The votes are in, and have been counted; this is the first instalment of Hitsville readers’ albums of 2011.
50. PATRICK WOLF - LupercaliaReclaiming his mojo after the angsty and flat The Bachelor, P-Wolf gave us his best album since The Magic Position. Stacked with lovelorn pop tunes and the most romantic of ballads, it’s shocking how the London troubadour isn’t one of the biggest singer in the country right now. 
49. DEATH GRIPS - ExmilitaryFearsome, fearless and furious, Death Grips are the most exciting new thing in hip-hop, even more so than OFWGKTA. With all the intensity and rage (and shouting) of hardcore punk and the undeniable innovation of the best of the genre, Death Grips are enough to impassion any cynic.
48. CHILDISH GAMBINO - CampRecently slated by Pitchfork and lauded by our editor, Donald Glover is proving to be a polarising act, musically at least. Camp represents his first properly released album; thirteen tracks of eclectic beats, punchline after punchline and what almost seems like therapy for Gambino. Dude’s got a lot of issues, but if he’s getting them out through music as good as this, it’s fine by us and you, it would seem.
47. ST VINCENT - Strange MercyThe difficult third album appears to have not occurred for Ms Annie Clark. “Strange Mercy” blends electronica with parts of her old sound to create an enticing record, full of twists and turns. “Surgeon” is a cracker.
46. FLEET FOXES - Helplessness BluesMore pastoral folksiness from the bearded six piece. One has to hazard a guess that the dark, cold nights by the fire and reappearance of knitwear in your wardrobes was the primary reason for this one popping up here; blokes with acoustic guitars are the best musical accompaniment for winter.
45. NOAH AND THE WHALE - Last Night On EarthAlso known as “The album where NATW got massive”. Seems like recording in LA turned the London folk quartet into actual rockstars. The songs on Last Night… have a wonderful FM rock sheen as well as the big hooks to back up the slick production. It’s also a big volte-face from the maudlin miserabilia of The First Days Of Spring. You’re glad they cheered up? 
44. SMITH WESTERNS - Dye It BlondeScuzzy and unpretentious, Chicago’s Smith Westerns are reminiscent of the best of British rock over the last forty years, which should come as no surprise to those who know their influences; T.Rex, Oasis, Suede and Bowie. Any album that contains the fantastic “Weekend” deserves a spot on this list.
43. REAL ESTATE - DaysIt’s always great when bands just decide to write good songs and do away with all the other shit in the pop world. US three piece Real Estate are just that kind of band. Yes, there are a million and one jangly indie bands out there, but Real Estate just do it so damn well. You clearly think so too, voting their charming and melodic second album into the Top 50.
42. TOM WAITS - Bad As MeThe mad old uncle of rock’s latest album was exactly what you’d expect in both sound and quality. It’s hard to describe a Tom Waits album without diving headfirst in the sea of cliché, but there’s no one out there like him. Going all out with his trademark howl, as well as reining it in on some more restrained tracks, Bad As Me serves as the perfect jump-off point for those new to the iconic madman.
41. BATTLES - Gloss DropPossibly the least likely band to ever soundtrack Hollyoaks, the New York three piece achieved it with their second album. It’s pop, but done by a math rock band, which sounds like the best thing ever. Gloss Drop is groovy, playful but also highly technical and rewarding to attentive listeners. Also, Gary Numan features on one track, which is always gonna get some votes.

The votes are in, and have been counted; this is the first instalment of Hitsville readers’ albums of 2011.

50. PATRICK WOLF - Lupercalia
Reclaiming his mojo after the angsty and flat The Bachelor, P-Wolf gave us his best album since The Magic Position. Stacked with lovelorn pop tunes and the most romantic of ballads, it’s shocking how the London troubadour isn’t one of the biggest singer in the country right now. 

