[1] Hot Chip, ‘Huarache Lights’


2008: [20] Hot Chip, ‘Ready For The Floor’
2000s: [26] Hot Chip, ‘Over And Over’
2010: [8] Hot Chip, ‘One Life Stand’
2012: [6] Hot Chip, ‘Let Me Be Him’

So, basically, Hot Chip have been heading this way. Regular readers of Jukebox Junior (hi Mum!) will know my feelings about Hot Chip – they should be right up my street, but something’s always missing, at least over the course of an album – but I started to feel different this year, mainly down to a cracking Glastonbury set that was a ‘moment’ from start to finish. ‘Huarache Lights’, thumping organic rhythm, cheeky sample later repurposed, nerdy bounce, talkbox, joy of records, everything, was already my single of the year; the gig just made sure.

Junior? “It’s a bit boring.”

[2] Everything Everything, ‘No Reptiles’


Everything Everything found some heart in the oddest of ways. By the time ‘No Reptiles’ reaches its final lines, “Just give me this one night/Just one night to feel/Like I might be on the right path,” it’s sending shivers with its quivering synths and rising desperation, like it really means something, like its overwhelming sense of dislocation is giving way to some kind of truth, a way out of this.

Of course you have to fight through some pretty gnarly stuff to get here. “Oh, is it ‘a fat child in a pushchair’?” asks Junior as it starts. “I really like it.” Naturally. They all do, she and her sisters, because it’s about a fat child in a pushchair. They’ve been singing it all year. It’s funny. Never mind its unflinching dissection of a rotten society – it’s funny. Clever boys, those Everything Everythings.

[3] Belle & Sebastian, ‘Nobody’s Empire’


“How can this be so high when there have been so many great songs?” Junior isn’t happy. “It’s not as exciting. He doesn’t sound happy.”

Which says something about her criteria when judging pop songs, and pretty solid criteria they are too. Of course, Stuart Murdoch isn’t very happy, at least not to begin with, because ‘Nobody’s Empire’ tackles the ME that debilitated him in the 1990s and still rears up occasionally. But, with his favourite layering effects that lifted ‘The State I Am In’, ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’ and ‘I’m A Cuckoo’ to the heavens, Murdoch eventually elevates this to something approaching ecstasy. A note of hope, certainly.

[4] The Weeknd, ‘Can’t Feel My Face’


The best pop song Abel Tesfaye ever did without annoying Geoff Barrow.

Junior really likes it – and, in stark contract with ‘Clearest Blue’, “you hear it on Kiss all the time”.

[5] CHVRCHES, ‘Clearest Blue’


Junior’s mum is singing Blondie’s ‘Union City Blue’, the rest of us (and CHVRCHES) are bashing out the riff to Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. Genius steals. OK, genius lightly reappropriates and misses out a note.

Junior herself is surprised this is so high because it’s “one of those songs you don’t hear much”. This, in turn, is mainly because Junior only listens to Kiss. I blame George Ergatoudis.

[6] Justin Bieber, ‘What Do You Mean?’


Junior rolls her eyes, and I think we’ve all been there, haven’t we? “I like it,” she admits, “but it had to be by Justin Bieber, didn’t it?”

She feels similar antipathy towards One Direction, breaking the mould of 10-year-old girls everywhere. The “I like it” is the key though. There’s a chance she can get past all that prejudice, like loads of us have, and reach the point where she realises it’s the song that matters. OK, that’s not true, it has to be the pop star as well – and that’s possible here too as Justin’s proved himself the kind of great guy who’ll cede the Christmas No.1 to the NHS Choir through the power of diamond geezerness alone.

[7] Tove Styrke, ‘Number One’


The battle of the Toves was hard-fought, but Lo didn’t make it at all and Styrke’s ‘Number One’ is No.7. Junior says this word-play is “ha ha very funny” but I think she wants something.

Other than that, she’s not into “the rap” but likes the chorus – which is unavoidable because it’s one of those choruses that twinkles brighter and brighter as it piles on the hooks and suddenly everything feels like Christmas.

[8] Jason Derulo, ‘Want To Want Me’


No one wants to see Jason Derulo at the sharp end of these charts, but this is pretty undeniable. It packs a powerful slug and has that hovering then kinetic drive that’s way too exciting for, yes, a Jason Derulo record. So here’s a Jason Derulo record.

Junior’s a fan but wouldn’t dance with a boy to it at the school disco, because they sweat too much.

[9] Galantis, ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’


Because anything that loves Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’ as much as this does is a pal of mine.

In a scorching display of pop’s subversive power, Junior doesn’t like peanut butter jelly but likes this.

[10] Carly Rae Jepsen, ‘I Really Like You’


Well, at least one of them was a hit. This one deserved it because of a) the way the chorus explodes and b) how CRJ can do this coy thing (cf “call me maybe?”) without making you feel queasy.

Junior knows all the words and declares, “It deserves to be in the Top 10.” Which is lucky really. Really really really really really.