As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Fourth in line is Toy Steve’s debut contribution…
This is my last minute, injury time entry into the 2012 Top 10 list…
10. Graham Coxon – Ooh, Yeh Yeh
I’ll kick things off with a top tune from Graham Coxon with grungy guitars, a great solo at the end and a groovy psychedelic chorus. It is a stand out track for me, laid back and effortlessly cool even if it does make me think of Austin Powers whenever I hear it.
9. Here We Go Magic – How Do I Know
One of the finds of the year for me and this band also has the best name ever. This is a brilliant indie-pop song with a great video (about an old man who takes delivery of a robot girl whose skills are dancing and philosophy – bizarre, I know but look it up on youtube, it’s brilliant!). It’s my favourite song off the album, A Different Ship, with jangly guitars, a beat you could dance to and even a few “woop-woops” thrown in at the end for good measure – this band are impossible to categorize so just turn it up and file under “magic”.
8. Port Isla – Sinking Ship
You think you’ve heard this tune before when it starts but don’t panic, it’s not some KT Tunstall cover. Stick with it and a shuffling drum beat, rolling piano and rasping vocal quickly takes over along with one of the best sing-a-long choruses of the year. Fact.
7. Of Monsters & Men – Little Talks
I used to be a big fan of The Beautiful South and Iceland’s finest reminds me of them with the duelling male / female voices and bitter sweet lyrics (only with igloos and saunas instead of pubs and football). They also shout “Hey!” a lot which can’t be a bad thing.
6. Tom Williams & The Boat – Teenage Blood
A great recommendation from PP here and real foot stomping stuff. I didn’t go to any this year but I could imagine this going down really well at a festival. Plus, anything that counts you in with a 1-2-3-4 is always a winner.
5. Richard Hawley – Seek It
A really beautiful love song with a simple melody like a nursery rhyme and darkly comic lyrics. It sounds like an old classic that you’ve known all your life and just goes to show, sometimes less is more and the simplest things are often the best. Perfect with a brew and a biscuit at any time of the day or night.
4. Stealing Sheep – Shut Eye
This song by a psychedelic-folk girl band from Liverpool is completely nuts. It sounds like something my 5 and 7 year olds would come up with if they were locked in a studio with a load of instruments and for that reason, I love it.
3. First Aid Kit – The Lions Roar
Incredible voices, perfect harmonies and a big slice of americana from two Swedes (who would have thought it) which just keeps rolling along like a boat bobbing over the waves. It is made even better by what sounds like “every time it all shits one way or the other” at the end of verse 2 and it is also Mrs Toy Man’s favourite so it has to be high in the line-up.
2. Alt J – Matilda
A fantastic song (named after the girl in the Luc Besson film Leon apparently) from a top album which sounds like some kind of Tim Burton bedtime story. I could have picked anything off the album to be honest but this was the song I heard first and the one that provided the biggest WTF factor! I downloaded this tune the second I heard it and to quote a famous sports agent, this song “had me at hello”.
1. We Are Augustines – Headlong Into The Abyss
One of the best songs from a great album which deals with lots of heavy subjects like depression and suicide and turns them into triumphant and emotional tunes like this with singer Billy McCarthy screaming out lyrics like “call the police, call your shrink, call whoever you want cos I ain’t gonna wait around for some pill to kick in”. It grabs you by the ear right from the start and marches you all the way to the front of the class.
On the subs bench were The Tallest Man On Earth (Wind & Walls), Shovels & Rope (Birmingham), Hooded Fang (Tosta Mista) and The Helio Sequence (October).
You can find downloads, streams, or videos for all the other tracks above by checking out MM’s Top 100 tunes here: 100 – 81, 80 – 61, 60 – 41, 40 – 21 and 20 – 1.