Best Songs of 2011, Vol. I – Bright Eyes, Cage The Elephant, The Radio Dept., Cold War Kids, The Decemberists, Delorean


Today we kick off our Best Songs of 2011 series, albeit a bit early – but there are hundreds and hundreds of songs that we have to post in the coming months, so, no sense in waiting too long.

Afterall, with the kids back in school, and summer over, 2011 is hurdling to conclusion. So, with all of that in mind, it’s not too early to start putting up IRC’s Best Songs of 2011. We decided this year to do it chronologically, that way it’s that much easier to manage.

Plus, for each best songs of the year mixtape, we’re listing the four (only three for January) No. 1’s from the Top Ten Songs lists at the very top, with a link back to the original post they were featured in. At the end of each of volume, we’re including a poll so that readers can vote for their favorite song in each of the 12 volumes.  Also, look out for the Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2011 playlist series, coming soon.

Note: Some of the Top 10 Songs lists include advance singles that were released sometimes months before the official album itself dropped; many of those come from the popular playlist series, Fresh Tracks.

The No. 1 Songs – January 2011

Interestingly, the No. 1’s for January came off of some of the best albums of the year – albums so good that they remain among our favorites, and many other people’s as well, even this late into the year.

“Shell Games” Bright Eyes from The People’s Key

“June Hymn”The Decemberists from The King Is Dead

“The One” The Radio Dept. from Passive Aggressive: The Singles 2002-2010

Note: There was no Top 10 list for the first week of January due to the holidays


So quickly that time has come again – where it’s time to put together the Best Songs of 2011 mixtapes series. From now until the end of the year, on a near weekly basis, we’ll be publishing playlist mixes highlighting the songs in 2011 that IRC readers and visitors have been listening to, and downloading, the most.

There were also plenty of other terrific tracks from 2011 besides the No. 1 songs that will be included with each 12 volumes of the Best Songs of 2011 mixtape series.  We will be balancing between songs that made the Top 10 Songs lists, and other favorite songs of 2011 that didn’t make the Top 10 lists – for one or more reasons. We hope you agree; just remember to vote for your favorite song below, and bookmark this page so you can see how the vote count is going – these polls we be closed four weeks after they are published.


So, without further delay, here are more of our favorite songs of January 2011 – great tracks that were either released as advance singles, or as the lead track of new albums that dropped in January. These songs are totally in random order, and are not listed as most favorite to least favorite. Here’s the first of 12 volumes for the Best Songs of 2011.

“Around My Head” Cage the Elephant from Thank You Happy Birthday

“A Darkness Rises Up” Broken Records from Let Me Come Home

“Understand At All” Cloud Nothings from Cloud Nothings

“Equestrian” U.S. Royalty from Mirrors (self-released)

“Insects”Woodsman from Rare Forms


“Colours”Grouplove from Grouplove EP

“Synapses”Papercranes from Let’s Make Babies in the Woods

“It Goes Down” Tape Deck Mountain from Secret Serf

“Louder Than Ever” Cold War Kids from Mine Is Yours


“Cemetery Rain” Minks from By The Hedge

“The Merry Barracks”Deerhoof from Deerhoof vs. Evil

“Insects” Woodsman from Rare Forms

“Imagine Pt. 3”Smith Westerns from Dye It Blonde


“Marathon”Tennis from Cape Dory

“Down By The Water”The Decemberists from The King Is Dead

“Understand At All” Cloud Nothings from Cloud Nothings


“From Now Till…”Paper Diamond from The Levitate EP

“Slow Peels”Com Truise from Cyanide Sisters EP

“Chinatown”Destroyer from Kaputt

“Discipline Your Hands” Dearling Physique from DeadEye Dyealer


“The Unfazed” Dolorean from The Unfazed

“The Piano Lesson”John Vanderslice from White Wilderness

“Bloom”The Veils from Troubles Of The Brain EP

“Devils”Say Hi from Um, Uh Oh

This mix was created with songs published in the Best New Releases mix for January 11th , followed by the  Best New Releases for the week of January 18th , and January 25 . There was no BNR mix for the first week of 2011.

Vote For Your Favorite January 2011 Song

Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2011

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the upcoming Best Rarely Heard Songs of 2011 mixtape series as well. It’s been some time since we put out a rarely-heard mix, which often turn out to feature some of our, and your, favorite mixtapes because they highlight bands, songs and albums that are not as well-known as many other artists we feature on IRC.

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    1. Thanks very much Silva – it’s encouraging when people let us know they like what we do 🙂

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