Tag: Django Django

Top 50 songs of 2018 – 40 to 31

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  1. Nils Frahm – My Friend the Forest

The recording of My Friend the Forest leaves you holding your breathe. So close and intimate, you can hear the movements of the piano parts in addition to the melody it is creating. It’s a very moving and personal recording that leaves you feeling connected, as if you’re part of the performance and the magic it creates.

 

  1. Bryde – To Be Brave

To Be Brave starts with a fragility that makes you sit up and take notice. The soft guitar and tender vocals feel delicate and hushed, and the chorus ends with the lyrics “No one needs to notice that there’sonly silence holding this”. And yet, the song gets louder. Whatever is being masked through bravery is becoming increasingly difficult to contain.

 

  1. Editors – Hellelujah (So Low)

Sometimes you’ve just got to turn up the volume, rock and repent. This is Editors as we’ve never heard them before, and it sounds fantastic. Written after a visit to an Oxfam refugee camp, you can hear the mortality and remorsefulness scattered throughout the track.

 

  1. Miljon – What Does It Take

What Does It Take beautifully suits wintery cold weather and dark evenings. With a touch of the XX underpinning the track, there’s a real beauty in its repetition and luscious tones, but there’s also a sense of difficult emotions not too far from the surface.

 

  1. Lizzo – Boys

It took five years but finally we have the riposte to Blurred Lines that the world needed. Funky, inclusive and catchy as hell, Boys is just a cracking good tune that sounds timeless and will be filling dancefloors for years.

 

  1. Black Belt Eagle Scout – Soft Stud

Black Belt Eagle Scout’s Mother of My Children was one of my favourite albums of the year. Soft Stud is the opening track and is full of pain and lust, a tale of feeling rejected in an open relationship. The real beauty of Soft Stud isn’t the lyrics though, it’s the emotions you feel through the guitar as it elevates the track into something truly spiritual.

 

  1. Django Django – Marble Skies

Django Django consistently produce excellent and provocative electro pop and Marble Skies is one of their best. Immensely catchy, the first track from the album of the same name sets a relentless pace. Marble Skies feels like we’re in a high-speed chase, there’s plenty of fun to be had but chaos is never far away.

 

  1. The Decemberists – Severed

I’m a sucker for synth pop and when you throw in the menace that The Decemberists bring to Severed I’m unable to resist. Written as an exploration of Donald Trump’s public voice, Severed certainly feels like the soundtrack for the end of the world.

 

  1. HAELOS – Buried in the Sand

HAELOS are a band with huge promise, and one I tip for festival headliner status in the future. Buried in the Sand is their first track back after a couple of years away and although less immediate than a lot of their work on debut album – Full Circle – I’ve grown to love it. It has a swagger running throughout, and feels like a real statement from the band about how they are ready to make their next step up.

 

  1. Florence + The Machine – Big God

I was a big fan of Florence’s new album High As Hope as I felt it showed real progression in song writing and was less reliant on Welch’s voice hitting magnificent highs to make the record stand out. Big God is a perfect example; it sounds like a Shirley Bassey backing track with all sorts of drama and peril threatened by the opening piano notes. Yet the vocals remain beautifully grounded and intimate; eschewing the need to set off into the stratosphere and making the record all the more satisfying for its lack of predictability.

Top 50 songs of 2018 – 50 to 41

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50. Karen O, Michael Kiwunuka – YO! MY SAINT

This track was released back in January and it’s full of drama and dripping in lust. Fuzzy guitars and the soulful sounds of Michael Kiwunuka provide the perfect foundation for O’s vocals to dazzle. Designed to emulate the drama of a Korean soap opera, it was written to soundtrack a short film, which helps to make sense of the song’s cinematic feel.

 

  1. LeyeT – Drip Drop

Drip Drop is a deceptively simple pop song. The catchiness and immediacy of the melody mask the urgency of the lyrics, the sense that pain and heartbreak can feel relentless and overwhelming. The song’s production subtly mirrors the relentless through repetition before we reach a point of release.

 

  1. Hammer – Inside Soul

Rory Hamilton – aka Hammer – has been buddies with Bicep since their early Belfast days. Now based in East London, Inside Soul was the third track on his C-Space EP (released on Bicep’s label) and is equal parts hypnotic and euphoric.

 

  1. DJ Koze – Seeing Aliens

The lead single from Koze’s critically acclaimed Knock Knock album, Seeing Aliens is a baffling listen. Eight minutes of whirrs, glitches and general chaos make up the melody, Seeing Aliens is a speedy 3am drive up the motorway, when your monotony is irregularly frazzled by oncoming lights.

 

  1. James Supercave – Something To Lose (metsa Rework)

It’s pretty rare for remixes to make my top 50, but this metsa rework is superbly catchy. A dystopian remix in which the emotions of the original seem to have been given a cyborg makeover; it’s a battle between the metallic coldness of the production and the tenderness of the vocals.

 

  1. George Fitzgerald – Siren Call

From Fitzgerald’s second album All That Must Be, Siren Call feels like an ode to lying awake at night in an unfamiliar city. Full of creeping electronics and unsettling distortions, moments of peace and calm when you’re drifting into slumber are snatched away by another disturbance.

 

  1. Ellas Ross – Plastic

Sometimes music is at its best when you strip away all the unnecessary elements and keep it simple. Plastic feels like an artist at the end of a relationship, wearily realising that the person they thought they knew was never there. The façade has melted, and it’s time to accept it. Without malice, but with growing strength, Plastic lets us hear someone gaining clarity and acceptance.

 

  1. Django Django – Swimming at Night

Django Django’s Winter’s Beach EP was a pleasant surprise in September, and Swimming at Night was its instantly catchy single. Electronic percussion and synth-y goodness to the fore, this is a cracking pop song full of fun.

 

  1. Kidnap – After All

Sheffield-born Producer Kidnap (previously Kidnap Kid) released his Ashes EP in March and After All was the third track on it. With shades of Massive Attack, there a reflective and borderline spiritual quality to After All, with lyrical snippets of Amazing Grace subtly woven into the record. “You know when you get a taste of it?, I want this to be my life” the vocalist asks halfway through, as the music reflects the longing and hopes of the singer.

 

  1. Simian Mobile Disco – Hey Sister

This is a track that shouldn’t work on any level. Dance music doesn’t usually have choirs. Add in cold electronic beats that seem so urgent compared to the placid vocals and it’s a song that should drown in its own contradictions. Instead Simian Mobile Disco have created a unique track that sounds awesome. Well played.