49. DEATH GRIPS - Exmilitary
Fearsome, fearless and furious, Death Grips are the most exciting new thing in hip-hop, even more so than OFWGKTA. With all the intensity and rage (and shouting) of hardcore punk and the undeniable innovation of the best of the genre, Death Grips are enough to impassion any cynic.

48. CHILDISH GAMBINO - Camp
Recently slated by Pitchfork and lauded by our editor, Donald Glover is proving to be a polarising act, musically at least. Camp represents his first properly released album; thirteen tracks of eclectic beats, punchline after punchline and what almost seems like therapy for Gambino. Dude’s got a lot of issues, but if he’s getting them out through music as good as this, it’s fine by us and you, it would seem.

47. ST VINCENT - Strange Mercy
The difficult third album appears to have not occurred for Ms Annie Clark. “Strange Mercy” blends electronica with parts of her old sound to create an enticing record, full of twists and turns. “Surgeon” is a cracker.

46. FLEET FOXES - Helplessness Blues
More pastoral folksiness from the bearded six piece. One has to hazard a guess that the dark, cold nights by the fire and reappearance of knitwear in your wardrobes was the primary reason for this one popping up here; blokes with acoustic guitars are the best musical accompaniment for winter.

45. NOAH AND THE WHALE - Last Night On Earth
Also known as “The album where NATW got massive”. Seems like recording in LA turned the London folk quartet into actual rockstars. The songs on Last Night… have a wonderful FM rock sheen as well as the big hooks to back up the slick production. It’s also a big volte-face from the maudlin miserabilia of The First Days Of Spring. You’re glad they cheered up? 

44. SMITH WESTERNS - Dye It Blonde
Scuzzy and unpretentious, Chicago’s Smith Westerns are reminiscent of the best of British rock over the last forty years, which should come as no surprise to those who know their influences; T.Rex, Oasis, Suede and Bowie. Any album that contains the fantastic “Weekend” deserves a spot on this list.

43. REAL ESTATE - Days
It’s always great when bands just decide to write good songs and do away with all the other shit in the pop world. US three piece Real Estate are just that kind of band. Yes, there are a million and one jangly indie bands out there, but Real Estate just do it so damn well. You clearly think so too, voting their charming and melodic second album into the Top 50.

42. TOM WAITS - Bad As Me
The mad old uncle of rock’s latest album was exactly what you’d expect in both sound and quality. It’s hard to describe a Tom Waits album without diving headfirst in the sea of cliché, but there’s no one out there like him. Going all out with his trademark howl, as well as reining it in on some more restrained tracks, Bad As Me serves as the perfect jump-off point for those new to the iconic madman.

41. BATTLES - Gloss Drop
Possibly the least likely band to ever soundtrack Hollyoaks, the New York three piece achieved it with their second album. It’s pop, but done by a math rock band, which sounds like the best thing ever. Gloss Drop is groovy, playful but also highly technical and rewarding to attentive listeners. Also, Gary Numan features on one track, which is always gonna get some votes.

40. BILL WELLS & AIDAN MOFFAT - EVERYTHING’S GETTING OLDER39. THE VACCINES -  WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES?38. THE JOY FORMIDABLE - THE BIG ROAR37. SHABAZZ PALACES - BLACK UP36. YUCK - YUCK35. THE ANTLERS - BURST APART34. TERIUS NASH - 197733. COLDPLAY - MYLO XYLOTO32. RADIOHEAD - THE KING OF LIMBS31. LIL B - I’M GAY (I’M HAPPY)
A fairly eclectic bunch, aren’t you? From the retro-fuzz of Yuck, to Coldplay’s technicolour MOR, Radiohead’s electro-jazz, The Vaccines’ punky pop, Shabazz Palaces’ superlative alt. hip-hop and whatever the fuck you want to classify Lil B as; with such stellar records this far down the list, the next thirty entries are gonna be good.

