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Earlier this year, the world was meant to end. You’ll probably recall that it didn’t, but on looking around, you could probably just about be forgiven for keeping the champagne on ice; it’s not exactly pretty out there. With that in mind, there is obviously no room any more for miserable or downtrodden music. Forget F# A# Infinity: the true sound of the apocalypse is blind defiance in the form of these nine songs, some ecstatic, some considered, all (ultimately) optimistic. And it goes like this:
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Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

Said soundtrack begins, obviously, with a synth. Everything about Mylo Xyloto was euphoric and celebratory but this track is a microcosm of all the joy and release that Coldplay’s new album sprints through. In 4 minutes it morphs from an innocuous (but still insatiably catchy) beginning to a deafening climax. Every tear, every tear, every teardrop is a waterfall. Denial? Who cares.

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The Dangerous Summer – War Paint

Like those intro drums indicate, sometimes it’s better to clench your fists and rise to a challenge; here, it’s the noble cause of laying down your arms. Poltical relevance! But really, nobody pictures a battlefield in the Middle East on hearing the words “Come down; all the fighting’s over!” It’s packed full of adrenaline and conviction in all the right ways, and opens one of the most relentlessly energetic albums of 2011. COOOME DOWWWWWN…

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Scroobius Pip – Broken Promise

I hate the notion of “meaning” in popular music, as though now in order to write a profound song all you need is a sort-of-whispery interlude where the drums cut out. But even the narratives of truly powerful songs, with their imagery and precision, don’t quite hit “meaning” in the same way as this song; it’s one of those tracks that would be unspectacular were it not for the eloquent and direct way Scroobius Pip expresses himself. There’s no roundabout lyricism, just a guy questioning and answering himself in order to clear his head of something that troubles a lot of people, but maybe it won’t after they hear his take.

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The Midway State – Atlantic

A band I decided to investigate purely on the basis of their album art, here’s a song that’s just pure fucking anthem from start to finish. It’s a love song, I think. Mostly it’s just gorgeous and uplifting. Simple as.

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Frank Turner – Redemption

Despite Frank Turner’s numerous assertions that he doesn’t think he can do it, “Redemption” still finds a way around the issue. The issue here is guilt and the burden it leaves you with, and the answer’s in the closing stanza: that each can be redeemed by the courage with which he confesses. Turner takes up that challenge full-on.

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The Lonely Forest – Turn Off This Song And Go Outside

Turn off, turn off this song, find someone to love, turn off the song, you can listen to it laterrrrr. Go outside.

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Florence And The Machine – Shake It Out

It is hard to dance with the devil on your back. This is a song which addresses the prospect of releasing tension in a pretty direct manner, but it’s so cathartic. The chorus is absolutely stunning, probably one of the most enveloping tracks of the past year in all its facets. It’s about allowing your demons to escape you, but there’s no getting away from this one.

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The Dear Hunter – No God

in which Casey Crescenzo makes his arguments for not believing in a higher power at the same time as explaining why that doesn’t make him a sadsack. It’s one of those tracks that, in figuring things out, unfogs the glass a little bit even if you were totally clear about your stance in the first place.

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Owl City – Alligator Sky

Yeah, no.

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Crisis averted.





Knott-
12.06.11
I'll be writing up album stuff in list form once I've decided what those albums are, but seeing as those sound-offs would probably just be rehashed versions of reviews I've written to one extent or another, and seeing as though I still have records to listen to, I thought I'd do something slightly different and less taxing :)

Acanthus
12.06.11
Nice to see some more from you sir

Xenophanes
12.06.11
Very neat post. I also really enjoy "No God." Perhaps my favorite off the compilation

Ignimbrite
12.06.11
Very nice. No God is an excellent song.

pizzamachine
12.06.11
Man this is knott my kinda music. :/

captaincrunch11
12.06.11
Props for The Lonely Forest.

Metamorphosis
12.06.11
I prefer Home over No God, but damn what an amazing song that is.

klap
12.06.11
Roller coaster through the atmosphere
I'm drowning in this starry serenade
Where ecstasy becomes cavalier
My imagination's taking me away

Knott-
12.06.11
world peace has been achieved

Sanders
12.06.11
Some great songs here.

Axel
12.06.11
War Paint

Aids
12.06.11
good shit good shti

johnnyblaze
12.06.11
Nice! Great choices. The Midway State are from my hometown; nice to see some love for them on Sputnik.

theacademy
12.06.11
some great picks here

natey
12.06.11
lmao alligator sky

thebhoy
12.06.11
I don't like most of these songs :(

AliW1993
12.06.11
Shake It Out might be my song of the year, that or We Bros...

Kris.
12.06.11
i still haven't listened to the dear hunter comp :\ prolly should get on that i guess

mallen-
12.07.11
yeah those frank turner and lonely forest songs rule

Ending
12.07.11
Cool list but definitely wouldn't be my picks.

Ending
12.07.11
not my thing (mostly)*
Mental typo.

raggedragamuffin
12.08.11
excellent list!
can't believe the lonely forest is actually getting some recognition! you from the northwest?

Knott-
12.08.11
I'm from Sheffield in the UK, haha.

wabbit
12.09.11
...doesn't redemption end with "I don't think I can do this"?

Knott-
12.09.11
yes but it's pretty ambiguous since it follows his huge revelation

Activista anti-MTV
12.10.11
ama check this out

DarthMann
12.13.11
this would flow better than any fresh hits album

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