50. I Am Kloot – Northern Skies
49. Islet – We Shall Visit
48. Erykah Badu – 20 Feet Tall
47. The Vaselines – I Hate The Eighties
46. (We Are) Performance – The Living
45. Hole – Skinny Little Bitch
44. Vit Päls – Odysseus
43. Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg – California Gurls
42. Drive-By Truckers – Birthday Boy
41. The National – Anyone’s Ghost
40. Ke$ha – Your Love Is My Drug
Irritating faux-hardcore Valley Trash she may be, but it would have been a vile dishonesty not to include this track. I played it so many times this year I think it corrupted my DNA. I don’t care, it’s amazing. ‘I like your beard’ became a catchphrase of mine for five whole minutes. I do like it though. Your beard, I mean.
39. Wild Nothing – O Lilac
For some of us, shoegaze never went away, but ain’t it nice to have some new fringey music to listen to whilst lying on your beanbag reading back issues of Melody Maker in a Slowdive T shirt. This whole album is primed for an indie movie soundtrack.
38. MGMT – Song For Dan Treacy
It was pretty unpredictable what THE LAST BIG THING might become once the dust had settled, but ‘a bit like a mid-period Blur if Blur were from America’ was not a bad decision to make, as this highlight from album number two proves.
37. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti – Beverly Kills
One part Sly & The Family Stone, one part New York Noise compilation. If I was doing albums of the year, the Before Today LP would be riding so high you’d see its knickers. This track stands pretty far out. One of the rare times I feel like I’m dancing about architecture. Tremendous.
36. The Black Keys – Everlasting Light
These Yanks keep creeping up on me like a dog at a disco. It’s funky blues this song. It has two notes in it and they’re both divine.
35. Four Tet – Angel Echoes
If you ran a magic wand along the railings at the gates of Heaven, this is the sound it would make. It’s nigh on impossible to miss Fridge while Kerian Hebden is churning out starry genius like this from the crazy-haired factory that is his head. Play it on enormous headphones under low lights. Feel it?
34. Shearwater – Landscape At Speed
The Golden Archipelago is one of those end of the world soundtrack records, and this track in particular, with its ominous drums, wiry guitar motif that sounds like that chilling incidental music from 28 Days Later, with Jonathan Meiburg’s trademark mournful singing resting on top like a blanket of snow. Here’s a devastating stripped-down live version. Hold onto your hearts.
33. The Heartbreaks – Liar, My Dear
Lancastrian coastal melancholia played on Rickenbackers? As if I wasn’t going to fall in love with this. I told the singer as much in the street a while back. He looked a little bit stunned in his lovely white socks. Come Armageddon come.
32. Ed Harcourt – Lustre
‘Lustre from the ruby red blood on my hands when you pull out all the thorns...’ All the best things about Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley in one prolific bundle. It’s not overstating things to say the demise of Elliott Smith was made infinitely more bearable by Ed’s continued output, that’s how much he means to me. This is the title track from yet another majestic collection of songs. All hail the king.
31. Best Coast – Boyfriend
Just went you think there’s nowt left in guitar music to make you smile. Beach Boys meets Vivian Girls in an utterly charming piece of songwriting by beautiful underachievers, just like indie used to be. It’s forever summer round here y’know …
Spotify playlist is here.
See you next Saturday pop pickers.