1. 'Ullswater' - Hookworms
Let's kick off with a bold prediction: there won't be a better song than 'Ullswater' released this year. If there is, it'll necessarily be utterly bloody fantastic. That synth sound! Thoughts on Microshift to come shortly.
2. 'Sangue Neuf' - Madonnatron
Madonnatron deserve your attention, and not just because they've supported Fat White Family and are also on the same label (Trashmouth). 'Sangue Neuf' is a case in point, a sinister siren song that explodes violently into life and was a highlight of last month's gig at the Moon.
3. 'Your Friends' - Tera Melos
It's extremely hard to describe what it is that Tera Melos do - trust me, I've tried. Just give 'Your Friends' a listen and be suitably dazzled.
4. 'Turn Out The Lights' - Julien Baker
An all-too-common case of an LP that completely passed me by last year but that I've now discovered and love. She's perhaps a bit "clean" and singer-songwritery for my tastes (compared to Angel Olsen, Marissa Nadler or Julia Holter, for instance), but her voice is undeniably great and there's some very affecting soul-searching going on in the album's lyrics (no doubt at least partly the result of being both Christian and gay).
5. 'Drippy' - No Age
After the relative disappointment of No Age's last LP An Object, which took its deconstructionist impulse too seriously, 'Drippy' is an absolute joy, a return to the blissful shoegazey punk of Nouns. More than enough to forgive them for being away for five whole years.
6. '72 & Sunny' - Wylderness
The song that got me very, very excited about Cardiff band Wylderness - perhaps overly and unfairly so, as it turns out, in that it rather coloured (or clouded) my judgement of their recent album launch gig.
7. 'Somebody' - Dream Wife
Not as perky and pop-punky as much of Dream Wife's self-titled debut album, 'Somebody' is the sort of thing that might be destined for indie disco classic status if indie discos still existed.
8. 'White Math' - Blanck Mass
Listening to World Eater sent me back to this track, which - for my money - remains the best thing Benjamin John Power has done solo. Good to hear there's a new Fuck Buttons album in the pipeline - or at least there was way back this time last year.
9. 'Arctic Snow' - Burning Brides
Why this popped into my head recently is anyone's guess. The first three minutes of 'Arctic Snow' illustrate why Burning Brides came to semi-prominence during the early noughties garage rock explosion (even if it's on the grungey side of things), but that last minute or so is incredible. Dmitri Coats has since collaborated with Mark Lanegan and featured in Off! (with ex-Black Flag man Keith Morris, Steve McDonald of Redd Kross/Melvins and drummer Mario Rubalcaba), who I really ought to listen to.
10. 'The Hype' - Shopping
Just try not to dance. It's impossible - even when you're not experiencing it live. Yup, believe 'The Hype'.