Sunday, December 18, 2011

Top 10 Debuts of 2011

Cool Music Central's "Albums of the Year" week starts here! The first installment, as usual, is dedicated to the best debuts of the year and between Wednesday and Saturday we'll unveil our Top 60 Albums of 2011 in two parts.

So let's start our year-end list-fest by giving props to the emerging new artists who offered us the most impressive debuts of 2011. For this Top 10 the focus is on newcomers who are starting to establish themselves with their first full-length efforts this year. New groups by already established musicians (Wild Flag or Shabazz Palaces for example) or first solo efforts by members of well-known bands (hello Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces) are not eligible for this list, although it's no less admirable to reinvent yourself and make a new beginning. Here's what we think are the ten most promising debuts of the year (click on the names of the first five to find out what we had to say about them during the past 12 months):

Top 10 Debut Albums of 2011

1.   Anna Calvi - ANNA CALVI
2.   Past Life Martyred Saints - EMA
3.   Cults - CULTS
4.   Veronica Falls - VERONICA FALLS
5.   Soft Metals - SOFT METALS
6.   Creatures Of An Hour - STILL CORNERS
7.   Yuck - YUCK
8.   The Big Roar - THE JOY FORMIDABLE
9.   Glass Prayer - RELIGIOUS TO DAMN
10. Violet Cries - ESBEN AND THE WITCH

Honorable mentions: Colour Trip - RINGO DEATHSTARR, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? - THE VACCINES, Passive Me Aggressive You - THE NAKED AND FAMOUS, Badlands - DIRTY BEACHES, Living In Patterns - POLLYN (new entry! - more about them soon).

Anna Calvi was by far the most blogged about new artist in Cool Music Central this year. Her debut album already sounds like one of this decade's classics to my ears, a timeless record that expertly combines classic rock 'n' roll with modern classical music influences to create a unique sound dominated by Calvi's powerful voice and her imaginative guitar playing. Here's the video for "Blackout", one of the highlights of her debut and also one of our Top 10 Singles of the year:

Anna Calvi - Blackout

For a trip down memory lane, check out below our "Best Debuts of the Year" lists from the past three years:

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