Gummy Awards: Your Top 10 New Acts Of 2011

Having already revealed Your Top 10 Tracks and Your Top 10 Music Videos, next box to be punched on the Gummys’ advent calendar is the Top 10 New Acts Of 2011 category, and, unlike the Grammys, Stereogum’s readers did a nice job of representing 2011′s singular breakout artists. And, based on post count, we were pleasantly surprised with who ended up on top. Check out the results after the jump.

Purity Ring

10. Purity Ring

Frank Ocean

9. Frank Ocean


8. EMA

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Wild Flag

6. Wild Flag



Lana Del Rey

4. Lana Del Rey


3. Yuck

Youth Lagoon

2. Youth Lagoon

The Weeknd

1. The Weeknd

To recap:
10. Purity Ring
09. Frank Ocean
08. EMA
07. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
06. Wild Flag
05. WU LYF
04. Lana Del Rey
03. Yuck
02. Youth Lagoon
01. The Weeknd

Check back in on our Top 50 Albums Of 2011 list to see how we stacked up compared to the voters.

Comments (79)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. Close to impeccable. Maybe Austra, if I had to place some judgement on it.

  3. Good List!

    BTW, I love how Stereogum didn’t post the Spin top albums list(at least I didn’t see it). A week or so ago they were posting every list, even some more obscure ones, but at this point they are just like “fuck it”

    I think we are all pretty listed out.

  4. Wu Lyf has been killing it, so it’s nice to see them make SOMEONE’s list.

  5. hey where’s bon iver?!?!

  6. Yuck at 3! I like it.

  7. I initially was thinking SBTRKT should be on here, but so many of his best tracks are assisted by guest vocalists maybe it is a good omission.

    • I don’t think the vocalists detract from anything SBTRKT did…..I wish he was on here.

      • I guess I’m not sure how good a SBTRKT w/o any guests would be. I actually saw him live over the summer and I got kinda bored halfway through. I love that album and would be thrilled if he proved me wrong.

    • Also bumming the omission of SBTRKT. Even though he has guest vocalists, his music is still fucking great. Other than that, pretty solid list.

    • SBTRKT had some pretty big EPs last year.

      • He totes did

        To be honest if I made a list of my fav new acts SBTRKT would definately be on it. I was just trying to get into the head of whoever put this together. I think you could legitimately omit him if you really thought he had too much help from all the guest vocalists.

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Actually, that thing is really overrated. I tried to believe the NME’s hype because I like to get excited about bands and the NME is one of the few musical publications that is willing to embarrass themselves with their enthusiasm for any number of things, but the album just left me bewildered at the attention they were receiving.

    • never listened to the album, but saw them in concert and they were kind of formulaic

    • The above comments have made me smile. I thought I was alone in thinking them completely overrated.

  9. I wish we could go back to Stereo1997gum when 311 won Best New Act.

  10. Would’ve liked to see Cities Aviv because he’s RZA without a budget but, other than that, I can’t really complain.

  11. 1. WU LYF
    2. Iceage
    3. Clams Casino
    4. Purity Ring
    5. Balkans

    That’s my top 5!!!

  12. Is The Weeknd better than Frank Ocean? I just like Frank soo much more.

  13. I like this list. It has a lot of diversity to it from a lot of different spectrums. I voted for Yuck, and they’re at a cushy #3, so that’s swell. Other new bands I dug this year were Iceage, The Men and Mr. Dream.

    • (Although, shame on me — Leave Home was The Men’s second album. They had more of a “breakthrough” year with their work rather than a debut.)

  14. Nice list, would’ve liked to have seen ASAP Rocky and Balam Acab, though.

  15. Standard complaint about a list: I would have put EMA higher (although I can see an argument that she isn’t exactly a new act). I am kind of disappointed that Lana Del Rey made it by releasing three songs, one of which was almost certainly written as a gimmick so that she could say “fuck,” while Clams Casino, who dropped two excellent releases and produced most of one of the best mixtapes of the year, was left off.

