SPECIAL: Feed the Dog’s Top Songs of 2011

Okay, so it should be pretty apparent by now that I’m a phony blogger — I’m terrible at keeping this thing up. But that doesn’t mean I can’t use it as an excuse outlet opportunity to share my top songs of 2011 with you all! I’m also going to embed as many videos as I can for my top 50 songs of 2011, so check out the top 5 here, and the rest after the jump.

1. The Weeknd – “What You Need”

This song has the ability to completely control me as soon as it comes on. Haunting. A complex combination of fear, intoxication, malice, and lust – feelings you can’t shake even after the song has stopped playing. As soon as I heard this song, I knew The Weeknd were going to have a powerful effect on indie music — I didn’t guess he’d turn up on half the songs off Drake’s new album.

2. James Blake – “I Mind”
 

This song comes on my headphones when I’m on the train and I get chills. Profoundly beautiful song. The best creation to date by an artist forging into never-before-known territories of electronica and all the genre is capable of. Also, a handsome young piano crooner.

3. Beyonce – “Countdown”
 

So much energy packed into this song. A veritable pop masterpiece. Braver than an artist like Beyonce has any need to be. We didn’t know pop could do this. Art music. Also one of the most amazing videos of the year.

4. Metronomy – “The Look”
 

Simple, tight, perfect – Metronomy continued to amaze this year. How the 2005 electropop band of yore evolved into this soft and pleasant thing is truly dumbfounding. Indie pop at it’s best – stripped down, nostalgic, partially electronic, and danceable.

5. Twin Sister – “Daniel”
 

Twin Sister was the artist I had the hardest time bending to my “one-song-per-artist” rule – if I hadn’t, you’d see “Bad Street” directly below this. “Bad Street” is a song I couldn’t stop playing this year, an ultra-catchy number that perfectly characterizes what’s cool about this band. But “Daniel” has to win, because “Daniel” breaks my heart. The most heartbreaking part is hearing Andrea Estella smile as she sings lines like, “It hurts so bad…”

6. Panda Bear – “Last Night at the Jetty”
 

When you’re Panda Bear, it can be hard to live up to your own hype – I know a lot of people were underwhelmed by this year’s Tomboy but I thoroughly enjoyed it – this song is pitch perfect. Lennox has such a gift with melody, this song is so musically explorative and at the same time impossible to get out of your head. The kind of song I can only do a shitty job at putting to words.

7. Britney Spears – “Hold It Against Me”
 

Britney Spears does what I want everybody to do. Not just pop-doing-electro-house or visa versa, but a natural combination of compatible genres. Femme Fatale was fairly hit-laden, but this one takes the cake for me. Single-handedly established dubstep breakdowns as an acceptable replacement to the bridge or the guitar solo.

8. Toro Y Moi – “Freaking Out”
 

I can’t figure out why Toro Y Moi wasn’t just making dance music all along. On the Freaking Out EP, Chaz Bundick just made fun, fast pop music, and none stand out like the title track. I hope to God this is all he does from now on.

9. Siriusmo – “Good Idea”
 

I couldn’t get enough of Siriusmo’s album this year, obviously, but I think “Good Idea” became my favorite because it’s a song that is so characteristically Siriusmo, and at the same time unlike anything he’s ever done. But of course, most of you Internet people don’t have the sense to listen to Siriusmo, so to you it’s just an awesome electro jam you’ve never heard before.

10. Smith Westerns – “Weekend”
 

Again, you’ve heard me say it before – but Smith Westerns put out a killer record this year, and it was all about their ability to harness nostalgia in new and interesting ways. “Weekend” will remind you of something, the 70s, the 80s, or the 90s – but it’s a song that could only have been made in 2011.

11. Chris Brown ft. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne – “Look At Me Now”
 

Hot damn. Fire beat from Diplo and Afrojack. Fire verses from Busta and Weezy. Is about to be the precursor to Busta’s comeback, and is maybe the last interesting thing from Lil Wayne we’ll ever hear. And I guess we should thank Chris Brown for somehow being the person bringing all these awesome things together. And rapping without sounding too much like an asshole (except when he suggests we say “hi” to his dick).

12. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “How Can U Luv Me”
 

How can you love me!?!?! When you don’t like me!?!?! BABY

13. Fleet Foxes – “Montezuma”
 

So beautiful. Fleet Foxes weren’t going to be able to match their debut record’s perfection. That’s just one of those perfect combination of inspiration and talent that rarely comes together more than once. But they damn well tried. And “Montezuma” is a song from a more mature, more interesting Fleet Foxes – taking bigger risks, stirring new emotions.

14. James Blake – “Love What Happened Here”
 

OK, so James Blake gets two songs because they’re off two separate releases. Anyone else want to get two on the list, they can be as talented and prolific as this young man. Goddamn cool ass song. Like James Blake doing Breakbot. Tension and release. Funk and electro. Fucking awesome sounds and synths, the very best. The organ part in the middle just kills me.

15. Cults – “You Know What I Mean”

This song convinced me these guys were more than just a hype act. Chorus to end all choruses. Goes from finger-snapping to head-banging in 3 seconds.

16. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
 

Probably the best video of 2011. Tyler at his best, raw beat, playing Wolf Haley, the cooler, slightly more mysterious version of himself, personal but fierce, not vulnerable. Brave track. Fuck the haters.

17. tUnE-yArDs – “Powa”
 

This song just has such a good tempo. A fierce little fucking song from our favorite avante-garde experimental art pop auteur. This song makes me think of Merrill Garbus having really great sex, and I think that’s why I like it so much.

