Class of 2011: The Freshmen

The population of the music world grows at an exponential rate in these digital days in which we live, but we can thank these 40 new(ish) acts for bringing something unique to 2011 — something that didn’t exist the year before.  These are the acts that gave 2011 it’s personality.  These are ILSUDH2’s Favorite Artist Discoveries of 2011.

* see below for a Spotify playlist

ALABAMA SHAKES
(alabama, soul, blues)

Alabama Shakes – Hold On

ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD
(acoustic, folk, punk)

Andrew Jackson Jihad – Hate, Rain on Me

AUSTRA
(canadian, female, electronic)

Austra – Beat and the Pulse

BABY BROTHER
(blues, country, rock ‘n roll)

Baby Brother – Strange Things

BADBADNOTGOOD
(jazz, hip-hop, avant-garde)

BADBADNOTGOOD – Fall In Love

BORN GOLD
(electronic, experimental, pop)

Born Gold – Alabaster Bodyworks

CHELSEA WOLFE
(experimental, darkwave, songwriter)

Chelsea Wolfe – Moses

CULT OF YOUTH
(neofolk, dark folk, apocalyptic folk)

Cult Of Youth – New West

DEAFHEAVEN
(post-, black metal, shoegaze)

Deafheaven – Violet

DEATH GRIPS
(hardcore, hip-hop, experimental rap)

Death Grips ft. Mexican Girl – Lord of the Game

EMA
(experimental, electronic, folk)

EMA – The Grey Ship

FRANK OCEAN
(r&b, hip-hop, soul)

Frank OceanNovacane

GEM CLUB
(dream pop, piano, ambient)

Gem ClubBreakers

GRIMES
(canadian, electronic, experimental pop)

Grimes – Vanessa

ICEAGE
(danish, post-punk, hardcore)

iceage – White Rune

JAMES BLAKE
(dubstep, electronic, soul)

James Blake – Limit To Your Love

JULIANNA BARWICK
(ambient, loop, drone)

Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place

KENDRICK LAMAR
(compton, rap, hip-hop)

Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D.

LANA DEL REY
(female vocalist, pop, nostalgia)

Lana Del Rey – Video Games

LITTLE DRAGON
(trip-hop, chill, electronic)

Little Dragon – Ritual Union

LITURGY
(black metal, transcendental, progressive)

Liturgy – Generation

LIZZIE HUFFMAN
(singer-songwriter, country, folk)

Lizzie Huffman – Franklin Street

LOVE INKS
(dream, pop, chill)

Love Inks – Blackeye

NICOLAS JAAR
(minimal, electronic, experimental)

Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise If You Can See

ODD FUTURE WOLF GANG KILL THEM ALL
(rap, hip-hop, punk)

Tyler, the Creator – Yonkers

OFF!
(old school, punk, hardcore)

OFF! – Upside Down

OTHER LIVES
(folk, pop, americana)

Other LivesAs I Lay My Head Down

SBTRKT
(dubstep, electronic, uk garage)

SBTRKT – Wildfire

THE JOY FORMIDABLE
(british, rock, female vocalist)

The Joy Formidable – A Heavy Abacus

THE MEN
(post-punk, noise, rock)

The Men – Lotus

THE MORNING CLOUDS
(chill, psychedelic, pop)

The Morning Clouds – Ends

THE WEEKND
(canadian, r&b, prog-rnb)

The Weeknd – High For This

TIN HORN PRAYER
(folk, cowpunk, americana)

Tin Horn Prayer – Crime Scene Cleanup Team

TOUCHÉ AMORÉ
(punk, screamo, post-hardcore)

Touché Amoré – ~

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
(lo-fi, psychedelic, pop)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – How Can U Luv Me

WHITE HORSE
(electronic, dead, found sounds)

White Horse – The Blessing of Heaven is Visibly Upon Me

WU LYF
(british, lo-fi, heavy pop)

WU LYF – Heavy Pop

WUGAZI
(hip-hop, mashup, post-hardcore)

Wugazi – Sleep Rules Everything Around Me

YOUTH LAGOON
(dream pop, lo-fi, chill)

Youth Lagoon – Afternoon

YUCK
(shoegaze, lo-fi, pop)

Yuck – Get Away

Class of 2011 Freshmen

Remember Class of 2010
Class of 2011: The Freshmen
Class of 2011: The Performers
Class of 2011: The Short Bus
Class of 2011: MVPs
Class of 2011: Children of the Damned
Class of 2011: The Overachievers
Class of 2011: The Soundtrack

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