Anthony Gonzalez drew on Jean Michel Jarre’s synth-work and John Hughes’ spunky ’80s teen films to come up with the most heart-bursting, euphoric anthem since Daft Punk’s ‘Digital Love’. And are we permitted to use the phrase “awesome sax break”? Looks like we just have.
This preposterously hook-filled, highly danceable surf guitar beauty straight away felt like The Next Step in the long line of Saviours Of Guitar Music and, in “I hate myself more than I hate you” featured probably the best line anyone sang all year. No wonder folk got so excited.
This lion-eyed plea to an ex, channelling minimal splashes of soul, R&B and larksome Animal Collective exuberance, sent us spare with joy. As Michael Gove proceeded to wank the bare essence of our education system into a copy of Hard Times, ‘Bizness’ offered a DIY lesson in mind-expanding, culture-blurring ingenuity.
As the global economy goes arse over tit, it’s all about staycationing to save a buck, folks. And who better to make the sewage-spattered English seaside look appealing than Metronomy’s suave supremo Joe Mount? With its crooning electronic funkola, ‘The Bay’ is the soundtrack to all your future holidos. Time to hi-di-flipping-hi campers
Like an erratic, erotic cuckoo clock, this shows its charms one-by-one before going SEX MAD, beating you around the face with its gaudy mechanical wang. The glimmer of fingers stroking the surface of a pool trails sexy grunts, before Ian Williams’ keyboard explodes into Matias Aguayo’s waterslide-slippery vocals. Best enjoyed dripping down your chin.
‘Bed Of Nails’ distilled ‘Smother’’s splendid brand of smooth sleaze into four minutes of sublime synth-pop sauciness. Nods to Mary Shelley and Shakespeare, as well as spellbinding beats, lifted it from pure perversity into something quite beautiful, yet still utterly shaggable.
The folly of war could hardly have been captured more succinctly in song. The sombre opening lines: “I’ve seen and done things I want to forget/I’ve seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat”. A haunting indictment of what happens when diplomacy and humanity fail us.
We’ve long since ceased trying to prepare ourselves for what The Horrors get up to next but “A-listed on Radio 1” threw us. The siren song that drew their biggest audience yet was scarcely less of a shocker. The dark, krauty thrums of ‘Sea Within A Sea’ smoothed and rippled into a gorgeous groove, Faris’ voice rich and devoid of ire and irony as he promised “When you wake up/You will find me” over...
OK, so his album turned out to be a bit of a dud, but for a brief moment in 2011 there was only ‘Yonkers’ — and ‘Yonkers’ felt like a very big deal indeed. No other track this year screamed ‘star appeal’ louder than this, and danger seeped out of its pores from the opening bars. Over a beat that sounded like the clanking cogs of a psycho-killer’s mind in motion, the Odd Future lynchpin introduced...
You probably won’t be too surprised to find ‘Video Games’ topping this list. Lana Del Rey’s debut single racked up over seven million YouTube views and spawned its own viral literal-video parody, as well as numerous lame cover versions by awestruck indie bands. It’s the most blogged-on, most meme-able and most unashamedly gushed-over song of the year, and if its position seems a tad inevitable, that’s...