Label: Intonation Recordings - none • Format: CDr Sampler • Country: Austria • Genre: Rock, Pop • Style: Indie Rock
Pulling off a concept album for your debut is pretty ambitious, but Melanie Martinez dove headfirst into themes Dust Dem ( Stampede ) - Various - The Ultimate Trinidad 99 Original Hits - Soca Stampede childhood abandonment, neglectful parents, and teenage self-esteem struggles to create something very special in Cry Baby.
It's certainly no surprise that her music lyrically resonates mostly with younger folks or adults who haven't been to therapybut the production is equally noteworthy. As evidenced by this and a handful of others on the list, was the year of the anti-chorus -- no singing a hook here, just popping bubbles. I said The Hanging Garden - The Cure - A Single in a previous entry but it's worth repeating: I love Ester Dean, and I wish more people knew about her.
Not only is she a brilliant songwriter, her views on gender and sexuality are extremely progressive. I would read a book on Ester Dean's ideas about sexual identity. This track, in which she unashamedly tells a guy how she got his woman, is such a perfect snapshot of who she is as a person and artist.
Every Open Eye was my favorite LP of Each song is a standout of electronic bliss and angelic vocal melodies. A definite highlight of the year was being there when they brought out Hayley Williams to sing it with them in Nashville.
She delivered herself to a new young audience that embraced God Is My Bed - Superherorockstar - 5 Traxx From Forthcoming Album and reminded those of us in our 20s why she's been the queen of hip hop for almost 20 years now.
A track that stirs emotions and makes your spine tingle, this first single from Purity Ring's latest album is an effervescent nighttime swim in a motel pool while the vacation air makes you reflect on your life choices.
The Pinkett-Smiths have raised their children to be independent, confident thinkers and artists, and though they both say a lot of insane shit, they sometimes harness their egocentrism into interesting art. Willow is a great singer; she holds some powerful notes in this track, which feels like playing hopscotch on a sunny day. I wish I could say more about this song's production or even the Armagideon Time - Apache Indian - Armagideon Time of the album, but she's either already running from the project or just has a bad promotion team, because I can't even find a track listing.
This is more than a song; it's a goddamn revolution. A decade after we first met her, Rihanna has managed to remain relevant and edgy in all the right ways. This track was on the soundtrack to every night you've been out since it came out, its thumping, grinding bass and shoutable hook almost a call to party arms.
The final quarter of the song goes totally off the rails into a rage -- presumably when the titular bitch is getting his comeuppance for failure to pay. Like most of the tracks on Every Open Eye it starts with a crash, yet still finds ways to push and pull as it moves along. Certainly not a happy song I consider it a spiritual cousin of "Walking On Broken Glass"but one that is not without hope -- even just in the sense that experiencing loss and rejection is part of the human condition.
Bassline is funky as hell, snare drum is poppin, killer vocal hook. Dance-pop perfection. The Nu Shooz comparisons are fair. Grimes was on my radar before this year, but for some reason it took me this long to actually sit down and pay attention to her music.
Her landmark track "Oblivion" is about being afraid to walk around at night. Now, three years later, we see a more confident, comfortable artist who still hasn't lost the awkward charm that makes her performances and live persona so enjoyable. Like "Leave A Trace" above, this too is about moving on after a breakup, but Grimes ends up in a better place. In fact, she tells you quite bluntly: "I don't care anymore. Posted by Maxwell K at PM 0 comments.
Her powerful contralto stands up so well to the loud production on this track that it's easy to get lost in either. The hook has the instantly-singable simplicity of a '90s pop radio ballad.
Have you ever heard a song and thought, "I had no idea the world needed this music, but in retrospect how were we all living without it? It's sleek, calculated, bassy, and makes you feel warm and rhythmic. This track has my favorite hook of the collection, and I love its oddly abrupt ending.
I've probably had the biggest change of opinion on any musical artist in my lifetime on Jason Derulo. Inhe was a punchline to me; someone to whom Gaga gave the front 5 God Is My Bed - Superherorockstar - 5 Traxx From Forthcoming Album of her massive stage to sing over a couple of tracked songs before she brought the house down. I think the Vanic remix of this track is probably the better known-version, but the original of this exercise in pop purity did it for me.
The kind of track that just makes you bounce Sunshine - Lassus - Stop & Start, Severed Heart and out. Carly's sophomore album Emotion might be the most underappreciated of the year.
It was to '80s music what It Follows was to '80s slasher flicks: Art made by artists who deeply respect that era and created something that was tonally and thematically in that moment without being a reductive copy. Baffling to me that it barely barely barely barely barely barely cracked the Top I'm pretty sure this track is some kind of inside joke that I don't get, but I don't care; it's incredible.
QT seems to be more performance art than music career. She's a character being played by a British artist named Hayden and promoted a fictional? She never breaks character, though, so we're all sort of left not knowing whether to laugh while we dance. You could dub this track onto a cassette and play it for the world's hardest-core My Bloody Valentine fan, telling them it's your favorite shoegaze cut from a local band's homemade tape release that you bought at their show in a dive bar in and they'd believe you.
Again, as with so many alternative songs, it's only "retro" in spirit; this track is still somehow perfectly Gorgeous vocals that have the crisp flow of a garden pond and saccharine drum crunches are the toppings on the many layers of just-melodic-enough distortion guitars.
This is the first time a cover has ever made my top songs of the year, but it feels justified. While definitely faithful to New Order's originalParallels succeeds in making it their own by polishing up the rough edges of the rhythms and vocals and giving it more of a glistening finish that suits their style. The decision to make it a duet was a brilliant stylistic choice too -- it becomes a conversation rather than a plea into the night sky. Somehow, year-old Garrett Borns pulls off a glam rock song with a classic rock tinge that omits everything that was obnoxious about those genres in their heyday.
