from Back From The Dead
“This Ends Tomorrow” – I Only Date Models from This Ends Tomorrow
“Fragile Meadow” – The Black Atlantic from Reverence for Fallen Trees
“Flyers” – Bodies of Work from Flyers EP
“Tunnels” – I Only Date Models from This Ends Tomorrow
“Heirloom” – The Black Atlantic from Reverence for Fallen Trees
June 5th – June 11th
IRC regular visitors and new visitors from around the world picked – through their streams and downloads – the new lead single, “Modern Art,” from The Black Lips awesome new album, Arabia Mountain, as No. 1 song for the week of June 5th. We love that because it just confirms once again that the IRC community has exemplary taste in music. Canadian singer and songwriter, Dallas Green, who records as City and Colour – and is also the guitarist and vocalist of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire – took the No. 2 spot with his new track, “Fragilebird.”
Green began recording as City and Colour in 2005, and it didn’t take long for him to get recognition. In 2007, Green won his first Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year (for Sometimes), and in 2009 he was nominated for Artist of the Year and took the Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year (for “Waiting…”, “Sleeping Sickness” and “The Girl”). The relatively unknown Detroit alternative rock band, Almost Free, came in as the No. 3 song of the week with the track, “Don’t Bother Me Now,” from their debut, DIY album, In/Out.
The new single, “Abducted,” from Cults‘ re-release of their debut, self-titled album, came in at No. 4, and The Wooden Birds rounded out the Top 5 with their single, “Two Matchsticks.” The bottom half of the Top 10 features some spectacular tracks from bands like The Rosebuds, The Postelles, Dawes, Ladybug Transistor, and The Coathangers coming in at No. 10.
May 29th – June 4th
One of our favorite albums of the year, and perhaps our favorite debut album of 2011, is The Vaccines‘ What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? Track after track is engaging, energizing, memorable, well-written and amazingly executed. Anyone who has followed IRC for some time knows that we love rock, and The Vaccines do a great job of filing what has been a smaller pool of great new rock bands in recent years. There’s no question they will be on our Best New Bands of 2011.
“If You Wanna” – The Vaccines from What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
“Norgaard” – The Vaccines from What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
“Dance with Somebody” – Mando Diao from Give Me Fire!
“Sweet Tooth” – Kids On a Crime Spree from We Love You So Bad
“In A Circle” – Robert Pollard from Lord of the Birdcage
“Dreaming” – Seapony from Go With Me
“Rising” – Son Lux from We Are Rising
“Circuital” – My Morning Jacket from Circuital
“Goodnight Trail” – Miwa Gemini from Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose
“Pirata” – Ocote Soul Sounds from Taurus
May 22nd – May 28th
All of this week’s Top 10 singles come from just one post – the week’s Best New Releases post – because we were up in Washington state for Sasquatch, which included three days just driving from the Bay Area to Quincy, Washington. It was a beautiful Old West setting among the gorges and canyons, but there was no WiFi in our tents (tongue-in-cheek), and practically no cell or WiFi coverage on the fest grounds for all four days.
But we still made the best of it, although it was frustrating not to be able to keep our Twitter and FB and site followers more up-to-date and more frequently during the fest. As many AT&T customers know well, you can have bars and not be able to make a call, and especially, no capabilities on the data system. Three years later, and we still have the same level of unreliable service, while friends of ours with T-Mobile and Verizon get coverage almost anywhere we go, amost every time. Don’t we love to hate AT&T, fellow iPhone users? Oh, yes, and Canadians – you all are special people. :)
That said, the top songs of the week include Foster The People, who grabbed the No. 1 spot with their new single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” followed by Thurston Moore‘s “Benediction,” trailed by new singles from Friendly Fires, David Bazan, and Art Brut to round out the Top 5.
“Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster the People from Torches
“Benediction” – Thurston Moore from Demolished Thoughts
“Live Those Days Tonight” – Friendly Fires from Pala
“Wolves At The Door” – David Bazan from Strange Negotiations
“Lost Weekend” – Art Brut from Brilliant! Tragic!
