Mike’s Top 50 Albums of 2013

1. Daft Punk: Random Access Memories
2. Harleighblu: Forget Me Not
3. These New Puritans: Field Of Reeds
4. Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park

5. Lady: Lady
6. Rudimental: Home
7. John Grant: Pale Green Ghosts
8. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires Of The City

9. Arctic Monkeys: AM
10. Hookworms: Pearl Mystic
11. The Stepkids: Troubadour
12. Fists: Phantasm

13. Laurel Halo: Chance Of Rain
14. Suede: Bloodsports
15. Disclosure: Settle
16. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Jama Ko

17. Sleaford Mods: Austerity Dogs
18. I Am Kloot: Let It All In
19. Alison Moyet: the minutes
20. Dawn Of Midi: Dysnomia

21. Matthew E. White: Big Inner
22. Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory: Elements Of Light
23. Bombino: Nomad
24. Ballaké Sissoko: At Peace

25. Fuck Buttons: Slow Focus
26. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: English Electric
27. Emma Sweeney: Pangea
28. !!!: Thr!!!er

29. Factory Floor: Factory Floor
30. John Wizards: John Wizards
31. Rokia Traore: Beautiful Africa
32. Mayer Hawthorne: Where Does This Door Go

33. Otis Taylor: My World Is Gone
34. Jessy Lanza: Pull My Hair Back
35. Beyonce: BEYONCE
36. Georges Vert: An Electric Mind

37. The Full English: The Full English
38. Boy George: This Is What I Do
39. Marc Reeves: Of An End
40. Forest Fire: Screens
41. Quadron: Avalanche
42. Mountains: Centralia
43. Little Boots: Nocturnes
44. Primal Scream: More Light
45. Darkside: Psychic
46. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita: Clychau Dibon
47. Heidi Talbot: Angels Without Wings
48. Tamikrest: Chatma
49. Haim: Days Are Gone
50. The Strypes: Snapshot

Mike’s Top 100 albums of 2012

During 2012, I switched to working from home, after a spell of commuting to Leeds two or three times per week. Consequently, I listened to shedloads of new music. Hence, and no sniggering at the back please, a Top 100. (And if this seems excessive, be aware that the 100 was whittled down from a shortlist of 243.)

I’ve also compiled a Spotify playlist, featuring one track from each album, in ascending order of wondrousness.

