2011: best new indie and electronic music

A Listmania! list by Curtis Von Gunten (OH USA)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "2011 certainly wasn't the best year in music for me. Many of the records at the end have only 3, or even 2, very strong tracks. Sad Sad. Maybe we should move from LPs to EPs so artists stop wasting space. Plus I won't have to wade through all of the filler. Enjoy."
Strange Mercy
1.  Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
The list author says:
  "Annie Clarke...yes yes yes"
$13.11   Used & New from: $6.14
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Rainforest
2.  Rainforest by Clams Casino
The list author says:
  "Strongest 'witchhouse' release of the year. Highly unique atmospheres for those with a reflective bent.  A major achievement of the record is the balance between the pensive melancholia of ambient artists working in the footsteps of Tim Hecker on the one hand, and the hip-hop inspired drum machines and menacing sonic debris of Salem on the other."
Used & New from: $64.99
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Circuital
3.  Circuital by My Morning Jacket
The list author says:
  "An ode to black metal, along with slow to develop song structures, shameless rock anthems, and a contagious ballad put these southern tinged maestros at the top of the list."
$10.00   Used & New from: $3.86
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

The English Riviera
4.  The English Riviera by Metronomy
$9.26   Used & New from: $3.93
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Wounded Rhymes
5.  Wounded Rhymes by Lykke Li
The list author says:
  "Indie-pop I guess.  Definitely has a retro feel -- something like 60's rock reinterpreted, but with some subtle doo-wop and soul influences. There's tasty classic organ sounds and excellent vocal performances.  I particularly enjoy the percussion since it avoids conventional rock drumming. Lyrical content is insufferable at times however."
$11.88   Used & New from: $4.25
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Hisingen Blues
6.  Hisingen Blues by Graveyard
The list author says:
  "Zeppelin-esque, blues inspired, rock revivalism at its finest."
$14.24   Used & New from: $5.98
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Cloud Nothings
7.  Cloud Nothings by Cloud Nothings
The list author says:
  "Short, mega lo-fi, indie rock songs with their own quaint charm.  Kind of has a 2nd generation punk feel akin to bands like Rancid but with the 'trendy' indie guitar feel. I think it's because power chords are mixed with inversions and 3rds and 4ths and beyond."
$13.70   Used & New from: $8.99
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
8.  Hurry Up, We're Dreaming by M83
The list author says:
  "Not his best, but definitely the best dance record of the year, easily decimating the Cut Copy effort.  If I never heard his previous two LPs, I'd probably have this higher on the list."
$14.88   Used & New from: $9.96
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Last Night on Earth
9.  Last Night on Earth by Noah and the Whale
The list author says:
  "This band really reinterpreted itself. Their earlier stuff emphasized very slow development and abnegated standard song form (e.g. verse-chorse-verse etc.) This records highlights singable up-beat hooks with vocal narratives. Oddly, I keep thinking of 70's rock in the vein of Bad Company, but with modern synths."
$11.72   Used & New from: $2.22
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Severant
10.  Severant by Kuedo
The list author says:
  "Former member of Vex'd.  The best thing about that is that you'd never be able to tell.  Shares some similarities with the Chicago footwork scene which Plant Mu has been doing a good job promulgating.  It's way more accessible though."
Out of stock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Past Life Martyred Saints
11.  Past Life Martyred Saints by EMA
The list author says:
  "With the advent of dreary, morbid, and distorted electronic music on the rise, one could only expect that it would seep into the rock-world's vocal stylings.  Zola Jesus did it first, but for the most part EMA seems to be doing it better...I guess."
$9.95   Used & New from: $3.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

James Blake
12.  James Blake by James Blake
The list author says:
  "Minimal dubstep with processed R&B vocals. This style emphasis negative space and texture. It's challenging music since it not only repudiates standard song form (verses, choruses, bridges), but also usually forgoes development which even post-rock bands have. It's about overall atmosphere, which in this case is sedated, eerie, soulful, and synthetic all at once."
$10.00   Used & New from: $3.84
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Cults
13.  Cults by Cults
$11.10   Used & New from: $2.88
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Helplessness Blues
14.  Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
The list author says:
  "Folk.  The emphasis of this band is the vocal work.  Outstanding lyrical content which meanders from personal confessions to perspectiveless contemplation on humanity."
$12.47   Used & New from: $2.80
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

