1. 'Hidden XS' - Fuck Buttons
The magestic climax to Slow Focus and, I gather, their current live show - not that I'd know from personal experience, having missed out on festival action this summer and their recent tour. Colour me gutted.
2. 'Lock Box' - No Age
I'm still getting a handle on An Object, though seeing it in a more favourable light than a lot of people (helped, I think, by detecting parallels with Wire's early albums). Given the album's resolutely awkward and experimental nature, 'Lock Box' is one of the few songs representative of the No Age we've grown to know and love.
3. 'I See Seaweed' - The Drones
Title track 'I See Seaweed' kicks off the Australians' new album in much the same way as 'Jezebel' did 2006's Gala Mill - in brilliant, furious, apocalyptic, bitterly poetic fashion. I didn't even realised they had a new record out - no doubt partly due to the fact that it's self-released rather than through long-time label ATP Recordings.
4. 'Coming Out Of The Fog' - Arbouretum
The gently melodic alt-country album-closer to the record of the same name, which does indeed make it feel like you've come out of the fog of the previous six tracks.
5. 'Reflektor' - Arcade Fire
"A long-awaited return" hardly comes close to describing it. With The Suburbs, Arcade Fire looked destined to inherit Bruce Springsteen's crown, but judging by the evidence of Bowie-assisted single 'Reflektor', that's a destiny they're determined to shun. Instead, they're shaping up to make up for the loss of LCD Soundsystem - though that's somewhat less surprising given James Murphy's handling of production duties. The two bands were on the same one-day festival bill the night we flew into New York in 2007 - I wonder whether that's where the mutual appreciation stems from?
6. 'Your Love' - Deap Vally
A track I'm very much looking forward to when the duo pitch up in Oxford at the end of the month. The White Stripes were never this much fun, were they?
7. 'Dream House' - Deafheaven
Is it unbecoming of a 35-year-old father of one to start buying black metal albums? Even ones with pink covers that are hipster-endorsed and betray a My Bloody Valentine influence?
8. 'Panorama Of Mirrors' - Locrian
To Deafheaven's Sunbather you can add Locrian's Return To Annihilation - though the latter has a lot more sinister drone going on.
9. 'Killuhs' - Ghost Outfit
Talking of annihilation, Ghost Outfit's I Want You To Destroy Me (another record recommended to me by Piccadilly) may be the best named album of the year. The Manchester duo do a decent job of dealing with the itch that No Age albums used to scratch, in case you've been left disappointed by An Object.
10. 'Backwaters' - Drenge
On my list of must sees at this month's Gathering Festival in Oxford. Just hoping that this year's event matches up to last year's in terms of general entertainment - minus the anti-climactic conclusion, naturally...