1. New Young Pony Club – Lost A Girl
Oh my god, finally. We’ve pined for our favourite glossy punk-dance troupe long and hard, and finally they’re back, with a new album due in the new year. They’re not proffering ‘Ice Cream’ this time around so much as ice queen, channelling Siouxsie And The Banshees at their poppiest on this melodic, melancholic little number, the perfect soundtrack to the point at the end of the night when the dancefloor slowly clears and dark thoughts begin to descend.
2. Erik Hassle and Ellie Goulding – Be Mine
Our crush on Ellie worsens day by day, and this acoustic cover of Swedish pop genius Robyn’s heartbreaking ballad will do us no favours. Ms Goulding is aided and abetted by Robyn’s countryman and fellow pop traveller Erik Hassle, and by the time they’re done with you you’ll be a wreck.
3. An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump – Silent Hour
Forbidding of stare, black of fringe, scary as all hell – we love to fear this terrible trio. We also love to love their minimal, doomy, goth-grunge-girl-group sound, too, and their new ‘Buy A Life’ EP – and this song in particular – has us pretty much grovelling to lick their boot heels.
4. Les Corps Mince De Francoise – Something Golden
Missing CSS? Cure your inexplicable pangs through a fling with Finland’s Les Corps Mince De Francoise. They have a ridiculous name, they play minimal, danceable pop that channels Neneh Cherry, early Madonna and all other things that are fun.
5. I Was A King – Norman Bleik
See what they’ve done there? Probably not, so let us explain. Huggable Scottish indie poppers Teenage Fanclub like Neil Young a lot. So much so, in fact, that they once released a song called ‘Neil Jung’, punning his name with that of psychoanalyst Carl Jung (still with us?). Teenage Fanclub’s lead singer is called Norman Blake. Bleik, however, is a little village in Norway from which you can watch the Northern lights. Equally huggable indie-poppers I Was A King are from Norway. They really, really, really like Teenage Fanclub. The song, you ask? Why, it’s absolutely brilliant, of course.
6. The Boxer Rebellion – Evacuate
If boxers did rebel we wouldn’t stand a chance, but, thankfully, there’s no prospect of that in sight. Instead, this is the sort of urgent, surging guitar rock with a U2 backbone that you’ll kind of hate yourself for liking but, none the less, it will suckerpunch you into submission.
7. James Yuill – No Surprise (Earth Version)
Indie troubadour Yuill is just about to head back into the studio to record a follow-up to his 2008 debut ‘Turning Down Water For Air’, but, before he does, he’s gone back to the songs from that album and reworked them into two EPs, ‘Earth’ and ‘Fire’. The latter features stripped-back, bare-bones versions, and the former, pepped-up electronic and dancey takes like this belter.
8. Surfer Blood – Swim
Labelmates to Grizzly Bear and fuzzed-up lo-fi scamps, Surfer Blood have a knack for penning tunes that sound like prime US radio rawk, but crumpled and distorted like you forgot about it and accidentally put it in the washing machine in your jeans pocket, and then you’re really excited when you pull it out and it still works. Or, in this case, like Van Halen recorded in a bucket. But a good bucket.
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9. Solange – Stillness Is The Move
It seems like Beyoncé’s little sister is single-handedly trying to indie-fy the hip-hop elite, what with getting B and her beau Jay-Z into Grizzly Bear and raving on about her love for Dirty Projectors. Indeed, so fond is the avant-R&B star-in-waiting of Dave Longstreth’s oddball New York indie troupe, she’s covered this belter of a single from the start of the year. Considering that underneath its spectral weirdo-pop beats the heart of a towering, Aaliyah-esque R&B belter, it actually makes a whole lot of sense.
10. The Courteeners – Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly
Going from strength to strength in the live arena, the Manchester boys are preparing to unleash the follow-up to ‘St Jude’ in the new year and this dark, finger-clickingly stylish number suggests a rather more grown-up and sexy sound than the winsome indie boys of old.