15. Wolf Gang - Lions In Cages
I first heard this song on the radio whilst I was driving through the National Parks of Southern Utah; so admittedly it does perhaps have that added positive sentiment.
Regardless, I instantly loved this track and it will certainly go down as one of my most played this year, despite the fact it was October before I first heard it. Catchy Indie Pop at its best.
14. Childish Gambino - Outside
Now I will openly admit that I was very late to the Gambino bandwagon. It seemed that every end of year list I read featured this young talent, so I thought I'd give him a try.
About 1 minute 24 into the album's opener ('Outside'), I fully understood the hype. Whitty, cutting lyrics, huge beats and an absolutely game-stopping chorus makes for what is a truly spectacular song.
13. Okkervil River - Wake And Be Fine
I'm a huge Okkervil River fan, and consider Will Sheff to be one of the finest lyricists in alternative music; which meant I was hugely excited that 2011 saw the release of OR's sixth studio album, I Am Very Far. A change of sound with a touch of class.
'Wake and be Fine' is a highlight on an album rich with highlights. Sheff's vocals have never sounded stronger, matched with superb lyrics
12. Kurt Vile -Jesus Fever
What a year it's been for Kurt Vile. His album Smoke Ring For My Halo was released to widespread critical acclaim. His lo-fi, roots driven rock has drawn similarities to Bruce Springsteen and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
'Jesus Fever' is Vile at his best. Emotive lyrics, simple guitar work and a grungy vocal line come together to create something really special.
11. The Antlers - I Don't Want Love
Hospice was truly remarkable. A concept album built heavily around an abusive relationship. Their sound has developed on Burst Apart; the tracks are larger and more heavily produced, but the starkness remains.
'I Don't Want Love' is a beautifully simple track about a sexual relationship, where one person just wants no further part in it, but can't help but keep coming back. 'So if I see you again, desperate and stoned, keep your prison locked up, and I will leave my gun at home.'