10. Buke & Gase – Misshaping Introduction
Buke & Gase have more potential than any act I’ve heard all year. Their last album was startling, if not quite classic; their next should dispel all doubts.
9. Tashaki Miyaki – Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings
Tashaki Miyaki take Father John Misty’s song and, through the distorted riffs and slightly echoey languid vocals, create something devastating in its simplicity. It reminds me of Iris by The Breeders, and is just as wow-ish.
8. Future of the Left – Sheena Is A T-shirt Salesman
I listen to this every morning and never get sick of it. It’s like a marriage of inconvenience between Song 2 and Liam Lynch’s Whatever.
7. Breton – Interference
The most insouciantly irresistible indie-dance number since the Happy Mondays shuffled through their half-assed brand of elegance over 20 years ago.
6. Death Grips – I’ve Seen Footage
Instantly unforgettable. It’s from the first of their two albums of 2012, The Money Store.
5. Daughn Gibson – Lookin’ Back On ’99
I literally cannot hear this enough times. Yes, literally. It’s like Johnny Cash covering the Sisters of Mercy, only exponentially cooler.
4. JG Thirlwell – La Rua Madureira
So far, so cheesy until it suddenly explodes into this wonderfully portentous riot of fairground colour and hurricane noise. Easily the most unexpected, astonishing track of the year.
3. Necessary – Insisting on Racial Name-Calling
One of those OMFGGIVEMETHEFINGNAMEOFTHEBANDNOW moments. I mean … wow. Even after about four thousand listens, wow.
2. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
Natasha Khan’s breathtakingly deft blend of “serious singer-songwriter” music and breezy dancefloor-friendly pop results in a universal crowd-pleaser that satisfies on every level.
1. PSY – Gangnam Style
My sister had about a dozen different remixes of Black Box’s Ride On Time, and while Loleatta Holloway’s voice was fingernails down a blackboard to me, I found myself inexorably drawn in to its cheerful bounce until I loved it too. Taking a few cues from Cotton Eye Joe and Pump Up The Jam, PSY lassos those hits together to winsome effect: an imperative to gallop along like an idiot while trying not to sing along in a language you don’t know. One billion Youtube hits can be wrong, but not this time.