The Most Refreshing Albums of 2011

Posted by Jakub

Art by Sabrina Ratté (visual artist for Le Révélateur)

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Here it is, my selection of most refreshing music to listen to that came out in 2011. It’s a collection of records that grabbed my ear and made me put my coat on and head to the record store. I’ll have my Top 50 singles of 2011 which include the Atlas Sounds, James Blakes, and all the other goodies from the indie world but this list less about the best of the best but more of what sticks to my bones, i’m sure everyone has their favorites of the year too, feel free to list them below i’d love to see them.

fyi: this list does not include any records I was apart of ala releasing or distributing. i.e. the Tycho album, Ghostly releases, and Moodgadget releases.

Enjoy the playlist, thanks for all the feedback, comments, “likes” etc. over the last year, always a pleasure reading what you all have on your mind.

Le RévélateurFictions – Gneiss Things – BUY

Nacho PatrolThe Africa Jet Band Album – M Division Recordings – BUY

DeepchordHash-Bar Loops – Soma Recordings – BUY

Eddie CParts Unknown – Endless Flight – BUY

SepalcureSepalcure – Hotflush Recordings – BUY

Dirty BeachesBadlands – Zoo Music – BUY

HatchbackZeus & Apollo – Lo Recordings – BUY

Warm GhostNarrows – Partisan Records – BUY

Oneohtrix Point NeverReplica – Software – BUY

Peaking Lights – 936 – Not Not FunBUY

The FieldLooping State Of Mind – Kompakt – BUY

John MausWe Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves – Ribbon Music – BUY

33 Comments Leave A Comment


vyp says:

November 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Very much in agreement with Peaking Lights, The Field, John Maus, Sepalcure and Oneohtrix point never but that Dirty Beaches album just really annoyed the hell out of me.
I think he’s one that works far better live than on record. Or at least i find that to be the case.


wayne says:

November 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm

That Peaking Lights album is nothing short of mind-blowing. An unexpected sort of summer record, but utterly blissful listening. Excellent choice.


nugoose says:

November 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm

YES for The Field and Eddie C!!
Wasn’t a fan of Deepchord’s last album, and don’t know the rest so definitely going to check that out!

Some of my personal favorites of 2011:
Tycho’s “Dive” (obviously)
Robag Wruhme’s “Thora Vukk”
Tim Hecker’s “Ravedeath”
The Diogenes Club’s self titled debut album (amazing stuff) :)


Josh says:

November 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

City Center’s Redeemer from K records is a big runner up for me, those guys really crafted a lyrical/texture-driven masterpiece this year (imho) which many still have yet to catch on to.


DIY says:

November 29, 2011 at 4:49 am

So glad to see John Maus on top. As I was scrolling down the list I was thinking “Man, I can’t believe they left out John Maus”, but I was soon pleasantly surprised. :)



November 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I agree with #12 Regan B,in my opinion Bibio’s Mind Bokeh was by far the most original and refreshing album of this year. Like a breath of fresh air…


Norik says:

November 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

No arguments here! Though i’d say Unknown Mortal Orchestra would have made an easy #13.

I’m not sure what i’d do without Jakub’s music taste. Huge portion of what I discover is because of his posts.

Nice work my friend!


Marcus says:

November 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Definitely a good year for music. Thundercat’s “Golden Age of the Apocalypse” is definitely in my top list though. He nailed everything on there and the vocals are refreshing in a world where heavy reverb is king (definitely not a bad thing).

Also, although a Ghostly release, and not coming out till December, I’m pretty sure Jacaszek’s LP is going to be one of my favorite releases of the year.


Ethan says:

November 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Awesome list. Oneohtrix Point Never’s album was a huge eye opener for me when it came out. I think Bear & Walrus’ “Image Poems” is my personal favorite release from this year. It came out way back in February(?) so I’m sure a lot of people have forgotten about it, but after seeing them play it live over the summer it’s really stuck with me.


Casey H. Smith says:

December 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I was expecting to see Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Noise on here…wonderful list though. Thank you for introducing me to Edie C and Nacho Patrol (best name!). See you in S.F.


André Santos says:

December 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm

There were a lot of good albums this year! And some very refreshing indeed! It’s not easy to pick the best for me but I would say that Shlohmo, Andy Stott, Clams Casino, Aeroc, Youth Lagoon, Machinedrum, Cosmin TRG, Tycho and Yoko Duo would be on that list if it was me (different taste, I know). Still a very good list though. I’m going to check a few names I don’t know, maybe I change my mind.

And a big thanks for always sharing such good music :)


Alex says:

December 6, 2011 at 3:46 am

amazing selection. remixed the soundtrack to my existence. john maus FTW :)

p.s. you guys should use affiliate links – i’d be happy that you got a commission when i’m buying anyway


FlatClem says:

December 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Hi Guys,
I already loved Tycho as an artist before discovering the blog. Now I follow very closely what is published here. Honestly i love you :] . I’m gonna listen to that with attention, thank you.


Noel says:

January 6, 2012 at 10:05 am

Whoa!! That Hatchback tune is sooo smooth! I had it on the big speakers and I felt like time slowed down. He really spent time on smoothing out his tones. Job well done. And thanks for the recommendation.