Released: August 2004

Though it was ‘Fidelity’ and ‘On The Radio’ from 2006’s ‘Begin To Hope’ that brought Regina Spektor wider success, it was at the expense of some of the rougher edges on her preceding album, ‘Soviet Kitsch’, a bizarre, intimate and idiosyncratic record in which the sweetness of her piano-led ballads is tempered by a raw weirdness. ‘Us’, in which the tousle-mopped little nutter imagines having...

 
 
 

Released: September 2004

The lead-off single and high-point of Interpol’s second album, this has a typically obtuse Paul Banks lyric (“Make revision to a dream while you wait in the van”) only somehow even worse (“Sensitive to faith not”? Bad grammar does not necessarily load things with meaning, Mr Banks). What’s remarkable about this song is that this drivel doesn’t matter one bit. It’s a perfectly weighted...

 
 
 

Released: October 2000

The moment where Radiohead finally left behind the limitations of being an alt.rock band and embraced a whole wide world of weirdness that made ‘alt’ seem as silly a word as it was. The opening track of ‘Kid A’ took their fans further out than they’d ever been before, dabbling in Warp-style electronica, minimalism and all manner of glitchy creepiness. Thom Yorke’s no longer just singing about...

 
 
 

Released: March 2008

The rise of Manchester five-piece Elbow from relative unknowns into one of the biggest bands in the UK may have been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Sourcing them a whole new generation of fans, as well as landing them with a Mercury Music Prize for ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, ‘One Day Like This’, with its choral chanting and orchestral extravagance, proved so uplifting and inspiring that it’s...

 
 
 

Released: July 2002

Take the insanely-young genius of James Skelly (just 21-years old when he wrote the track), add the veteran know-how of producer Ian Broudie (of The Lightning Seeds fame), and the results speak for themselves. The Coral’s debut album stunned like a cattle-prod on its release in 2002, such was its vitality and the wide-ranging sources for its unique sound. Country, 1960s psychedelia, sea shanties, The Doors, folk...

 
 
 

Released: August 2009

A nocturnal proclamation of love (that veers into dangerous co-dependent territory) this was The xx’s finest moment thus far; a simple, effective take on dark, nocturnal love action. As guitars twirls like dance floor partners in the background, Olly and Romy skirt around their loyalty (“I am yours now, so I don’t ever have to leave,” they sing) sounding half in love, half bewitched by Stockholm...

 
 
 

Released: July 2005

The standout track from the classic 'Illinois' album, 'Chicago' is on a concept album about the state it exists in, but isn't really about the city, more about a road trip Sufjan had taken with his friend. No matter, its string-laden majesty was truly a thing of wonder. And even Snow Patrol referencing it on their 2006 song 'Hands Open' couldn't diminish its beauty.

 
 
 

Released: October 2002

"There are fewer more distressing sights, than that, of an Englishman in a baseball cap" sang Pete Doherty in an inch-perfect lyric from this anthemic indie classic inspired by London’s violent May Day riots. The third single from The Libertines’ debut album ‘Up The Bracket’, it was yet another wake-up slap in the face for anyone who thought that British indie rock was dormant after the heady days...

 
 
 

Released: March 2009

In a world in which everyone and their dog was doing the 80s, Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid pulled off the feat of making something which sounded attached to that decade but which also sounded authentic and effortless. The key seemed to be the duo’s set up, whereby Elly’s lyrics - schooled in Joni Mitchell’s academy of the confessional - and her weird, falsetto vocal style bounced off Ben’s multi-tracked...

 
 
 

Released: March 2001

At the peak of their powers with 2001’s ‘Discovery’, everything the duo did sounded so damn effortless. Their robo-personas were put into full effect as they intoned the Presbyterian work ethic of the lyrics, slowly going out of their tiny, worker ant minds as the words became disjointed and rotten by the climax of the track. The music shuffled along with a snappy groove, echoing the non-stop nature of the...

 
 
 
 
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