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» If you happen to recall the indie explosion that came and went during the mid-noughties, you're most likely to recall how UK math-rockers Foals were perched right on the forefront alongside the now-nowhere-to-be-found groups like Kasabian, Hard-Fi and Maxïmo Park. Although not the first band to come up with it, they're largely responsible for spreading the gospel of that intricate, tightly-wound guitar work that's gone on to more or less define the genre. Over time, the Foals' signature hectic romp that was the backbone of their 2008 landmark debut, Antidotes, has transformed into something a little more polished and more mature. Subtle sonic shifts can already be detected on their second LP, Total Life Forever (how much of a revelation is Spanish Sahara?), and even more so on the subsequent records, the unabashedly potent Holy Fire and What Went Down.
» Congratulations! You've made it to through the year, a rather challenging one characterised by a series of unfortunate events from the rise of the Alt-Right and the Weinstein scandal to devastating hurricanes and sights of starving polar bears. We've also lost a handful of musicians along the way -- Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and Tom Petty, to name but a few. Thankfully, those who are still alive and kicking have served up some of the most memorable tunes we've had the pleasure of hearing this year. Handpicked from our Playlists over the last 12 months, here are the top 20 singles that have defined the year that was. This week we're counting down from 20 up to 11 and the rest will be revealed next week. Before we close up the shop, let's once again pat ourselves on the back for this year was no child's play by any standards. May you have strength and courage to wade through Donald Trump's tweets and Prayut Chan-o-cha's tantrums in the coming year.
» There's always an underlying sense of deadpan humour and laid-back nihilism to the way Kurt Vile approaches his music. This is especially true on his previous two records (2015's b'lieve i'm goin down and last year's collaborative effort with Courtney Barnett Lotta Sea Lice) as well as his latest, Bottle It In, which marks his first new solo work in three years. Recorded in several locations around the US while on tour, the 78-minute album is helmed with assistance from indie rock's upper echelon of producers including Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith) and Peter Katis (The National, Japandroids), plus fellow artists ranging from Kim Gordon to Warpaint's drummer Stella Mozgawa.
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