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Lynchian punk to Lady Gaga: the best music Guardian staff and writers discovered this year

Old or new, wildly popular or punishingly obscure: our critics share the best songs, albums and artists they found this year – and how they discovered them

In search of absolution after realising that I had been streaming NTS Radio uninterrupted for a week, I took the most convenient route I know to finding something fresh to listen to: Pitchfork’s mailout of highest-rated new albums. In that week’s list was the debut album by Chat Pile. Emerging from the post-industrial wastes of Oklahoma City, the not-so-young four-piece channel that strain of American vitriol that made a punk-horror canon out of Dead Kennedys, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Slipknot.

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