40. BILL WELLS & AIDAN MOFFAT - EVERYTHING’S GETTING OLDER
39. THE VACCINES -  WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES?
38. THE JOY FORMIDABLE - THE BIG ROAR
37. SHABAZZ PALACES - BLACK UP
36. YUCK - YUCK
35. THE ANTLERS - BURST APART
34. TERIUS NASH - 1977
33. COLDPLAY - MYLO XYLOTO
32. RADIOHEAD - THE KING OF LIMBS
31. LIL B - I’M GAY (I’M HAPPY)

A fairly eclectic bunch, aren’t you? From the retro-fuzz of Yuck, to Coldplay’s technicolour MOR, Radiohead’s electro-jazz, The Vaccines’ punky pop, Shabazz Palaces’ superlative alt. hip-hop and whatever the fuck you want to classify Lil B as; with such stellar records this far down the list, the next thirty entries are gonna be good.

30. GIRLS - FATHER, SON, HOLY GHOST29. NOEL GALLAGHER - NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS28. KURT VILE - SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO27. GIL SCOTT-HERON & JAMIE XX - WE’RE NEW HERE26. M83 - HURRY UP, WE’RE DREAMING25. YOUTH LAGOON - THE YEAR OF HIBERNATION24. NICOLAS JAAR - SPACE IS ONLY NOISE23. FRIENDLY FIRES - PALA22. JOHNNY FOREIGNER - JOHNNY FOREIGNER VS EVERYTHING21. THE WEEKND - HOUSE OF BALLOONS/THURSDAY 
Another eclectic selection from you, our Hitsville readers. Several stunning debut records included in this section of the list; Jamie xx’s euphoric reworking of the late Gil-Scott Heron, Nicolas Jaar’s weird and eerie ambient electronica, Youth Lagoon’s heartbreaking Year Of Hibernation and the double trouble of The Weeknd’s Thursday and House Of Balloons (included here as one entry, for convenience) are all amazing albums deserved of the praise and our votes. You clearly warmed to Johnny Foreigner’s third LP “…Vs Everything” despite the shockingly poor NME review, as well as M83’s divisive double album. Also, we can’t leave out poor Noel Gallagher, who proved himself the talented brother (like it was ever in doubt) with a fine solo debut.

30. GIRLS - FATHER, SON, HOLY GHOST
29. NOEL GALLAGHER - NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
28. KURT VILE - SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO
27. GIL SCOTT-HERON & JAMIE XX - WE’RE NEW HERE
26. M83 - HURRY UP, WE’RE DREAMING
25. YOUTH LAGOON - THE YEAR OF HIBERNATION
24. NICOLAS JAAR - SPACE IS ONLY NOISE
23. FRIENDLY FIRES - PALA
22. JOHNNY FOREIGNER - JOHNNY FOREIGNER VS EVERYTHING
21. THE WEEKND - HOUSE OF BALLOONS/THURSDAY 

Another eclectic selection from you, our Hitsville readers. Several stunning debut records included in this section of the list; Jamie xx’s euphoric reworking of the late Gil-Scott Heron, Nicolas Jaar’s weird and eerie ambient electronica, Youth Lagoon’s heartbreaking Year Of Hibernation and the double trouble of The Weeknd’s Thursday and House Of Balloons (included here as one entry, for convenience) are all amazing albums deserved of the praise and our votes. You clearly warmed to Johnny Foreigner’s third LP “…Vs Everything” despite the shockingly poor NME review, as well as M83’s divisive double album. Also, we can’t leave out poor Noel Gallagher, who proved himself the talented brother (like it was ever in doubt) with a fine solo debut.

