Yesterday NYLON editors Luke Crisell and Ellen Carpenter tackled the daunting task of rounding up their favorite 10 albums of 2011 (see their picks here).
In this special New Year's edition of Good Listener, Web Editor Liza Darwin continues the challenge, picking her top 5 songs of the year. Just to make things interesting (and because there's just too much good music!), she's leaving off the aforementioned top 10 albums from yesterday off to make room for more amazing artists.
Our five favorite songs of the year:5. Cults, "Go Outside"
This New York twosome has been on the NYLON radar since last September, but I'd be lying to you if I left Madeline and Brian off the list. I mean, what can I say- I've seen them 4 times in concert and played their debut album more times than I'd like to admit. But if there's one thing that I've found from stalking-oops, I mean following
them, it's that Cults is one of those bands that sound just as amazing live as they do blasting from your headphones. "Go Outside" has already been featured at Fashion Week, on TV commercials, and on music blogs everywhere- but we're still not sick of it yet. 4. Fleet Foxes, "Helplessness Blues"
It's hard to listen to the title track off the latest album from these Seattle folk rockers without being reminded of Simon and Garfunkel. We mean this as a compliment, because as much as Fleet Foxes bear similarities to the music legends, they do it without being copycats. The sophomore follow-up to their eponymous debut is filled with carefully woven harmonies, a beautiful sax solo, and a chorus you want to shout from the rooftop (okay, or just belt out in your bedroom). These guys are pure gold.3. EMA, "Grey Ship"
It was so hot this summer, it felt like I was trudging into an oven every time I stepped outside. But for some reason, I actually liked it- when I was listening to Erika M. Anderson, that is. The South Dakota-bred musician has a love for sludgy beats, weird synths, and shadowy, whispery vocals that sound like she's about to tell you a big secret. The 7-minute track "Grey Ship" is a throbbing, rumbling jam that's as oppressive as the muggy weather. Suddenly, I wish it were 92 degrees again.2. Adele, "Rolling in the Deep
It's kind of embarrassing how many times a day/week/month I listen to this thundering anthem from Adele. But then again, the heartfelt track is impossible to play to just once. It's soulful, catchy enough to sing along to, and completely irresistible. It's so contagious, in fact, that everyone from John Legend to Linkin Park to the U.S. Air Force has done their own renditions. Adele, we (and the rest of the world) love you.1. Grimes, "Oblivion"
Her new LP Visions
doesn't even drop until next year, but already we're in love with the latest from Grimes, aka Montreal musician Claire Boucher. We got a sneak preview of the followup to her last album, Halafaxa
, and trust us- it doesn't disappoint. This girl is a true multitasker, sewing her other-wordly voice, dubstep-inflected beats, and twisted melodies into a sound that we can only describe as "alien pop." She's the coolest.
Honorable Mentions: Real Estate, "It's Real"
Suburban rock sound plus
a music video starring puppies? We're sold.PJ Harvey, "Let England Shake"
It's tough to pick just one song off her newest album, but the title track hits you so hard, it's impossible to forget. Toro Y Moi, "Still Sound"
Warped beats and Chazwick Bundick's mellowed-out voice make this the ultimate chill go-to. Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
Sorry, I have to!The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Our office soundtrack ever since the release of El Camino,
"Lonely Boy" has been our hands-down favorite. Oh, and the video's pretty fun, too.