Words: Saam Das
December's a bit weak for singles apart from the Christmas #1 campaigns. X Factor reigned supreme once again so the lasting impact of Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' is simply a devaluation of its original message. But enough of that.
You'll also have my ("Festive") fifty favourite singles/official free downloads of 2010 on its way in the next couple of days. In the meantime, check out some of the best singles December had to offer. Perhaps you can guess the single of the month from the photo above?
Willow Smith - 'Whip My Hair' (Release: 6 Dec)
FINALLY. Feels like we've been waiting forever for this to actually be released in the UK. Ridiculously silly yet ridiculously infectious but with a motto for the ages: "whip it real good". S'got a dance and everything. Single of the month.
Behold A Pale Horse - 'Queen Bee' (6 Dec)
STREAM: Behold A Pale Horse - Queen Bee by Behold A Pale Horse
Simon wrote about the band recently in a favourable manner even though he wasn't such a fan of this track. I, on the other hand, think this is pretty great. An angular anthem with overwhelming hints of Mclusky.
Hurts - 'All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day' (14 Dec)
Even though I felt Hurts have really gone off the boil since their early promise, I would have really got behind this being a Christmas #1. It's actually related to Christmas in some way. Shocking that. Grandiose, melodic pop.
Hiatus - 'Save Yourself' (13 Dec)
STREAM: Save Yourself by dj_hiatus
Hiatus is Cyrus Shahrad, which is a brilliant name and actually better than his DJ name. There's a beautiful lyrical fragility to 'Save Yourself' mixed with moody electronica creating something unique and arresting.
Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith - 'Not In Love' (6 Dec)
STREAM: Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith – Not In Love
I'm 99% sure this was freely downloadable very recently so it seems like a slightly odd choice to charge people for it so soon. But anyway, it legitimises Crystal Castles somewhat because I think they're pretty terrible. The chorus on this sounds massive.
Patrick Wolf - 'Time Of My Life' (6 Dec)
P-Wo (no-one actually calls him that, right? I hope not anyway) is back with another fop-pop offering. Not a Green Day cover but still a good un. The simplistic YouTube video has remakably been viewed over 200,000 times.
Banjo Or Freakout - '105' (6 Dec)
DOWNLOAD: 105 by Banjo or Freakout
If you were chillin' and your friend was relaxing, you wouldn't be "chillaxing". No, no, no. Instead, you might listen to this wonderfully mellow track from Alessio aka Banjo Or Freakout.
The Futureheads - 'Christmas Was Better In The 80s' (19 Dec)
I mentioned the other day that I wasn't entirely convinced of the claim that "Christmas was better in the eighties". Not much has changed there but this is still a welcome, bouncy Chrimbo track.
Japayork - 'Teenagers' (6 Dec)
STREAM: Japayork - Lydia
I'd heard terrible things about the Japayork but as electro-pop singles go, this is quite good. Backed by a bit of romantic pop in the form of 'Lydia', which I might actually like better than the A-side. Another release on the Popjustice HiFi label.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - 'Heart In Your Heartbreak' (14 Dec)
STREAM: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak
The brilliantly anthemic chorus on 'Heart In Your Heartbreak' rescues this from The Pains Of Being Boring At Heart. Maybe that's a bit harsh, it's quite nice really. This is like fuzzy twee with a polished edge.
Barring editorial disaster, this monthly singles round up will back for 2011. Hope you've enjoyed the round ups from this year.