The Last Place
15.  The Last Place by Army Navy
$12.98   Used & New from: $8.53
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

With U
16.  With U by Holy Other
Used & New from: $40.08
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Cherish the Light Years
17.  Cherish the Light Years by Cold Cave
The list author says:
  "80's goth-pop for those who like The Cure, New Order, Depeche Mode, etc. (Popular labels: dark-wave, no-wave.) They lost most of the noise and substituted it for production polish, and actually managed to write accessible songs with just enough unnerving sonic shrapnel to where they're not catering to conventional pop sensibilities."
$11.99   Used & New from: $1.44
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Wander/Wonder
18.  Wander/Wonder by Balam Acab
$28.84   Used & New from: $6.65
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

In the Mountain in the Cloud
19.  In the Mountain in the Cloud by Portugal. The Man
The list author says:
  "Rock anthems in the vein of Marc Bolan as another critic has astutely noted.  One annoyance: repeats the refrain at the end of some songs to an exhausting degree.  The Noah and the Whale record commits the same error."
$12.67   Used & New from: $3.24
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Scandalous
20.  Scandalous by Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
$11.62   Used & New from: $5.80
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Dye It Blonde
21.  Dye It Blonde by Smith Westerns
The list author says:
  "Understated guitar-based lofi rock."
$13.50   Used & New from: $2.94
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

No Color
22.  No Color by The Dodos
$12.92   Used & New from: $2.70
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Era Extrana
23.  Era Extrana by Neon Indian
The list author says:
  "Some of the best production I have ever heard!  Unfortunately, there's not many memorable moments throughout.  That might be an unfair criticism since the chillwave scene is more about overall mood."
$12.89   Used & New from: $7.15
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Outside
24.  Outside by Tapes 'n Tapes
The list author says:
  "Indie Rock which demonstrates much more technical proficiency than many other indie rock bands. The vocal work is great, but there's enough in the instrumental to get lost in -- even some odd time signatures (yes!)."
$12.75   Used & New from: $0.30
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Golden Age Of Knowhere
25.  Golden Age Of Knowhere by Funeral Party
The list author says:
  "Indie Rock with a post-hardcore feel."
$6.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

w h o k i l l
26.  w h o k i l l by tUnE-yArDs
$13.31   Used & New from: $4.58
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Street Halo
27.  Street Halo by Burial
The list author says:
  "Very repetitive and minimal Dubstep.  Like myself, and almost anyone else I know who has a Burial fetish, you may detest this at first. "Everything sounds the same", you might think. But it's all about mood and atmosphere: play it in the background."
$15.99   Used & New from: $9.46
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Hookid Ep
28.  Hookid Ep by Morgan Zarate
The list author says:
  "(Minimal) Dubstep"
$13.96   Used & New from: $3.97

Angles
29.  Angles by The Strokes
The list author says:
  "Indie-Rock"
$6.09   Used & New from: $2.09
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Year Of Hibernation
30.  The Year Of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon
$11.88   Used & New from: $6.49
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Galactic Melt
31.  Galactic Melt by Com Truise
Used & New from: $11.75
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra
32.  Unknown Mortal Orchestra by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
$12.95   Used & New from: $3.99
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Dissolve
33.  Dissolve by Boxcutter
$15.82   Used & New from: $6.57
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
34.  What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? by The Vaccines
The list author says:
  "Indie Rock"
$10.00   Used & New from: $1.99
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Zonoscope
35.  Zonoscope by Cut Copy
The list author says:
  "Synth-Pop, Electro, Dance. I prefer 'In Ghost Colors' - their previous release - much more."
$10.00   Used & New from: $3.30
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Kiss Each Other Clean
36.  Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron & Wine
The list author says:
  "Indie-Folk.  Nice subtle use of synthetic sounds amidst the folk sensibility."
$12.78   Used & New from: $0.29
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

Veronica Falls
37.  Veronica Falls by Veronica Falls
$11.69   Used & New from: $3.08
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Generation Bass Presents: Transnational Dubstep
38.  Generation Bass Presents: Transnational Dubstep by Various Artists
$12.29   Used & New from: $3.99
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Author

Curtis Von Gunten (OH USA)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Philosophy Professor; Guitarist; Music Critic (self-declared)
Last updated: 11/8/12
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