2011 in Music (honestly)

I loved this post from The Awl, which so accurately describes my approach to music.

Now that we’ve finally cleared out all of those “best of” and “year end” music lists of 2011—and good riddance!—here’s something different: most played songs. The songs that show up on your most played list aren’t necessarily the songs that defined the year for you. They can be timeless—the comfort songs you return to over and over again. Or they can reflect periods of brief, intense obsession, such as, in my case, with “My Heart is a Drummer” by Allo Darlin’, which I first listened to on a recommendation from a friend, and proceeded to play 50 times in a span of three days.

I’m an inveterate music binger. I get absolutely, completely hooked on a song or an album and then have to force myself to move on by enforcing arbitrary rules concerning the contents of my iPod – i.e. can’t add any other music until I’ve listened to everything on it, can only have 5 Essential Mixes on deck at any one time, etc. This tunnel vision also means that I’m slow to discover new music, especially since nearly every time I decide I need new music, I end up downloading music that is new to me but generally dates to the decade of my birth. Oops.

So, with no apologies, I present my top 5 artists and albums from 2011 based on last.fm play counts:


  1. Talking Heads
  2. LCD Soundsystem
  3. New Order
  4. Front 242
  5. Magnetic Fields


  1. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening. It’s actually not worth listing my top tracks as they’re all from this album.
  2. New Order – Power, Corruption And Lies
  3. Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues
  4. Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs
  5. Talking Heads – Little Creatures

Note: I have removed The Diane Rehm Show from both of these lists as while it contains interstitial music, it doesn’t meet the ‘music’ definition used for this post. It is, however, my 4th most played ‘artist’ and 2nd most played ‘album’.


0 thoughts on “2011 in Music (honestly)

  1. I hadn’t seen that post at the Awl ’til now, but such a fun post – I love how the “most-played” song for one person was 16 plays and then someone else’s was 1748 plays! Out of curiosity I just plugged in my iPod and looked at iTunes, and my most-played track has 26 plays (“Melody” by Erin McKeown). Most of my top-played songs are from one of these 3 albums: Sing You Sinners by Erin McKeown, Delay by Julia Kent, and Hundreds of Lions by Erin McKeown. After that there’s a track from the self-titled Fleet Foxes album, a then a bunch from This Riot Life by Veda Hille.

    Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one to have imposed the “can’t add any other music until I’ve listened to everything on it” rule for my iPod!


  2. #1 Colin Clary – Gold medal
    #2 Braid – Urbana’s too dark
    #3 Darren Hanlon – Falling Aeroplanes
    #4 Dialogue for Three – Paralyzed
    #5 Castevet – Narrow Hallways
    #6 Braid – Consolation Prizefighter
    #7 Hum – The Pod
    #8 Cat’s Miaow – Peut-etre que rien jamais
    #9 The Softies – Follow me
    #10 The lucksmiths – before the sun came up

    I was a little depressed for most of 2011…


Leave a Reply to klara Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s