20. DRAKE - TAKE CARE19. ELBOW - BUILD A ROCKET BOYS!18. MASTODON - THE HUNTER17. SLOW CLUB - PARADISE16. NICOLA ROBERTS - CINDERELLA’S EYES15. JAMES BLAKE - JAMES BLAKE14. PJ HARVEY - LET ENGLAND SHAKE13. THE CHAPMAN FAMILY - BURN YOUR TOWN12. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB - A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIX11. LOS CAMPESINOS! - HELLO SADNESS
A dectet of big names and heavy hitters here. Just missing out on a prestigious top ten place are the likes of Drake, Elbow and PJ Harvey. Nicola Roberts surprised everyone by being the best member of Girls Aloud in the solo stakes, whilst Bombay Bicycle Club continued to evolve and mature on their third album. Los Campesinos! provided us with the best indie break-up album in quite some time, as well as their best album yet. The divisive Drake gave us Take Care, which earned a 5/10 from us, but has been festooned with praise by others. The Chapman Family finally emerged with their debut album and rocketed up to 13th place; clearly the Stockton four piece are worth the wait. Mastodon came up with the metal album of the year and James Blake became the big name in dubstep, if he wasn’t already before.

20. DRAKE - TAKE CARE
19. ELBOW - BUILD A ROCKET BOYS!
18. MASTODON - THE HUNTER
17. SLOW CLUB - PARADISE
16. NICOLA ROBERTS - CINDERELLA’S EYES
15. JAMES BLAKE - JAMES BLAKE
14. PJ HARVEY - LET ENGLAND SHAKE
13. THE CHAPMAN FAMILY - BURN YOUR TOWN
12. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB - A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIX
11. LOS CAMPESINOS! - HELLO SADNESS

A dectet of big names and heavy hitters here. Just missing out on a prestigious top ten place are the likes of Drake, Elbow and PJ Harvey. Nicola Roberts surprised everyone by being the best member of Girls Aloud in the solo stakes, whilst Bombay Bicycle Club continued to evolve and mature on their third album. Los Campesinos! provided us with the best indie break-up album in quite some time, as well as their best album yet. The divisive Drake gave us Take Care, which earned a 5/10 from us, but has been festooned with praise by others. The Chapman Family finally emerged with their debut album and rocketed up to 13th place; clearly the Stockton four piece are worth the wait. Mastodon came up with the metal album of the year and James Blake became the big name in dubstep, if he wasn’t already before.

Well this is a surprise. The pre-release hype to Tyler, The Creator's second album was huge, something you only see for a true phenomenon, which is what the LA rapper is, make no mistake. "Yonkers", or more specifically, the video for the track, introduced him to a much wider audience and set the ball rolling for Goblin’s hype. Since then, Tyler’s won an MTV VMA award (for the “Yonkers” promo), provided a voice for cartoon The Regular Show, become the most wanted collaborator for anyone in need of some credibility and found himself at the centre of many heated discussions on homophobia and sexism. All because of one album.
Personally, I didn’t think Goblin was up to much. It contains a handful of great songs, a lot of filler and a lot of half-arsed song sketches. But clearly, you lot disagree. The likes of “Yonkers”, "Sandwitches", "She" and "Radicals" are all fantastic tracks worthy of the buzz, but stuff like "Bitch Suck Dick", “Transylvania” and  ”Fish” are piss-poor. However, Tyler and Goblin have both become iconic, just through the power of promotion and the millions who have converted to the Odd Future cause. OFWGKTA and by extension Tyler have transformed into something of a youth movement. Their ‘fuck everything’ stance on, well, everything was always going to be popular amongst bored and disenfranchised kids, of which there are plenty around at the moment. Tyler’s next album is scheduled for 2012, and hopefully he can capitalise on his early potential.

Well this is a surprise. The pre-release hype to Tyler, The Creator's second album was huge, something you only see for a true phenomenon, which is what the LA rapper is, make no mistake. "Yonkers", or more specifically, the video for the track, introduced him to a much wider audience and set the ball rolling for Goblin’s hype. Since then, Tyler’s won an MTV VMA award (for the “Yonkers” promo), provided a voice for cartoon The Regular Show, become the most wanted collaborator for anyone in need of some credibility and found himself at the centre of many heated discussions on homophobia and sexism. All because of one album.