“Sick Days” – Yourself and the Air from Who’s Who in the Zoo
“Barracudas” – The Devil Whale from Teeth
“The EMI Song (Smile for Me)” – Fan Modine from Gratitude for the Shipper
“Lost Cause (Beck)” – Bird Call from Other Creatures EP
“Bombs Away, She Is Here To Stay” – Bird of Youth from Defender
May 15th – May 21st
Grammy Award-winning producer Danger Mouse and the Italian film composer, Daniele Luppi collaborated to create an epic ‘movie’ soundtrack (for a movie that doesn’t exist), Rome, with help from Jack White and Norah Jones on guest vocals.
So, it was not surprise when we crunched the numbers and the lead track from Rome,”Two Against One,” came out to be the number one most listened to and downloaded song of the week from Part One and Part Two of the Best New Releases of the week.
“San Francisco” – Falling Andes single, released 5/17/2011
“I Need Seed” – Thee Oh Sees from Castlemania
“Old Age” – 13 & God f from Own Your Ghost
“Sara” – Chad VanGaalen from Diaper island
“Blanket” – Bachelorette from Bachelorette
“Hockey Teeth” – Bahamas from Pink Strat
“Billy Cruz” – Metal Mother from Bonfire Diaries
May 8th – May 14th
The second week of May brought in so many new releases, with the usual accompanying singles, that we had to break the Best New Releases into two parts. In addition to that, there was the latest playlist of Fresh Tracks (which differs from Best New Releases in that the tracks are really ‘fresh,’ whereas singles from new albums have often been out for days, weeks and even months) to throw into the mix.
Yet, of all of those new songs, (you can listen to and download them all via the links in this posting), we were surprised that all of you listened to, and downloaded, The Shivers‘ “Used To Be” from their new album, More, more than any other song of the week. That’s one of the things we love most about the Top Ten Songs lists – tens of thousands of music lovers from around the world (but mainly in U.S.) pick the top songs.
Following “Used To Be” are new singles from fresh albums by Okkervil River, The Antlers, Other Lives, and Manchester Orchestra (who we just saw at BFD) rounded out the top five songs of the week. Plus, songs from Here We Go Magic, The Sea and Cake, The Cars, Cassettes Won’t Listen and Craig Wedren with Conor Oberst and Janet Weiss.
“Perfect Day” - Cassettes Won’t Listen from EVINSPACEY
May 1st – May 7th
The first week of May was pretty much dominated bythe release of indie folk rock band Fleet Foxes‘ follow up LP to their widely acclaimed debut 2008 album. Even though the number of song plays and downloads for the Sounds of Spring series were really high, we are not including them in the Top 10 because they are not newly released songs, which is the purpose of the Top 10. But still, you’ll definitely not want to miss that series.
We were really stoked to see one of the bands from our 7 Bands You Gotta Hear (this is still a popular post weeks later) post scored the top second and third tracks of the week (according to your streams and downloads). The tracks are “Cheap Umbrellas” and “Darkroom” from Golden Dogs.
“Sleeper” – Rec Centre from Long Weekend EP
“Hathor” – The Wind from Harum-Scarum
“Gallinas Y Lagartos – El Santo Nada from Tuco
“Crime of the Century” – Me and Joan Collins from Love.Trust.Faith.Lust.
“(I Masturbate) A Little Too Much” – Me and Joan Collins from Love.Trust.Faith.Lust.
“Monsters” – The Wind from Harum-Scarum
April 24th – April 30th
The last week of April’s Top Ten Songs is a neat, eclectic mix of break out bands of 2011, plus established indie bands, and some singer-songwriter top 10 songs, all chosen based on the number of times each track was streamed and downloaded.
The number one song of the week goes to The New York Times-praised band The French Horn Rebellion for the track, “This Moment,” off their anticipated debut album, The Infinite Music of the French Horn Rebellion.
Coming in at No. 2 is one of our favorite indie bands of the past few year, Times New Viking, and the No. 3 spot goes to the acclaimed indie pop band, Matt Pond PA. Two of our favorite new break-out bands of 2011, Painted Palms and The Globes, take the No. 4 and No. 5 positions, respectively, to round out the top five. Of Montreal scored two top ten songs, taking No. 6 and 7, followed by great songs from new albums by David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights and singer-songwriter Chris Bathgate. And to round out this week’s top ten, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig delivers a cover of Paul Simon‘s “Papa Hobo” from Koenig’s new solo album, Ceremony.
“Stay Awake” – The Globes from Future Songs
April 17th – April 23rd
We were glad to see that our favorite single of the week, “Bizness,” from the new Tuneyards album, was also our readers/listeners’ favorite song of the week too – evidenced by the number of plays and downloads. We were also surprised, and delighted, by the other tracks that were selected for this week’s Top Ten list.
