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DailyCandy Picks the Best Albums and Artists of 2011

Indie, R&B, Sound Tracks, and More

best music of 2011 beirut!

We all have needs when it comes to our MP3 queue (airport-delay playlist, check). Groove through the year’s final days with a slew of our best-loved 2011 tracks.

Classically Modern
Beirut’s The Rip Tide channels our inner vagabond. Front man Zach Condon and bandmates are classically trained musicians who just happen to make brass and ukulele orchestration sound current.
Also worth a spin: Ever-operatic Zola Jesus’s recent release, Conatus, which marries tremendous vocals with theatrical, synth-filled tracks.

tune-yards!Dance Attack
We love an LP that’s as thought provoking as it is danceable. Whokill, by Tune-Yards, has something to say in the midst of its bum-shaking, freestyle rhythms.
Also worth a spin: Katy B.’s On a Mission for dubstep-inflected jams that explore the nightlife scene with more depth than the usual club bangers.

Movie in Our Mind
Who wouldn’t want to rock out to an ’80s-inspired score that also conjures thoughts of Ryan Gosling’s strong, silent Drive character with each beat?
Also worth a spin: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sound track (courtesy of Nine Inch Nails’s Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) for eerie, industrial instrumentals in tune with the film’s dark story line.

girls!Go It Alone
Sometimes you need to reflect. Schedule an afternoon with Bon Iver, by Bon Iver. The Grammy-nominated band’s eponymous release has our emotions swirling against tender yet urgent soundscapes.
Also worth a spin: Father, Son, Holy Ghost, by Girls, which charms with its quirky, indie rock ballads.

Leaves Us Wanting More
R&B singer Frank Ocean hasn’t even released an EP, but because of his hit singles (“Novacane” and “Swim Good”) and a guest spot on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne, we can’t stop bobbing our heads.
Also worth a spin: Sultry Internet sensation Lana Del Rey’s steady stream of retro singles.

Got more space on your hard drive? Download more awesome jams and find out what else we’re listening to on Tumblr.

Photos: Shaun Regan for DailyCandy