Personally, I didn’t think Goblin was up to much. It contains a handful of great songs, a lot of filler and a lot of half-arsed song sketches. But clearly, you lot disagree. The likes of “Yonkers”, "Sandwitches", "She" and "Radicals" are all fantastic tracks worthy of the buzz, but stuff like "Bitch Suck Dick", “Transylvania” and  ”Fish” are piss-poor. However, Tyler and Goblin have both become iconic, just through the power of promotion and the millions who have converted to the Odd Future cause. OFWGKTA and by extension Tyler have transformed into something of a youth movement. Their ‘fuck everything’ stance on, well, everything was always going to be popular amongst bored and disenfranchised kids, of which there are plenty around at the moment. Tyler’s next album is scheduled for 2012, and hopefully he can capitalise on his early potential.

The further Wild Beasts get in their career the more of a misnomer their name becomes. The Lake District quartet began racous and rowdy but still refined, but from second album Two Dancers to Smother, they’ve most definitely decided less is more. Their sound is now more mature and layered, smooth and sultry; as tender and refined as The Smiths, but with a perpetual undercurrent of sexuality lingering (for example “Plaything”, a stripped back ode to stripping off). It’s not all hanky panky though; Albatross is a haunting ballad whilst “Reach A Bit Further” features the amazing interplay between co-vocalists Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming.
The true standout is the epic closer “End Come Too Soon”. The most ambitious track the quartet have attempted and possibly the best thing they’ve ever recorded, it glides along on a subtle groove and dreamlike guitars. With Smother, Wild Beasts continue to be the most astonishingly unique band in the country and are most certainly one of those rare once-in-a-generation groups.

The further Wild Beasts get in their career the more of a misnomer their name becomes. The Lake District quartet began racous and rowdy but still refined, but from second album Two Dancers to Smother, they’ve most definitely decided less is more. Their sound is now more mature and layered, smooth and sultry; as tender and refined as The Smiths, but with a perpetual undercurrent of sexuality lingering (for example “Plaything”, a stripped back ode to stripping off). It’s not all hanky panky though; Albatross is a haunting ballad whilst “Reach A Bit Further” features the amazing interplay between co-vocalists Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming.

The true standout is the epic closer “End Come Too Soon”. The most ambitious track the quartet have attempted and possibly the best thing they’ve ever recorded, it glides along on a subtle groove and dreamlike guitars. With Smother, Wild Beasts continue to be the most astonishingly unique band in the country and are most certainly one of those rare once-in-a-generation groups.

Going soft-rock might not be a common or cool musical direction, but it’s the path that Metronomy strolled down with aplomb on their third album. Taking their idiosyncratic indie disco formula and streamlining it with influences like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles worked wonders for the Devon four piece, earning them plaudits across the board, including your votes to make The English Riviera your Number Eight album of 2011.
A love letter to its geographical namesake, The English Riviera is the sound of British pop music right now; smooth, sharp, funky and packed full of hooks. From “Corinne” to “Everything Goes My Way”, this is the sound of a band hitting its stride, full of confidence. They’ve also produced a classic British pop song in the form of “The Bay” with its slowly building bass ‘n’ synth intro that culminates in groovy dancefloor euphoria. It’s no wonder band leader Joe Mount was drafted in to work on Nicola Roberts’ poptastic solo debut. With albums like this, expect Metronomy to become one of the big bands on the scene over the next few years.

Going soft-rock might not be a common or cool musical direction, but it’s the path that Metronomy strolled down with aplomb on their third album. Taking their idiosyncratic indie disco formula and streamlining it with influences like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles worked wonders for the Devon four piece, earning them plaudits across the board, including your votes to make The English Riviera your Number Eight album of 2011.

