Here’s the A List for this week: my favourite 10 tracks at the moment.
Every Sunday I post a new A List, an insight into what I’m loving right now. There’s a strong dance feel to the list at the moment, with four of the top five representing the genre’s different forms. There are three new entries this week, and one track is celebrating a third week on the A List.
Quite simply, there’s a lot of good music out there right now. It was tough to get it down to 10 tracks this week, so I’ll be posting the B-List tomorrow – the 10 songs just below the A-List – that I’ve christened the Bonus List. I’ll also be posting the This Week Playlist tomorrow, seven tracks that will tickle your ears. I warn you in advance: it’s a strong list this week.
So let’s get to it. Here is this week’s A List:
1. The Black Madonna – He is the Voice I Hear (Non-Mover; 2nd week)
A lot of people are dismissive of dance music. The world of EDM bangers and superstar DJ’s has – over the past few years – led to a perception of formulaic dance-by-numbers tracks. But then every now and then a dance song comes along that completely changes what dance music can be; He is the Voice I Hear is one of those tracks, a rollercoaster ride with strings, jazz piano and disco-influences. It’s a masterpiece, and it rightly stays at number one.
2. Mixhell, Joe Goddard – Crocodile Boots (Soulwax Remix) (New Entry)
This is a five minute industrial revolution. Full of dancing percussion samples and snippets, the spoken word sections only add to these feeling like it has transported 1980’s electronica and transported it to the future. It’s a fine record, and one I’ve enjoyed every listen of.
3. LOYAL – Moving As One (Non-Mover; 2nd week)
LOYAL’s Moving As One has plenty of layers that span different genres and enough musical ability to bring it together seamlessly.
4. Esther Joy Lane – Ever Ever (Non-Mover; 2nd week)
Ever Ever starts off on familiar terrain for Grimes fans, which is certainly no bad thing. But it then takes a different path; meandering between synth pop, electronica and dance
5. Bonobo – No Reason (Down 3; 2nd week)
George reviewed Bonobo’s album this week and rightly picked out No Reason as a highlight. Mournful vocals are matched by elegant electronic touches; it’s a claustrophobic listen that leaves you wanting to curl up in a blanket and hide away from the world.
6. Army of Bones – Don’t Be Long (Down 1; 3rd week)
I’m still loving this unexpected indie treat. Strong pulsing guitars and a polished melody makes this a fine January listen.
7. The XX – Dangerous (New Entry)
A tremendous statement of intent to kick off new album I See You. I struggle to think of another band who have so effectively stated a change in direction and a stepping-up of their sound as The XX have with Dangerous.
8. The XX – Performance (New Entry)
A heart-dropping, mournful and gripping track that finds The XX back on familiar ground. Romy’s vocals are – as usual – emotional in a way so few other singers can manage; elevated by the strings and stripped back guitar.
9. Dan Croll – Away From Today (Non-Mover; 2nd week)
A slightly disorientating indie pop track that could easily have been take from Bombay Bicycle Club’s back catalogue. It plays with the senses a little, never quite settling. But for the ridiculously abrupt ending, I rather like this.
10. Tall Tall Trees – Freedays (New Entry)
Our Track of the Day on Thursday, this is psychedelic-infused indie folk – with a banjo. It sounds like a product of vast and hazy country landscapes, and would comfortably sound at home alongside records by Fleet Foxes and Jonathan Wilson.
You can listen to all ten tracks here: