Update: 23 has finally released the entire track, which you can download here. If you want to listen to it on Youtube, check out this link. Enjoy!
Listen to a preview of “Fresh” by dubstep artist 23. “Fresh” is used in the commercial for VBlast which features NBA player Tyreke Evans. He will be releasing the full track later today and I will update when links are up.Watch the commercial and listen to the preview of the sick track below.
2011 was a great year for music and if one thing’s for certain, it’s the fact that there is always a constant stream of new artists and new music to listen to. In fact, if I had to give 2011 a tagline, it’d be “The Year of the Newcomer,” a title that’s also quite fitting for our list of the top albums of the year. Our list, as voted by our editorial staff, is full of new artists that surprised us with their craft, some of which was actually self-released for free through outlets like Bandcamp. It’s crazy to think that in an age that is so densely packed with new releases and new information, so many of our favorites come from such humble origins. It almost makes you feel like you’re lost… lost in the sound. And that’s something I’m completely okay with.
Here are our favorite albums from 2011. We hope you find something you enjoy just as much as we have over the past twelve months.
25. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
24. Moon Duo – Mazes
23. Owen – Ghost Town
22. Beau Navire – Hours
21. Caroline – Verdugo Hills
20. Wilco – The Whole Love
19. Death in Vegas – Trans-Love Energies
18. Belong – Common Era
17. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
16. Leann Grimes – Leann Grimes
15. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
14. The Roots – Undun
13. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
12. ASAP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP
11. The Horrible Crowes – Elsie
10. Arrange – Plantation
09. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
08. The Wonder Years – Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing
I’m a few days late on this one, but here’s a Christmas gift from standout producer Clams Casino. In 2011, Clams went from being Lil B‘s best producer to becoming one of the most talented producers in the game today, period. To thank all of his fans for getting to him to where he is today, Clams released a completely remastered, high-quality (320kbps) version of his mixtape, Instrumentals, one of my personal favorite releases this year. If you haven’t heard it already, or even if you own the old version, make sure to download the mixtape below.
As the modern day music scene develops, it’s becoming more and more common for people to self produce all of their music. As we take a look inside the mind of Baby Giraffe, we see how beautifully crafted melodies can lie behind a bedroom door just as often as they do inside of a professional studio. From an independent and unsigned artist, we can also see large differences in their perspective of the music scene.
What is your name and band name?
Baby Giraffe: My name’s Michael and I’ve been recording under the moniker Baby Giraffe since the mid 2000’s.
Can you explain the reasoning to why you chose the name “Baby Giraffe” and what it means to you?
Baby Giraffe: It was a name that was associated with me when sme old roommates of mine were playing a game of “what animal do you look like.” I’m fairly tall, gangly, docile and my hair used to naturally tuft a bit at the top so I figured it was appropriate.
What is the music scene like in Ontario, Canada?
Baby Giraffe: Being from the largest city in Canada, we have quite an amazing scene. A lot of acts have broke through from here in the last decade in one incarnation or another. It’s important to note that there’s at least a handful of good, accessible venues if you’re not already an established act to build from. Places like the Rancho Relaxo, the Garrison, the Silver Dollar, etc., are all venues you can find some great young artists at. No pay-to-play bullshit, although the city does have some of those promoters as well. (more…)
Following a critically acclaimed debut album and a fantastic year for their percussionist/beatmaker Jamie Smith (Jamie xx), The xx have finally returned to the studio to work on their second currently untitled album, and have released a demo for “Open Eyes” and a video with it for Christmas. The song, which you can check out on their blog or below, features singer Romy Madley Croft over an atmospheric and hazy backdrop. Although not much information on their sophomore album has been released yet, it should presumably be out mid 2012.
Jónsi has released the music video for “Gathering Stories”, which was written for the We Bought a Zoo OST. The movie We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, came out in theaters on December 23 and its director, Cameron Crowe, specifically asked Jónsi to do the soundtrack. We Bought a Zoo OST (which you can buy here) features new original music, old songs by Sigur Rós, and songs from Jónsi’s debut solo album, Go. Watch the video for “Gathering Stories” below:
For Christmas, the post-hardcore band La Dispute, who recently released their newest LP, Wildlife, have their entire discography on a free/donation basis on their Bandcamp page. Starting at midnight EST time tonight and lasting until midnight EST tomorrow (the whole of Christmas day), you can grab all ten of the band’s previous releases. All donations made through the Bandcamp page will be donated to 826michigan, “a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students aged 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826 opened its doors in June of 2005. Since then, it has been blessed with students, tutors, and volunteers overflowing with enthusiasm.”
If you’re completely new to the band, I recommend starting with Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, which in my opinion is their best release so far. If you’re more into punk and not lyrically up for fables about love and broken hearts, download Wildlife, which is their matured more punk-esque sounding sophomore release. Their split with Touché Amoré and their Untitled 7″ are also good listens, which you should definitely consider as they contain some of my personal favorite tracks. Just a reminder though before downloading, La Dispute are an acquired taste, with Jordan Dreyer’s emotionally driven vocals coming out as wails at times, combined with spoken-word poetic lyrics. Be sure to try this band out though because all the donations go towards a good cause!
For the holiday season, The Front Bottoms covered The Waitresses‘ classic Christmas song, “Christmas Wrapping” in their own acoustic punk style. If you liked their self titled LP which was released earlier this year, you will definitely enjoy this cover. Brian Sella’s vocals add the emotion that is pretty much expected in any song released by the band. In the spirit of Christmas it is up for free download below, along with a music video created specifically for the song.
Head over to The Weeknd‘s website or this direct link to download his new highly anticipated mixtape Echoes of Silence. This is the third mixtape R&B singer Abel Tesfaye has released this year, following the critically acclaimed House of Balloons and Thursday. Tesfaye has also recently appeared on his fellow Canadian comrade Drake’s new album Take Care. Two choice cuts (the latter of which is produced by Clams Casino) are included below.
It’s been a long few years for fans of the mysterious California MC Blu since he dropped his critically-acclaimed album Below the Heavens with Exile manning the tables. In the meantime, Blu’s been working on his own production, left Warner Bros. before dropping his major label debut, and has only been releasing a few unmastered tracks every now and then.
But today, seemingly out of nowhere, Blu posted his unfinished second album with Exile, Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them. Recorded back in 2009, the new 15-track LP is unmixed and unmastered, but the rhymes and the beats are both solid. No word on whether or not the two are collaborating again.
Give it a listen below and if you like what you hear, you can purchase the whole thing for $15 on Blu’s Bandcamp.