Three of DiS’s core operators list ten of their tracks of the year so far; explain, loosely, why. Simple is as simple does, says the saying, and articles on DiS don’t get much simpler than a list of songs with the odd YouTube link.
Death Cab For Cutie, ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’
The first single from Seth Cohen’s favourite band had to be something special, but nobody could have predicted they would have returned with just shy of eight and a half minutes of throbbing and twinkling wonderment. (YouTube)
M83, You, Appearing
The opening track from Saturdays = Youth (review) is a contemplative moment of calm which drifts from everything that’s great about Sigur Rós to everything that’s enchanting about Blonde Redhead. (YouTube)
Panic at the Disco, ‘That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)’
It was courageous of Panic to sidestep everything their debut embodied to put out an album inspired less by the gristle of stadium rock and more by acoustic road trip anthems; the resulting record Pretty. Odd. (review) is a bewildering adventure and tracks like this are joyfully epic, in ways in which you wish The Shins would be.
Crystal Castles, ‘Reckless’
I absolutely adore how divisive this band is and just how punk-rock their spotlight shunning, near-anonymous, 8-bit ZX Spectrum inspired songs can be; this sounds like it could have been lifted as much from the soundtrack to James Pond as it could some late-‘80s euro-pop album. (YouTube)
Nine Inch Nails, ‘1,000,000
This cut from Trent Reznor’s second pay-what-you-want record of the year The Slip (review) is a rush of teenage endorphins riding the apex of digitalism and intense sprawling metal.
The Kills, ‘Sour Cherry’
Determined not be eclipsed by the tabloids’ obsession with their personal lives, the disco ‘n’ blues duo returned with a cluster of crunching and rattling offerings - ‘Sour Cherry’ is like being thrown into some dank squat party and finding beautiful people break dancing and doing magic tricks. (YouTube)
Lykke Li, ‘Little Bit’
This about as saccharine as proper Swedish pop gets - like a lollipop-sucking Kylie, but it’s the half-awake dreaminess that makes this song so addictive, despite how sweet it is.
Weezer, ‘Pork and Beans’
Stick this in your hash pipe and smoke it – their latest album might not be Weezer’s finest hour (review) but this single and all the fanfare that surrounds it is both refreshing and fantastic. (YouTube)
These New Puritans, ‘Numerology (aka Numbers)’
Whilst seemingly having their thunder stolen by Foals, TNP’s Beat Pyramid album (review) possessed a tribal art throb too contorted to dance (sensibly) to, but was still cranked out at every indie club worth the attendance fee. (YouTube)
I Was A Cub Scout, ‘Close to Me’
We’ll miss the Cub Scout boys – they split earlier this year – but this Cure cover on their final EP is absolutely superb. Get it from fearandrecords.com now.
Russian Circles, ‘Station’
This title-track cut from the Chicago instrumental act’s second long-player (review) takes Battles’ blueprint for their mighty ‘Atlas’ and melds said song’s glam stomp to some truly phenomenal heavy metal riffage. (YouTube)
Johnny Foreigner (pictured, top), ‘Hennings Favourite’
The sort of sugar-pop rush that leaves indie geeks breathless, this highlight from JoFo’s superlative debut LP Waited Up ‘Til It Was Light (review) finds the Brummie threesome spinning dizzy on sixpences to enough insistent vocal hooks to hoist a sunken battleship from its seabed grave. (Hear the track on MySpace)
Broken Records, ‘If The News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’
Released as a limited-run seven-inch through imprint of utmost taste Young Turks, this tracks finds Edinburgh’s Broken Records at their anthemic best, strings bleeding broken hearts dry over percussion to nod a head to ‘til your neck snaps clean. (Hear a session version on MySpace)
The Notwist, ‘Where In This World’
The German electro-indie veterans broke their temporary hiatus to return with this gorgeous single earlier this year – a no-brainer Single of the Week, the beats-and-strings piece previewed the band’s The Devil, You + Me LP (review) brilliantly.
