It saved mine...
Like last year, I'll briefly mention what my ears and brain have been exposed to during 2011.
During 2010 I found myself gravitating heavily towards psychedelic and stoner rock and down-tempo and lounge/electronic music. In 2011, while that trend continued (and continues), I began to immerse myself more heavily than before in ambient, dream-pop, minimalistic and calm chamber and modern classical music.
Of course, I kept on listening to a variety of music as always; from metal, rock and prog to electronic, jazz, folk and classical. But these trends point to something deeper; a need to appease and calm myself, a necessity for a peaceful place where I can escape to at will and run away from all thoughts and obsessions that haunt my mind.
If the 2010 trend of psychedelic and stoner rock answered a desire to get to a far away place and enjoy some groove while I'm at it, then the 2011 trend answered a desire to have music heal wounds and alleviate pains. Those kinds of musical types I mentioned above did the job very well this year.
And so this year, I've had the delight to discover (to name just a few) the stunning orchestral and chamber music of Douwe Eisenga, the repetitive and minimalistic music of Simeon Ten Holt (both of whom will receive a dedicated post in the future), the delicate eeriness of Field Rotation, the beautiful folk of Lüüp, the calm and trippy repetitiveness of Brightblack Morning Light, the gorgeous marvel of Global Communication, the romantic and boundary crossing music of North Sea Radio Orchestra, the grooviness of Trummor & Orgel as well as music by Dustin O'Halloran, Daníel Bjarnason, Reigns, Terraformation, Epic45, Lanterna, Malory, Tristeza and many other dreamy, ambient and atmospheric music making groups and musicians.
I've continued the fabulous journey I started with The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, Electric Orange, Bob Drake, Vektor, White Willow, The Devil's Blood, Salva, Hammers of Misfortune, William D. Drake, Solstice Coil, Riverside, Knifeworld, Mike Judge's The Nerve Institute as well as October Equus, Senogul, Calomito and Abrete Gandul.
In other departments, I've had the pleasure of discovering, among many others, Stars in Battledress, The Institute of Modern Love, The Soundcarriers, The Monsoon Bassoon and Nikola Kodjabashia alongside the aggressive and noisy Morkobot, the psychedelic epic album of The Atomic Bitchwax, Cormorant's extreme metal, Druckfarben's tight progressive rock, the eclectic metal of Hazzard's Cure, the instrumental metal wonders that are Odyssey and Borean Dusk, the fun music of Earth Size Diamonds, the oddity of Les Rhinoceros, Matt Stevens acoustic progressive rock, Trurl's and Amina Mundi's symphonic prog as well as Anima Morte's cinematic music.
There were so many more albums and bands I discovered and others I returned to and heard their new releases in 2011, it is too long a list to mention them all. I might make a post listing all my favourites 2011 releases at some point in February after I've had time to digest more 2011 releases I've only now gotten to listen to.
Though hardly anyone ever comments on posts here, I'll ask you nonetheless to write about your listening trends in 2011 - did you have any or did you simply listen to whatever came to your attention? Did you have a tendency to listen to some particular style/sound of music? Also, what were some of your great discoveries this year (whether those are 2011 releases or not)?