Today is Ash Wednesday, which we’re told has something to do with religion. Here at Vanyaland, we worship at the altar of music, so we’re celebrating the day by rounding up some of our favorite songs by Ash. The Northern Ireland trio blasted out from a pack of Britpop brats in the mid-’90s to create some of the best power-pop records of the past twenty years, extending their impressive career with last year’s Kablammo!, which included the boisterous single “Cocoon”.

In honor of Ash Wednesday, we polled the Vanyaland staff for their favorite Ash songs, and below is a sampling of the band’s preferred work (at least by us, anyway). Use the slider to scan through our selections, and catch up with all things Ash with our June 2015 interview with frontman Tim Wheeler.

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“Girl From Mars” from the 1996 album 1977

It was 1996, and Britpop was king. Suede coated London in neon with Coming Up, Pulp were still basking in the brilliance of Different Class, and Sleeper would re-write the Boys Club rules with The It Girl. But Ash’s sophomore record 1977 blasted out from the pack, giving a jolt to Best Album In The World compilations and Select magazine freebees with a roaring guitar-rock sound penned by a then-16-year-old Tim Wheeler. “Girl From Mars” was the ultimate hook, a saccharine pop explosion that had enough force to make our Discman skip all on its own. –Michael Marotta

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