Thursday 5 January 2012

Music: My Favourite Discoveries of 2011

This is not a "Best Music of 2011" list, but rather a list of artists that I just happened to have discovered in the past year. Some of it is new, some a few years old that I previously missed. Most of them I learned about on Q with Jian Ghomeshi, whom I love.

Imaginary Cities
    • Song that caught my attention: "Hummingbird" (2011)
    • Latest album: "Temporary Resident" (2011)
    • These guys are from Winnipeg and this is their first album. They formed in late 2009 and this has been a stellar year for the group! They were long listed for the Polaris Prize and were voted number one on CBC Manitoba. I love pretty much every song on this album and it feels so good to belt it out in the car with Marti when I'm driving alone!

The Decemberists
    • Song that caught my attention: "Shankill Butchers" (2009)
    • Latest album: "The King is Dead" (2011)
    •  Ok, technically I had heard that song a couple of years ago on a mixtape from a friend but I didn't really look into the band until this summer. They are amazing!!! "The Hazards of Love" (2009) rock opera album is one of my favourite works of music ever. It's a twisted fairy tale set to beautiful and interesting music. These guys really know how to compose complex pieces.

    • Song that caught my attention: "The Beat and the Pulse" (2011)
    • Latest album: "Feel It Break" (2011)
    • These guys were short listed for the Polaris this year. They are an electronica band lead by Katie Stelmanis who was trained as a classical musician.
My Morning Jacket
    • Song that caught my attention: "Holdin' on to Black Metal" (2011)
    • Latest album: "Circuital" (2011)
    • This band has been together since 1998 but I just found out about them this year (Q). I believe much of this album was recorded in an old abandoned church. And they actually played together in stead of layering the instruments separately. 
    • Song that caught my attention: "Night by Night" (2010)
    • Latest album: "Business Casual" (2010)
    • P-Thugg and Dave 1 are a French Canadian ElectroFunk duo from Montréal. These guys are absolutely hilarious and can spin some hot make-you-want-to-host-a-dance-party beats. I love them so much!!!
Yael Naim
    • Song that caught my attention: "Today"(2010)
    • Latest album: "She Was a Boy" (2010)
    • This French-Israeli singer-songwriter first gained popularity when her single "New Soul" was used in an Apple ad. I now recall hearing that song but she was news to me until this year.
Vampire Weekend
    • Song that caught my attention: "Oxford Comma" (2008)
    • Latest album: "Contra" (2010)
    • Ok, so I had heard about this band ages ago but it wasn't until this summer that my DJ cousin recommended it as good road trip music that I had actually listened to it. It rocks. 
This video is not safe for work. Contains f-bombs.
It is, however, brilliant.
Janelle Monáe
    • Song that caught my attention: "Cold War" (2010)
    • Latest album: "The ArchAndroid (Suites I and II)" (2010)
    • I don't usually go for R&B style of music, but I really enjoy this album. It's a bit more geeky and intellectual than most pop music these days. 
    • Her YouTube channel has embedding disabled but you can click here to watch the video or check out this MySpace video:

Andrea Lindsay
    • Song that caught my attention: "Gin Bombay" (2009)
    • Latest album: "Les Sentinelles Dorment" (2009)
    • Another French Canadian singer. Such a pretty voice and beautiful music!
    • Song that caught my attention: "Love Like Semtex" (2006)
    • Latest album: "Universe in Reverse" (2008)
    • This is a gem of a band gifted to me by my hubby. He's into British music. It's one of the many reasons I love him. Like Semtex. One thousand degrees!

Did you fall in love with any new musicians this year?

I spent quite a lot of time hyperlinking and embedding this post so if something doesn't work, please tell me!


  1. My two favourites of this bunch - Hummingbird and the Decemberists. I love the idea of rock and opera together. I call it fusion. :) Or orchestra and metal. A twist to the usual.

  2. Yeah, this list is pretty random so I don't expect everyone to like all of them, but those are two of my favourites, too!