Wild Flag
As the meaning of "indie" becomes more and more amorphous, our longlist for the year's best indie albums lived up to its name. However, we managed to pare our favorites down to a relatively svelte 30 picks without too much hair-pulling and name-calling. Even with a smaller list than we made in 2010, we still found a wide array of sounds and artists to love this year. From Iceage's righteous fury to St. Vincent's intricate introspection, from the sonic experiments of Battles and tUnE-yArDs to the down-to-earth sounds of Those Darlins and the Strange Boys, from newcomers like Austra to more venerable acts such as Stephen Malkmus and the women of Wild Flag, there was a lot to like about indie -- whatever that means -- in 2011.

Atlas Sound - Parallax
Austra - Feel It Break
Battles - Gloss Drop
City Center - Redeemer
Class Actress - Rapprocher
Comet Gain - Howl of the Lonely Crowd
Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
Destroyer - Kaputt
The Dirtbombs - Party Store
EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Iceage - New Brigade
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Male Bonding - Endless Now
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic
Metronomy - The English Riviera
Panda Bear - Tomboy
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
Still Corners - Creatures of an Hour
The Strange Boys - Live Music
Tennis - Cape Dory
Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose
tUnE-yArDs - W H O K I L L
Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
White Denim - D
Wild Beasts - Smother
Wild Flag - Wild Flag
Woods - Sun and Shade
Wye Oak - Civilian