By now the endless parade of garage rock/post-punk copyists were becoming a little tired. As some clever wags pointed out, this revival had lasted longer than either original scene managed. It would go on to last a lot longer (in 2010 there’s still no end in sight) but looking through Soundblab’s choices for 2006 you can tell something of a sea-change was in the air. For every work of loveable indie classicism (The Life Pursuit – Belle & Sebastian), every assured continuation of spiky rock’n’roll (First Impressions of Earth – The Strokes), there’s a hip hop bricolage oddity (1983– Flying Lotus), an excursion into dystopian electronica (Silent Shout – The Knife), or an album full of unabashed, sexy, silly party songs (Cansei De Ser Sexy – CSS). There’s Casio keyboard romanticism (Breaking Up – The Research) in one corner; ferocious riot grrrl-meets-no wave noise (Nightlife– Erase Errata) in the other.
All this made 2006 one of the most varied years for music in the noughties. Meanwhile, some bands and artists came of age in this year: think Yeah Yeah Yeahs with the widescreen breakup angst of Show Your Bones, Peaches with Impeach My Bush, Liars with Drums Not Dead, or Hot Chip, who came out of obscurity to hit us with ‘Over and Over’, one of the indisputably great singles of the decade. So, a pretty great year, but one with no unifying theme or scene. No matter – you hear that synthy rumble? That’s new rave coming round the corner. But before we get to that, what’s your choice of 2006? Let us know by clicking to vote.