Skip to main content

The Top 11 Songs of 2011

Eyewear thought that 2011 was an extraordinary year for music, though many anticipated bands and artists underperformed, with lacklustre releases, not least Coldplay, who have become pathetically upbeat in a bland way that seems utterly out of sync with the times.  This was very much the year of brilliant women, as well as folk/Americana.  Here is the playlist of 2011 - 45 minutes of excellence.

Nick Lowe - 'Sensitive Man' - Lowe's return was most welcome, and this jaunty, old-fashioned tune had the lovely surprise of "I'm no dinky-doo".

Nathaniel Rateliff - 'You Should've Seen The Other Guy' - in a year of (yes) sensitive, reflective Americana, Rateliff's broken-yet-defiant persona in this song seemed to capture the sad-sackery of our serial-recession era with dry humour and poignancy.

John Maus - 'Keep Pushing On' - 2011 saw many bands explore techno, synths, and 80s stylings, but no one else came up with a more hauntingly original, and inspiring, take on this, than Maus.

Katy B - 'Katy On A Mission' - here was the dancefloor anthem for an underground London - smart, sexy, and utterly undeniable.

PJ Harvey - 'The Words That Maketh Murder' - Harvey was the artist of the year (if not decade), and her album of an England and its wars was the masterwork those who love her had hoped for.

Gillian Welch 
- 'Tennessee' - "... and heaven when I die" - rarely has a song moved so much with its melodic stoicism.  A latecomer to this list, but now one of my favourite songs of all time.

Pajama Club - 'Can't Put It Down Until It Ends' - probably the most cleverly edited and complex pure pop song since 'Good Vibrations', this husband-and-wife team from down under recall the glory days of Split Enz.

Wilco - 'I Might' - speaking of The Beach Boys, here we have an adrenaline-rush of American-style rock that's light and dark at once.

Lady Gaga - 'Born This Way' - already a somewhat annoying fixture as Icon Numero Uno, this was her monster hit, a gay-disco pastiche of Madonna, that still managed to smack of unique talent.

Lana Del Rey - 'Video Games' - the dirge-like, Lynchian viral sensation of the last few months, no song of the year was as sexy, ominous, and retro-sad.  It was like Mad Men set to music, injected by a blonde hophead.

Florence + The Machine - 'What The Water Gave Me' - the most stirring, uplifting and flamboyant song of 2011, recalling the great days of Siouxsie and the Banshees, and yes, Kate Bush.  This was the big 80s back, an age unafraid of emotionality.


Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!