1. 'Fall Back' - Factory Floor
Over the last two or three weeks, I've been obsessed with this song. Like, seriously obsessed. Like, playing it three or four times a day obsessed. And still I'm not sick of it. It's like a punchy minimalist take on LCD Soundsystem - little wonder it was released on DFA. I'm still undecided whether I'll follow up by getting the album - according to one trusted source, it was both overdue and a crushing disappointment, while I was underwhelmed by them at ATP.
2. 'Yes' - Manic Street Preachers
That sample, that riff - the gateway to the quite extraordinary album that is The Holy Bible, which I was fortunate enough to witness performed in its entirety in December. Altogether now: "He's a boy, you want a girl so tear off his cock / Tie his hair in bunches, fuck him, call him Rita if you want, if you want"...
3. 'Forevermore' - Thurston Moore
As much as I enjoyed Chelsea Light Moving's one (and only) record, The Best Day is arguably better - and 'Forevermore', a hazy love song to rival 'Cotton Crown' on Sonic Youth's Sister, is a prime reason why.
4. 'Queen' - Perfume Genius
I'd heard plenty about Perfume Genius, but that still didn't prepare me for quite how good his performance on Letterman was. Getting hold of a copy of Too Bright is now a priority.
5. 'My Dreams Have Withered And Died' - Marissa Nadler and Angel Olsen
The voices behind two of the best albums of 2014 together on the same song? Needless to say, 'My Dreams Have Withered And Died' (a Richard and Linda Thompson cover) is spellbinding. Thanks to my former work colleague Tom for alerting me to its existence via his end-of-year list.
6. 'Bitte Baby Bitte' - Turing Machine
Like Factory Floor, there's more than a hint of LCD Soundsystem about Turing Machine. But, unlike Factory Floor, Turing Machine really did impress at an ATP weekend - indeed, they were probably my highlight of the Shellac-curated shindig in 2012 (yet to be written up for the blog).
7. 'Eight Hundred And Thirteen Mile Car Trip' - They Might Be Giants
The drive from Oxfordshire to Northumberland for Christmas may not have been 813 miles, but it was certainly long enough - though tracks like this helped make it bearable, and kept Stanley entertained in the back to boot.
8. 'Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind' - Yo La Tengo
Now nearly a decade old, this remains one of the most awesome opening tracks of any album I own. As with Turing Machine's 'Bitte Baby Bitte', it became an earworm over the festive period due to a friend's Facebook thread about great songs that are more than ten minutes long (see also: 'Mladic' - Godspeed You! Black Emperor, 'Three Days' -Jane's Addiction, 'The Diamond Sea' - Sonic Youth).
9. 'Raw Milk' - Parquet Courts
One of the more understated tracks on Sunbathing Animal, which initially sounds lackadaisical but gradually reveals its charms.
10. 'Soon' - My Bloody Valentine
It never fails to entrance. They should've just called it 'Swoon'.