1. Natalie Duncan – Devil In Me
2. Sam Lee – Ground Of Its Own
3. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
4. Actress – R.I.P.
5. Carter Tutti Void – Transverse
6. Dog Is Dead – All Our Favourite Stories
7. Loudon Wainwright III – Older Than My Old Man Now
8. Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Fetch
9. Goat – World Music
10. Laurel Halo – Quarantine
11. Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe
12. Jessie Ware – Devotion
13. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
14. Sleaford Mods – Wank
15. Spiro – Kaleidophonica
16. Django Django – Django Django
17. Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg
18. Field Music – Plumb
19. Efterklang – Piramida
20. Tindersticks – The Something Rain
21. Saint Etienne – Words And Music By Saint Etienne
22. Kylie Minogue – The Abbey Road Sessions
23. We Show Up On Radar – Sadness Defeated
24. Beach House – Bloom
25. Matt Elliott – The Broken Man
26. Get The Blessing – OC DC
27. THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE
28. Rachel Newton – The Shadow Side
29. Batida – Batida
30. Tracey Thorn – Tinsel and Lights
31. Anna Cinzia Villani – Fimmana, mare e focu
32. Ragnhild Furebotten – Never On A Sunday
33. The Black Twig Pickers – Whompyjawed
34. Rumer – Boys Don’t Cry
35. alt-J – An Awesome Wave
36. Patti Smith – Banga
37. Cafe Iman Istanbul – Fasl-i Rembetiko
38. Troyka – Moxxy
39. Cornershop – Urban Turban
40. Calan – Jonah
41. Lone – Galaxy Garden
42. Roller Trio – Roller Trio
43. Bella Hardy – The Dark Peak and The White
44. Elton John vs Pnau – Good Morning To The Night
45. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing
46. Cornshed Sisters – Tell Tales
47. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
48. Dexys – One Day I’m Going To Soar
49. Ebo Taylor – Appia Kwa Bridge
50. Brad Mehldau Trio – Ode
51. Hello Skinny – Hello Skinny
52. Bee Mask – When We Were Eating Unripe Pears
53. Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made The Radio
54. Auntie Flo – Future Rhythm Machine
55. Esperanza Spalding – Radio Music Society
56. Bob Dylan – Tempest
57. Neil Cowley Trio – The Face Of Mount Molehill
58. Lindstrom – Smalhans
59. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?
60. Dirty Three – Toward The Low Sun
61. Seu Jorge – Musicas para Churrasco, Vol. 1
62. Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion
63. Lee Fields & The Expressions – Faithful Man
64. Lau – Race The Loser
65. Icebreaker – Apollo
66. Plankton Wat – Spirits
67. Mungolian Jetset – Mungodelics
68. Red Baraat – Chaal Baby
69. Mala – Mala In Cuba
70. Roc Marciano – Reloaded
71. The Swans – The Seer
72. Hannah James and Sam Sweeney – State and Ancientry
73. Scott Walker – Bish Bosch
74. Bright Light Bright Light – Make Me Believe In Hope
75. The Unthanks with Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band – Diversions Vol. 2
76. Land Observations – Roman Roads IV – XI
77. Cooly G – Playin’ Me
78. Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself
79. The xx – Coexist
80. Jack White – Blunderbuss
82. Staff Benda Bilili – Bouger Le Monde!
83. Jonas Munk – Pan
84. R. Kelly – Write Me Back
85. Four Tet – Pink
86. Hilary Hahn & Hauschka – Silfra
87. Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose
88. Chairlift – Something
89. Talabarte – Talabarte
90. School Of Seven Bells – Ghostory
91. The Touré-Raichel Collective – The Tel Aviv Session
92. Josephine – Portrait
93. Dean McPhee – Son of the Black Peace
94. Anywhere – Anywhere
95. Cody Chesnutt – Landing On A Hundred
96. Portico Quartet – Portico Quartet
97. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
98. Matthew E. White – Big Inner
99. The Invisible – Rispah
100. Anda Union – The Wind Horse

Mike’s favourite albums of 2011

1 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

I’ve respected and admired PJ Harvey for many years – and I’ve got almost the complete set of albums to prove it – but until now, the respect and admiration has rarely translated into out-and-out love. It’s difficult to locate the precise reasons, but this latest reinvention of PJ as some sort of post-traumatised Cassandra – head-dressed and gowned, brandishing her auto-harp like a lyre, skipping across charred battlefields with ghoulishly unnerving gaiety – is compellingly complete, and perfectly timed.

2 Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise

We had booked a holiday in Goa, but K was too ill to travel, so we took a badly needed week in Cornwall instead. Acting on a recommendation, we checked ourselves into a split-level barn conversion, owned by the ex-wife of a rock legend. Although the design favoured form over function in a way that might have been irksome to some, we revelled in its minimalism. One bright morning, as Nicolas Jaar’s album reverberated through the barn’s high-spec, surround-sound kit (well, you’d expect nothing less), I found myself pacing around the double-height living space, experiencing each sonic element as a distinct, architectural plane (*), and realising that the building offered a perfect locational fit for Jaar’s equally sleek, pared-down, clean-lined approach. The association has stayed with me since, taking me back to my “happy place” with every repeat playing.

(*) No, I wasn’t on drugs. But I can see why you might think that.

3 James Blake – James Blake

My initial distaste for Blake’s fractured, treated vocals seemed insurmountable, but something kept pulling me back, as it sometimes does with records which I think I hate. It all clicked into place when Said The Gramophone posted James Litherland’s “Where To Turn”, covered by his son as “The Wilhelm Scream”. “Cover” is the wrong word, though. “Palimpsest” expresses it better, and really that’s what the whole album’s about: rubbing away at song structures and vocal lines, and smearing over the residues. It’s an approach which I’ve long valued in painting – think of Gerhard Richter, for example – and Blake’s album proves that it can work in music, too.

