in case you were wondering, if ilwtt.org was still going, these would be their list of their favourite singles of 2004 so far. in those days, they'd probably have all been reviewed, too...
1. forest giants "postcards" (invisible hands, 7")
"... a winner from the first listen, from the first bar. we can't tell you how happy we are that records like this are being released in these times - it's what the kids have wanted for years, being a pop song (fab tune, guitar hooks, pulses, new order-ish guitar lines) but recorded in authentic indie stylee, and reminding us most markedly of the likes of the flatmates, korova milkbar and the wedding present - oh, and caked in lyrics of longing and regret sung with a plain, awkward boy-next-door air that makes you want to reach out and try and hug them through your speakers. then, after delicious, contemplative verses, it ends up in a feast of layered guitars..."
2. hoodz underground ft. big critz and ricochet klashnekoff "how do you feel" (trackshicker, 12")
3. tempa ft. ricochet klashnekoff and mr 45 "ya get me" / "whatcha gonna do ?" (sureshot, 12")
4. psychic phenomena "psychic phenom" (ancient, 12")
"... 'psychic phenom' is absolutely amazing. they are from clapham but u would not know it. r/bly understated, quietly confident UKHH that shows there is much more to sw4 than trustafarian muppet squads and st.george-waving chinlesses. much respec / yaaay".
5. airport girl "salinger wrote" (where it's at is where you are, 7")
"... even more feral than "the foolishness that we create through love is the closest that we come to greatness", the single that plunged us headlong into our own tangled affair with airport girl, "salinger wrote" distils the wedding present at their most slacker-americano with, vividly, the frantic rush of blueboy's "imipramine", and is therefore fuzzy, scuzzy and - like all good pop songs should be - palpably uptight, like a young hood at their most anxious. they even manage to get a piledriving cod-metal shakedown and a derailing violin in there without offending the blurry loveliness of it all, rob price blurting out protestations like "i was holding out for blue sky" with the voice of a lover whose dreams have been fairly comprehensively dashed..."
6. p brothers ft imam T.H.U.G. / cappo "across the planet / crazy man" (heavy bronx, 12")
7. skinnyman "i'll be surprised" (lowlife)
8. styly cee ft. scor-zay-zee "want whats yours" (son, 7")
9. pipas "bitter club" (matinee recordings)
10. estelle "1980" (v2)
11. universal soldiers "life's like a movie" (tongue tied, 12")
12. lady sovereign "ch ching (cheque 1-2)" (casual london, 12")
13. wiley "wot do u call it ?" (xl)
14. tender trap "cómo te llamas ? (tell me your name)" (elefant)
"... with bassist / programmer dj downfall's skillz very much in evidence following the pop thrillz of his own solo ep, this bilingual singual (sorry) is firmly of the electro-pop lineage of the trap's own "face of 73", pipas' beguiling brews, the lighter, fluffier fosca and even the peerless early bis who we once saw supporting amelia's heavenly in '96 - and all harnessed by a catchy chorus (said chorus inevitably being repeated to fade). before that fade, amelia and lupe of course trade verbal jousts and languages with the expected vim..."
15. beastie boys "ch-check it out" (capitol)
16. morrissey "first of the gang to die" (attack)
17. blade vs. million dead "pop idol" (691 influential, 12")
18. gang starr ft. big and 2pac "ownerz (remix)" (white label recordings, 12")
19. the fall "theme from sparta fc" (action records)
20. salvo "uncontained rage" (last minute, 12")