Three new entries this week and a new number 1 for the A List. 2019 has already produced some incredible new music, but you should really be prioritising the following tracks…
1. Lana Del Rey – hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it
Pitchfork had an interesting article looking at some of Lana’s recent work this week that I recommended checking out. hope is a dangerous thing (etc) grows on me with every listen. The lyrics are hard to digest and yet essential listening. A profoundly moving five minutes; from self-doubt to abuse to isolation, any song that has Sylvia Plath at its core will undoubtedly veer from weirdness to unimaginable suffering.
2. Billie Eilish – WHEN I WAS OLDER
Down one place this week, WHEN I WAS OLDER is full of eery distorted vocals and minimalistic electronic production that combine to create a haunting tone that is really hard to shake off.
3. Lucy Rose – Conversation [New Entry]
Conversation is full of atmosphere with some beautiful strings. Simple and yet hard-hitting, there’s an air of strength and finality surrounding the delicate vocals.
4. Goldie, James Davidson, Subjective – Rift Valley
A track that is best played in the dark. It’s like you’re dreaming after smoking pot. Everything feels captivating yet entirely elusive. The album also became available on streaming platforms this week.
5. Sam Smith, Normani – Dancing With A Stranger
A devastatingly simple pop track full of regrets. Sam Smith does heartbreaks better than almost anyone, and the simple production on Dancing with a Stranger leaves the listener to drown in the guilt and misplaced anger of a rebound one night stand.
6. Hot Flash Heat Wave – Sky So Blue [New Entry]
Friday’s Track of the Day, Sky So Blue is a lazy summer afternoon in a park, drifting off into reverie through the sheer fatigue of doing nothing at all. It’s a cocktail of synths, psychedelia and sunshine. Lots of sunshine.
7. D’Angelo – Unshaken
Written for the Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack, Unshaken certainly conjures up the feelings of a western with its sparse production and solitary feel, and D’Angelo’s vocals sound superb in this lower range.
8. Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness
Hello Happiness is a burst of energy, with a bass line straight from the 70s, electro vibes that belong in the 80s and a vocal performance that is positively timeless.
10. Catfish and the Bottlemen – Longshot
Produced by Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., the Killers, U2), Longshot has a distinctly British optimism running through it, almost like they can’t believe something has succeeded. “Fiver says you’re wrong…”
10. Emily Brimlow – Hope [New Entry]
I don’t know if Emily Brimlow falls firmly into the ‘Christian music’ category, but it’s nice to hear a well-produced pop track speaking optimistically about God. The minimal r’n’b drum track leaves plenty of space for Brimlow’s voice and the really beautiful choral backing vocals to shine. This song is full of optimism and catchy as hell.