“Get In Line” – I’m From Barcelona from Forever Today
April 10th – April 16th
This was a big week in music, in addition to Best New Releases from artists like Panda Bear, Foo Fighters and Crystal Stilts, there was the massive preparation that went into preparing and posting IRC’s guide to the 4th annual Record Store Day.
We literally reviewed many dozens, perhaps over one hundred, special RSD-only limited edition vinyls released by bands ranging from Radiohead and Foo Fighters to Foster The People and The Rolling Stones. And if all of that wasn’t exciting enough for music lovers, the second week of April was also all about Coachella, so it was another excuse to create a mixtape of some of our favorite artists at Coachella 2011. Read our mini-rant about the commercialization of music festivals at the end of this post. Notwithstanding,it was yet another outstanding year for Coachella; and each year, they’re getting better at every aspect of the festival, from the line-up to the sanitation – both are key to a festival’s success.
Music festivals are great, except for the over-commercialism
Music festivals are a multi-billion industry nowadays. Considering what festival goers throw down in cash for tickets, fees, parking, camping, and the perpetually outrageous costs of food (you know, $10 hamburgers and mini-pizzas) and beverages ($3-4 water; $12 beer). It wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t the constant reminder of corporate sponsorship where you can’t avoid seeing a logo or ad dozens or more times a day. The point is lose the constantly in-your-face advertising at music festivals – we already paid our tickets and fees. Just like basic cable – you pay for it, but you also have to watch commercials.
After a long, long wait for fans, Animal Collective founding member Noah Lennox (aka, Panda Bear), released his latest solo album, Tomboy, an LP that we’ve been enjoying considerably, and so have many of you. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that two tracks we featured from Tomboy took the top spots, followed by Foo Fighters, Crystal Stilts, Ghost Heart, Holy Ghost, Agnes Obel, Mazes, The White Stripes and The Beastie Boys. All based on which songs you guys play and download the most for the week.
“Let’s Shake Hands” – The White Stripes from The White Stripes (Japanese Edition Bonus Track) (2000)
Check out dozens and dozens of limited singles, cover songs and rare singles that you might have missed from our special Record Store Day mixtapes, including rare tracks from Beastie Boys, The White Stripes, Beck, Beach Fossils and others.
April 3rd – April 9th
The Kills are one of our favorite female/male garage rock duos. In fact, we can only hope they keep going well beyond the 10-year mark they achieved last year. While The White Stripes are officially disbanded, it’s easy for us to say that The Kills’ are our favorite girl/guy rock duo still together. The Kills latest album, Blood Pressures, is one of our favorite albums of 2011 (so far), so it’s no surprise that two of the songs from the LP have made it into the top few spots of this week’s Top Ten Songs.
And if that wasn’t enough for lovers of garage rock duos, the Danish duo The Raveonettes also dropped their latest album, Raven In The Grave, this past week. Both duos scored two Top 10 songs on this week’s top songs list. Plus, new singles from Scattered Trees, Maritime, Cold Cave, Glasvegas, Code Pie, and Wolf Ram Heart.
March 27th – April 2nd
One year after their spectacular debut, self-titled album, the so-called super duo of James Mercer (The Shins) and accomplished musician and producer, Danger Mouse, dropped a new EP titled Meyrin Fields. The lead track we featured for the week’s Best New Releases ended up becoming the No.1 song of the week.
One of the hottest indie rock bands from New Orleans, are the Generationals, captured the No. 2 spot with the track, “Greeleaf.” Ordinarily, the track from Foster The People would not have been included on this mix (because it was part of a new-to-us band feature), but the response was so overwhelming to their track, “Pumped Up Kids,” that we felt compelled to enter it anyway because their new single, “Helena Beat,” rounded out the Top 5 of the week.
Making up the reminder of the Top Ten Songs (in order of 6 through 10) was another track from the new Generationals release, Actor Caster (and one of our favorite LPs of 2011), plus, Alcoholic Faith Mission, Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Panda Bear and The Mountain Goats.
“Helena Beat” – Foster The People from Torches – out May 24th
March 20th – March 26th
When we published the two Fresh Tracks from the recent collaboration between Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and the bands Burial and Four Tet, we expected a big response from readers. However, we were a bit surprised at just how many people streamed and downloaded the tracks in 24 hours, since the Fresh Tracks post that the songs were posted on was the last post for the week.
