Saturday, December 24, 2005

Stav Tunes Top 10 Singles of 2006

It's the post you've been waiting for. Inspired by my opinion that it has been a good year for music, I have an early Christmas present for you all.

All the tunes listed below are for download until later in January, they are for sample purposes only. If you want to buy anything you've heard on this site, try here, here or here. Downloads will be taken down immediately upon request.

Right then pop-pickers, I've not done a chart, it was too difficult just selecting the ten, so they are in approximate chronological order of release.

Bloc Party - So Here We Are
It's Johnny Marr-jangly, delicate, dreamy and somehow wintry. They can be a bit 'London' occasionally, but this track is simply stunning. It's their best and their most mature track on a fine album. It's still a crap name for a band though.

Doves - Black and White Town
An absolute anthem of a bored binge-drinking rainy Britain. A bit like a Northern 'That's Entertainment' but with a great bastard of a piano loop and stronger vocals.

Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God
These boys know how to write a chorus, and even if the constant airplay, regular re-issues and screamy bits in the middle did get tiring by the end of the year this is still a fine single. Liam Gallagher reckoned they were a 'bad Blur', but the Kaisers are a better band than Blur were after one album.

The Futureheads - Hounds of Love
2005 has been the year of skinny blokes in skinnier ties jumping around to post-punk. Some have been poor, some have been good, and some make a belter out of a Kate Bush cover. Altogether now, "Oh-o-oh oh-o-oh".

Maxïmo Park - Graffiti
No sooner did Makem boys The Futureheads break the top ten, there was another North East band already citing them as one of their influences. The lead singer's got an odd haircut, but there's a Pulp-esque intelligence in the lyrics to go with the limbs-everywhere jumpy dancing.

Hard-Fi - Hard To Beat
A minor summer anthem this one. If the above two singles could have been recorded anytime after 1978, then this is achingly modern. All dead end jobs, being skint and sweaty clubs. I don't know what they are going to write the second album about while sitting on the pile they'll have made from this.

Gorillaz - Dare
The cartoon band could have gone so so wrong. Instead it has gone so right, from big sell-out residences at Manchester Opera House, instigating the resurrection of Shaun Ryder, and blurring (no pun) the boundaries of musical genre. Not a bad year for our two dimensional heroes.

The Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
The authors of my album of the year, Funeral. This is a beautiful, haunting nursery rhyme by the odd collective of Canadian pianists, violin and accordian players. Their stock is growing.

Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Surprise number one of the year. If 2004 was the year of the Franz, and 2005 the year of the Kaiser, 2006 could well be the year of the Monkey. They'll have to do damn well to follow this stomping Undertones-esque indie-disco anthem.

Guillemots - Trains To Brazil
I know next to nothing about this lot. I know it has a great vocal, various whistles and odd noises and the return of the sax solo and horn section. It all works out like Belle and Sebastian jamming with the Blow Monkeys while listening to Stax Records compilations in a school hall.

So that's the ten. The unlucky ones who didn't quite make it were Willy Mason, The Rakes, Louis XIV, Chemical Brothers, Morning Runner, The Mystery Jets and Interpol. I hope you find summat new and interesting, and I'm hoping 2006 shapes up nicely against that lot this time next year.

Merry Christmas.


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