10) Coldplay feat. Rihanna – Princess Of China
A very sparkly and magical fairytale-ish track about a princess and beginning with “Once Upon A Time”. While Rihanna has collaborated with seemingly everybody in the music world, Coldplay is the most surprising. Coldplay wrote it especially with Rihanna in mind, which is probably why the unlikely collaboration worked so well and created one of the band’s best ‘pop’ moments.
9) Miss 600 – Typically Me
Derby duo Miss 600, vocalist Hannah Garner and multi-instrumentalist David Amar, offer a jazzy take on Sod’s Law. Buy a half-price car and it breaks down soon after, book a holiday in the sun it ends up raining all week. With the brassy, smoky backing track and the lyrics delivered with such class, charisma and style by singer Hannah Garner, this shows great potential.
8) Loreen – Euphoria
Few Eurovision Song Contest songs are able to crossover to become international hits these days no matter how much of a success they are in the contest itself. But not only did ‘Euphoria’ do exceptionally well in the vote it ended up as one the biggest international hits to come out of the contest in a long time, and with good reason as it is an uplifting summer dance anthem.
7) Cover Drive – Twilight
It’s nice to see something called Twilight that had nothing to do with… a certain terrible vampire & Mary Sue lurve story franchise. There was something of a rule of diminishing returns with Cover Drive’s releases after this single, but this number one hit was very happy, a lot of fun and a grower that benefited from strong airplay.
6) Paloma Faith – Picking Up The Pieces
Paloma Faith finally got a top ten single with this track. She gives a great vocal performance, particularly in the middle-eight, conveying the heartache and sorrow of thinking her partner doesn’t share the love she does and the feeling of not measuring up to the perceived perfection of another.
5) Sub Focus feat. Alice Gold – Out The Blue
Another unlikely collaboration, this time between drum & bass act Sub Focus and folksy singer-songwriter Alice Gold, but once again not only did it work, it worked extremely well. Alice Gold’s serene voice backed with by the polished production of Sub Focus gave us a marvelous tune.
4) Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses
This song was created with the band collaborating with Calvin Harris and echoes piano led old school dance classics, and the vocals by Jake Shears are so vivacious and lively. It’s just a very nice track. I think deserved to have been a much bigger hit than it was. That said it was their first top 20 hit in a while, and it may be their last for another while as the band are on hiatus. For now it shows what good pop songs they can make.
3) Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
This has a fantastic animated video in some bizarre nightmare universe featuring a snowy landscape with unusual wood carvings and multicoloured comets where adventurers face a giant bird, a beast with thick black fur and shark teeth, some kind of sea monster with octopus tentacles and a towering monster with goat horns and bat wings. ‘Little Talks’ is Of Monsters And Men’s debut single. It went to number one in their home country Iceland and then became a hit internationally. It is a refreshing change that a song this brilliant can become so popular.
2) The Gaslight Anthem – “45”
The Gaslight Anthem released their fourth album Handwritten and this was the first single to be released from it. With Bruce Springsteen stadium rock influences, powerful guitars, and a theme of moving on after heartbreak this was a magnificent song and the type that iPod replay was made for.
1) Florence and the Machine – Never Let Me Go
Some songs end up having a very personal meaning to you, and this one is an example for me. Earlier this year my grandma and a friend of mine both passed away, and this song helped me deal with some of the emotions I was going through. Perhaps it’s the clear sadness of the song and that the track has a comforting nature to it in an unusual way. It’s ethereal and dream-like with mystical and oceanic sounds and with a coldness to it, all of which gives it a kind of beauty that many Florence and the Machine tracks have. But on a purely personal level, this song is an example of how music can help you through tough times.