4 Origamibiro – Shakkei

There are seven albums from Nottingham acts in this year’s list, which is six more than there were in 2010. That’s partly because 2011 turned out to be a landmark year for the music scene in my home city, but it’s also because I finally sat up, took notice, and had my ears opened to what was lying right under my nose. I reviewed Origamibiro’s Shakkei for the current issue of LeftLion magazine; have a read, take a listen, and see what you think.

5 Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest

Music as scented candle? In this instance, I’m guilty as charged – for if there are darker undertows to be found in any of these songs, then I have remained contentedly unaware of them. Maybe it’s a careering-towards-fifty thing, but “soothing” is a quality that I seem to have started valuing more highly, and in this respect, Gillian Welch’s music has soothed more than most. I like the sparseness, the timelessness, the gentle intimacy, and the relaxed, unhurried mood, which transfers itself from artist to listener as the album progresses… even when the listener is equally focussed on reading the weekend newspapers.

6 Katy B – On A Mission

I only went clubbing three times in 2011, which is more than most men of my age would countenance, but the London gay scene can be quite accommodating to the older gentleman, and I still felt just about able to blend. Katy B’s style of club music didn’t feature on their playlists, so these places did nothing to help me place her music in its full context, but – just as with the terrific student house-share sitcom Fresh Meat – I can still find enough familiar elements to make the imaginative leap. Clearly a committed clubber herself, Katy succeeds in communicating her love of club culture to the rest of us, winningly combining the roles of shining-eyed evangelist, front-line reporter and dancefloor companion. At the two live shows that I witnessed, teenage girls dominated the front rows. I don’t see that too often – not with female artists, at least – and so it cheered me to think that this particular mission had, for once, hit its right and proper target.

7 Lou Reed and Metallica – Lulu

I almost felt bad about placing this year’s critical consensus choice at the top of my list, but the critical consensus and I didn’t always converge so happily, and here’s the prime piece of evidence. The Wire might have placed Lulu high in their year-end poll, and Wim Wenders might have raved about it, but these people are hardly my usual kindred spirits, and as for everybody else: what’s WRONG with you all, this is GENIUS, you blinkered FOOLS! OK, so it’s overblown and preposterous genius, which teeters at times on the brink of utter risibility, but what the HELL is wrong with THAT, for pity’s sake? This will be an unimpeachable cult classic in thirty years’ time, you mark my words.

8 Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

His best since Graceland, they all say. Well, I’m no expert. Still, there’s no denying that this is a masterful blend of great songwriting and superb musicianship, beautifully arranged and produced. Fantastic live show over the summer, as well.

9 Robag Wruhme – Thora Vukk

A comparatively beatier, equally pleasurable companion to the Nicolas Jaar album, which shares its knack for interweaving atmospheric field recordings with understated arrangements.

10 Souvaris – Souvaris Souvaris

My last discovery of 2011, which I’ll be reviewing for the next LeftLion. It’s also the final album for Souvaris, who play their farewell gig at Nottingham Contemporary on the night of my fiftieth birthday. A shame that I’ve left it so late to discover them, but better late than never. To be filed under “instrumental post rock”, I guess, but this spans a wide range of moods, often within the same track.

11 Gallery 47 – Fate Is The Law

This was my most played album over the summer, while I was putting in the research for my Guardian feature on the rising fortunes of Nottingham’s music scene. Here’s what I wrote about it for LeftLion.

12 Ron Sexsmith – Long Player Late Bloomer

Thanks to a rigorously organised routine for scanning new releases on Spotify, Ron Sexsmith finally drew my attention, God-knows-how-many albums into his career. (I’d heard some of his work before, on the second Feist album, but unwittingly so.) Apparently, his choice of Bob Rock as producer ruffled a few loyalist feathers, but the high-impact immediacy of Rock’s production felt, to me at least, like a good fit for Sexsmith’s songs. A wonderful show at the just-revamped Rescue Rooms brought out the best in them as well, particularly the irresistibly hooky opener “Get In Line” and the achingly affecting closer “Nowadays”.

