1. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
2. The Naked and Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You
3. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
4. Foster the People – Torches
5. Cults – Cults
6. James Blake – James Blake
7. Givers – In Light
8. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
9. Yuck – Yuck
10. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
Thoughts From Alex:
In compiling my top albums of 2011, I decided to add a little twist to my list. Reviewing back on all the different albums I’ve heard this year, I wanted to give new artists a little edge in coverage. Thus, I chose to pick my choice of the top ten debut albums for those rising artists who released their first album this past year. A totally gorgeous year of music we’ve had. With releases from notable artists such as Adele, Lykke Li, Lights, Fleet Foxes, and Bon Iver, it was hard to not want to add them all to my list. 2011 was the year for Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne, Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers, and Death Cab for Cuties’ Codes and Keys. The Strokes and Radiohead even made my list of favorite albums from the year.
Deciding to pick the top 10 best debut albums was quite hard, but something that felt right as my year drew to a close. The Weeknd’s House of Balloons ended up in first place because he offers a new touch to raunchy lyrics, but its an album that can play on nonstop repeat. 2011 was also the year for the ‘indie band’. Making my list are The Naked and Famous, Youth Lagoon, Foster the People, Cults, Givers, Yuck, and The Vaccines, all generally categorized in that genre of music. A brilliant year of music and debuts behind us, I can’t wait to see what is in store for 2012!
Alex’s Most Memorable Feature for The Sound Alarm In 2011:
Profiled Artist: Cults (June 6, 2011)
My most memorable feature for The Sound Alarm in 2011 was my profile on Cults. I had just emailed (TSA editor) Matt and asked if I could come on board to The Sound Alarm and he told me to profile an artist I thought deserved attention at the moment. I chose to profile Cults because I had heard some of their music and was impressed by their vocals. The second I got that email from Matt saying “Nice job with your profiled artist on Cults, it’s up on the site now at this link, would you like to try an album review next?” I was ecstatic. It felt great to have my name published on the website. The profiled artist piece on Cults was my first piece for The Sound Alarm, which makes it all the more memorable.
Alexandria Chong is a writer for the Sound Alarm from New York City. She spends most of her time exploring and studying business and public relations at Boston University. A quirky individual, you’ll find her wasting hours on tumblr or reading in a tree. Feel free to tweet her at @ach0ng