The Roots, ‘Criminal’
An instant-hit highlight from their latest LP Rising Down (review), this tracks finds Philadelphia rap collective The Roots delivering their trademark commentary of society’s ills over some of the slickest and silkiest beats and samples the group have ever concocted – a heavenly slice of headrush hip-hop. (YouTube)
Clark, ‘Volcan Veins’
Absurdly busy beats pound the senses silly on this, lifted from Chris Clark’s leaves-you-giddy Turning Dragon LP of January (review) – it’s the dancefloor filler at some underground basement rave no reader (or writer) here is cool enough to gain entry to, bombastic like no track should be, almost literally bruising such is its intensity. (YouTube)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’
A snake-hipped and moist-loined Nick Cave returned to Bad Seeds releasing ways after his Grinderman diversion of 2007 with an album (review) – bearing the same title as this lead single – that rutted with the sexiest sleaze-rock around while retaining Cave’s superb way with the spoken word; this song’s judder-riffs and marching bassline comprised a great curtain-up for the Bad Seeds’ best LP in years. (YouTube)
Fuck Buttons, ‘Bright Tomorrow’
The kind of propulsive drone that sucks your synapses up a straw and spits them right back at you, bloody and fucked but weirdly absolutely how you want to feel, Fuck Buttons’ LP-preceding single – released on picture-disc seven-inch by ATP – bore a hole into its audience’s skulls and laid glittering eggs, which later burst into flaming volume of a scale epic enough to pop heads like pea pods.
Lovvers, ‘Search Of Gold’
The flipside to January’s ‘Laughing Man seven-inch, this blast of grunge noise from Nottingham’s Lovvers was pitched perfectly at tweaking the memory banks of those remembering not only when Nirvana were active, but when they properly mattered – it’s absolutely filthy, disgusting of production, but totally pop, and totally brilliant. (YouTube)
Rolo Tomassi, ‘Beat Rotter’
A savage, slavering rottweiler of a synth-punk standout amongst the Sheffield kids’ catalogue to date, ‘Beat Rotter’ plays out like two tracks in a battle to the death – one a twee key-led number tip-toeing about all Casiotone like, the other the first material from Converge’s young-pup offspring; somewhere in the middle singer Eva plays both angel and devil, and a thousand should-know-better souls fall in love with destruction. (Hear the track on MySpace)
Zomby, ‘Spliff Dub’ (Rustie Remix)
Other side to Zomby’s ‘Mash’, released on the Hyperdub, this incarnation of the track has Glasgow whippet Rustie adding nauseating bleep to the ceremony. (YouTube)
Flying Lotus, ‘Breathe’
El Guincho, ‘Kalise’
Space-age exotica for the Donuts generation from the Canary Islands’ finest loop auteur.
TRC, ‘Junior Riddim’
Skulking Bassline to make your brain bleed from Wolves upstart TRC. (Hear tracks on MySpace)
Invisible Conga People, ‘Cable Dazed’
The minimal panache of Villalobos’ lurking beats and the methodical climbs of Harmonia. (YouTube, sort of)
A halfway between Ecstatic Sunshine’s WAY and Echospace and Deepchord’s The Coldest Season; a dose of electronic drone-lite. (Hear tracks on MySpace)
Hercules and Love Affair, ‘Blind’
Something to make you strip down to your pants and dance round forgetting that the gut hanging off your hips exists… liquid disco.
Prodigy of Mobb Deep, ‘When I See You’
Hulking bar-brawl brutality from the H.N.I.C.: “It’s gonna be some shit when I see you / good fella nigga but I ‘fenna get evil.” (YouTube)
Telepathe, ‘Chrome’s On It’
Brooding drone-pop juggernaut from the Brooklyn banshees. (YouTube)
Dananananaykroyd, ‘The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash’
Like Minutemen indulging prog tendencies. Glorious five minutes of fight-pop. (Hear tracks on MySpace)
One More Grain, ‘Confession Time’
Can clattering into a Benzodiazepine-addled prophet from Lancaster. (Hear tracks on MySpace)
Got ten favourite tracks of the year so far? Post ‘em below, yeah? If you missed our Essential Dozen albums of the year so far, which ran earlier this week, find parts one to three as follows:
Part One - Foals, Portishead, British Sea Power, Mystery Jets
Part Two - No Age, Bon Iver, Cut Copy, Why?
Part Three - Times New Viking, Atlas Sound, Wild Beasts, The Ruby Suns
And some of our favourites on their favourites of 2008 to date, featuring No Age, Wild Beasts and Mystery Jets, here.
Picture: Amy Brammell