13 Wolf + Lamb vs Soul Clap – DJ-Kicks

Fifteen years ago, I was buying more mix CDs than single artist albums. In 2011, I bought just three. This was by far and away my favourite: a restrained yet purposeful set, which readily lends itself to home listening. It doesn’t get properly beaty until the second half, by which time I’m warmed up and ready to, um, twitch my toes, just ever so slightly.

14 White Denim – D

I’ve never been able to reconcile White Denim’s live sets with their recorded material, which doesn’t fully represent their looser, wilder on-stage brilliance. With D, the difference finally ceased to matter. Although they still feel to me like two distinct propositions, this is where the two sides finally evened up, quality-wise. Best track: “Back At The Farm”, which presses all the buttons that require pressing.

15 Little Dragon – Ritual Union

I was alerted to Little Dragon when interviewing John Grant, who has been spending a lot of time in their home city of Gothenburg. When assembling my Best of 2011 Spotify playlist (which I should make more noise about, because it’s great), I began to detect a certain stylistic mood, which runs through many of the picks, particularly on the more electronic (but still song-orientated) end of the spectrum. I can’t quite describe that mood for you now, but it’s very much present here.

(That John Grant interview was one of my highlights of the year, by the way. We were booked for fifteen minutes, but he ended up giving me forty-five. Oh, and then he played the best show that I saw all year. And if the rules had been set differently, then his Queen of Denmark would have been my album of the year, for the second year running. Yes, I’m quite the fan.)

16 Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

As with Loutallica, I feel out of step with Radiohead, whose album slipped out without much fanfare (at least when you compare it to In Rainbows), before slipping away again just as quietly. Once my favourite band, Radiohead had been losing me by degrees from Amnesiac onwards, but whereas the much-vaunted In Rainbows raised little more than a yawn, The King Of Limbs engaged me in a way that none of their work since Kid A has managed to do. Most played track: the skittering, enveloping off-kilter funk of “Morning Mr. Magpie”.

17 Forest Fire – Staring At The X
18 tUnE-yArDs – W H O K I L L
20 June Tabor – Ashore

21 Bella Hardy – Songs Lost & Stolen
22 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
23 Owiny Sigoma Band – Owiny Sigoma Band
24 Tom Waits – Bad As Me

25 Fatoumata Diawara – Fatou
26 Dirty Projectors & Bjork – Mount Wittenberg Orca
27 Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
28 Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire

29 Tinariwen – Tassili
30 Panda Bear – Tomboy
31 Hhymn – In The Depths
32 Tamikrest – Toumastin

33 Swimming – Ecstatics International
34 Amira – Amulette
35 Trichotomy – The Gentle War
36 Ry Cooder – Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down

37 The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
38 Planningtorock – W
39 Manière Des Bohémiens – When The Road Bends
40 C-Mone – Dancing With Mirrors

