1. Kate Nash – ‘I Just Love You More’
Trust button-nosed, lemon-eating goddess of sweetness Kate Nash to finally break that long silence with a Valentine’s Day gift. If you’re expecting all hearts and flowers though, this fem-post-punk dead-eyed strut, reminiscent of The Au Pairs, The Slits, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Art Star’, The Flying Lizards’ ‘Money’ and everything that makes life worth living, is going to be a sexy slap in the face. The album’s out April 19 – spring cannot come too soon.
2. Silver Columns – ‘Yes, And Dance (Silver Columns Remix)’
Silver: Silver Columns’ enigmatic, Bronski Beat-channelling ‘Brow Beaten’ rampaged through the blogs like chicken pox a couple of months back, and this blissed-out, self-remixing (dirty birds) bit of delightfully deep-and-glitchy Knife-ish electro proves that, even when the mystique of hidden identity is gone, Adem and The Pictish Trail (aka Johnny Lynch) have more than one trick up their sleeves.
3. Lo Fi Fnk – ‘Marchin’ In
It’s been a while since we heard of these Swedish electropop men-about-town, whose coolly twinkling ‘Boylife’’s celestial club sound shifted many a booty back in 2006. Leo Drougge and August Hellsing’s new material ploughs deeper and darker territories, more 4am than midnight, with a sunwashed Balearic feel as laidback as a stoned cat.
4. Bob Dylan – ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Live At The White House)’
If all the blogging and spinning and hyping leaves you feeling a bit jaded at times, it’s good to remember that music really can be part of something more solid than a record number of MySpace plays. It doesn’t get more emotive, or iconic, than Bob’s astutely bare, graceful rendition of his definitive protest song at a celebration event for the civil rights movement, hosted by one Barack Obama.
5. Baby Monster – ‘She Comes Alive’
If you’re pining after MGMT’s radiant psych-synth exploits, you could do worse than get involved with these Oregon tykes, whose reverb-and-romance-heavy new single is just cute as a button.
6. Lunar Youth –‘Misfits’
The debut single from this London trio is polished as a teacher’s apple, with some seriously glossy ’80s guitar (well, they do cite The Cars as an influence). Singer Simon Berlin’s laidback, deep croak has the kind of gravitas Editors’ Tom Smith or White Lies’ Harry McVeigh aim at, but stays away from ‘hammy’. Subtle and layered, this is mainstream indie-rock with a heart.
7. The Hairs – ‘Duh! x 12’
These chaps share The Drums’ old label, Holiday Records, and though distinctly more lo fi, the spry indie-pop they have to offer is certainly a kindred spirit to our tambourine-banging darlings. This track is kissing cousins to The Flaming Lips’ ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’, but with a hint of the itchy weirdness of Violent Femmes’ ‘Blister In The Sun’. Which adds up to a pile of yes please.
8. The Drums – ‘Best Friend’
You’d wonder where to go after something as perfect as the ‘“Summertime!”’ EP, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s why The Drums are on top of the world with their perfect preppy haircuts and you are making do with life’s leftovers, my friend. The perfect glitchy Casio three-note riff and rhythmic panting pair beautifully with a Smithsian melody that will follow you around like a lovesick puppy.
9. Joy Orbison – ‘The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow’
After his remarkable ‘Hyph Mngo’, Joy Orbison returns with more curiously titled, yet immaculately arranged future-house. ‘The Shrew…’ isn’t quite the attack ‘Hyph…’ was. It sashays where that debut 12-inch smashed, smoothing its blaring bliss into something with a leaner, more patient impetus. When the star-warm synths reach their high though, you’ll know. There are hairs on the back of your neck whose job it is to tell you.
10. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’
Ooooh, look at them, all moody in their black leather! Yes, the suspicion that BRMC have been consumed by the smack-rock clichés they’ve always played with grows ever stronger, but listening to this evil, slinky, ruined older brother of Kasabian’s ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’ you can’t deny the results are magnificently ludicrous.