Nonetheless, the single “Ego” beat out The Strokes for the No. 1 spot, even though this was the week that Angles was officially dropped. Yet, the most popular first advanced single from The Strokes, “Under Cover of Darkness,” managed to overcome the other, and newer, Strokes’ advanced singles (see them here) to take the No. 2 top song spot for the last full week of March. An advanced single from the anticipated May release of Cults‘ debut album featured in the Fresh Tracks mix shot right up to No. 3, followed at No. 4 with the other track, “Mirrror”, from the two song project by Yorke/Burial/Four Tet. The Swedish indie pop band, Acid House Kings rounded out the Top 5 with “Are We Lovers Or Are We Friends?.”
We were a bit surprised that the Fleet Foxes‘ newest advance single, “Grown Ocean,” from their upcoming May release, Helplessness Blues, only made it to the No. 6 spot. On the other hand, it was good to see the new single from Boat‘s latest LP, Dress Like Your Idols, at the No. 7 spot. If you like “Forever in Armitron,” chances are you’re going to love the album, which you can get from Amazon by clicking the album title below. And to round out the remaining half of the Top Ten, listen to new singles we like from Wild Beasts and A Lull, and a rare, unreleased Surfer Blood track.
“Ego” – Thom Yorke + Burial + Four Tet
“You Know What I Mean” - Cults
“Mirror” – Thom Yorke + Burial + Four Tet
“I’m Not Ready” - Surfer Blood
March 13th – March 19th
It did not come as a shock at all that The Dodo’s ran away with both the No. 1 and No. 2 songs of the week thanks to the release of their terrific new LP, No Color. As the highlight band for this week’s Best New Releases, the San Francisco indie duo sensation have amassed a large following in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.
Even though the release of Angles was still a week away, The Strokes dropped two free tracks from the able a week early, which we featured in that week’s Fresh Tracks mix, and not surprisingly, both tracks – “Taken For A Fool” and “Machu Picchu” charted in the top ten at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. And Noah and The Whale rounded out the Top 5. Plus, for that week, being SXSW, we put together a mix of our favorite and recommended bands and showcases containing over 70 MPFrees.
March 6th – March 12th
The second week of March was a big week for both high-profile, and much more indie, album releases. Not surprisingly, the official release of the new album from R.E.M. titled Collapse Into Now, was a big deal in the world of rock music, not so much for the fact that it was a R.E.M. album, but because there was growing approval from music critics, bloggers and fans that Collapse Into now marks the band’s return to their roots. Plus, since it’s release, many fans (including folks in the cafe) are saying they think the album is a masterpiece, and definitely one of R.E.M.’s best ever LPs. The quality of the song writing, compositions, individual member contributions, mixing and production, in song after song on Collapse Into Now, is truly stunning. In our opinion, it’s one of their best albums ever.
That said, the first single from the new R.E.M. album, was beat out by a number of singles from other big releases of the week. After only a year since their wildly popular self-titled debut album, Brooklyn indie rock band Beach Fossils took the trophy for the No. 1 song of the week, followed by Starfu*ker, Jamaica, R.E.M., and so on.
February 27th – March 5th
It’s no surprise to us that two of the new singles from the band Beady Eye made the Top 10 for the first week of March. In case you don’t know, Beady Eye is the new band featuring former-members of the most popular bands of the 1990′s – the Brit pop sensation Oasis. Beady Eye is comprised of former Oasis band members, Liam Gallahger, guitarist Gem Archer, and drummer, Chris Sharrock, plus Ride frontman Andy Bell.
The band released their debut album, Different Gear, Still Speeding (perhaps autobiographical metaphor from Liam?) on March 3rd to fairly good reviews across the board. We haven’t browsed any Oasis fan boards or groups to see what they’re saying, but we guess everyone has a different opinion considering that the band carries a lot of history with it – some good, some not-so-good.
Capturing the No. 2 spot for the week was the new single from Papercuts, proving why the San Francisco Bay Area songwriter, and Subpop artist, Jason Quever, is an artist to watch. Papercuts’ hazy bedroom pop, this is definitely. Plus, new music from DeVotchKa, Raised By Tigers, Easter Island, Davila 666, Buried Beds, and Dum Dum Girls.
