Top 50 Singles of 2008 (10-6)

by MV


Fact of the day: 90% of my top ten singles of 2008 had female singers. Only 60% of the top 50 though. I’m not totally against male vocals, y’know..

Here’s Numbers 10 to 6 in my countdown. The rest in a couple of hours…

10. Those Dancing Days – Hitten
Old heads on frighteningly young shoulders. It seems unfair to make the (2008 favourite) criticism that the album underdelivered. The fact that they’ve crafted a retro-pop classic in Hitten (Swedish for “The Hit”) should be enough. While they’re young enough to make you feel completely past it at 25, the fact that they’re in thrall to the best motown rather than the latest fad is cause for celebration at least.

Best moment: 0:17, when the keyboards you go wonky and you realise there’s a whole lot more going on here than your standard indie-pop strum.
Also check out: Those Dancing Days; Home Sweet Home.

9. The Killers – Human
The more preposterous the Killers get, the more I warm to them. They piss people off. That’s a good thing. I like it. I like the fact that the silly lyrics make everyone flap around and starting steaming at the ears. I like the fact that they’re not indie enough for indie people. I like some of their songs too; this is one of them.

Best moment: 1:12; pause, hit button marked ‘MORE ludicrous stadium synth noise!’, off we go…

8. Ladyhawke – Back of the Van
The fabulous New Zealander Pip Brown made my favourite album of 2008 with her self-titled debut. This is the track that kicked it all off for me. OK, she’s at her 80s Stevie Nicks worshipping peak here, but I still can’t do anything but love this track. The album could have had 10 singles taken from it, as far as I’m concerned. Credit also due to Modular Records – along with Moshi Moshi, one of the labels that rarely puts out anything I dislike.

Best bit: The breakdown at 2:18. Mmm, dropout.
Also check out: My Delirium; Magic; Paris is Burning (in french).

7. Little Boots – Stuck on Repeat
Formerly of pretty average synth-rockers Dead Disco, Victoria Hesketh came good in 2008 and is likely to be all over the place in 2009. It was the frantic Meddle that first caught my attention, but this stately, disco-indebted white label from earlier in the year really showed her class. Produced by Joe from Hot Chip (and it shows) it’s a slow build, 6-minute dancefloor classic. She also created a whole new Youtube niche, featuring bedroom performances in pyjamas on a tenorion. Pretty much genius. (Apologies for the live vid above – we’ll await a proper one for the inevitable 2009 reissue…)

Best moment: 3:33, when that chorus kicks in…
Also check out: Covering Hot Chip’s “Ready For The Floor” on the tenorion; Meddle; “Time To Pretend” gets the tenorion treatment.

6. Goldfrapp – A&E
While everyone else was falling over themselves to reproduce Goldfrapp’s 2003 electro-pop sound, again, Alison&co sensibly went somewhere else entirely. Producing a consistent stream of brilliant singles in 2008, it was this slice of pristine, crystal-clear beauty that stood out a mile. Utterly flawless, utterly beautiful, and utterly unlike anything else that charted this year.

Best moment: it’s all perfect, but the Kate Bush wail at 2:44 probably edges it.
Also check out: Gui Boratto’s awesome, euphoric A&E remix; Caravan Girl; Happiness.

Top 5 follows shortly…