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Welcome to my 5th annual, all-important, hugely subjective list of songs that made me happy every time I heard them (in 2011). Not the best songs, not the coolest songs, just the songs that made me! (me! me!) happy. I am pretty predictable in my tastes so expect mostly music you can wear a dress to and maybe a fair amount of cheese dripping off your screen. But there is no shame in my sonic game, and there never will be.

Before we start, I’d like to point out a couple of things:

  1. I barely listened to any new music in 2011, it seems (sort of a pattern).
  2. As such, some may find this list uninspired and definitely sprinkled with some non-2011 releases, so please feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.
  3. Apparently-more so than ever before, I really really REALLY wanted to dance.

Also if you’re into nostalgia, check out:

In no particular order:

  • MIAMI HORROR: Holidays

Granted, this record came out in 2010, but it REALLY HAPPENED for me in 2011. You know how it is–you hear something, it’s fun, but it doesn’t quite click. And then, one day, the song comes on on shuffle and frankly, there’s no turning back. You don’t want to listen to anything else ever again (or at least for a month). That was HOLIDAYS for me in 2011. Plus, the video is so gloriously weird.

  • BREAKBOT: Baby, Your Wish is My Command

The first thoughts in my head upon hearing this jam was: “OMG, I love this almost as much as I love Chromeo”. And then Breakbot OPENED for Chromeo on their fall tour, which I felt was like their personal present to me. And then the song appeared in the pop-up shop episode of “How to Make it in America” (a show that, if it knows anything, it knows it’s music) and I am not ashamed to admit-I rewound those two minutes and listened and re-listened to it at least 10 times. And danced 9 out of 10.

  • Leo Sayer: Easy to Love

While we’re on the topic of “six degrees of Chromeo separation” I have to mention this easy listening gem I got hooked on from their DJ Kicks album (which seems to produce a song for this list every year). It is the music equivalent of a summer breeze: uncomplicated, smooth, warm and well, just very easy to love.

  • KIMBRA: Cameo Lover

The most perfect sing-a-long pop song of the year. If all goes according to (my internal) plan, Kimbra will be the biggest star in the whole wide world in 2012. She’s also pretty “Euro”, as my best friend tells me (even though she’s from New Zealand), which given my penchant for the music made by Kylie and Annie and other single name female pop icons, suits me just fine. Just listen to this:

  • DISCODEINE: Synchronize

Jarvis Cocker is back. In a disco scorcher Pulp was never quite party-ready to make. Orderly line starts here:

  • LMFAO: Sexy and you know it

OKOKOKOKOOKOK! I understand I may have to explain this to you for a minute but listen: a hilarious song goes a long way in my book. Hell, I still have the WHOLE OF Right Said Fred’s “UP” on my ipod almost 20 years after “I’m too sexy” happened. And LMFAO is Right Said Fred for 2011.

  • BOY LEAST LIKELY TO: Be Gentle With Me

“I just want to sparkle for a moment….Before I just fizzle out and die”. 2002 twee with a sprinkling of pixie dust.

  • The Knocks “Dancing with The DJ”

Is 2011’s version of “Last Night the DJ Saved My Life” and to me, that’s a compliment of the highest order.

  • JE SUIS FRANCE: That don’t work that well for us

After my ipod got stolen during our vitaminwater uncapped experience, Cale ordered me a new one and then, naturally, filled it to the brim with songs of his choice. Some I like, some I am ok with, but this pop-stoner anthem I LOVE. To use a description we used before on this site to describe it: if you don’t like this song, you’re dead on the inside.

  • CULTS: Abducted

I went into 2011 pretty ready to feel the seemingly inevitable CULTS backlash all around me and inside of me too. But then this song crept up on me and frankly, I can have enough: the chanting chorus, the way it starts out like a whisper and ends in a broad, (actually) cult-like sweep…everything about it is perfect.

  • GIVERS: Up Up Up

The little indie song that could of the year. Plus, the energy GIVERS put out is so infectious, I dare you to watch this video/listen to this song and not want to just throw your arms up in abandon. If a pop song could be sung in tongues, GIVERS would be the ones to do it.

  • Nicki Minaj: Super Bass

I mean, do I really need to explain this to you?

  • Mina Tindle: To Carry Many Small Things

In my spare time, I sit around and imagine what it would be like to actually BE Mina Tindle (and trust me, I have not had any identity stealing needs regarding pop stars since Roisin Murphy). To run around in gorgeous dresses, sing pitch perfect, big, sweeping songs and be so undeniably cool there’s no imitating you. I’m pretty sure that would be a good life to have.

  • Azealia Banks: 212

What I just wrote about Mina Tindle goes for Azealia, only if I was 21 and not 31 as I typed this – Miss Banks is the girl I’d spend time sitting around and imagining being ten odd years a go. Super sassy, super fun,  probably phenomenally good at double dutch and not someone you want to mess around with, even if I’m wearing pigtails.

  • FLIGHT FACILITIES:  Foreign Language

IMO-the best dance song of the year.

  • CUT COPY: Need You Now

See the Nicki Minaj comment.

  • FRIENDLY FIRES: Hawaiian Air

In general, Friendly Fires are pretty much grandfathered into this list and coming up with a perfect summer song for me to listen to as weather turns colder is just another sign of their innate genius.

  • Theophilus London feat. Solange Knowles: Flying Overseas

Because every Theophilus London song makes you feel like you’re on the breeziest, chillest vacation of your life. That you can also dance to. This one, in my opinion, a little more so than others.

  • Patrick Wolf “Magic Position”

for 365 days now-the most perfect song to wake up and walk to work to: