Here’s the A List for this week: my favourite 10 tracks at the moment.
Here is this week’s A List: the ten tracks I’m loving the most right now.
Every Sunday I update and post a new A List, and the tracks featured here will either have been previewed on the blog beforehand – either on the This Week Playlist or as a Track of the Day – or come from albums I’m listening to at the moment. Tracks can stay on the A List for a maximum of four weeks (so that I don’t overplay them).
There’s lots of good music around at the moment and this week there are four new entries in the top ten.
Later in the week I’ll be posting the Bonus List – an extension of the A List with the 10 songs that just missed out on the A-List.
So let’s get to it. Here is this week’s A List:
1. Jamiroquai – Automaton (Non-mover; 2nd week)
An electro pop masterclass with euphoria, menace, and a playful 90’s pop-meets-hip hop breakdown. Automaton sounds as fresh and innovative as anything released so far in 2017.
2. The Black Madonna – He is the Voice I Hear (Non-mover; 4th week)
The fourth and final week on the A List for this monster of a track. He is the Voice I Hear is a rollercoaster ride with strings, jazz piano and disco-influences.
3. Vince Staples – Bagbak (New Entry)
Hip hop is rediscovering it’s political voice and Bagbak is Vince Staples’s contribution on racial identity and politics. Staples is one of the most exciting men in music right now and the last 60 seconds of this track could have come straight from Yeezus, such is the anarchic quality.
4. Allan Rayman – 13 (New Entry)
13 is an r’n’b inflected track that could easily have felt at home in Prince’s mid-80’s era work. The standout element of the track is Rayman’s smoky soul voice is rich, pure, fragile and honest – often all in the same note. In 13 his rasping delivery of the opening verse is formidable but it’s the quieter moments that leave me breathless; in 13 he drops his voice and almost whispers some of his hoarse, sorrowful judgements.
5. Parcels – Allaround (Down 1; 2nd week)
With beautiful vocals that sound like they’ve been borrowed from Kings of Convenience, layering them onto a track that plays with disco and funk – a la Jungle – and delivering some stunning musicianship along the way, this is a superb piece of music. Parcels have released a steady series of hugely impressive singles, and this is my favourite so far.
6. Future Islands – Ran (New Entry)
Driving bass, keyboard euphoria and heartbreaking vocals, Future Islands have returned with their winning formula and a track that will undoubtedly make many festival fans happy again this summer.
7. Otzeki – All This Time (New Entry)
A track that sounds like it was designed to be the theme tune for one of those big budget HBO thriller/horror programmes. From it’s opening hum and creeping bass, it has an eerie and agitating tone, which only increases as the organ noise and vocals kick in.
8. Husky Loops – Fighting Myself (Down 3; 2nd week)
This track is a spring of menace and insecurity wound way too tight; it’s initially menacing – with traces of art rock – before building to a frantic and thrilling finish. I had the pleasure of seeing Husky Loops on Thursday and I think they’re really special and very exciting.
9. Tiga – Eye Luv U (Down 1; 2nd week)
Canadian DJ and producer Tiga has a pretty stunning back catalogue, creating some of the most innovative of off-beat electro bangers. Eye Luv U finds all of his favourite hallmarks, an infectious beat, weird and slightly off-kilter vocal snippets and a playful approach to melody.
10. Priests – Jj (Down 3; 2nd week)
A post-punk quartet, Priests have delivered their second single from new album Nothing Feels Natural. It’s like being trapped in the getaway car from a bank robbery in the wild west: country-twinged, all action, energy and attitude.