A love letter to its geographical namesake, The English Riviera is the sound of British pop music right now; smooth, sharp, funky and packed full of hooks. From “Corinne” to “Everything Goes My Way”, this is the sound of a band hitting its stride, full of confidence. They’ve also produced a classic British pop song in the form of “The Bay” with its slowly building bass ‘n’ synth intro that culminates in groovy dancefloor euphoria. It’s no wonder band leader Joe Mount was drafted in to work on Nicola Roberts’ poptastic solo debut. With albums like this, expect Metronomy to become one of the big bands on the scene over the next few years.

As astonishing a debut as anything that’s come along in the last five years, SBTRKT's first LP is the high watermark of this post-dubstep music world we inhabit. Rarely has electronic music sound so warm and soulful whilst remaining forward-thinking and innovative. SBTRKT has established himself as an alternative to both the braindead bro-step of Skrillex et al and the paper thin dub of James Blake. Without any massive buildup of hype from the press, SBTRKT has risen to become most switched-on people's producer of choice, as proven by his position as your NUmber Seven album of 2011. Most, if not all of the tracks on SBTRKT are equally at home on dancefloors as they are on iPod headphones. The production and beats are superlative, without getting too technical or intricate. Of course, a lot of the album's success hs to do with the guest vocalists. Yukumi Nagano and Rose Gabor lend their talents to a handfuk of tracks, but the majority of vocal duty is handled by the fantstic Sampha, who provides the album with enough heart and hooks to make it a true classic.

As astonishing a debut as anything that’s come along in the last five years, SBTRKT's first LP is the high watermark of this post-dubstep music world we inhabit. Rarely has electronic music sound so warm and soulful whilst remaining forward-thinking and innovative. SBTRKT has established himself as an alternative to both the braindead bro-step of Skrillex et al and the paper thin dub of James Blake. Without any massive buildup of hype from the press, SBTRKT has risen to become most switched-on people's producer of choice, as proven by his position as your NUmber Seven album of 2011. Most, if not all of the tracks on SBTRKT are equally at home on dancefloors as they are on iPod headphones. The production and beats are superlative, without getting too technical or intricate. Of course, a lot of the album's success hs to do with the guest vocalists. Yukumi Nagano and Rose Gabor lend their talents to a handfuk of tracks, but the majority of vocal duty is handled by the fantstic Sampha, who provides the album with enough heart and hooks to make it a true classic.

The big album of the year, bar none. It’s hard to remember any album in recent memory that had such a build-up and so much expectations placed on it, although it didn’t quite start that way. Originally planned as a five-track EP, Watch The Throne fast evolved into a full album. The first anyone heard from the tag team of Jay-Z & Kanye West was the rather sloppy "H.A.M.", which dampened many people’s hopes for the collaboration (fortunately the track was relegated to the deluxe version’s extra disc). Could these two icons of hip-hop produced an expensive gold-plated flop? Well, in short, no.
Watch The Throne is unashamedly brash and flash; it flaunts its cost like an expensive piece of jewellery. Kanye’s influence is clear to see. The more experimental of the pair, he takes over with the overall sound of the record. There are still the big crossover pop moments, but there’s also unorthodox samples from two soul legends (Otis Redding on "Otis", Nina Simone on "New Day"), dubstep, Will Ferrell dialogue, a bizzare bluesy motif that appears at the end of several tracks and the epic shapeshifting "Murder To Excellence". It’s a bit removed from “Empire State Of Mind” to say the least…
Whilst the record in grandiose and materialistic, there’s also a clear social conscience running through its core. Countless references to the struggles of African-Americans in the US, black-on-black murder, the two stars’ worries over fatherhood, religion, politics and much more shoot down the idea that this is basically two rappers dicking around in the studio, talking about their clothes and women. Watch The Throne is a landmark.

The big album of the year, bar none. It’s hard to remember any album in recent memory that had such a build-up and so much expectations placed on it, although it didn’t quite start that way. Originally planned as a five-track EP, Watch The Throne fast evolved into a full album. The first anyone heard from the tag team of Jay-Z & Kanye West was the rather sloppy "H.A.M.", which dampened many people’s hopes for the collaboration (fortunately the track was relegated to the deluxe version’s extra disc). Could these two icons of hip-hop produced an expensive gold-plated flop? Well, in short, no.

