Six of the best 6 Music songs

As the BBC's alternative music station celebrates its tenth birthday with a poll to find the best track it's ever played, we proffer some of our favourites

On Monday BBC 6 Music launched a poll to find the greatest song of the past ten years (see the shortlist here Since then over 15,000 listeners have cast their votes – now Radio Times writers tell you why you should vote for their personal favourites…


Time to Pretend – MGMT

“This is our decision, to live fast and die young. We’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun.” In an era of earnest, anodyne rock acts (whom you suspect would prefer a herbal tea to a night of debauchery), MGMT’s soaring paean to youthful hedonism was an exhilarating battle cry. Two fresh-faced college graduates, the group stood out from the pack for their impressively esoteric influences as much as their impish Mad Max beyond Thunderdome outfits. And in case anyone doubted their ability to follow it up, Time to Pretend went on to spearhead the finest debut indie-rock LP of the 2000s. Gary Rose

The Rat – The Walkmen

Most average bands will have one good single in them – The Walkmen are a good band who had one truly great single in them: The Rat. Sitting somewhere between the catchy riffs of The Strokes and the moody dirges of Interpol, it’s a bitter love/hate song with relentless drums, frantic guitars and a vicious chorus. The growled refrain “You’ve got a nerve to be asking a favour” is arrogant and audacious, just like the song. Lucy Barrick

Strict Machine – Goldfrapp

Irrevocably tied to the trailer to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, this 2005 track by the Icelandic quartet is by turns ethereal and stomping. The fact that the lyrics (about jumping around in puddles with no boots on) are in a foreign language is, frankly, unimportant – the song is, like so much of Sigur Rós’s material, extraordinarily uplifting, soaring on strings but tethered by a solid drum line. If I make it to heaven, this is the music I’d want to be playing when I get to the gates. Gill Crawford

Laura – Bat for Lashes

I must have listened to Laura a hundred times, often on repeat, and it gets me every time. The lead single from Bat for Lashes’ third album, The Haunted Man, hooks the listener in with a simple piano refrain, once, twice, before imparting its melancholy tale of an over-the-hill performer. “Ooo Laura, you’re more than a superstar” laments Bat for Lashes – lesser known as singer/songwriter Natasha Kahn – in spine-tingling crescendos that never cease to leave a lump in this throat. In a world where celebrity is prized over almost everything, it’s a poignant reminder that there’s more to life. Claire Webb

Remember Me – British Sea Power


I fell fully back in love with BSP last year, thanks to their gorgeous soundtrack for BBC4’s brilliant From the Sea to the Land Beyond. For me, though, they’ll never top this, a breathless single from their 2003 debut The Decline of British Sea Power. Indie rock had been dead several years, but this revived all the key elements: howling guitars that sound like a clarion call and clattering drums, soundtracking a bunch of soft lads fretting Byronically about their own mortality. I adore the slightly gauche rebellion, the Fall-esque vocals (“Oh let me be! Your! Inst! Ruh! Ment-ah!”) and the way it explodes into silence at the end. Rousing. Jack Seale