Albums of 2010

1. Queen Of Denmark – John Grant
2. Hidden – These New Puritans
3. Seasons Of My Soul – Rumer
4. Ali & Toumani – Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate
5. Holkham Drones – Luke Abbott
6. Sky At Night – I Am Kloot
7. Ring – Glasser
8. Gothic Road – Jackie Leven
9. Genuine Negro Jig – Carolina Chocolate Drops
10. Timbuktu Tarab – Khaira Arby
11. We Love – We Love
12. One Life Stand – Hot Chip
13. Gift – Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson
14. I Speak Because I Can – Laura Marling
15. Chamber Music Society – Esperanza Spalding
16. Dust – Ellen Allien
17. Head First – Goldfrapp
18. Through Light And Trees – Smoke Fairies
19. San Patricio – The Chieftains / Ry Cooder
20. There Is Love In You – Four Tet
21. Quadron – Quadron
22. Deep And Meaningless – Ron Basejam
23. Heartland – Owen Pallett
24. Handmade Life – Chris Wood
25. The ArchAndroid – Janelle Monae
26. Niwa – Ripperton
27. The Sea – Corinne Bailey Rae
28. Black Noise – Pantha Du Prince
29. I’m New Here – Gil Scott-Heron
30. Grey Oceans – CocoRosie
31. Relayted – Gayngs
32. Contra – Vampire Weekend
33. Afrocubism – Afrocubism
34. Swim – Caribou
35. Contact, Love, Want, Have – Ikonika
36. Measure – Field Music
37. En Fin Tid – Diskjokke
38. Wake Up The Nation – Paul Weller
39. Night Work – Scissor Sisters
40. Rising Sun – The Souljazz Orchestra
41. Acolyte – Delphic
42. Tradi-Mods vs Rockers (Alternative Takes On Congotronics) – Various
43. Transference – Spoon
44. She Was Coloured In – Solar Bears
45. Before Today – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
46. Soldier Of Love – Sade
47. I And Love And You – Avett Brothers
48. Praise & Blame – Tom Jones
49. Earthology – The Whitefield Brothers
50. LP4 – Ratatat
51. Your Future Our Clutter – The Fall
52. Womb Of Dreams – Fan Death
53. Sun Comes Up Again – I Am Arrows
54. July Flame – Laura Veirs
55. Hedonism – Bellowhead
56. Here Lies Love – David Byrne & Fatboy Slim
57. Blackmagic – Jose James
58. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem
59. Heligoland – Massive Attack
60. Lost Where I Belong – Andreya Triana

Tracks of 2010

As usual, I’ve restricted inclusion to tracks which I enjoyed as stand-alone pieces, rather than getting bogged down in endless favourite album tracks. Consequently, the vast majority of entries on this list were released as singles (whatever “single” means in this day and age), and the list as a whole is more slanted towards the more “pop” end of my taste spectrum.

UPDATE: Click here to listen to all 70 tracks on Spotify.

1. Invisible Light – Scissor Sisters
2. We Want War – These New Puritans
3. Fire With Fire – Scissor Sisters
4. Slow – Rumer
5. Tightrope – Janelle Monae ft Big Boi
6. Round And Round – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
7. Wut – Girl Unit
8. Celestica – Crystal Castles
9. Perfect Stranger – Magnetic Man ft Katy B
10. Coma Cat – Tensnake
11. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
12. Somebody To Love Me – Mark Ronson & the Business Intl ft Boy George
13. Soldier Of Love – Sade
14. She Said – Plan B
15. Night Air – Jamie Woon
16. Mirrorage – Glasser
17. Acapella – Kelis
18. The Gaudy Side Of Town – Gayngs
19. 4th Of July (Fireworks) – Kelis
20. Gettin’ Over You – David Guetta & Chris Willis ft Fergie & LMFAO
21. Them That Do Nothing – Field Music
22. Who Makes Your Money – Spoon
23. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt – Owen Pallett
24. Limit To Your Love – James Blake
25. California Gurls – Katy Perry ft Snoop Dogg
26. Mind Reader – Kingdom ft Shyvonne
27. Gawad Teriamou – The Sway Machinery & Khaira Arby
28. In The Sun – She & Him
29. Oh! The Divorces – Tracey Thorn
30. No Tears To Cry – Paul Weller
31. Rocket – Goldfrapp
32. One Life Stand – Hot Chip
33. Tremel (Astronomer Remix) – Glasser
34. CMYK – James Blake
35. Alejandro – Lady Gaga
36. Fuck You – Cee-Lo Green
37. Dancing On My Own – Robyn
38. Odessa – Caribou
39. Firework – Katy Perry
40. Window Seat – Erykah Badu
41. Aretha – Rumer
42. OMG – Usher
43. Alive – Goldfrapp
44. Stylo – Gorillaz ft Mos Def & Bobby Womack
45. Not In Love – Crystal Castles ft Robert Smith
46. Kupanda – Mice Parade
47. Drop The Other – Emika
48. Nothin’ On You – B.o.B ft Bruno Mars
49. Bloodbuzz Ohio – The National
50. I Need A Dollar – Aloe Blacc
51. Jeans – Quadron
52. Measure – Field Music
53. Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida ft David Guetta
54. Promise This (Almighty Club Mix) – Cheryl Cole
55. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart – Alicia Keys
56. Shutterbugg – Big Boi ft Cutty
57. Dynamite – Taio Cruz
58. Alors On Danse – Stromae
59. Like A G6 – Far East Movement
60. Find Me Out – Rose Elinor Dougall
61. Baptism – Crystal Castles
62. Back To The Fuck Yeah – Pulled Apart By Horses
63. Undertow – Warpaint
64. Follow – Crystal Fighters
65. (It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love – Manic Street Preachers
66. Stereo Love – Edward Maya ft Vika Jigulina
67. I Am Europe – Gonzales
68. Tenderoni – Kele
69. Pass Out – Tinie Tempah
70. Happiness – Alexis Jordan

