Forbes has a great article that give sus the top 2011 free music albums. Musicians no longer need to sell albums in order to be financially successful. That’s one of the messages that industry insider Mark Geiger–of talent agency WME–delivered in a video interview with Billboard.biz a couple months ago. We all know that great reviews help an artist build buzz and credibility, which in turn can help said artist gain a considerably strong financial foothold when it comes to live performances. Geiger recalled the recent success of Abel Tesfaye–a Toronto-based neo-R&B musician who records as The Weeknd–to highlight his point: Shortly after Pitchfork gave The Weeknd’s House of Balloons a glowing review, Tesfaye began receiving offers to play for $25,000 a gig. All that after Tesfaye self-released House of Balloons for free.
A lot of great free albums, EPs, singles, and compilations came out this year, and out of all those, 10 made the article for 2011 (click link at bottom to get links to all the albums):
10. Crosses – EP
9. Wugazi – 13 Chambers
8. The Weeknd – House of Balloons/Thursday
7. Kembe X – Self Rule
6. Milo – I Wish My Brother Rob Was Here
5. Death Grips – Exmilitary
4. The Dogs – Camping
3. Born Gold – Bodysongs
2. Danny Brown – XXX
1. Mamaleek – Kurdaitcha: the third full-length by San Francisco experimental black metal band Mamaleek. The group cloaks its music in the kind of warm, hypnotic distortion that defines shoegaze, and underneath that haze is a style that’s conceptually abrasive yet altogether beautiful. It’s a remarkable record that might not be the easiest collection of songs to listen to, but it certainly is a rewarding one.