18. Braids – “Plath Heart”
 

Every amazing little vocal quirk in this song. I saw these guys live a few months ago at Mercury Lounge or somewhere in the Bowery and it was the best show I’d seen in years. Absolutely phenomenal talent. Sky’s the limit with this band.

19. Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”
 

DYING ON THE INSIDE DYING ON THE INSIDE DYING ON THE INSIDE DYING ON THE INSIDE

20. St. Vincent – “Cruel”
 

I know I probably should’ve known better, but I didn’t get into St. Vincent until only a month or so ago. Such an amazing talent, beautiful singer and fantastic songwriter, but watch her shred and I just melt into a puddle. This song was the pop gem on Strange Mercy – so obviously it’s my favorite.

21. Atlas Sound – Te Amo

Interesting to note that this is the closest thing to a love song on what is essentially Bradford Cox’s heartbreak album. Kaleidoscopic, colorful beauty, as we should be expecting at this point. Either with Deerhunter or as Atlas Sound, this guy hasn’t done anything short of brilliant in years.

22. Breakbot – “Shades of Black”
 

Anything Breakbot does is going to be incredible. A perfect little electro funk number.

23. Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay – “212”
 

I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t bother me the way Banks says “slumber, don’tchoo?” But if her flow was more ghetto, she probably wouldn’t have been street-wise enough to cop this ill beat from Lazy Jay. Like it or not, this chick is blowing the fuck up in 2012. Everybody should be rapping on beats like this. Also, one of my favorite videos of the year.

24. SebastiAn – “Embody”
 

SebastiAn’s Total this year was fairly hit or miss – but he nailed it on this first single. “Embody” was enough to convince us he’s still relevant post-2007’s blog house fizzling out — perhaps unlike his Ed Banger buddies, Justice. Cool video from other Ed Banger buddy So Me.

25. Work Drugs – “Catalina Wine Mixer”
 

I don’t know where this song came from. From the look of their music video, these guys are bigger yuppie assholes than Vampire Weekend. But fuck it if they don’t have the best band name, the best song name, and a damn catchy, bouncy chillwave sound to boot.

26. Girls Names – “When You Cry”
Listen on Spotify

One of my favorite new bands of 2011. I just want to be moshing to this song, though it’s not guaranteed that’s what they’re going for. I think it’s the drunken way Cathal Cully sings it.

27. T-Pain – “Sho-Time”
Listen on Spotify

Classic T-Pain. For whatever reason, T-Pain decided to let outside producers on his album for the first time this year. If all the tracks had been T-Pain produced like this one, rEVOLVEr could’ve made my Top Ten. Nobody does it like he can.

28. Ducktails ft. Panda Bear – “Killin’ The Vibe”
Listen on Pitchfork 

I don’t know how Real Estate got in Pitchfork’s Top Ten this year, when frontman Matt Mondile released a much more interesting record under his Ducktails moniker this year. This song is like a mantra, the chorus and verse keeps repeating, but every time something is added.

29. Girls – “Forgiveness”
Listen on Spotify

Hard to pick a favorite off this album, but “Forgiveness” takes it. I have to imagine this song is exactly what Girls are trying to sound like all the time. Perfectly balanced, fantastic, slow rise in energy. Purgatory and catharsis.

30. Rihanna – “You Da One”
Listen on Spotify

Goddamn if Rihanna doesn’t keep releasing one amazing song every year on an absolute dud of an album. Stupid video. Great butt. Undeniable hook. A song you enjoy getting stuck in your head.

.

And the full list…

1. The Weeknd – “What You Need”
2. James Blake – “I Mind”
3. Beyonce – “Countdown”
4. Metronomy – “The Look”
5. Twin Sister – “Daniel”
6. Panda Bear – “Last Night at the Jetty”
7. Britney Spears – “Hold It Against Me”
8. Toro Y Moi – “Freaking Out”
9. Siriusmo – “Good Idea”
10. Smith Westerns – “Weekend”
11. Chris Brown ft. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne – “Look At Me Now”
12. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “How Can U Luv Me”
13. Fleet Foxes – “Montezuma”
14. James Blake – “Love What Happened Here”
15. Cults – “You Know What I Mean”
16. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
17. tUnE-yArDs – “Powa”
18. Braids – “Plath Heart”
19. Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”
20. St. Vincent – “Cruel”
21. Atlas Sound – Te Amo
22. Breakbot – “Shades of Black”
23. Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay – “212”
24. SebastiaN – “Embody”
25. Work Drugs – “Catalina Wine Mixer”
26. Girls Names – “When You Cry”
27. T-Pain – “Sho-Time”
28. Ducktails – “Killin’ The Vibe”
29. Girls – “Forgiveness”
30. Rihanna – “You Da One”
31. Austra – “Lose It”
32. Ganglians – “Things to Know”
33. Gauntlet Hair – “Top Bunk”
34. Lil Wayne ft. Corey Gunz – “6 Foot 7 Foot”
35. Preditah – “New York”
36. Das Racist ft. El-P – “Shut Up, Man”
37. Neon Indian – “Future Sick”
38. Kanye West & Jay-Z – “Niggas in Paris”
39. Drake – “Headlines”
40. Nurses – “Trying to Reach You”
41. Katy B – “Katy on a Mission”
42. EMA – “Milkman”
43. Mr. Dream – “Trash Hit”
44. Perfume – “Natural ni Koishite”
45. Kissy Sell Out – “Eternal”
46. Cali Swag District “Kickback”
47. Tech N9ne ft. Kendrick Lamar & Oobergeek – “I Love Music”
48. Mord Fustang – “Lick the Rainbow”
49. Game ft. Tyler, the Creator – “Martians Vs Goblins”
50. Real Estate – “Kinder Blumen”
51. Snoop Dogg & Whiz Khalifa – “I Get Lifted” 

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