Watch The Throne is unashamedly brash and flash; it flaunts its cost like an expensive piece of jewellery. Kanye’s influence is clear to see. The more experimental of the pair, he takes over with the overall sound of the record. There are still the big crossover pop moments, but there’s also unorthodox samples from two soul legends (Otis Redding on "Otis", Nina Simone on "New Day"), dubstep, Will Ferrell dialogue, a bizzare bluesy motif that appears at the end of several tracks and the epic shapeshifting "Murder To Excellence". It’s a bit removed from “Empire State Of Mind” to say the least…

Whilst the record in grandiose and materialistic, there’s also a clear social conscience running through its core. Countless references to the struggles of African-Americans in the US, black-on-black murder, the two stars’ worries over fatherhood, religion, politics and much more shoot down the idea that this is basically two rappers dicking around in the studio, talking about their clothes and women. Watch The Throne is a landmark.

Thanks to the advent of social networking, mystery in music is all but gone. Albums get month long promo campaigns, artists tweet every time they blink, every tiny snippet of news is tweeted and blogged (we’re a bit guilty of that, sorry); the age of secrecy with bands is all but extinct… apart from Wu Lyf. The Mancunian four piece remained in the shadows of their hometown’s music scene for what seemed like forever, with an immeasurable amount of songs and demos floating about the interwebs. But as 2011 wore on, the quartet slowly but surely crept into the limelight, revealing themselves, doing press interview and the like.
For all the intrigue and suspense, Wu Lyf’s sound is fairly conventional; the skyscraping guitars of the current crop of stadium bands and the afrobeat rhythms of every band inspired by Foals or Vampire Weekend. But the liberal use of organs, reverb and frontman Ellery Roberts gravel-gargling voice makes for something that sounds out like a sore thumb in the current musical climate. Roberts singing (if it can be called that) is like listening to a broken Tom Waits vinyl, making the lyrics near impossible to decipher. But such a technique only helps to add to the intrigue of the band.
The way Wu Lyf present themselves enhances the appeal of the band. The social outcasts, the rapscallions terrorising the streets of Mancunia speaking in some garbled yoof speak, the Lucifer Youth Foundation. It’s inevitable they’ll acquire a cultish following with such a gimmick; in fact, they probably already have, which is why you’ve voted them to Number Five in our poll.

Thanks to the advent of social networking, mystery in music is all but gone. Albums get month long promo campaigns, artists tweet every time they blink, every tiny snippet of news is tweeted and blogged (we’re a bit guilty of that, sorry); the age of secrecy with bands is all but extinct… apart from Wu Lyf. The Mancunian four piece remained in the shadows of their hometown’s music scene for what seemed like forever, with an immeasurable amount of songs and demos floating about the interwebs. But as 2011 wore on, the quartet slowly but surely crept into the limelight, revealing themselves, doing press interview and the like.

For all the intrigue and suspense, Wu Lyf’s sound is fairly conventional; the skyscraping guitars of the current crop of stadium bands and the afrobeat rhythms of every band inspired by Foals or Vampire Weekend. But the liberal use of organs, reverb and frontman Ellery Roberts gravel-gargling voice makes for something that sounds out like a sore thumb in the current musical climate. Roberts singing (if it can be called that) is like listening to a broken Tom Waits vinyl, making the lyrics near impossible to decipher. But such a technique only helps to add to the intrigue of the band.

The way Wu Lyf present themselves enhances the appeal of the band. The social outcasts, the rapscallions terrorising the streets of Mancunia speaking in some garbled yoof speak, the Lucifer Youth Foundation. It’s inevitable they’ll acquire a cultish following with such a gimmick; in fact, they probably already have, which is why you’ve voted them to Number Five in our poll.