We all know that the pop 45 is meant to be experienced as a fleeting moment, an adrenaline rush or an emotional gush. If you love it you buy it. If you really love it you buy the album. A ton of 45’s came out this year, but it seemed like many of them were insanely limited. Downloads and streams have overtaken the popularity and utility of the 45 single for most, but some stubborn folk remain, still out there in the physical world tracking down the physical objects. I hope you had as good a year as I did. These are the top 40 singles that I dug up either in stores or from mail order over the the last 12 months.
31. Savages – Flying to Berlin (Pop Noire)
Post punk is de rigueur these days and Savages may be the best at conjuring a Siouxsie that never really existed except for in people’s cobwebby disconnected synapses. I certainly don’t remember the Banshees ever sounding this good. Well, maybe I do but that was so long ago. Savages are Flying to Berlin right now. Don’t miss that flight.
32. Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs – I Watch You (Heavenly)
So I guess this means Electricity In Our Homes is no more. No worries Charlie Boyer will keep the lights on with his new single. I Watch You is similar to the more straightforward EIOH songs, but emphasizing more Television and Richard Hell tendencies, which are good tendencies to have.
33. Mil Mascaras – Fuzz (Hozac)
I don’t know how Hozac continues to unearth killer bands, but they continue to do it at an alarming rate. Mil Mascaras are from Strasbourg, France and sound like they took their Autoclave and Liliput records, sailed up the Rhine and out to sea, jumped overboard and came up drenched in industrial waste, lobster, anemone and sea stars.
34. The Marble Vanity – You Can’t Step On a Rainbow (Slow Fizz)
The Marble Vanity are kinda Monkeys and kinda Left Banke. Twenty years ago they would have been lumped in the the Elepahnt 6 collective. You Can’t Step On a Rainbow is all harmless fun with horns and harpsicord and an important message for the kids. No, you can’t step on a rainbow, but there are pots of gold to be had if you put this on your turntable.
35. Wax Idols – Schafenfreude (Suicide Squeeze)
With this single, Wax Idols fully embrace their inner goths. Heather Fortune sounds either disconnected and numb or intimidating and imposing. I can’t tell and that’s what makes this so good. That and the fact that both of these song surpass anything on last year’s really good album.
36. Small Reactions – Nerve Pop (Magic Marker)
This may be the rarest piece of vinyl on this year’s countdown. Through some bad luck it was supposed to come out on Portland’s Magic Marker and then never did. If you know the right alley in Atlanta you may be able to get a copy of this wonderful slice of pop. If a record comes out and nobody knows it, trees still fall if you turn it up loud enough.
37. Brothers In Law – Holy Weekend (CF)
Psych rock inspired by the Thirteenth Floor Elevators synthesized in the Italian countryside to come out sounding more than a little like the Might Lemon Drops. Holy Weekend is nothing but big jangly goodness that has whetted my appetite for a follow up to this debut.
38. Cheap Time – Other Stories (Sweet Rot)
Listening to Other Stories, it’s easy to tell that Jeffrey Novak hung out with Jay Retard. It’s raw and rockin’ but where Retard was all adrenaline, Novak prefers to dose his garage with a little psychedelia and is all the better for it.
39. Fountains – Easily Lead (Beautiful Strange)
Fountains debut single was a huge sounding moody thing with big guitars crashing all over the place. Part Kitchens of Distinction, Echo and the Bunnymen and Wild Swans. So happy to see they still make ’em like this.
40. Wild Nothing – Nowhere (Captured Tracks)
This is undoubtedly Jack Tatum’s ode to the Go-Betweens and it’s a beauty. Nowhere easily surpasses the entirety of Wild Nothing’s second album which this song did not appear. Probably because it would have made the rest of it seem like nothing. More like this please Mr. Tatum.