5. The Presets - 14U+14ME
Although the music of Australian duo The Presets helped to formulate my own musical tastes back in 2008 with songs like "Talk Like That" and "This Boy's In Love", in the intervening years I haven't listened to them that much. Until this year that is, when I heard their single "14U+14ME" (pronounced "one for you and one for me, confusingly enough), and fell back in love with them for a second time. It's an heavy electronic track that hooks you in from the moment the beat drops 62 seconds in, and doesn't let up the rest of the song.
4. Confidence Man - Don't You Know I'm in a Band
The Australian group make a 2nd appearance in this year's countdown with "Don't You Know I'm In a Band". The song sees Sugar Bones take a rare step up to lead vocals, and is filled with the same playful vibes and cut & paste pop that the band have become known for, with lyrics skewing the stereotype of what life as a high-flying musician is like.
3. Ciara O'Neill - Dreamer
The song "Dreamer" by Ciara O'Neill, which listeners to The Metaphorical Boat podcast will undoubtedly know, was inspired by a Sylvia Plath short story from the collection "Johnny Panic & The Bible of Dreams", which is about a woman who is consumed by her inability to share the vivid dreams of her husband.
It a a song that I've heard Ciara play live for a few years, although it wasn't until this year that we got a studio recording of it, and boy, it was worth the wait. The string-swept dark folk song got right under my skin, and stayed with me throughout the year. It's the only song released this that brought me to tears. And I don't have tear ducts.
2. Brand New Friend - Girl
"Girl" by Brand New Friend is the kind of song that doesn't mess around, and doesn't have a bit of fat on it at all. In less than two minutes, we get two verses, two choruses, a guitar solo, and then both the verse and chorus simultaneously. It is an infectious slice of youthful pop-punk that never outstays its welcome.