Released: January 2007

Released from the shackles of child stardom and the major label treadmill, Robyn got back to basics, releasing her self-titled album on her own label. But she wasn’t just an auteur of her own career, she was an auteur of her own sound; where swathes of glossy noughties pop were tempered by a lifetime’s worth of experience lived under the spotlight of the music biz. ‘With Every Heartbeat’ was typical of...

 
 
 

Released: September 2006

This opening shot from the duo that used myth and obfuscation as their own media breadcrumb trail was appropriately strange and brilliant. A riddle waiting to be solved, it was an alien melding of Ethan Kath’s 8-bit video game synth rhythm and Alice Glass’ desperate punk rock squall. Allegedly, its creation was a happy accident, but in retrospect it seems to perfectly capture the duo’s modus operandi; a punk...

 
 
 

Released: October 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: January 2004

British indie-disco’s very own year zero. The Strokes and The Stripes might get all the credit for redefining rock music in the early 00s, but it was Franz Ferdinand who gave the UK its first homegrown guitar anthem in five years with ‘Take Me Out’. The fall-out? An unprecedented No. 3 in the Official Top 40 singles chart (back when those kind of things still really mattered), the re-establishment of the...

 
 
 

Released: August 2004

Never has rawness of frayed emotion been captured on record as urgently and accurately as it was on the second-to-last single The Libertines would ever release. The frustration Pete Doherty and Carl Barat felt at the un-workability (to say the least) of their relationship was played out over arguably their finest musical moment. More frustrating than the ins and outs of their relationship was the fact that, as...

 
 
 

Released: August 2003

It would be a hard challenge to go through this Top 150 song list and find a more influential British track than this one. Written at some point between Dylan Mills’ 15th and 17th birthday, ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ was more than just a breakthrough moment for Dizzee Rascal, it was the tipping point for the most important underground UK music scene of the noughties. Grime’s anti-bling clarion call (“Being a...

 
 
 

Released: April 2004

There are few things more satisfying that publicly scoring a lot of points off someone who’s made you feel small. Like that time some gormless bint yelled “Lesbian!” at me in the street as if it was an insult and I yelled back “Yeah, you wish love” and all her mates laughed at her. ’99 Problems’ is kind of like that moment multiplied many times over and made into a song. Jay-Z’s tale...

 
 
 

Released: March 2003

Surely the most maddeningly compulsive bassline of the decade, and not even actually played on a bass guitar. That’s just how Jackie rolls. A cocky, strutting, monster of paranoiac ego-puffing, Jack frets and frays (“And I’m talking to myself at night because I can’t forget/back and forth through my mind behind a cigarette”) then seethes and spits at mysterious adversaries in a strop-storm of...

 
 
 

Released: November 2005

There’s a reason why six years on, ‘Wake Up’ still remains one of the biggest guns in the AF live arsenal. Well, there’s many. That surly, chugging riff and the way the ripple of keys introduces the chorus like a sunburst through the clouds. The way that Win Butler realized that the best thing he could do for that chorus would be to just get his whole band to sing “ohhhh, ohhh, woaaah-oh-oh-ohhhhh”...

 
 
 

Released: March 1997

Too many DJs and producers misuse repetition, using the device to prop up their lack of ideas and innate creative laziness. Not so Daft Punk, whose genius manipulation of just three words and five instruments created an almost illegally infectious club classic that’s survived nearly fifteen years of so-called innovation in dance music. Michel Gondry recognised their smart manipulation of just a few noises and...

 
 
 
 
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