The Top 9 Obscure Indie Tracks of 2011

Let me start by defining what I mean by “obscure”… I tried to pick tracks that weren’t as well known as some other 2011 favorites or maybe a track was “obscured” by another single or two on a great or well publicized album. So please consider this as an explanation of the spirit of this list. Also, as much as I’d love to talk about tracks like Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ (My fave track of 2011), or tell you about how infectious the beat is on Neon Indian’s ‘Polish Girl’, these tracks don’t belong on THIS list.  I’ve already enlightened you to Ki:Theory’s  ‘I Wanna Run’ on a previous post and I won’t include any tracks that were linked in my Top 18 Albums of 2011 entry either. Finally, if one of these tracks doesn’t seem particularly ‘obscure’ to you, then we probably hang out a lot or you’re up on your music and should keep in mind that most people have more important shit on their minds than Me or You do 🙂 Enough babble, here’s the list:

9. King Krule – The Noose of Jah City – Apparently this English kid is 17. Pretty intelligent “wavy” track…

8. Givers – Meantime – I’m hard pressed to think of a show I had more fun at this year. Great young band from Louisiana.

7. Purity Ring – Lofticries – Super electronic. Took to this track the minute I heard it.

6. Washed Out – Before – My favorite track off of his 2011 release ‘Within and Without’

5. Hooray for Earth – True Loves –  Very cool, organic sound.

4. Gardens & Villa – Black Hills – This Santa Barbara based band put out a killer self-titled album. Check it out.

3. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Senator – Former Pavement front man Stephen Malkmus might be my favorite guitarist. His project with the Jicks Mirror Traffic was great. Check out this RIDICULOUS video for ‘Senator’ with Jack Black and Lumburg from Office Space. 

2. Yuck – Get Away – I absolutely love the guitar in this song. It reminds me of some of my favorite 90’s alterna-rock tracks from bands like the Screaming Trees and EMF (that’s right “Unbelievable…Ohhh!” See you at the karaoke bar.

1. Tune-Yards – Powa – I posted a live video of this track because the way Oakland’s Merrill Garbus makes her music is a sight to behold. Looping drum stations. Wacky ukelele pedals and a voice that’ll make you jump. ‘Powa’ was hidden on Tune-Yards’ 2011 release W H O KILL amongst singles like the fantastic ‘Bizness’ and ‘Gangsta’. A certain 7×7 writer had the foresight to call ‘Powa’ out as the track of the night from her November performance at The Regency Ballroom in SF (Don’t be confused by the Top 9 format, look at the byline). At any rate, i think i yelled at how awesome Garbus’ vocal range is like 3 times while watching this video. With that, my #1 “obscure” indie track of the year:

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