Hasn't it been a great year for music... No, seriously...

(We have to at least pretend to be self aware so that you don't think we've lost touch.)

(That's what they all say.)

The idea is this: End of year coverage is an important building block towards that 'brand loyalty' we are supposed to crave. We define ourselves with our end of year lists, we define ourselves with the things that we love. You mostly agree with us, you engage with our 'brand', you trust our judgement a little more, you click back here more regularly. Or you mostly don't agree with us, you don't engage with our brand, and nothing changes.

Chances are, you're just clicking through to see if you missed anything whilst you were busy living your life, you've been browsing through an endless sea of music sites, each one proclaiming their opinion to be the most worthy, the most knowledgeable, the most of all the niche concerns.

It makes me a little sick in my mouth when I read that, because whilst they fight a fictional battle for market dominance in a market that thrives on disparity, they also unwittingly imply that your opinion, dear reader, isn't as important or valid as that of the great and almighty music nerd. It seems strange to me, to be so dismissive and final over something so completely subjective as music. It seems strange to talk down to the people reading your opinions because in this two way relationship it is the writer who is the neediest party. The reader is taking part willingly, the writer is screaming into the void, begging for attention, wanting you to listen.

Regardless of all that, hasn't it been a great year for music?

If it was a terrible year for music we'd say so and point you at something great that came out years ago, because bullshit distractions and pity politics aside, that is why we do what we do. We want for nothing more than to fall in love with a piece of music as we hear it for the first time. We want to share that feeling with you. That's a pretty simple and righteous concept and it sits at the heart of all the editorial decisions we make.

You've already started skim reading so I'll switch this sentence for something libellous later, but first let me share with you the three rules at the centre of all of our end of year coverage. I scribbled them into my notebook before we started arguing over it.

  •        • Draw attention to the things we love the most.
  •        • Be there to love what is underloved without pretence.
  •        • Make listening easy, our words are not the important thing.

I hope that amongst all the noise we can help you find something new to love.

Team 405


To say thank you for sticking with us this past year, we're giving away a Sonos PLAY:1 speaker! We're actually giving away two (head over to The 405 Readers' Poll for more information).

Look, Sonos aren't paying us to say this, but we really do love their speakers; you'd be a fool not to enter. Oh, and if you don't win, bloody well just buy one! If you do so right now, you'll get a year's worth of free music via Deezer. That's a pretty decent deal if you ask us.