By Adam Roche
1 – You’re The One For Me, Fatty – Morrissey
Just the song every woman aspires to be serenaded by in a relationship. The sentiment’s easy to identify, as it always is from Senor Moz, but it’s the one you find yourself lost in, not quite knowing why your partner’s face is clouding as you begin postulating towards her/him on the word “Fatty”.
2 – Do I Have Your Attention? – The Blood Arm
The best live band in the world ever, here demonstrate their peacock-strutting brilliance as Jermaine Clement-esque frontman of your dreams, Nathaniel demands our complete awareness, as he goes “looking for new ways to misbehave”. Sheer, bombastic ecstasy.
3 – Lola Stars And Stripes – The Stills
The most criminally ignored band in history shine brighter than the nuclear blast they here describe. From their startlingly wonderful 2003 album, ‘Logic Will Break Your Heart’, this song deserves a place in the world’s collective. A true modern classic cried from the heart, it’s electric sweep of intimate love lies broken against the backdrop of the end of the world.
Interesting aside: my friend Luke and I once paid to see the Kings of Leon just so we could watch The Stills supporting them. We left as soon as their set was over. Oh, and Tim Fletcher, the lead singer, is one of the nicest guys ever.
4 – Jump They Say – David Bowie
Anyone who’s seen the video for this song won’t have forgotten it. A futuristic nightmare, heavy with overtones of Orwell, as Bowie’s blind man is pulled this way and that by dark totalitarian influence, led in each of his choices by the nameless, sterile oppressive forces on high, the power they wield even able to force him into taking his own life. And all set to the strains of that crazed saxophone.
5 – Electric Feel – MGMT
The song that brings the sun out, even in the winter months. Infectious, resonant and joyous from beginning to end, carrying ‘Electric Feel’ on your iPod is like owning a pocket rainbow.
6 – Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
Whether it be her refusal to conform, her endless inventiveness, or the genius of her songwriting, I unashamedly worship at the feet of Kate Bush. There are many highlights in her catalogue, and most of the true classics came early, but ‘Wuthering Heights’ typifies her gifts. A haunting masterpiece, wonderfully constructed and effortlessly performed.
7 – Dance Anthem Of The 80’s – Regina Spektor
On first listen it all sounds so simple, so throwaway. It’s also instant, glueing itself to your brain with it’s elfin claws and refusing to let go. Turn it up loud, drown yourself in its childlike visuals and you’ll find it’s hard not to imagine her strolling along a colourful street, describing the boys and girls who like to “watch each other sleep, sleep”, with her “slip showing a little, like a drunk, but not”. Be warned though, ‘Dance Anthem Of The 80’s’ is the single most infuriatingly addictive song in the history of narcotics.
8 – Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire
Like a miracle drug, this gorgeous, swelling anthem could quite easily be used as a cure for paralysis, as with each thumping piano hit you will find body parts begin to animate themselves, be it the stamp of a foot, or the quickening of your heart, in the end something inside yourself will be singing along.
9 – Romeo And Juliet – Dire Straits
Or ‘The Song I Like To Murder Whilst Drunk’. Dire Straits are seen as something of a guilty pleasure for most, the kind of band who turn up on ‘Top Gear’ compilations, or in your father’s collection. I refuse to be embarrassed by their presence here. ‘Romeo And Juliet’ is a perfectly crafted ballad that stands up strong to this day, perhaps only slightly marred by the sounds of a mumbling Mark Knopfler drunkenly propositioning Juliet with “you and me babe, how abouddit…”
10 – Festival – Sigur Ros
A sweeping ten-minutes that mournfully introduce themselves with the lone Vonlenska cries of Jonsi Birgisson’s falsetto, before exploding halfway in a glorious, epic roar of drums and guitars, lifting you up into the sky with it as it soars towards the heavens. Quite simply, an instant cure for heartache. Remember that the tears will be ones of joy.