Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Weekly Sweep presents The Top 100 Singles Of 2006: 33-1

And in case you're only now catching up, 100-67 and 66-34 are there and there.

33 Go! Team - Ladyflash [YouTube]
Almost like an old friend by now, such are we used to bits of the album soundtracking everything on lifestyle television. Little can dim its Avalanches-meets-B-girl frenzy
32 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - In This Home On Ice [live YouTube]
Less Byrne, more Jonathan Richman with an ethereal glaze - organ hums, guitar drives, Alec Ounsworth declaims for all he's worth, the melody sounds a tiny bit like The Kids Are Alright
31 Franz Ferdinand - The Fallen [YouTube]
Who knows where they're going next, but You Could Have It So Much Better's campaign should have started with this cocksure glam but still esoteric post-punk place marker
30 Field Music - In Context [YouTube]
How do the Brewises (and Moore) keep doing this? Constructing overpowering tunes from basic implements and harmonies from next to nowhere with subtle touches at every opportunity
29 The Boy Least Likely To - Hugging My Grudge [YouTube]
Impossibly carefree lazy summer in a field-style country dance pop that knows who it's playing to and completely ignores prevailing trends that way. Dreamy but not without clouds
28 Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Amateur Man [YouTube]
Like taking the core elements of art-punk carefully apart and then carelessly cut-and-shutting them skittishly back together as bass undercuts rhythm and vocals cross each other
27 Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment [YouTube]
To be young and impetuous in a band post-Strokes is a glorious thing. Here's two minutes of charging, melodically offset post-post-punk with clashing vocals and a guitar scree ending
26 Absentee - We Should Never Have Children [YouTube]
Just the fact a group of children were allowed near this song is disturbing enough without Dan Michaelson's granite-hewn vocal about how we really don't need more of their type
25 Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Impossible Sightings Over Shelton [YouTube]
We have to find synonyms for this sort of thing other than 'artrock' or 'post-punk' in 2007. Disjointed deconstructed whatever with bass and BVs from the Kim Deal School Of Careworn Excellence
24 The Gossip - Listen Up [YouTube]
Of course it's cherrypicked from the ESG back catalogue, all driven bass and cool as soul girl vocals, but when it takes off in one of the three hidden choruses you dare not start moving
23 Futureheads - Skip To The End [YouTube]
Both comfortably Futureheadian and a demonstration of where the album was going - newly acquired space to breathe and think, but still the tight harmonies, groove and stop-start fuzz guitar
22 Young Knives - The Decision [YouTube]
Inscrutable, in a word. Prince of Wales, horses in New Forest and all that long dealt with, so let's instead mention the pulsing bassline, the cross-harmony vocal breakdown and the Pere Ubu echoes
21 Lucky Soul - Lips Are Unhappy [YouTube]
It's always worth remembering that Lucky Soul singles are by and large self-financed and self-released, such are the Motown strings lending weight to the soul stomp and Ali Howard's soaring vocal
20 Jeremy Warmsley - I Promise [YouTube]
Ah, finally. The most stripped-back of Warmsley's work but no less able to jam in the button marked 'affecting'. Long distance pining and loneliness over martial drums and wordless choirs was never so good
19 Final Fantasy - Many Lives -> 49MP [YouTube]
Has anyone called Owen Pallett the North American Patrick Wolf yet? Perhaps it's too obvious a link, what with the electronic burbling, primary looped violin and, er, shouts of "son you should/invest!" from afar
18 Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country [YouTube]
As well as introducing "the bee's knees" to the pop lexicon, it's a sweep of Jimmy Webb strings and post-twee internal lachrymosity and perfectly visualised dreams of escape that befits the band's status
17 Clearlake - It's Getting Light Outside [YouTube]
One of our more frustrating bands, occasionally Clearlake will drop an absolute cracker when nobody's concentrating. This selection of rolling drums, creeped out strings, pop melody and lyrical yearning is one such occasion
16 TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me [Letterman performance - YouTube]
Only downgraded because it sounds so odd in solitude, it's bout as conventional as they get, from declamatory Tunde and thumping beats to soul from Mars to overloaded synths and exploding guitar white noise
15 Guillemots - Made Up Love Song #43 [YouTube]
"I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do" Now where can you possibly go wrong after that? Fyfe's joy when the song triples speed after a minute, and then steps up a gear again, is infectious
