30: Local Natives – Sun Hands (Infectious)

Local Natives really surprised me when i saw them back in October and this song was one that really stood out for me. I first came across them when i met an Australian woman raving about them back at the Rough Trade stall at Underage and she was right about how good they are. ‘Sun Hands’ is an infectious piece of haunting American folk music. And if you look up slow burner in a dictionary i wouldn’t be surprised if you found this as the definition. You spend four and a half minutes waiting patiently for something big to happen then… BAM you get kicked in the head with a rush of noise. Genius, hopefully we’ll see a lot more of these guys come 2010

29: Jack Penate – Be The One (XL)

‘Be The One’ like ‘Tonights Today’ really shows Jack Penates much more expansive and interesting style. If you take gorgeous lyrics, a gospel choir and fuck loads of trumpets then you’ve got the formula for an almost perfect pop song. Really wish he hadn’t sold out the sugarmill back in June cos’ I would have love’d to have seen him.

28: Johnny Foreigner – Criminals (Best Before)

Didn’t really connect with this song straight away like i did with there early stuff. But like an ugly duckling this eventually grew into a beautiful yet deadly swan.  Hitting back at all people who have closed down clubs and bars within Birmingham i’m guessing cos’ thats kind of where there from. So yeah don’t really know why i like this song err… it’s good though

27: Johnny Foreigner – Feels Like Summer (Best Before)

Now at least i can right about why this song is good but once again i found it hard to connect with this straight away when it was released back in the summer. And to be honest this song does pretty much feel like summer i remember many evenings walking around Sandbach listening to this. ‘Feels Like Summer’ is an anthemic rush of art rock squeezed like an orange in a juicer into 2 short sharp minutes of absolute fuuuunnnnn!!!!!

26: Animal Collective – My Girls (Domino)

Is it possible to mention 2009 without mentioning Animal Collective, well probably yes if you haven’t heard of them before, well if you haven’t heard them there where the fuck have you been for the last twelve months, dead??? Wouldn’t really say i was a huge fan of Animal Collective but it’s had to ignore what a great tune this. This is really really hard to describe but it’s essentially just a dreamy pop song, your really gonna have to listen to it yourself if you haven’t cos’ i really can’t do it justice.

25: The XX – Crystalised (Young Turks)

The XX really susprised me like a jack in a jack-in-the-box at the end of this year. Really, really should have seen them at Underage cos’ then i couldn’t be writing about how i saw them before the became massive, alas i was too busy waiting at the signing tent for The Horrors only to end up meeting Patrick Wolf instead. ‘Cyrstalised’ is a moody little piece of ambient electro played by the darkest and most miserable looking four (now three) piece in musical history. For me it’s hard to listen to this song on it’s own and fits a lot better with their debut album originally titled xx. So go have a listen.

24: Slow Club – Trophy Room (Moshi Moshi)

If there was an award for the most fun band in the world then Slow Club would win it by a huge margin. But i’m not here to talk about how good ‘Trophy Room’ is fuck that. Let’s talk about the b-side ‘Thighs’ which on it’s own is probably one of the best songs ive heard all year and doesn’t really compare with anything else that the Sheffield two piece have done. A dark melodic song driven by off beat industrial drums and with lyrics delivered beautifully by Rebecca Taylor. This song is the reason we have b-sides and the reason  me and many other people still make the effort to go out to our local record stores to buy such great songs.

23: Vivian Girls – Moped Girls (For Us)

Yet again Vivian Girls came round with another stupidly limited 7″ single to offer us and i snapped at it like that evil crocodile from the Coco Pops advert. I have of course got my hands on the coco pops… i mean vinyl. So yeah this is exactly what you’d expect from the girls which is just why i like it and you almost certainly won’t. Two minutes of everything that made them such an enjoyable band in the first place

22: Little Boots – New In Town (Atlantic)

For me i personally don’t think your gonna find a better and more well constructed pop song all year. I don’t care how pretentious you may or may not be if you can’t dance to a song like this then your obviously lacking some sort of heart. I can’t even dance and this certainly makes me wanna shuffle my feet. It’s not like it’s the fucking Black Eyed Peas song or something along those lines. Oh so be like that then don’t dance see if I care…

21: Los Campesinos! – There Are Listed Buildings (Wichita)

It wouldn’t be an end of year list without mentioning my favourite band. As Tom recently said in an interview to Drowned in Sound ‘Were still looking for the perfect pop song’ and to some extend he’s right cos’ this is no ‘You! Me! Dancing!. This certainly doesn’t stop this from being a great song which i often feel is a little hit and miss at times and isn’t the huge come back single i was hoping for. At least it highlights a progression away from there previous efforts as highlighted by the input of brass section. As always Gareth’ lyrics are fun, relevant and interesting so can’t really complain.

James x