A re-cap and re-rub of all the sevens we've voted Single of the Week so far this year. Then I had to work out which ones I liked best, threw a strop, and settled for this Top 28.
First off - in no particular order - are the singles what bagged the top spot in the first half of oh-nine. We've stuck almost entirely to 'proper' releases, so while I should like to include some album tracks/randomness, these are almost entirely records you would have to pay actual money for. With the caveat, of course, that these days no one knows what a proper release actually is / there is apparently no consensus as to release dates / record-buying yoots don't give a monkeys about the charts anyway. Despite all that, it remains my absolute favourite format.
Wavves - 'So Bored' (Young Turks)
We Are Enfant Terrible – 'Eagles Don’t Sparkle' (Unsigned)
Lily Allen - 'The Fear' (The Count Saves Lily Allen From The Fear Remix) (Parlophone)
N.A.S.A. - 'Whatchadoin'' feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A & Santogold / 'Money' - Feat. David Byrne & Chuck D (Anti)
Crystal Stilts – 'Departure' (Angular)
School Of Seven Bells - 'Iamundernodisguise' (Full Time Hobby)
Lissy Trullie - 'Self-Taught Learner EP' (American Myth)
La Roux 'In For The Kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Mix)' (Polydor)
Whomadewho - 'This Train' / 'The Plot' (Gomma)
La Roux – ‘In For The Kill’ (Polydor)
Dananananaykroyd – ‘Black Wax’ (Best Before)
Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele ‘Oh Paris!’ (Paw Tracks)
Hook And The Twin - 'Race For The Bone' (Feraltone)
Amanda Blank – ‘Might Like You Better’ (Downtown Records)
Wave Machines – ‘Keep The Lights On’ (Neapolitan)
The Detachments – ‘The Flowers That Fell’ (Thisisnotanexit)
The Phenomenal Handclap Band – ‘15 to 20’ (Tummy Touch)
Magic Arm – ‘Widths and Heights’ (Switchflicker / Peacefrog)
Toddla T & Hervé ft. MC Serocee – 'Shake It!' (1965)
Crystal Stilts – ‘Love Is A Wave’ - (Angular Records)
Matt & Kim – ‘Lessons Learned’ (Artwerk)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – ‘All In One Sixty Dancehalls EP’- (Greco Roman)
Stornoway – ‘Zorbing’ (Unsigned last time we looked, but can't be long now)
Gossip – ‘Heavy Cross’ (Columbia)
Florence & The Machine – ‘Rabbit Heart’ (Moshi Moshi)
Phenomenal Handclap Band - ‘You’ll Disappear’ (Tummy Touch)
And now for the good bit, where I get to right some wrongs. A pointless chart where I compare things from wildly disparate genres even though that is massively unfair? Oh, go on then. Naturally half these things aren't to be found on frigging Spotify, so I have helpfully spent the entire
morning day hoovering up YouTube codings.
Anyhoo, in descending order, this is where I am at:
#28 - Gossip - 'Heavy Cross' (Columbia)
Yes, yes, yes, Standing In The Way Of Control: Part Deux. DON'T CARE. LIKE THIS ONE BETTER. AND NOT JUST TO BE DIFFERENT SLASH ANNOYING.
#27 - Wavves - 'So Bored' (Young Turks)
If I am feeling flip I will say that if Crystal Stilts are my favourite muddy band, Wavves are my favourite fuzzy one. And a song about boredom appeals to the teenager in all of us.
#26 - We Are Enfant Terrible – 'Eagles Don’t Sparkle' (Unsigned)
Everyone seemed to get their knickers in a right old twist when I went for this, but I still love the way it goes from rangy post-punk bounciness into melted down, 8-bittery. And the echoing vocals still push my buttons. [Free download at Discodust here]
#25 - Gang Gang Dance - 'House Jam' (Hot Chip remix)
I don't understand Gang Gang Dance. But I like them very well, especially when Hot Chip have rolled around in their oddness and spat it out again. I am cheating a bit, because this was the b-side to 'First Communion'.
#24 - Girls - 'Hellhole Ratrace' (Fantasy Trashcan / Turnstile)
Favourite new band - this week, anyway. Lovely, sad, Elvis Costello channelling Spiritualized (with the near-death-sadface codas left in).
#23 - Oliver Koletski feat. Roland Clark – ‘Yes We Can’ (Hell Yeah)
At first I was a bit worried about this. Because it's a hands-in-the-air in I-beef-a, almost quasi-Faithless record, which naturally I should had me running from the hills. But there is something rather heart-warming about it - as if Oliver and Roland have thought to themselves, ‘Um, shall we just pretend we’re Obama for 6 minutes and make a State of the Union house music address?’. Probably more Derek than Barack, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Go and have a listen on his MySpace here,, because the remixes are not a patch.
#22 - Ane Brun – ‘The Puzzle’ (DeTerMine)
Normally I am not one for wibbly, so this should have wound me up something silly. But I loved it then, still do now, and - crucially - never skip to the next track when it comes up on shuffle.
#21 - Royksopp feat. Robyn – ‘The Girl And The Robot’ (Wall of Sound)
Reviews were rather luke-warm about this - uncharitably I thought. As a treatise on crap boyfriends who turn into dull-as-ditches workaholics, it soars.