14 Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks [YouTube]
Everyone's sound of the summer, not least whoever chooses backing music for television, but there's plenty else going on other than whistling, from Victoria Bergsman's honeyed guest role to the double speed tom-toms
13 Goodbooks - Walk With Me [YouTube]
A dictionary definition of slow burner: starting off melancholic and almost introverted, then developing an offbeam keyboard-aided tension before lurching into prime indie disco artrock territory. If that doesn't put you off
12 Tilly And The Wall - Reckless [YouTube]
Joyousness writ large, the air-punching exuberance of it being driven by actually not that much - acoustic guitar, buzzing synth, tap shoes, gang vocals. The vocal plateau reached near the end is really something
11 Jeremy Warmsley - Dirty Blue Jeans [YouTube]
Could you fit any more in there? Packing the mix works more than just well for once, though, as lysergic, swooping strings fit next to offbeat drums, skittish electronics, strident vocals and plenty else of good note
10 Guillemots - Trains To Brazil [YouTube]
It took time to grow and make sense, but eventually it became unstoppable. The sheer joy of life encapsulated in stomping energy, rousing rhythmic plateaus and brass fanfares polarised against love and loss. It turned out to be the nearest they've got to normality
9 CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above [YouTube]
Hipster cachet off the scale, just somebody's in-joke potential similar, but what a calling card. Nearly every line would go well on a T-shirt, the punk-funk-electro-disco bassline is unstoppable and, yes, it actually sounds like a combination of The DFA and Death From Above 1979
8 Field Music - You're Not Supposed To [YouTube]
A full 38 seconds of Gregorian humming. Good start. Then, rapturous left of centre pop dynamics, guitars that jerk around in cotton wool rather than steel bars. Runs out of songs a minute after properly starting, which is where the piano flourishes and jaunty handclaps start
7 Klaxons - Atlantis To Interzone [live YouTube]
We'll say it again - it's as much like rave as Kubb are. The absolute rush, though, is undeniable, tailor made for stock footage sped up of autobahns after dark, schizophrenically switching between 606s, enormous basslines, hyper drums and a good old group shouted chorus
6 Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline) [YouTube]
Why couldn't they have made the album as near-chaotically fluid as this? Taut, slow building multifaceted kineticity given a kick into greatness by Leslie Feist's presence, and you'll be hard pressed (outside #10) to find a better closing brass flourish all year
5 The Lucksmiths - A Hiccup In Your Happiness [actually, let us provide you with this one]
Melbourne outfit who put this out a year after the album and instantly won us over. You could say Belle & Sebastian/Magnetic Fields, but that would be to underplay the empathetic swoon and pitch of this understated gem about the positives of heartbreak. No wonder Daniel Kitson penned the liner notes
4 Cat Power - The Greatest [Later With Jools performance - YouTube]
Chan going to Memphis has clearly done her the world of good. The title track saw her share her end of the night barroom deepest melancholic thoughts while the band play the deftest southern soul behind her glorious voice and strings haunt her soul. Even Radio 2 took interest
3 Scritti Politti - The Boom Boom Bap [Myspace]
It's a paen to Green's discovery of hip hop. Or it's a love song to his wife. Or both. Whatever, it's defiantly home-made but sounding as lush as when he used to use expensive studios, velvet soft atmospherics matching slow beats and that honeyed voice before the electronics kick in
2 Jeremy Warmsley - I Believe In The Way You Move [YouTube]
It really does sometimes hit you out of nowhere. We already knew what he was capable of, but when this hit with its offsetting of electronic peaks and burbles with piano, muted brass, mood shifts and caustic, semi-cynical lyrics the effect was mesmerising. Why have you all ignored this?
1 Camera Obscura - Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken [YouTube]
Quite plausibly outdoing every single elder sibling band Belle & Sebastian have ever put out at a stroke (discuss), nothing else encapsulated the sheer joy, and joi de vivre (apart from in Traceyanne's worldview, natch), of what a pop single should do this year. You can't help but skip for joy, if nobody's looking, by the final "hey Lloyd..."


Anonymous said...

18 Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country [YouTube]
As well as introducing "the bee's knees" to the pop lexicon, it's a sweep of Jimmy Webb strings and post-twee internal lachrymosity and perfectly visualised dreams of escape that befits the band's status

Did dear old Morrissey write "Reel around the fountain" in vain?

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