Here are the songs (or maybe that should be 'tracks') then. I’ve laboured (intermittently) long and hard over these, because it’s pretty impossible to choose 20 songs from so many great ones this year. I've restricted myself to tunes that have been given an official UK release inthis year. The thing is, these probably aren’t even my best tracks of the year, but they have meant something to me over the past 12 months. I’m sure that if you ask me next month, I’ll have a slightly different list, but for now, here’s my song-record of 2006.
20. Primal Scream – Country Girl
Somehow this one lost a bit of the excitement that accompanied it at first. Still, if you want a blast of dumb ass rock ‘n’ roll, this does the trick nicely
19. I’m From Barcelona – We’re From Barcelona
Sometimes it’s the simplest tunes that are the most effective. Mind you, helps when you’ve got 28 people to add to the fun
18. Emmy The Great - Secret Circus
A lovely downbeat, Folk-pop gem, made even greater by Emmy's lovely voice. And the good thing is, it's not even her best song! This is the demo version I've posted. Buy the single version at Rough Trade Digital.
17. Jamie T – If You Got The Money
My favourite of the singles the promising sarf London lad released this year. Hopefully there are many more where these came from.
16. Roddy Frame – Western Skies
Roddy's own version of his 2004 Lazyboy collaboration shows the former Aztec Camera man still has a fine way with a tune
15. Jeremy Warmsley – Modern Children
The most lush and epic track on his brilliant album The Art of Fiction. Lovely.
14. The Knife – Marble House
This atmospheric, glacial beauty is my pick of their classic Silent Shout album
13. Gotan Project – Diferente
This was the pulsing beat at the heart of the fine album Lunatico and the amazing live shows from the Parisian purveyors of tango-with-beats
12. CSS – Music is My Hot Hot Sex
Not as saucy as it sounds – just a great song about being obsessed with music. I can identify with that then.
11. Beirut – Elephant Gun
Not even on the Gulag Orkestar album, but possibly the best thing Beirut have done. Beautiful and mournful, like the rest of Zach Condon’s music – just a little bit of a cut above.
10. The Rumble Strips – Hate Me
It’s the horns that do it for me with these guys. And maybe the fine tunes they write too. This is a live version. Once I get round to doing the vinyl rip, I'll post the single version.
9. Amy Winehouse – Rehab
If not going to rehab means that la Winehouse continues to produce pop-soul-funk delights like this, maybe she’d better stick to the booze.
8. Coldcut – True Skool
Matt Black and Jon Moore returned after a long time away this year with their patchy Sound Mirrors album. It still had some fine tracks on there though. This is the best, with Roots Manuva lending his vocals.
7. Lucky Soul – Give Me Love
A fantastic retro soul ballad from the south east London band, fronted by the lovely Ali Howard. Tops tips for next year.
6. The Aliens – Robotman
Half the Beta Band returned as the Aliens, sounding not exactly unlike, erm, the Beta Band, and with even less lyrics. That’s good enough for me.
5. M. Craft – You Are The Music
London-based Aussie Martin Craft delivers up this fine platter of wobbly folk-funk. It’s been brilliantly remixed and reworked but the original still shines.
4. Danielson – Did I Step on Your Trumpet?
I’m glad Daniel Smith trod on someone’s trumpet some time back in the dim and distant past – it’s eventually led to this sparkling awkward pop gem
3. Lily Allen – LDN
A song that manages to capture perfectly what it’s like to live in London. Sure there are dodgy people and bad things happen, but when the sun is in the sky, why oh why would I want to be anywhere else? Greatest city in the world. Top tune too.
2. Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken
It’s that intro, isn’t it? So euphoria-inducing. And what follows is just as good. “indie anthem of the year” says my friend Dan. I think he’s right.
1. The Gossip – Standing in the Way of Control
Track of the year? I’m still not totally sure, but it’s certainly a brilliant tune – all blasting grooves and belting vocals from the “coolest woman on the planet”.