The Best Fit Fifty: Tracks of 2011

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15. Jessie Ware + Sampha – Valentine

There’s not much that could make up for the nauseating vulgarity of Valentine’s Day, but this pared-back bundle of unassuming keys and cute-but-not-cutesy harmonies gives it a good go. Lovely.
-Josh Hall

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14. Icona Pop – Nights Like This

A call to arms so irresistible, where Icona Pop are concerned – resistance is futile. Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo craft a type of pop where sophistication and intelligence is delivered by the bucket load and hone enough natural sex appeal, flare and grace it’s borderline impossible not to be spellbound.
-Richard Thane

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13. Wilco – Art Of Almost

The opening track of any new Wilco album is many a splendored thing. From Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s ‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’ to A Ghost Is Born‘s ‘At Least That’s What You Said’ – this is a group that know how to make an entrance, and with ‘Art Of Almost’ they hands down created their finest work in over a decade. A tour-de-force of sonic density so intense and involving, come the end of its seven minutes (typically Nels Cline’s climatic ear bleeding, gut wrenching guitar solo) you’re left feeling battered, bruised and completely broken. The only thing that remains to do is suck it up and play the whole thing over (and over) again. Talk about a glutton for punishment.
-Richard Thane

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12. Gwen Stefani – Luxurious

Well before everyone lost their shit over Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani was the ultimate 21st Century popstar. Here, her 2005 track is given a suitably luxurious sheen by Lapalux – unequivocally the remixer of 2011.
-Josh Hall

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11. Girls – Alex

The San Fran duo’s second release Father, Son, Holy Ghost (third if you count their intermediary EP Broken Dreams Club, which you bloody well sure as it’s as great as the first) is an album that makes it rather hard work for lists such as it consists of nearly as many songs worthy enough of being featured as there are actual numbers on the tracklisting. But while single ‘Vomit’ illustrates a minor emotional turmoil and nearing schizophrenia domestic paranoia and successor ‘Honey Bunny’ contrasts it with a whip-crack of tongue-in-cheek sassiness, ‘Alex’ – cushioned between the two – balances these (bi)polar extremes perfectly, documenting Chris’ rather improbable pursuit of a girl in band who has lovely blue eyes, flowing brown hair and sadly but ever-so-predictably a boyfriend. Oh and I forgot that her name is also Alex, hence the title, meaning that no questions about the song has gone unanswered.
-Luke Morgan Britton