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It may have been about the big man upstairs – yawn – but God-bothering subject matter aside, ‘Acapella’ was a musical slap around the chops. Think Gaga’s the only innovator? Think again. This was four minutes of sultry electro, fashion-forward batty outfits (in the vid) and a naggingly catchy chorus. Result? Pop perfection.


Proving that they had range to grow beyond just the one shrieks’n’bleeps setting, the sweepingly melodic ‘Celestica’ found CC embracing simple, calm beauty, and, bizarrely, daytime radio playlists. The churchyard-set video highlighted the sense of spacious spirituality in the track, Alice and Ethan like repentant creatures of the night humbly returning to grace.

Crystal Castles - 'Celestica' Crystal Castles - 'Celestica'
Video: Crystal Castles - 'Celestica'

18Rad Pitt

Coming out of the traps sounding fully formed and ready to prove it, Manchester’s new enfants terribles’ finest moment stutters with the same shakes as vintage New Order, while of course also employing one of the finest Cure rip-off riffs ever invented. Not half bad considering how enviably apathetic frontman Alex Hewett manages to soundas he cooly slurs his tale of teenage boredom and lethargic bliss.

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17Bloodbuzz Ohio

When The National started playing this track live last year, it was an intense, plodding number. By the time of its release, clattering in with taut drums, Bloodbuzz Ohio’s new pace folded brass chords, piano loops and cymbal-rolls into a slow build, exploding into the chorus like a rush of blood to the head.

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No song about the pains of unrequited love should be as bushy-tailed as this standout from ‘Crazy For You’ with its sassy, soaraway chorus and irresistibly summery Dinosaur Jr-style guitar. “I wonder if he knows how much I want him?” sighed Bethany Cosentino and all we could do was grin in heartless glee.

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Few were the folk who didn’t totally fall in love with Warpaint in 2010 (particularly in the NME office), and the reason was songs like this, the track that best shows off their melodic, spacious beauty.

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Warpaint - Undertow Warpaint - Undertow
Video: Warpaint - Undertow

14We Want War

If ‘Hidden’ is a bracing, futuristic sonic battleship, ‘We Want War’ is its autonomous killer droid. Industrial drums, choir, lazer brass, knives sharpening and Jack Barnett’s snide vocal all violently point out how far ahead of the game These New Puritans are.

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These New Puritans - 'We Want War' These New Puritans - 'We Want War'
Video: These New Puritans - 'We Want War'

13Drunk Girls

This nicked Bowie’s ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ and turned it into a typically Murphy-esque tale of bafflement at the behaviour of the dickheads around him. Basically made social awkwardness sound like the most fun thing in the world.

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LCD Soundsystem - 'Drunk Girls' Video Promo LCD Soundsystem - 'Drunk Girls' Video Promo
Video: LCD Soundsystem - 'Drunk Girls' Video Promo


The London trio’s noise may carry a flavour of many genres – drone, industrial, punk, even electro-pop – but, above all, this is music that doesn’t crave approval, and for that reason demands it. In a world full of bands pleading for popularity, Factory Floor strive instead for catharsis – and what works for them works for us.

11Born Free

That waspish Suicide riff just ticked over and over and over, like someone jabbing their forefinger repeatedly into your temple to get you to see it their way. Working equally as an eloquent assertion of the fundamental rights of man, or as a slamming call to fuck shit up, as comebacks go this one was a printer cartridge in the cargo plane of music.

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Gavin Haynes

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