Gigs of 2010

I attended a mere 34 gigs this year, which is down on the past few years. Links are to reviews on my journo-blog.

1. Oumou Sangare, T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou
2. Candi Staton
3. Crystal Castles, HEALTH
4. These New Puritans
5. Noisettes
6. Scissor Sisters, Hurts
7. The Stranglers
8. Hot Chip, Casiokids
9. Whitney Houston (no, really, I mean it – sounds like we caught her on her one good night?)
10. Rod Stewart
11. I Am Kloot
12. The Gentle Isolation, The Camerawalls, Your Imaginary Friends, Kate Torralba (two gigs, same line-up)
13. Tom Robinson (60th birthday), Chew Lips, Toumani Diabate, TV Smith, Nitin Sawhney, Eugene McGuinness etc
14. Avi Buffalo
15. Hadouken!, Unicorn Kid
16. Jackie Leven
17. The Invisible
18. Plan B
19. Rihanna, Pixie Lott, Tinie Tempah
20. Bella Hardy Trio
21. Sugarhill Gang
22. Chris Wood
23. Belleruche
24. Squeeze, Lightning Seeds
25. Miike Snow
26. Owl City, Lights
27. Beverley Knight
28. The Low Anthem
29. Ellie Goulding
30. Bridget St. John, Michael Chapman
31. JLS
32. Rufus Wainwright
33. Kele
34. Joy Formidable, Chapel Club

Note (1) – Any one of the top four deserves to be my gig of the year.
Note (2) – There were no out and out stinkers this year, just a few comparatively lacklustre evenings.

Singles and tracks of 2009.

As it has been a golden year for singles, I’ve had to expand my list to a Top 100. The vast majority of these tracks were issued as singles (as evidenced by the accompanying cover art on Spotify). As per usual, I only include favourite album tracks if they somehow took on a separate life of their own, outside the context of their parent albums. (It’s a peculiar rule, but it makes sense to me.)

All but twelve of these tracks can be found on this Spotify playlist, in ascending order. What better way to spend the next six and a half hours of your life?

