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So far, Sleigh Bells is definitely one of the buzziest buzz bands of the decade. The way Alexis Krauss relentlessly screams her heart out and flails around the stage like a rag doll makes her music and performances one for the record books. And don’t forget her partner in crime Derek Miller. He is an ex-member of the post-hardcore band Poison the Well, and he cranks out huge electro beats and shreds guitar in the meanest of ways.

The unlikely marriage of Derek Miller’s loud, ferocious guitars and Alexis’ seductively sweet vocals unleashes a musical masterpiece that can only be understood after hearing their uniquely crafted sound.

The epic teaser trailer for Sleigh Bells second full-length album Reign of Terror (badass name) created hype which made the first listen to “Born to Lose” that much more meaningful.

“Born to Lose” is a noisy pop track that is ridiculously catchy and extremely energetic. The blissful three minutes and fifty-three seconds induces feelings of power that can only be brought on through its raucous guitars and larger than life beats. Their achieved hype through the Reign of Terror teaser trailer, followed by this exciting first single, made “Born to Lose” my hands down stand out song of the year.

Last but not least, a little side note that explains my deepened connection with Sleigh Bells is the story behind their album cover. The cover art came from an incident that happened at Center Stage in Atlanta while on tour with CSS in 2011. Towards the end of their rowdy set, while playing “Holly,” Alexis accidentally smacked her head on Derek’s guitar. Despite the gash on her head, she kept enthusiastically performing like nothing ever happened. She was given a towel and shed a good amount of blood during the performance before shouting “I hit my fucking head. I gotta go to the hospital.” She left abruptly, but not before throwing her red stained towel into the eager crowd. The white Keds in the photo were the ones Alexis wore during the show that evening. The blood stains were exaggerated for the cover, but not making it any less real. Sleigh Bells has played countless venues all across the world and to be at the show that inspired their second album cover is quite a feat, if I do say so myself. – Robyn Johnson



50. Zambri: Icbys

49. Io Echo: When the Lillies Die

48. The Babies: Moonlight Mile

47. The Zolas: Cultured Man

46. Hospitality: Friends of Friends

45. Titus Andronicus: Big City

44. Toro Y Moi: Girl Problems

43. Yuck: Chew

42. Secret Music: Ghost in the Graveyard

41. Cat Power: Ruin

40. Tanlines: All of Me

39. Dirty Projectors: Dance for You

38. Crystal Castles: Wrath of God

37. Woods: When Size Meets Sound

36. Wild Belle: Keep You

35. Sharon van Etton: Serpant

34. The Orwells: Mallrats (la la la)

34. Grizzly Bear: Yet Again

32. Animal Collective: Honeycomb

31. Blondfire: Where the Kids Are

30. Plants and Animals: Lighthouse

29. The Magnetic Fields: Andrew in Drag

28. Ceremony: Adult

27. Chairlift: Sidewalk Safari

26. David Bryne & St. Vincent: Who

25. Tame Impala: If Feels like I Only Go Backwards

24. Divine Fits: My Love is Real

23. Oberhofer: Awy Frm U

22. Heems: Jason Bourne

21. 2:54: Creeping

20. Diiv: Doused

19. Lower Dens: Brains

18.  Wild Nothing: Shadows

17. The Men: Ex-Dreams

16. The XX: Chained

15. Crocodiles: Sunday (Psychic Conversations)

14. Cloud Nothings: Stay Useless

13. Chvrches: The Mother We Share

12. Best Coast: The Only Place

11. Death Grips: I’ve Seen Footage

10. Major Lazor: Get Free

9. Beach House: Other People

8.  Django Django: Default

7. Purity Ring: Fineshrine

6. Japandroids: House That Heaven Built

5. Grimes: Genesis

4. Jack White: Sixteen Saltines

3. The Shins: Simple Song

2. Twin Shadows: Five Seconds