- Ski Lift – Get Some Sleep
Missouri-based two-piece Ski Lift are not exactly prolific. The How Seriously You Take Yourself EP was their first release since 2011 and Get Some Sleep was the opening track. This track is like a dream, with a hypnotic beat effortlessly motioning the song along. “I made up a therapist to work through my problems, we talk in the mirror like an old De Niro film” is where we start the song, and it only gets more inward from there.
- Jono Ma & Dreams – Can’t Stop My Dreaming (Of You)
Can’t Stop My Dreaming (Of You) was one of my most listened to tracks of 2018, in large part because it is such a rewarding listen. There’s so many levels to the track, and you find yourself following different snippets of percussion or melody on every listen.
- Billie Eilish – when the party’s over
I don’t think there’s a more exciting artist in the world right now. Billie Eilish has delivered so many intriguing tracks over the past eighteen months, and when the party’s over is the most heart-breaking of the lot.
- Ray BLK – Run Run
Ray BLK delivers harrowing tales of South London with one of the catchiest tracks of the year. Reflecting her real life observations and strong social conscience, Run Run is the kind of the song that would have been a huge hit in the late eighties. The video is also incredibly powerful
- The 1975 – Love It If We Made It
Comparisons to Sign ‘O’ The Times, Rockin’ in the Free World and We Didn’t Start The Fire put Love It If We Made It in some esteemed company. Only time will tell if it merits such loftiness, but there’s no doubt that this is a hugely impressive piece of work from the 1975. Alongside its provocative lyrics and all-round catchiness, the thing that’s really lingered from Love It If We Made It is the optimism that somehow shines through its gutter topics.
- Kacey Musgraves – High Horse
Does anyone do sass better than Kacey Musgraves? High Horse is a big change in style for Kacey but she sounds superb delivering her brilliant put-down lyrics over a disco-infused backing track.
- Alex Metric, Ten Ven – Nebula
Nebula is a throwback dance track, all eighties synths and big-build ups. Great music doesn’t have to be complicated, here Alex Metric and Ten Ven keep it simple with an absolutely gigantic dancefloor filler.
- H O N E Y M O A N – </3
South African five-piece H O N E Y M O A N (yes, that is annoying to type) tell the modern tale of breaking up over text and the awkwardness of finding out your former partner is in fact gay. Scuzzy guitars and catchy melodies, top work all round.
- Cardi B – Get Up 10
I liked Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy way more than I was expecting, and Get Up 10 was for me the standout track. It combines her personal history with a suitable amount of swagger, soaring from its gentle start into an absolute banger.
- FRANKIIE – Dream Reader
Vancouver-based four-piece FRANKIIE give us one-part Stevie Nicks and two parts Pumarosa with the ethereal Dream Reader. It’s a beautifully simple slice of indie pop that hints at a very bright future.