“Look Back, Look Up” – Codes in the Clouds from As The Spirit Wanes
“Esa Nena Nunca Regreso” - Davila 666 from Tan Bajo
“Breadcrumb Trail” – Buried Beds from Tremble The Sails
February 20th – February 26th
The last week of February was easily dominated by the newest album from Radiohead, The King of Limbs. Just about everyone was talking about the new Radiohead album for the entire week, with the overwhelming majority giving it high praise. While the initial praise was absolutely warranted, many critics and fans know that it is premature to present a reliable review of a new Radiohead release in just a couple of days, or even weeks. Radiohead albums are like beautiful pods full of gorgeous little seeds, that over time, grow, flower and continue blossoming for years to follow.
In addition to Radiohead, we saw a great deal of interest in the latest releases from bands like Opus Orange, an IRC and readers’ favorite. The folks behind Opus Orange sent us an exclusive new track, “Crystal Clean,” that we posted right away to that week’s Fresh Tracks mix. Within two days, the terrific track, became one of the top songs for the week, only beat out by Radiohead.
“Lotus Flower” (Live 1/24/10) – Radiohead from The King of Limbs
“Crystal Clear” Opus Orange, single 2011 - IRC Exclusive
“Catcher in the Rye” – Datarock from Catcher in the Rye 7″
“Mermaid” - Okkervil River from I Am Very Far – out May 10th
“Loose Boots” – Stylofone from You Won’t Miss Me
“The Fear” – Ben Lovett from Highway Collection
February 13th – February 19th
No question about it that the new Radiohead release was the big album of the week in mid-February. The band’s new LP, King of Limbs, is being called yet another classic, and chances are it will – as many Radiohead albums have done – continue to be examined and praised for years to follow. Right now, King of Limbs is only available as a download from Radiohead’s micro-site, appropriately located at www.kingoflimbs.com. Aside from Radiohead, the other big release for this week featured in our Best New Releases was the awesome new LP, The People’s Key, from indie legends, Bright Eyes. Additionally, quickly rising group, and IRC Band to Watch in 2011, Yuck released its self-titled debut. Plus, top ten songs from The Babies, The Dears, Drive-By Truckers, Moving Units, and Asobi Seksu.
“Bloom” – Radiohead from The King of Limbs
“Give Up The Ghost”- Radiohead from The King of Limbs
February 6th – February 12th
by Cindy Grace
Sorry folks for getting behind on the Top Ten – just so much going on. You know how it is. We’re catching up little by little. In the meantime, there is all kinds of great music for your pleasure via the homepage, so make sure to check it out. After all, it is series like Fresh Tracks and Best New Releases, as other playlists we post with new music during a given week, that end up determining the Top Ten Songs as ‘voted’ by you. Therefore, it was no surprise to us when we went to find out which was the biggest track of the second week of February – The Strokes‘ “Under Cover of Darkness.” Also, if you missed the band on SNL this past weekend.
So, thank you for this Top Ten list, another awesome playlist, featuring a golden mix of new tracks from The Strokes, Fleet Foxes, Panda Bear, The Dodos, Cut Copy, Beach Fossils, Young Galaxy, Times New Viking, Real Estate, Holy Ghost, and Akron/Family. We’ve already streamed this Top10 twice, it’s so good. It just goes to show that our readers/listeners rule! Not convinced? Just stream all this year’s Top Ten song lists below, and we guarantee you’ll be convinced – week after week, you guys pick the best new indie rock tracks because you have great f**king taste! You possess the gift of knowing great, organic, ‘underground’ music when you hear it.
The majority of the songs we feature on IRC will never be on the Billboard Top 10, and that’s good because the majority of music on there is the same talentless, formulated, over-polished crap that all sounds the same (like sh*t) year after year. The thing we love about “indie” is that there are so many wonderfully talented, diverse, and relatively ‘unknown’ artists and bands that put out fantastic music that we wouldn’t want to see on the Billboard charts. Ironically, IRC’s Top Ten Songs has become of the most popular alternative top ten lists on the web, which is kind of cool, because it’s all based on which songs get streamed and downloaded the most.
Outside of the factory-made, pretentious bubble of ‘mainstream music’, there is great music being made by true artists who actually can play instruments and don’t need Auto-Tune. That’s why people come here – because we’re doing what we can to stay on top of it every week, and present it in a way that is convenient and accessible to everyone. These Top Ten lists prove that there are a lot of people out there who have terrific taste in music.
