The most obvious dancefloor banger on A Bathful Of Ecstasy. Joe Garrard’s syncopated vocal take hints toward the basslines to come. When the song does finally jump out of bed, it’s motivated by a muscular synth bass and the two vocalist’s call and response refrain. Hot Chip at their glorious best.
Expansive and dynamic, Four Tet’s ‘Anna Painting’ brings a fresh, organic approach to cerebral electronic with rejuvenating and captivating results. It’s pretty, complex and engrossing – everything you could want from a Four Tet song.
Bury A Friend
Billie goes dark. According to the artist, the track is written from the perspective of the monster under Eilish’s bed and it’s appropriately, a monster tune.
Taken from U.F.O.F., the first of Big Thief’s two albums in 2019, ‘Cattails’ is a dreamy folk epic. Lead singer Adrienne Lenker’s voice is a hug from a loved one during a troubled time. Emblematic of the affection and empathy which defined the best music from the American folk-rock band this year.
Sparsely arrangement yet deeply immersive, Tierra Whack’s ‘Only Child’ is deceivingly sweet upon first listen but a closer listen unveils this single as a decidedly bitter break-up anthem complete with wittily blunt statements such as ‘spiteful and malicious, hope that other chick got syphilis’. ‘Only Child’ sees the signposts for the moral high-ground and walks directly the opposite way.
The evergreen magic of Bibio continued with Ribbons this year, out on Warp Records and ‘Old Graffiti’ is one of those classic Bibio tracks he does so well – smudged funk, retro feels and classic style.
While Slowthai sometimes varies from wilfully obnoxious to three year-old post-four-cans-of-coke hyperactive on his debut, tracks like the softer ‘Gorgeous’ gives a much needed insight into a talented and considered MC. This is the kernel from which I hope the rest of his career grows.
The Wild Rover
It’s an indication of the talent, vision and songcraft of Lankum that they could take one of the most well-known trad songs around and offer something completely original, utterly fresh and deeply emotional. The droning dynamism of the full 10-minute version is one of the most pleasing musical experiences of 2019, as it moves and morphs from a tense intro and familiar lines sung primarily by Radie Peat into a filmic escalating release of sound and air. Stunning every time.
Jet Black (feat. Brandy)
Niall’s personal choice for song of the summer. Here’s an excerpt from the article – “‘Jet Black’ leans into a similar vibe with it’s bright light-funk and soul instrumentation and rap bounce. It’s bright, hazy music that lusts for and celebrates good times (“We peakin’ / Hands above us / Feels like someone lifted me”).”
The sound of summer 2019. If you didn’t hear ‘Juice’ somewhere throughout our all too brief sunny spell, its because you don’t have ears. Still not sick of it.