Back in 2009, I listened to approximately 75 records that came out of Atlanta that year. This year, I blogged about roughly 75 records, and for every album I discussed, there were at least five I listened to and didn’t blog about. The quantity of music being made in this city is growing exponentially, and the Atlanta music scene runs extraordinarily deep. So needless to say, this was the most difficult year-end list to put together yet.
On a technical note, my 2011 year-end list eligibility extends through the 2010 holiday season because I like to be able to spend enough time with a record to properly evaluate it. So, any record that was not widely available before Thanksgiving this year will go into consideration for 2012.
Here are my twenty-five favourite albums from Atlanta this year:
25. Cassandras : Hari Pari Mandala Gosthi
24. Dark Room : Gothic Picnic
23. We The Lion : Boy Oh Boy
22. Easily Suede / Carey : Good Health Guide
21. Cassandras : Cassandras: 3 Songs
20. Book Club : Ghost
19. Warning Light : Wild Silver
18. Djarum : Don’t Let Me Down
17. Places : The Future
16. Nomen Novum / Magicicada / Tree Creature : Three Way Split
15. The Back Pockets : Fast Cloud Slow Cloud
14. Lid Emba : Terminal Muse: Blue
13. Vocabulary : Faded Days
12. Time Wharp : later.
11. Atlas Sound : Parallax
10. Mastodon : The Hunter
9. Places : Half-Dones
8. New Animal : Eleven Songs
7. Places : March
6. Spirits and the Melchizedek Children : We Are Here To Save YOU!
5. Lyonnais : Want For Wish For Nowhere
4. The Electric Nature : Mount Analogue
3. Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun : Wildfire
2. Little Tybee : Humorous To Bees
1. New Animal : New Animal
The story of Atlanta’s independent music scene in 2011 was the rise of a new wave of artists that came out of nowhere and upped the ante on everyone else. Only four acts on this list (veteran mainstays Mastodon, Atlas Sound, The Back Pockets, and Nomen Novum) have appeared on my best Atlanta album lists in either 2010 or 2009. That’s a symptom of the fact that there’s a new generation of local musicians dominating the scene. And at the head of this new class is New Animal.
New Animal‘s meteoric rise over the course of 2011 is unparalleled. Without a label backing them, with very little major publication support, and without even playing a single show ever, New Animal became one of the Internet’s buzziest bands early on in the year solely based on the strength of their 75-minute self-titled masterpiece. It’s hard for me to think of another record with fifteen songs where I love each and every single one. And what’s even more impressive is that they continued to output new material seemingly on a monthly basis, creating a catalog in one year vaster and more compelling than most artists do over a lifetime. There is simply no musical artist in the world that’s had a more impressive year.
My #2 and #3 spots went to outfits that have been on their own upward swing lately, each respectively creating an epic record that delivered on all the brilliance and potential they had displayed in recent years. My #4 is probably the most inaccessible record to come out of the city this year, but if you can find your way inside, it’s a monster. And my #5 goes to a band that I had previously written off, but there’s no denying what an amazing album they’ve put forth.
Of course, everything on this list is spectacular, and if you missed one, be sure to pick it up.
- Posted by Davy Minor on December 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm