NME 2011 Cool List

NME has just revealed its annual Cool List — the 50 people in music that the magazine deems, for whatever reason, cool. And this thing is crazy! The largely unknown 20-year-old Harlem rapper Azealia Banks edges out Jarvis Cocker to top the list. Lana Del Rey, Hurts’ Theo Hutchcraft, and WU LYF’s Ellery Roberts all placed in the top 10, and Cerebral Ballzy’s Honor Titus came in at an eye-popping #3. Maybe we’ll all be forced to acknowledge that a band named Cerebral Ballzy exists? I’d rather not, but I don’t get to decide what’s cool. Check below for the full list.

50 Liam Gallagher
49 Ronnie Vannucci (The Killers/Big Talk)
48 St. Vincent
47 Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs)
46 Reni (The Stone Roses)
45 Johnny Llloyd (Tribes)
44 Jordan Gatesmith (Howler)
43 Toddla T
42 Nick Wire (Manic Street Preachers)
41 Bethany Costentino (Best Coast)
40 Orlando Higginbottom (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs)
39 Fred Macpherson (Spector)
38 King Krule
37 Björk
36 Frank Turner
35 Tyler, The Creator (Odd Future)
34 Ian Brown (The Stone Roses)
33 Hayden Thorpe (Wild Beasts)
32 Miles Kane
31 ASAP Rocky
30 Kanye West
29 Kurt Vile
28 Tom Cohen (Scum)
27 Drake
26 PJ Harvey
25 Christopher Owens (Girls)
24 Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club)
23 Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (Iceage)
22 Freddie Cowan (The Vaccines)
21 Joe Mount (Metronomy)
20 Florence Welch
19 Orlando Weeks (The Maccabees)
18 Charlie Fink (Noah & The Whale)
17 Janelle Monáe
16 Gaspard Auge (Justice)
15 Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys)
14 Katy B
13 Laura Marling
12 Dave Grohl
11 Noel Gallagher
10 Ellery Roberts (WU LYF)
9 Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys)
8 Theo Hutchcraft (Hurts)
7 Rhys Webb (The Horrors)
6 Lana Del Rey
5 & 4 Tom Meighan & Serge Pizzorno (Kasabian) [tie]
3 Honor Titus (Cerebral Ballzy)
2 Jarvis Cocker
1 Azealia Banks

Previously: NME Cool List 2010

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Comments (64)
  1. This list is missing Main Attrakionz.

  2. You got a little spelling error up in the list with “Celebral Ballzy.” NME loves to have token underground punk / hardcore frontman way up high on these lists — Remember the time Frank from Gallows topped it? Nice to see Elias from Iceage on there, but it needs more Trash Talk.

  3. Noel Gallagher > Liam Gallagher

  4. “5 & 4 Tom Meighan & Serge Pizzorno (Kasabian) [tie]”

    A “tie” because the best way to measure blandness is to point out the lack of noticeable difference.0

    Seriously though, is there anybody out there who truly believes that Kasabian are “cool”?

    • People sweat them pretty hard in the UK. I guess it also helps that they’re the only major Oasis-y meat and potatoes “rock” band there right.

    • Ha! True. Just saw in the NME that Chris Karloff’s new band: Black Onassis has a record coming out next year. Best thing he ever did was leave Kasabian. Karloff is the “cool” one!

  5. Honor Titus does not smell good. But he’s punk rock, so I guess he’s not supposed to? #ALilHelpPlease

  6. Drake should be in the top ten. I’m sure Corban would agree.

  7. Cool? Really… umm.. ok

  8. Not the most obscure picks, which kind of seems to be what they’re going for, but my list would definitely have Lykke Li and Heems.

  9. azealia banks is amazing

  10. Why are Noel and Liam Gallagher still cool these days, again? I’m surprised Pete Doherty isn’t anyway to be found on this list. Has NME finally laid that their Libertines hard-on to rest?

    • RIGHT?!? Oasis released two great albums (Definitely Maybe and What’s the Story) damn near 20 years ago, then just re-wrote those albums 10 times over again and kept their relevance by having public fights and being all-in-all pricks.

      Maybe I’m in the wrong here, but Damon Albarn is about 20 times cooler than either Gallagher because Blur did this thing called “progress,” the band reformed, and that last Gorillaz album was pretty damn good. I didn’t see him in that “cool” list.

      Them Brits.

      • Yeah it’s a crime Damon Albarn isn’t on here. He’s the David Byrne of our generation I think. I saw Gorillaz live last year and it was an incredible show.

