This list is a long time coming and a little later than I would have liked it to be, but I do not take lists lightly so I didn’t want to rush it. For me 2011 was a great year in music. I have opened myself up and listened to a lot of stuff that I don’t think I would have given a chance a couple of years ago. I also saw a fair amount of shows in 2011. Alexi Murdoch, The Decemberists, The Kills, James Vincent McMorrow and these are all albums I consider to have made up a large portion of my 2011 soundtrack. Thank you for listening and reading. I am going on my sixth year of this and I still love it. Thank you so much for sharing this joy of music with me. Happy Holidays!


RadioheadKing Of Limbs

Lotus Flower

When I first heard the album the only thing I was disappointed with was how short it was. I wanted more. The thing about Radiohead is that they always surprise me. Their music is ever evolving and King Of Limbs is a perfect example of that. I have said from the beginning it is a mix of old and new. It has the eclectic layered sound of Kid A mixed with a new electronic beat driven sound. With each listen new layers are revealed and kudos to them for continuing to expand their music and keeping their fans on their toes. I am waiting impatiently for word of a show in California… Waiting with baited breath.



Anti – Pioneer

This album took me by surprise. I was and still am obsessed with it which is a strange because I have never been this smitten with any of her previous albums. Metals however is different than any of her other albums. The sound is bigger and more refined. Her voice is complimented so well by the bold melodies. It has been on constant rotation and deserves this spot on my list.

Other LivesTamer Animals

Dust Bowl III

This band exploded onto the scene a couple of years ago and took my breath away. I have a spiritual awakening when I hear their indie rock booming through my speakers. This album is filled with whirling melodies and layered arrangements that are simply stunning. Currently opening for some Radiohead shows… I am determined to see them live hopefully with Radiohead.

Of Monsters and MenMy Head Is An Animal

Dirty Paws

Oh man I went back and forth on whether I should include this album. But I decided I have it and I have been listening to it constantly and it has been a big part of my life in 2011. This Icelandic band has quickly become my favorite new band. I love their upbeat sing along indie rock and this debut album is a must! It is totally worth the import cost.

p.s. I forgot to mention that there is a hidden track on the last song, Yellow Light. So good.


The KillsBlood Pressures

Future Starts Slow

Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince kick so much ass! Blood Pressures simply rocks. I saw them live and I fell in love with them and this album just that much more. It is gritty and dynamic. An absolute must have in your music collection.


Boy & BearMoonfire

Milk & Sticks

Boy & Bear is another band I waited patiently for… Their debut album was well worth the wait. Colorful arrangements matched with Dave Hosking’s unique vocals. Their music just makes me feel good which is why it was a definite favorite of 2011.


Alexi MurdochTowards The Sun

Through The Dark

This album is a special one. I have actually been listening to it for about two years since I got a copy at his concert back in 2009 and I have been listening to it ever since. I finally got it on vinyl last night for Christmas thanks to my dear friend. If you are an avid reader or even just a casual reader of Untitled Records you know my undying love for Alexi Murdoch. Seeing him live this year at the intimate Bootleg theater really made me realize he is my favorite singer-songwriter of all time.


Blind PilotWe Are The Tide

We Are The Tide

I wasn’t really expecting this album to make it onto the year end list honestly but here it is. It took me by surprise, I have always enjoyed their music, but on We Are The Tide I can put it on and let it play and play. Their music is infectious and this sophomore album is absolutely fantastic.


James Vincent McMorrowEarly In The Morning

From The Woods!!

Another singer-songwriter I saw live this year. He took me by storm with his delicate singer-songwriter arrangements with his unique vocals that will remind you of Bon Iver, but I feel James Vincent McMorrow has fuller arrangements that compliment his fragile vocals. His debut album, Early In The Morning has been on constant repeat throughout the year and he was such a treat to see live in a fantastically intimate setting which was just perfection.


BeirutThe Rip Tide

Payne’s Bay

I don’t think there is an album that Zach Condon creates that is not on my end of year list. The Rip Tide is one of my favorite albums since Gulag Orkestar. Trumpet galore mixed with that French Chanson style along with a modern twist that only Zach Condon can bring to the table. Light and beautiful. His prettiest album to date.


The DecemberistsThe King Is Dead

Rise To Me

Oh Decemberists… How I love thee. How I loved seeing them live this year and being in their presence felt like coming home. Their music, their style, their spirit, their lyrics. Everything. This is one of my favorite albums since The Crane Wife but I feel The King Is Dead has taken the top spot hands down. So well done.




So I am just now sitting down to talk about the James Vincent McMorrow show at the Bootleg Theater on September, 24th…

First off, can I just say that the Bootleg Theater is my new favorite venue. Super intimate and chill, but also totally LA. I love it. And I am really excited that they are adding some of my favorite singer-songwriters to their event lineup. This is the same theater where I saw my dearest Alexi Murdoch.

William Elliott Whitmore was one of the opening acts and he blew the roof off that little theater with his amazing banjo playing and toe tapping bass drum rhythms that had the entire theater clapping and hollering for more. I fell in love instantly. He is the greatest live performer I have seen in quite sometime and is currently on a European tour. I urge you to see him live, you do not want to miss him.

James Vincent McMorrow really surprised me for the better. He was a little shy and timid at first but once he warmed up he was unbelievable. The band filled the theater with their marvelous folk melodies along with McMorrow’s unique vocals and you could feel the energy in the room. He has really become one of my favorite singer-songwriters. I am looking forward to so much more from him.

Don’t Need ItWilliam Elliott Whitmore

Field Songs 2011 (Anti Records)


Breaking HeartsJames Vincent McMorrow

Early In The Morning 2010/11 (Vagrant Records)

Set List:

Sparrow and the Wolf

And If My Heart Should Somehow Stop

This Old Dark Machine

Hear The Noise That Moves So Soft And Low

Breaking Hearts

Down The Burning Ropes


Higher Love (Cover)

Red Dust

Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree

From The Woods!!

We Don’t Eat

If I Had A Boat

Wicked Game (Cover)



For the record I am 4 beers deep and so tired that I may be writing this in my sleep… I may be drunk/sleep blogging… Just kidding. I am really quite tired though.

I recently came across James Vincent McMorrow and his music literally made me stop everything I was doing so that I could find out more about this amazing music that I just heard. This Irish singer-songwriter is a mix of Bon Iver meets Iron & Wine with a bit of Ray LaMontagne mixed in for flavor. McMorrow creates his own unique music, with lyricism and layers of melodies that will grow on you like wild fire. If I would have heard this album in 2010 Early In The Morning would have been a serious contender for my end of the year list. He is real, honest, creative and he has created a stunning debut album.

If I Had a BoatJames Vincent McMorrow

Early In The Morning 2010 (Vagrant Records)

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