Yet another list!
10. Deerhunter- ‘Breaker’
I love this song for its simplicity, how the verse is pretty straightforward and then it courses into a beautiful chorus, which then makes you rethink the straightforwardness of the verse.
9. Fetty Wapp- ‘Trap Queen’
This was my first foray into trap music mainly because this song was everywhere. It has a perfect blend of harsh reality, genuine romance and plain weirdness that makes me enjoy it every time I come back to it.
8. Julia Holter- ‘Feel You’
I feel pretty guilty for not giving Julia Holter’s Have You in My Wilderness the time it deserved this year, especially considering I’ve loved all her work before and also because the album is clearly very good. Something to work through in 2016 I guess. Well one thing to salvage is the obvious beauty of her opening track, which hit me on first listen.
7. Beach House- ‘Somewhere Tonight’
This is the closing track on Beach House’s surprise album Thank Your Lucky Stars. And honestly I could have easily picked any other of their really superb songs this year. I chose this one because it struck a new feeling. Victoria Legrand sounds sourly operatic and Alex Scally’s slide riff is perfect for this hazy barroom lament.
6. Panda Bear- ‘Tropic of Cancer’
So I belatedly realised that this is a sore dirge on a family crumbling due to a member becoming terminally ill. This makes the powerful numbness this song evokes even more emotional. It’s definitely Panda Bear at his most direct and creates a world similar to what I imagine such a scenario would be like.
5. Car Seat Headrest- ‘Something Soon’
This was a late find for me, at first it just seemed like yet another sad indie teen bloomer number, which it is don’t let me prove you otherwise. But boy does it do it well. The lyrics are sharp and funny (‘I want to stay inside all this winter/
filling out forms from a busted printer’) and their synthy lo-fi direction gives the song a surprisingly and emotional twist.
4. Jamie XX- ‘Gosh’
No matter how hard I’ve tried, I can’t get into Jamie XX’s album In Colour as a whole. However this hasn’t stopped me putting his opener ‘Gosh’ on repeat. I love how it’s an obvious banger, and especially when the drop happens that he feels comfortable just extending it by putting it an octave higher. Unashamed fist-pumps did happen while jogging.
3. Grimes ‘REALiTi’
To clarify this was Grimes’ original release (i.e. video attached), I found her album version a bit too over-produced for my liking. And I think what made ‘REALiTi’ so beautiful was it’s raw natural appeal. It borders on a perfect pop song, while also pushing the boundaries in classic Grimes fashion of what pop songs should be.
2. Drake- ‘Hotline Bling’
Of course this is on here. If I’m going to try to say something that hasn’t already been said before (which would be tricky) it would be that this song is surprisingly simple and also hard to categorise. It doesn’t pull at the heart-strings like most of Drake’s sad songs, and yet also doesn’t come anywhere near his ‘fuck-yall’ songs. It’s true beauty comes in being an anomaly of weird phone terminology and confused feels, not just for Drake but for the world as we know it.
1. Destroyer- ‘Dream Lover’
For a whole summer/autumn this was my ‘I can do this’ song every weekday morning before stepping into the office. It’s an entirely energy song- the sadness gets wiped off in wonderful self-pity (‘I feel I used to be more fun’), piledriving saxa-ma-phone, and of course Bejar’s closing croon of ‘DREEEEEAAAAM LOVER I KNNNNNNNNNOWWWWWWWW’