Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Top 20 Tracks of 2008

I was toying with the idea of putting up my top 20 singles, but then I thought I may as well face the fact that the ability to buy single tracks as downloads is starting to spell the end of the single format, so I may as well do my favourite tracks. So here they are...

1. Focker - Late of the Pier
Still sounding as fresh and frantic as when I first heard this track at the beginning of the year. Brilliant music created by kids that really aren't old enough to really know what they're doing, but somehow hit the nail right on the head.
The BoysNoize remix is also well worth a track down.
Favourite bit: When the track reaches the 2:40 mark and it sound like a neon tinted synth-heavey universe is collapsing in on itself. Crunchingly euphoric.

2. DLZ - TV on the Radio
As a lot of people may have already gathered TV on the Radio's latest offering is superb (not as brilliant as I wanted it to be, but more on that when I review the albums), but this track really stands out from the bunch. A dark, brooding, sing-along classic. The sound is rich and thick, with a good measure of menace and angst thrown in.
Favourite bit: front man Tunde Adebimpe spitting out the last bit of looping prose in the second half of the song. "Never you mind death professor!!"

3. In This Shirt - The Irrepressibles
The orchestral majesty present in this track just soars straight to the heart, with Jamie McDermott's (the leader of the groups') falsetto vocals really packing a punch. It's a crime this haunting track (and marvelous band) are so unknown - but a very pleasant little secret for all those in the know.
Favourite Bit: The impeccably well timed pause, and following crescendo at 3:45 never fails to tug the heart strings.

4. It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry - Glasvegas
A real gem out of Glasvegas' debut album, and the last single to be released as a limited 7" before the band signed to Columbia earlier this year. James Allen's beautifuly rich Glaswegian accent wrap the words around every syllable in the lyrics. An appropriately timed anthem to lead us into the recession.
Favourite bit: 3:30 onwards. I just can't stop myself from singing along. I think it's actually physically impossible.

5. Wearing My Rolex - Wiley
Wiley - Grime to the masses whilst still maintaining the genre's integrity? Nah, not really. This is very much a pop song, and a very very good one at that. A thumbing bass beat, layered over by that instantly recognizable synth progression, and of course Wiley spitting out those killer lyrics.
The McCartney/Mills viral was class as well.
Favourite bit: "Usually drink, usually dance, usually bubble"! What else!!

6. Weather to Fly - Elbow
Favourite bit: Those beautiful beautiful lyrics.

7. My Heart Rate Rapid - Metronomy

From the Metronomy album, RadioLadio really does beat this track (but it was released last year), and Heartbreaker is amazing (but I've heard it too much). But let's face it, "Nights Out" is full of so many killer pop songs, you're more than a bit spoilt for choice!
Favourite bit: "Ip-pop-pila!! Ip-pop-pila!!"

8. Flakes - Mystery Jets
Favourite bit: harmonizing amazingness during those "ohhhh-ohhhh-ohhhh" choruses.

9. Night Terror - Laura Marling
Favourite bit: "I woke up and he was screaming" - SUCH a good opening line.

10. White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
Favourite bit: The beautiful harmonization throughout the whole thing. Just gorgeous vocal work. Everybody now! "I was following the eye, was following the eye...."

11. Blind - Hercules and Love Affair
Favourite bit: The fact that Antony Hegarty's beautifully delicate vocals and a pounding disco beat really shouldn't work, but really really does.

12. Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants - Wild Beasts
Favourite bit: the insane video, directed by superbly talented One In Three.

13. Flume - Bon Iver
Favourite bit: It's like warm, creamy porridge on a winter's day; but in a song.

14. Stuck On Repeat - Little Boots
Favourite bit: The riff reminds me of "Matinee" by Franz Ferdinand, turned into a rave anthem.

(ok, so I couldn't actually find a good video of the single release version of this song on YouTube, so I'm posting up this version of 'Boots playing it on a Tenori-on)

15. Monkey Bee - Monkey (Damon Albarn)
Taken from the opera "Monkey Journey to the West"
Favourite bit: 3:48 when the guitars kick in and beat drops of course! Rocking out in the Royal Opera house? Why the fuck not!

16. Walcott - Vampire Weekend
Favourite bit: I have actually no idea what the hell they are singing about. Just that Walcott has really GOT to get out of Cape Cod for some reason.

17. Closer - Kings of Leon
This album has catapulted the Kings into the mainstream, but I still don't feel it really touches on the awesomeness of "Because of the Times" (or previous albums come to think of it). However, the album opener "Closer" does come close.
Favourite bit: that "wah wah wah wah" guitar noise

18. Ready For The Floor - Hot Chip
Favourite bit: "You're my number one, number one, number, number one, number one, one, one guy!"

19. Kids - MGMT
Faourite bit: "bah bah, bah bah, bah bah bah, bah baaaah". Stupidly catchy, and capable of being completely turned inside out in THAT Soulwax remix, and more specifically THIS YouTube video of THAT remix. It makes me want to vomit with joy.

20. The Fear - Lily Allen
Favourite bit: Not actually being shit.

Phhhh... what a monster post! Right I'm off for Xmas. Have a good one! Top albums and gigs still to come before New Year.

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