“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes from TBA
“No Room to Live” – Times New Viking (available at shows only)
“Blue Lebaron” - Real Estate – date TBA
“Silly Beans” – Akron/Family from S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (with Digital booklet)
January 30th – February 5th
We were kind of surprised to see a relatively unknown band, Rumspringa, capture the No. 1 spot for their latest single, “Queer Eyed Boy” compared to the bigger named bands and their newest songs. Taking the No. 2 spot was David Lowrey, followed by The Notes, In These Woods, and Generationals to round-out the Top 5. This is yet another great mix selected by the people.
“Queer Eyed Boy” – Rumspringa from Sway
“Sheltered” – The Notes from Wishing Well
“Little Horn” - Suns from Close Calls in the U.S. Space Program
Jan. 23rd – Jan. 29th
January had already been off to a great start with new releases by The Decemberists, Smith Westerns, Two Door Cinema Club (IRC’s Reader’s Choice for Breakout Band of 2010), Tennis, and many others. And the final week of the first month of the new year just reinforced what turned out to be a great month for indie music (even though one could arguably say The Decemberists are no longer indie).
Even though it was a release of a singles album, The Radio Dept. took the No. 1 song spot for this week ahead of a solid line-up of other bands like Papercranes, Grouplove, Cold War Kids, Destroyer, U.S. Royalty (stay tune for some news about them), Woodsman and Cloud Nothings. Make sure to check out all the posts we put out every week; we can guarantee there are plenty of songs you don’t want to miss that don’t make the Top Ten list. That said, you can tell by the quality of songs in the top ten that our readers and visitors have the best taste in music than any other website we know of!
Jan 16th – Jan 22nd
Jan. 9th – Jan. 15th
The first installment of the top ten songs for 2011 kicks off with a brand new single from Bright Eyes‘ forthcoming new LP, The People’s Key, set to drop in March. Not far behind is just one of numerous jems on Cage The Elephant‘s latest LP, Thank You Happy Birthday.
We’re already sure this album will still be in the top of our best albums list for 2011 by the end of this year. It’s a splendid record, and it clearly demonstrates the band’s growth and ability to try different things and pull it off, all the while never losing touch with their blues and rock roots. Let us know what you think of this week’s top ten, as determined by IRC readers and visitors.
Happy 2011 Everyone!
Update (1/1/2011): Happy New Year! As you may have noticed, there were no Top Ten Songs lists for the last few weeks of December. This was mostly due to the lack of new releases and holiday music mixes. Many bands and labels withhold releasing albums in December because, for one, people are distracted with the holidays, and perhaps more significantly, it’s better to drop a new album in the new year.
There are a few reasons why releases that would otherwise drop at the end of the year are held back until the beginning of the new year. One is that the people who buy the most music often have money and gift cards to spend in January and February. Plus, the albums would technically qualify for end-of-year ‘best of’ lists and awards.
Hear all of the No. 1 Indie Rock Songs of the Week, according to IRC readers, and take the poll to cast your vote for the Best Indie Rock Song of 2010.
In fact, next week, we’re going to publish a special edition we’ve been working on called Most Anticipated Rock Albums of 2011, mainly consisting of new advanced singles from upcoming albums we’re most looking forward to. The first edition of the Most Anticipated Albums of 2011 will focus mainly on January – which already has a spectacular number of new releases from bands like . Here are a few advanced singles to give you a review of what’s to come in coming weeks on IRC.
“Shell Games” - Bright Eyes from The People’s Key – due out in March 2011
“Cemetery Rain” – Minks from debut LP, By The Hedge, out Jan. 12th
“P.I.” – Tape Deck Mountain will release a new EP, Secret Serf, on Jan. 11th (or 1/11/11)
Listen to, and vote for, the Best Indie Rock Songs of 2010. Voting ends Jan. 13 at which time we will announce the Readers’ Choice: The Best Indie Rock Song of 2010. Also, keep an eye out for IRC’s Best Albums of 2010 and Best New Bands of 2010, according to IRC readers and visitors.
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4
Can you believe 2010 is almost over? Already? Damn. Well, you guys have been picking the best indie songs of 2010 all year. When it comes down to it, we’d rather have 20,000 people a day (all of you) decide what the best songs are than a group of bloggers or writers. Of course the top songs do depend on which of those we happen to post for that week.
