June 20, 2011

Best of 2011: The First Half


1) The Sandwitches :: Mrs. Jones' Cookies
"In 2011, there is perhaps no band more aggressively honest and loyal to their distinctive sound than the Sandwitches." Review
The Sandwitches - "Lightfoot"

2) JEFF The Brotherhood :: We Are The Champions
"The speed, manic drumming, and grungy head-banging guitar work is all still intact, but brothers Orrall have found a way to hone that signature sound and talent into the sharpest of pop songs—a fistful of catchy and tight two-and-a-half minute testaments to the band's near constant touring over the past year." Review
JEFF The Brotherhood - "Shredder"

3) Sonny & The Sunsets :: Hit After Hit
"A magnum opus of playful, whip-smart and vintage minimalism of 50s and 60s-inspired California pop sunshine." Review
Sonny & The Sunsets - "I Wanna Do It"

4) The Black Lips :: Arabia Mountain
The Black Lips haven't cleaned up their sound, but they have tightened up the hooks to deliver one of their most consistent albums to date: a dynamic head-banger from the garage that touches on everything from Peter Parker to dumpster diving. 
The Black Lips - "New Direction"

5) Hunx and His Punx :: Too Young To Be In Love
"There's no release in 2011 I've listened to more than Too Young To Be In Love by Hunx & His Punx. The San Francisco outfit channels late 1950s and early '60s girl group pop à la the Ronettes and Lesley Gore through their own fuzzy, sharp, and straightforward punk rock lens."  Review
Hunx & His Punx - "Lovers Lane"

6) Natural Child :: 1971
"The Nashville band exhale equal amounts of fiery swagger and stale beer into its Southern fare, creating a wonderfully eclectic world where punk rock and country music stand toe-to-toe in a perfect swaying boozy harmony." Review
Natural Child - "Hard Workin Man"

7) Jessica Lea Mayfield :: Tell Me
Produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Mayfield's light country vocals and crafty, wise-beyond-her-years songwriting often arrive ablaze with creative instrumentation and flourishes. From start to finish, this is a beautifully executed album.
Jessica Lea Mayfield - "Our Hearts Are Wrong"

8) Woods ::Sun & Shade
Sun & Shade has its share of wonky left-turns and wandering, but it's all balanced with a tremendous amount of purpose and precision. This is Jeremy Earl and company's most carefully crafted album to date. Review / Stream
Woods - "Pushing Onlys"

9) Craft Spells :: Idle Labor
"Craft Spells may not be wholly original, but there's also something charming about an artist so directly, openly, and honestly shedding light on his influences. As a whole, Idle Labor's 11 songs are absurdly consistent in delivery and execution, never missing a beat or opportunity to deliver a fearsome hook." Review
Craft Spells - "You Should Close The Door"

10) Dawes :: Nothing Is Wrong
"As this quartet grows in popularity, it seems their songs are destined to follow suit: getting bigger and better at every turn." Review
Dawes - "If I Wanted Someone"

Tune-Yards :: Who Kill
Thee Oh Sees :: Castlemania  (Review)
White Denim :: D 
Hooray For Earth :: True Loves (Review)
Beach Fossils :: What A Pleasure EP (Review)
Middle Brother :: Middle Brother  (Review)
Starfucker :: Reptilians  (Review)
Breakfast In Fur :: Breakfast In Fur EP  (Review)
The Shivers :: More  (Review)
Floating Action :: Desert Etiquette  (Review)
Futurebirds :: Via Flamina EP  (Review)
Diego García :: Laura (Review)
Braids :: Native Speaker  (Review)
Marisa Anderson :: The Golden Hour  (Review)
Those Darlins :: Screws Get Loose  (Review)
Shannon and The Clams :: Sleep Talk  (Read More)
Yuck :: Yuck  (Review)
The Shivers :: More (Review)


1) Cass McCombs - "County Line"

2) Shannon & The Clams - "The Cult Song"
3) Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
4) Bill Callahan - "Drover"
5) Dawes - "A Little Bit of Everything"

6) Purity Ring - "Ungirthed"
7) Woods - "Pushing Onlys"
8) Bon Iver - "Beth/Rest"

9) The Shivers - "Love Is In The Air"
10)Diego García - "Laura"

Tune-Yards - "Gangsta"
Loud Fast Fools - "Time To Split"
Idiot Glee - "Trouble At The Dancehall"
Radiation City - "The Color of Industry"
Bare Wires - "Don't Ever Change"
Eleanor Friedberger - "My Mistakes"
Generationals - "Ten-Twent-Ten"
Lia Ices Feat. Bon Iver - "Daphne"
Body Language - "Social Studies"
Stone Darling - "All I Wanna Do"
The Heavenly States – “Berlin Wall”
Mister Heavenly - "Pineapple Girl"
Sleep ∞ Over - "Casual Diamond"
Little Dragon - "NightLight"
Cut Copy - "Need You Now"
Yacht - "Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)"
Vetiver - "Wonder Why"
Tapes n Tapes - "One In The World"
John Gold - "Baby It's Your Life"
Cotton Jones - "Lune Chatter"
Cults - "Abducted"
The Shivers - "I Want You Back"
Michael Kiwanuka - "Tell Me A Tale"
King Tuff - "Hands"
New Animal - "Nightmares of Candy Yang & The Black Italian"

The Sandwitches


  1. Thanks for sharing. I love the lack of obvious choices (Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes). I love all those bands, but you clearly have a distinct taste. This has lead to me about 4 new bands that I will be exploring over the next week.

  2. always nice to see love of the sandwitches anywhere, anytime.