Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Sloppy Dog's Best of 2011: Singles

With Christmas fast approaching, it's time for the annual tradition of both kissing arse and kicking arse, as we unveil the Bestest and Worstest of the past 12 months. We begin on a positive, with the greatest singles the year has had to offer. Ordinarily we have difficulty whitting down a lengthy list of singles to a definitive ten, but 2011 has been a sorely barren year for new music. Decent new music, at least. In fact, even finding a worthy ten has been a bit of a struggle. But the struggle was worth it, as we’ve come up with a list of good ‘uns...

10. Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work
Starting us off are a band whose debut album received many a spin and a place on our Best Albums list of 2010, so it’s little surprise Two Door Cinema Club are back to fill a spot this year. Something Good Can Work married a near-calypso rhythm with good ol’ indie foundations for yet another example of Bangor's finest.

9. Morning Parade - A&E
Battering many an earphone back in February were Morning Parade, with the burning, intense A&E, a dancefloor-directed indie-rock hymn. And as if it weren’t vigorous enough in its original guise, A&E spun off an onslaught of intriguing remixes, prompting even the most stubborn of B-sides purists to concede the brilliance.

8. Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man
One of the stand-out cuts from the 2010 album of the same name, the crashing riffs and lavish strings of Postcards From A Young Man proved the Manics’ best is far from behind them. And, as previously documented on these pages, the slight parallels with Melanie C’s Northern Star gives ‘em a few bonus points and all.

7. David Cook - The Last Goodbye
Ordinarily, such an unashamedly wholesome slice of radio-friendly American Pie wouldn’t go down too well round these parts, but the instantaneous melodies and colossal chorus of The Last Goodbye proved impossible to resist. A terminally uncool display of grown-up power-pop it may be, but in a world of increasing music snobbery, that only heightens its appeal.

6. Glasvegas - Shine Like Stars
Second album EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\ proved Glasvegas were no one-trick ponies. And heading up the new direction was Shine Like Stars – soaring, emotive vocals over a bed of subtle, twinkly electronica which gives way to a thundering wall of drums and guitars. So good we can even overlook the album title’s absolutely fucking ludicrous use of punctuation.

5. Summer Camp – Down
A cyclical, captivating gem that soundtracked a long, dreary Autumn and made it that bit more bearable. An uptempo yet refrigerated indie pop anthem-in-the-making, Down was the perfect introduction to Summer Camp (complete with ingenious video) and shines a light on the duo as something worth getting rather excited about for 2012.

4. Nicola Roberts - Lucky Day
The melancholic charm of Lucky Day made for an intelligent, spellbinding (and unfortunately, criminally underrated) portion of classy pop from a singer whose time in the spotlight was long overdue. Let’s hope if and when Girls Aloud eventually reform, we get to hear a bit less Clubcard Coyle, and a whole lot more of this.

3. Miles Kane - Rearrange
Uplifting indie with a dash of darkness and a splendid Sixties overtone, Rearrange proved to be one of 2011’s most addictive tracks. Plucked from a similarly impressive album (more on that in our Best Albums list), Rearrange underlined Miles Kane as a formidable talent above and beyond that of his various band memberships.

2. Guillemots - The Basket
Fyfe Dangerfield provided us with the album of 2010 a year ago in the form of Fly Yellow Moon, and he’s kept the momentum going, regrouping with Guillemots for one of this year’s greatest albums, and from it, one of this year’s greatest singles. Daring, energetic and compulsive, The Basket’s thunderous beats and speeding falsetto may have been relatively new ground for Guillemots, but the results were truly exceptional.

1. The Vaccines - Post Break-Up Sex
And taking the crown is a balls-out tale of awkwardness, bitterness and remorse from the Vaccines, a band who’ve deservedly gained some serious momentum throughout 2011. To be able to turn such uncomfortable subject matter into such an enjoyable, addictive, and unorthodox rock anthem is the mark of something pretty special indeed, hence its position atop our countdown. In contrast, check back soon for the worst the year had to offer...

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