Five really good new entries on the A List this week, but still nothing has topped the pop behemoths that are the Plastic Mermaids and Dua Lipa tracks. They’ve reached their three week time limit now, as has Gary Clark Jr, so this is their last week here. I expect all three of those tracks will feature highly on the Penguin’s Top 50 tracks of the year though…
1. Plastic Mermaids – Floating in a Vacuum [Final week]
My favourite track of 2019 so far. From the orchestral introduction to the playful synths, this is a track that grabs your attention.
2. Dua Lipa – Swan Song [Final week]
For my money, this is the best Dua Lipa song since 2015’s Be The One. From the tribal percussion and vocal snippets, this is a song of defiance and power “this is NOT a Swan Song”.
3. The Amazons – Mother [New Entry]
Thursday’s Track of the Day is a cracking piece of grandiose rock and roll. With a similar stuttering start to Audioslave’s Cochise and a guitar riff that is big, dirty and rough enough to knock your teeth out.
4. Fakear – Nausicaa [New Entry]
Well this is just an absolute delight for the ears. French producer Fakear has produced a collage of sounds that feel tribal, spiritual, enchanting and uplifting in equal measures. Listening to Nausicaa you’re transported away to a forrest, far from everyday life and surrounded by intrigue.
5. Sunflower Bean – Fear City
Fear City has an assured swagger. It sounds timeless; it could easily have been made in the 1990s or the 1970s, and it takes the essence of Veruca Salt and Joan Jett (and many other pioneers) and simply builds on that legacy.
6. Gary Clark Jr. – This Land [Final week]
7. Anna Clendening – Dead End
Simple, effective, devastating. The sense of guilt, the shame the desire to be stronger – better – shine through in every line.
8. Nick Mulvey – Moments of Surrender [New Entry]
A cover of U2’s – frankly awful – Moments of Surrender from 2009’s No Line On The Horizon. Mulvey has given it a gorgeous and delicate folk twist that sounds warm and genuine. It’s amazing that Mulvey has managed to get passed Bono’s ‘one too many sherries to hit a high note’ warbling and bring together something really rather beautiful.
9. Maggie Rogers – Burning [New Entry]
Rogers released her album Heard It In A Past Life in mid January and Burning is one of the tracks on it. Full of the joy of being in love, Burning combines the quirky dance of acts like Tune Yards and combines it with the power pop that Dua Lipa and others are banging out. It’s a winner.
10. Frankie Wah – Get Me High [New Entry]
One of the biggest dance tracks of 2019 so far, Get Me High has strong Bicep vibes – which is meant very much as a compliment – with its trance-y melody and big beats.