      • My username shows I’m clearly biased. I get the inclusion of Noel on the list. His debut solo album went to #1 and is his best collection of songs since Be Here Now. I believe Liam is only included because of his clothing line. His new band is horrible. As a long time Oasis fan I can’t listen to their album.

    • I’ve notice over the years that NME has an unhealthy obsession with the Gallagher brothers

    • And how are they “cool” in any way? They just seem like huge, miserable, hyper-aggresive douchebags…I mean would anyone seriously want to hang out with either of them?

    • HAAA no kidding they finally dropped Pete Doherty…their obsession with him was always highly annoying…!!!

  11. Also, Erika M. Anderson is way cool.

  12. Haha, cool list, NME.

  13. Chazzy Chaz? Toro.

  14. I realize this is NME we’re talking about and so reality is not a factor to consider but. . .

    NME, by virtue of showing that they care about who’s cool, and especially that they care to precisely order and number such preferences, shows they are manifestly uncool.

    Do they not understand how being cool works? Like, did they not learn this in 10th grade?

    People who are truly cool don’t think about this sort of thing, or care, or try [to be cool, to impress anyone, or anything else], or talk about it, or frankly give a flying leap what some professionally sychophantic magazine full of 20-something would-be scribblers about music, scribblers who can’t play instruments well enough to be in their own bands, think.

    And not like she gives a rip, nor should she, but Erica M. Anderson is cool both in person and on record.

  15. Whoa Julian Casablancas wasn’t listed…..NME is changin’ things up.

  16. Dan Nancarrow  |   Posted on Nov 22nd, 2011 +3

    Cool list bro.

  17. Iggy Azalea? Anybody like her?

  18. Julian Casablancas is definitely missing from the Cool List 2011!

  19. This is a terrible list, where’s Julian Casablancas, Jack White, Faris Badwan, Pete Doherty, Matt Shultz, Matthew Murphy, those guys from MGMT, and Gerard Way ?!

  20. if this was called the “doing big things in 2011″ list you all would be acting differently OR you all would still be saying “well if this was my list….. it would have ME on it!”

  21. What an obligatory list this is! Both Gallaghers, C’mon!, and I must be the only person getting sick of Dave Grohl.

  22. Yay for Azealia Banks! She’s the only one on the picture collage who’s actually really worth being there… (though Florence deserves an honorary mention)

    But I do miss seeing Alex Winston in that list.

  23. matt helders > alex turner = totally understandable.
    katy b > alex turner = what the fuck?!

  24. They p*****d off two of the coolest guys in Indie this year lying about them so the NME’s opinion doesn’t matter, well it hasn’t since they started supporting Pete Doherty and saying Arctic Monkeys were the best thing since sliced bread.

    They annoyed Russell Lissack and Kele Okereke so there’s no way they’d pick them. There’s no Matt Bellamy and Nicky Wire is far too low (he is by far the coolest person in Britain, never mind the NME).

  25. While this list is never perfect it is nice to see the put Jarvis at number 2.

  26. Wait when did Matt Helders become cooler then Alex Turner?

  27. Jarvis Cocker??! Really??!! This is not 1994!! Christopher Owens should be top for this year.

    • Pulp just reunited and they are the best. i think Christopher Owens would even admit Jarvis is the man. He also covered just what i needed with the strokes this year. … Awesome.

  28. I HATE how in that cover Orlando Weeks is referred to as “Orlando Maccabees”, I find this convention of using the name of someones band like their last name irritating (Jamie XX, Alex Metric etc), it’s just a lazy way of saying “Orlando from The Maccabees”.

    Nobody calls Ian Brown “Ian Stone Roses” or Jarvis “Jarvis Pulp”. Oh christ I hope I haven’t given anyone any ideas…

  29. Liam Gallagher should never have been put anywhere near this list.

  30. I’ve always considered the Beastie Boys to be the coolest but maybe that’s just me…

  31. After just seeing that Florence cover and hearing Rihanna and Drake this past week, I’m shocked that Jamie xx, being a Brit and all, isn’t on this list. Isn’t that supposed to qualify that guy as cooler than Drake and Florence?

  32. nooo alan palomo??

  33. Matt Helders beat alex turner? Well thats akward

  34. NME is so gay, the two best songwriters in all of brittania aren’t on the list, THOME YORKE n STUART MURDOCH…I D I O T S. And where’s Allison Mosshart from the Kills/Dead Weather? Chick from Ladytron? Alison Goldfrapp? Gaz Coombs? WANKAZ

  35. Wow! NME is a british magazine, remember that. I’m amazed with the fact that they included Christopher Owens, I mean, he should be in the Top 10 at least, but yeah, well done NME!

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