    • I actually agree about Lana Del Rey. A lot of deserving artists put out full lengths that deserve some recognition. Let’s take a “wait and see” approach with LDR if you ask me.

  16. Voting was not required to determine the winner of this. xo.

  17. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  18. I was pretty surprised Youth Lagoon got to 2. I mean, I love Youth Lagoon, I just didn’t know he was a MOVEMENT.

  19. anyone know the story behind why the guy from the weeknd left out the letter “e”? it looks ridiculous everytime i see it

  20. Wooo Purity Ring!

  21. Can someone sell me on The Weeknd real fast? Like a Cliff’s Notes? I haven’t found anything that’s blown me away yet but I feel like the lightbulb’s gonna switch on eventually.

    • listening to a band stoned usually works for me. That is how I was able to get into No Age.

      For me I think it is that I really enjoy the word “Fuck” sung R&B style.

      • So do you still enjoy No Age when not stoned now and did you struggle to like them before that? That’s a serious enquiry by the way, not a poor attempt at sarcasm. I’m certainly not denying the enhancing effect on music it has, I just don’t think it’s ever got me to like a band I wasn’t fussed on.

      • I think part of the problem is I’m not a huge fan of R&B style. I love Balam Acab, Clams Casino, and FlyLo whether I’m high or not…for some reason I thought the Weeknd would fall into that category but he seems a bit different.

        • Part of the reason why I like The Weeknd is because I think he understands how to convey a “mood” throughout his mixtape, and the production is so good. He still needs to work on those vocals though. I understand he ain’t D’Angelo or Maxwell, but nasal singing is just no-no.

    • I liked The Weeknd’s first record a whole lot. I really love the sleezy, kind of predatory (but likable) character he’s created in those songs. Though that character may not be a character at all. Either way, it’s entertaining storytelling. Plus the guy’s voice is absolutely killer.

  22. I’m clearly alone in not thinking that much about any of the above. I can’t say I actively dislike any of them, it just seems like a quiet year for new acts. Not as many seem to be figuring high in best album or track lists as past years either.

    • You are not alone, I think a lot of these acts are “okay” but mostly just very safe, not-too-interesting bands. I listened to the Yuck album the first time through last week, and while there are a few songs I thought were pretty nice…that’s also kind of all they were: nice songs. I liked them because I was a huge Dino Jr fan about 15 years ago, but the difference between Dino Jr and Yuck is J Mascis. So I’m not really crazy about that hype.

      • Nah, you are right. Frank Ocean MAY be the one that still stands because he is in hip hop and is pretty good with hooks. The others are very good, but am I the only person that thinks this year was kind of meh overall…? Also Purity Ring and Lana Del Ray, while promising, are yet to release full lengths. I gotta hear more before ordaining the next big thing.

        If I had to rank 1-10 of albums in general it would be hard to really decipher a lot of differences between the bunch.

  23. Thank god Unknown Mortal Orchestra made it, I may have killed myself if they didn’t.

  24. I should have voted for EMA. just started listening to that album, might be one of my favorites of the year.

  25. Was Clams Casino last year or something?

    Because otherwise: WTF?

  26. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  27. A few that missed that I would have liked to see:

    Elite Gymnastics
    Kendrick Lamar
    Charli XCX

    Although honestly, I’m not 100% if all of those are new acts. I think one or two may have released an EP prior to this year.

  28. Youth Lagoon, Yuck, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra are my tops because they are tops.

  29. Loutallica.

  30. I also think it’s a play on the word “weakened,” which seems fitting considering the subject-matter of most of his songs.

  31. Wild Flag KILLED IT on Letterman a couple nights ago, combined with Portlandia i’m freaking loving Carrie Brownstein like a mofo right now:)

  32. i though Dirty Beaches would get more year end list love. I am just hypnotized by everything he does.

  33. We Bros would be amazing, if there were no singers..

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