10. Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy
Australian band Confidence Man make fun, uplifting pop music with a lack of cynicism, but a large dollop of attitude. "Better Sit Down Boy" is the kind of song you could imagine Girls Aloud taking straight into the chart 10 years ago if it were given a Xenomania lick of paint. It's a fun, un-guilty pleasure from start to finish.
9. Childish Gambino - Redbone
Ah "Redbone", or as it's also known, the song that spawned a million memes (this one was our personal favourite). With its instantly recognisable unique instrumentation and the soulful vocals of Donald Glover, "Redbone" sounds like it was an old R&B classic from the 70s that had only been re-discovered, yet was very much a product of the here and now. A fantastic song from a genre that we usually aren't too fussed on.
8. The War On Drugs - Holding On
Well, "A Deeper Understanding" was so full on bangers that it's no surprise to see another song from the album make our list of favourite songs of the year. "Holding On" sees The War on Drugs at their heaviest, with its driving, America rock somewhat tempered by its glockenspiel-inflected rhythm.
7. Lauren Bird - That's The Truth
I've mentioned before the idea of a tune that is an 'Asda Car Park' song. What this means is that it is a song that when I listen to it in the car, I get so emotional, and my eyes get so bleary, that I need to turn the car into the nearest car park (which is usually an Asda one for some reason) to allow me to compose myself and recover my vision before continuing on my journey. We in Northern Ireland are used to road safety adverts on TV that warn of the dangers of drink-driving, and rightly so. However, there is yet to be one that warns of the dangers of listening to emotional music whilst driving, and I feel that this is a major oversight.
This brings us nicely on to "That's The Truth" by Lauren Bird, a song that for us at least, fits the very definition of an 'Asda Car Park' song. It's a beautiful, emotional, ukulele-lead song that contains one of the most beautiful, yet tragic, lyrics we've heard in a song all year - "I'd rather be nothing than be a burden to you".
6. Ten Fé - Twist Your Arm
Having seen Ten Fé play the song "Twist Your Arm" live at The Great Escape, we had a feeling that when they finally released a studio version of the song, it would become a real favourite, and gosh darn, those boyos went and made sure we kept that promise to ourselves.
Given their versatile sound and live presence, we'd imagine Ten Fé to be a modern day successor to Primal Scream, and "Twist Your Arm" is one of those songs that helps to cement that belief, as its dancey, droozy sound sounds like it owes a debt to songs from their "Screamadelica" album, "Come Together" in particular due to its use of a gospel choir. We're also got some David Bowie "Memories of a Free Festival" vibes, and for some reason that we couldn't put our finger quite on, a little bit of Simple Minds as well.