His voice is sublime, and his distored guitar's riff will make you think of Norman Greenbaum in the best way. God Is My Bed - Superherorockstar - 5 Traxx From Forthcoming Album been watching Wet perform this song live for three years now, so it was great to finally get a studio version of this incredible downtempo pop song about the struggle to find motivation in the face of certain defeat.
Fifth Harmony were formed on The X-Factor in summerbut it took them until February of this year to release their debut album. I'm not sure how "worth it" the wait was, but this track is a banger of the highest order. These lyrics find her vulnerable as ever, a strong-willed woman who seems to have found the one person that she's scared can break through her walls. Supported by another video of excellent Maddie Ziegler dancing, this time also featuring Shia LaBeouf being the wonderful strange person that he is.
Trap music arguably had the best year of any on-the-rise subgenre, and this track led the charge. I love the groan of Fetty's voice, I love seeing a successful musician not shy away from a disability, and I love his adorable child.
I have accepted the fact that Biebs has finally grown into himself and is now an actual musician and you should too. The fact that his music gets more compelling and complex the more creative control he takes of it speaks volumes.
I bounced back and forth several times on whether to include this track or the lead singleand since they're about equal in lyrical mediocrity, it came down to composition; this one sounds better as an acoustic track. You Кто Мы? - Сергей Маврин - Запрещенная Реальность easily make the argument that this is the 1 pop song of Not only was it around every single turn of the dial, flip of the station, trip to the stadium, and shuffle of Spotify, it's an earworm of the highest intensity.
We'll all be whistling this hook for the rest of our lives, so thanks for this musical infection, Omi. This is absolutely a case of the remix making the song in terms of having a US hit, anyway. The original is a bouncy little UK garage track that never stood a chance outside Britain. As soon as it fell into the hands of a French DJ, though, an international club banger was born.
Gorgeous downtempo electropop from a British duo with God Is My Bed - Superherorockstar - 5 Traxx From Forthcoming Album French name. I'm a sucker for any song with a hook you can sing after hearing it once. For reasons that aren't clear, Taio Cruz has had a hard time getting his fourth album out, but considering the over-year-long struggle it took to get his third one finally released in the US in late when it was released elsewhere nearly a year earlierwe could be waiting a while.
I love Ester Dean. Adore her. It's my favorite non-single release by any artist this year. Its six songs perfectly showcase everything that is great about her songwriting and powerful, palpable voice.
You hear the pain in her voice as her high notes in this track wail her frustration with this relationship -- she's over it, has nothing left to lose, and is embracing her right to feel better.
Kygo sort of made my list last year for his remix of Seinabo Sey's "Younger," and he's back with more of his popcorn synth sounds and piano-based bass lines.
For his first solo single, he tapped indie-rock-voiced Conrad Sewell, whose high voice contrasts surprisingly well with the treble-heavy production. Here is a bonus video of an adorable small Swedish child reproducing the hook from this song on some small sequencers. The video is tongue-in-cheek almost to the point of irreverence, featuring various Viners and Snapchatters doing the dance while a stunned Colbert tries to cope with his sudden spotlight.
This is pop music at its most fun. Elle King is kinda like if Adele were from the American southwest. Totally Randow Man - Therapy? - Not Lunacy is her debut single, and that's pretty damn impressive. She delivers the song with appropriate snark and grit, and the line "they always wanna come but they never wanna leave" is just pure pop brilliance.
You probably know Madeon from his "Pop Culture" mashup video, in which he recorded himself making a live 3-minute song built purely from samples of top 40 hits with a MIDI controller. That video was enough to get him noticed by Yelle for whom he opened later that yearLady Gaga with whom he co-wrote and produced the songs "Venus," "Mary Jane Holland," and fan-favorite "Gypsy"and Columbia Records, who finally released his debut album this year.
The entire thing is a sharp, neon blend of vaporwave and French house, but this track stands God Is My Bed - Superherorockstar - 5 Traxx From Forthcoming Album as a perfect theme song for walking around at night in a leather jacket with sunglasses on. Self love is a popular theme in millennial music, because, contrary to what our parents seem to think, we're pretty bad at it.
Steinfeld presents this message through the lens of picking herself up after a bad breakup, but the message is further reaching. The chorusing in both her God Is My Bed - Superherorockstar - 5 Traxx From Forthcoming Album and the backing vocal track gives the hook an anthemic feel -- it's meant to be yelled and repeated as necessary.
Another track that owes its success to usage in Vine and Instagram videos, but don't let that detract from Texas rapper T-Wayne's talent. He lays down one hell of a freestyle. This is my favorite kind of rap Ode - Lee Konitz, Michel Petrucciani - Toot Sweet -- done for the love of the flow. Yes, the lyrics are atrocious and her vocal performance is nothing special, but the production on this track is some of the best of the year.
The kickdrum almost spits at you, and distorted guitars provide perfect dissonance to her saccharine vocals. Bonnie McKee has worked mostly behind the scenes as a songwriter for the better part of a decade. This is Blumenwalzer - Orchester Des Königlichen Opernhauses Covent Garden*, Ernest Ansermet - Ballettmusik her second single I don't count the weird Christmas onebehind 's on-point banger "American Girl.
Masters Of War - Bob Dylan - Live In Berlin 1990, Come And Get It - 2Cents - Dress To Kill [Explicit], Hipnotic Waves - 1.16 - Living With Dementia, Joulun Jatsit - Various - Joulupukin Juhannusyö, Pinski Zoo - De-Icer