#20 - Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele - ‘Oh Paris!’ (Paw Tracks)
Terrible thing is, I can't stand the album. It's too, too much; like treacle topped with golden syrup and a side order of maple sauce. But 'Oh Paris!' is still all-charm, with a delightful videothing.
#19 - The Phenomenal Handclap Band – ‘You'll Disappear’ (Tummy Touch)
It's no accident PHCB have two singles in this chart. I also love their album artwork more than anyone else's this year - it's sort of Chocky meets The Red Hand Gang, i.e. stark, graphic, a little bit sci-fi and proper classy.
#18 - Wave Machines – ‘I Go I Go I Go’ (Neapolitan)
I really, really, really want Liverpool's Wave Machines to be massive. Even my Dad likes this.
#17 - Whomadewho - 'This Train' / 'The Plot' (Gomma)
This is still quite delightfully daft. And yet thankfully not a novelty record.
#16 - Magic Arm – ‘Widths and Heights’ (Switchflicker / Peacefrog)
Half of the reason I love this is the production, which is about as crystal-clear and cut-glass as it's possible for a record to be. But it's not just that, 'Widths & Heights' has such a generous attitude to melody it's downright vulgar. Sounding like a slightly more well-adjusted, been-through-therapy Beta Band, it also has a lovely trumpet section.
#15 - Miike Snow - 'Burial (Benny Blanco remix)' (Downtown Records)
Dazzlingly shiny and extremely odd at the same time. For some reason I am reminded of Scritti Politti & Prince (and I hate both, so do not let this influence you).
#14 - Poppy & the Jezebels – ‘Rhubarb & Custard’ (Gumball Machine)
When I was Poppy's age I was in a shit War Pigs-covering, metal band. For SHAME.
#13 - Crystal Stilts – ‘Love Is A Wave’ (Angular)
Alight of Night sounds like it was recorded through a wall in a basement toilet. Not that it matters when you end up with singles like this.
#12 - The Detachments – ‘The Flowers That Fell’ (Thisisnotanexit)
I want to hear more from The Detachments. Even if their influences are writ large on their sleeves in tinselled neon.
#11 - Paul White – 'One Eye Open EP' (One Handed)
Along with label-mate Bullion, young Paul White is making darting, psychedelic hip-hop which manages to pack in some gloriously strange and off-kilter sampling. But it never loses sight of the whole picture and does not have its head up its arse. Gorgeous re-swizzed snippet here
#10 - Beyonce – 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' (RCA)
I am sure I am not the only woman for whom Beyonce inspires a strange mixture of awe and anxiety. Because whenever I look at a picture of her, the hairs on my neck stand on end and I sort of want to top myself, because I shall never be as marvellous. See what Fosse moves might conceivably have inspired the video below:
#9 - Florence & The Machine - ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ (Moshi Moshi)
It isn't law for people to like FloMo, obviously. But I am getting a bit bored with the pathetic one-upmanship that seems to inform those who shout loudly (and nastily) about this year's crop of pop hopefuls. I HATED THEM FIRST! I HATED THEM BEFORE THAT! Etc.
#8 - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – ‘All In One Sixty Dancehalls EP’- (Greco Roman)
So good, I bought it twice on two formats, like some sort of panting McFly fan. Mmmn, Greco Roman.
#7 - Matt & Kim – ‘Lessons Learned’ (Artwerk)
I very much enjoyed the Final Destination stylings of their videothing. But much more, I liked this as an urgent pop song about staying up all night and fraying the edges of your brain.
#6 - The Phenomenal Handclap Band – ‘15 to 20’ (Tummy Touch)
Favourite lyrical insult of the year: 'All that money; still riding the bus'. Brilliant.
#5 - Stornoway – ‘Zorbing’ (Unsigned last time we looked, but can't be long now)
#4 - School Of Seven Bells 'Iamundernodisguise' (Full Time Hobby)
I think I first got sent this about 9 months ago, and none of its dreaminess has worn off. It'll be ridonkulously hard for them to top this, not that that matters.
#3 - Toddla T & Hervé ft. MC Serocee – 'Shake It!' (1965)
Smash and grab pop music that is about the cheekiest (and definitely the most fun) thing you'll hear this year. 'T Willy' makes it look easy. It is not.
#2 - The Hundred In The Hands – ‘Dressed in Dresden’ (Pure Groove)
Like an absolute div, I didn't even make this Single of the Week, which I think was something to do with it being a re-release. I am a damn fool and that is a stupid reason I shall not use again because everything on 'Dressed in Dresden' (fuzz, post-punk bee-stings, darling ladyvocals) is wonderful.
#1 - Animal Collective – ‘My Girls’ (Domino)
You know how you tend to have one song you always turn to when things get a bit shit? This is mine. And it strikes me that one of Merriweather Post Pavillion's perceived faults - vague platitudinous lyrics - is one that also strikes heavily in AC's favour. 'My Girls' may be a personal declaration of the particular hopes of Mr. Panda Bear, but it also feels like he's been - BFG-like - inside my head and stolen everything I've been thinking recently. No single this year even comes close.
Now you just need to tell me where I've gone hopelessly, unforgiveably wrong.