1. The Fear – Lily Allen
2. Bad Romance – Lady GaGa
(Joint winner of my video of the year, along with #23)
3. Remedy – Little Boots
(I danced to this on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square, along with #4, #5 and #12)
4. When Love Takes Over – David Guetta ft Kelly Rowland
5. Just Dance – Lady GaGa ft Colby O’Donis
6. You’ve Got The Love (Jamie xx re-work ft The xx) – Florence and the Machine
(N.B. Florence’s original version is a strong candidate for my most hated single of 2009, and her album was my most regretted purchase of the year. Which just goes to show what you can do with a good remix.)
7. Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden
8. Wild Horses – Susan Boyle
(Oh, you can scoff. But for me, this was the standout vocal performance of the year.)
9. I’m Not Alone – Calvin Harris
10. Baby Can’t Stop – Lindstrom & Christabelle
11. Did You See Me Coming? (Unicorn Kid mix) – Pet Shop Boys
12. Bulletproof – La Roux
13. Russian Roulette – Rihanna
14. Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer – Darkstar
15. Raindrops – Basement Jaxx
16. Jetstream (Lindstrom remix) – Doves
17. The Howling – The Phantom Band
18. Love Etc. – Pet Shop Boys
19. Crystalised – The xx
20. Day ‘N’ Nite – Kid Cudi vs Crookers
21. Audacity Of Huge – Simian Mobile Disco
22. Kilometer (Aeroplane ‘Italo 84’ mix) – Sebastien Tellier
(I spent much of January and February obsessing over Aeroplane remixes, but this was the only one with a 2009 release date.)
23. How To Stay Alive – Gong
(Joint winner of my video of the year, along with #2. Please promise me that you’ll watch this in full-screen?)
24. Daniel – Bat For Lashes
25. You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
26. Lion Hat – Unicorn Kid
27. Umbrella Beach – Owl City
28. My Girls – Animal Collective
29. Stillness Is The Move – Dirty Projectors
30. New In Town – Little Boots
31. Tirsdagsjam – Lindstrom & Prins Thomas
(I once mistyped this as Tirdgasjam. Arf arf.)
32. Love Me Like This (Nonsense Dub) – Floating Points
33. Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
34. This Momentary – Delphic
35. Fireflies – Owl City
(Absolutely baffled by the almost unanimous hipster hate for this one.)
36. Wee Monsters – Unicorn Kid
37. Islands – The xx
38. Folk Song Oblivion – The Phantom Band
39. Omen – The Prodigy
40. Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys
(Oh God, have I become one of those people who lists token Jay-Z tracks in an effort to pretend that he still “keeps up” with hip hop?)
41. Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas
42. Tic Toc – Permanent Vacation ft Kathy Diamond
43. Runaway – Grum
44. Ready For The Weekend – Calvin Harris
45. Cannibal Resource – Dirty Projectors
46. Pretty Wings – Maxwell
47. Paparazzi – Lady GaGa
48. Basic Space – The xx
49. A Nightingale – Isolee
(B-side of the year, if there is still any residual meaning in the concept.)
50. From Africa To Malaga – JJ
51. Maybe So, Maybe No – Mayer Hawthorne
52. Moto Moindo – Staff Benda Bilili
53. Rushing To Paradise (Walkin’ These Streets) – House Of House
54. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
55. Not Fair – Lily Allen
56. If You Ever Get Famous – The Duke & The King
57. These Are My Twisted Words – Radiohead
58. Poker Face – Lady GaGa
59. Hooting & Howling – Wild Beasts
60. Embers – Just Jack
61. Arrogance Ignorance And Greed – Show Of Hands
62. Get Fresh – Kid Sister
63. Young Forever – Jay-Z ft Mr Hudson
64. Kingdom Of Rust – Doves
65. In The Morning – Fuzzy Logik ft Egypt
66. Take Me Back – Tinchy Stryder ft Taio Cruz
67. Lisztomania – Phoenix
68. Let’s Go Surfing – Drums
69. Party Hard – Donae’o
70. One Day – The Juan Maclean
71. General – Buraka Som Sistema
72. Chasing Pirates – Norah Jones
73. French Navy – Camera Obscura
74. S’il Fallait Le Faire – Patricia Kaas
75. In For The Kill (+ Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix) – La Roux
76. Number 1 – Tinchy Stryder ft N-Dubz
77. Make It Better – Anoraak
78. Bad Habits – Maxwell
79. Ambling Alp – Yeasayer
80. We Are The People – Empire Of The Sun
81. Story Of A Heart – Benny Andersson Band
82. Never Leave You – Tinchy Stryder ft Amelle
83. Method Of Modern Love – Saint Etienne
84. 1901 – Phoenix
85. 11th Dimension – Julian Casablancas
86. Love Story – Taylor Swift
87. Hyph Mngo – Joy Orbison
88. Animal – Miike Snow
89. Holiday – Dizzee Rascal
90. For Your Lover Give Some Time – Richard Hawley
91. Halo – Beyonce
92. Run This Town – Jay-Z ft Rihanna & Kanye West
93. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
94. Bad Gyal – Ms Dynamite
95. Fire Burning – Sean Kingston
96. T-Shirt (+ Crazy Cousinz Vocal Remix) – Shontelle
97. It’s My Time – Jade Ewen
98. I’ll Keep On Loving You – Walter Jones
99. If I Had A Heart – Fever Ray
100. Restless – Buraka Som Sistema