Unlike the trend on many music blogs in recent years – to appeal to more non-indie (like mainstream Billboard pop, rap and adult contemporary) music lovers – we continue to stay focused on what is arguably a more indie slant. That said, the popularity of indie music continues to rise, so we’re looking forward to see what songs you guys will pick for Best Indie Rock Songs of 2010 (watch for our 2010 polls and playlists coming soon). Also coming up soon is our Guide to 2011 Releases.
And now for the Top Ten Songs of the first week of December.
“Kudos” – Surf City from Kudos
“You Don’t Have To Drive” – Sleeping In The Aviary from Great Vacation!
“Gallinas Y Lagartos” – El Santo Nada from Tuco
“Beachball” – Jenocide from Knee Deep EP
“Learn The Language” - Mr. Dream from Never Elaborate
“Crazy Rulers of the World” – Surf City from Kudos
“Raise Your Gaze” - Tristeza from Paisajes
“Satellite” – Lelia Broussard from Masquerade
“Away From You” – Brad Oberhofer
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27
When we first heard the newest Cut Copy track right before Thanksgiving, we were certain that all of you would make it the most popular song of the week. And that’s just what happened; the infectious track “Take Me Over” was the #1 song of Thanksgiving week. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of love out there for Cut Copy, and not just in the U.S.; according to our web stats, the band has fans around the globe – from the UK to South America, Indonesia to Japan, people love them some Cut Copy.
Taking the No. 2 spot was the breakout band (they’re actually a duo) Bikini with their indie hit, “American Mourning”; Bikini managed to take the No. 5 spot as well, with the track, “ACheerleader”. The hugely popular San Francisco band, Girls, captured the No. 3 position, while another San Francisco band, Eux Autres, settled in at No. 4. Although we don’t usually (making an exception) count older songs in the Top Ten, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by The Clash was the No. 1 song in our first S-25 Mix, which you guys seemed to enjoy very much.
“Take Me Over” – Cut Copy
“American Mourning” – Bikini
“Heartbreaker” – Girls
“Go Dancing” – Eux Autres
“ACheerleader” – Bikini
“Smoke” – Home Video
“Tiny Spiders” - The Soft Moon
“Every Love That Ever Was (Montauk’s Vacation Mix)” - Home Video
“Felicity” - Orange Juice
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” – The Clash
Nov. 14 – 20
Apologies folks for being late on updating the Top Ten lists; still catching up from the holidays. The newly emerging band, Jonquil, took the No. 1 and No. 4 spots for the third week of November with the web hit single “Fighting Smiles,” and their follow-up single “Get Up”, both from their debut EP, One Hundred Suns.
Portland indie ‘buzz’ band Crushed Stars ranked at the No. 2 spot thanks to the single from their second LP, Convalescing In Braille, which was produced by John Congleton (Antony and The Johnsons, Clinic, The Walkmen, St. Vincent).
Coming in at No. 3 was upstate New York one man band, Setting Sun, who has garnered praise from major media outlets like NPR and USA Today, and numerous music blogs. San Diego’s newly formed indie outfit TV Girl took the No. 5 spot with the chillwave loop mix featuring Todd Rungred’s “Hello It’s Me” as the sample, and like Jonquil, has two songs in the top 10 with No. 7 . There are other great singles in this list by bands that are either on the radar (we like, but need to hear more material), as well as bands to watch in 2011 (bands we dig mucho based on more than one song, but are new enough that they don’t have name recognition – yet). These bands make up the rest of this top ten: Fredrik, Mariage Blanc, Le Switch, and The Russian Futurists.
“Fighting Smiles” - Jonquil
“Black Umbrellas” – Crushed Stars
“Make You Feel” – Setting Sun
“Get Up” – Jonquil
“If You Want It You Got It” – TV Girl
“White on White” – Fredrik
“Whatever You Say I Am” – Mariage Blanc
“It’s Not Something” – TV Girl
“Call Out” – Le Switch
“Hoeing Weeds Sowing Seeds” – The Russian Futurists
Browse all the Top Ten Songs lists of 2010 and stream and download to your heart’s content.
You may also be interested to check out other popular playlist mixes, including The Top 50 No. 1 Songs of 2010; Best Indie Rock Songs of 2010 series; Best Breakthrough Bands of 2010, plus Best New Releases and Fresh Tracks Mix.