Sophie Lloyd & Pauline Taylor – Angels by My Side
A beautiful, uplifting soulful track from Sophie Lloyd with a powerful vocal from Faithless’ Pauline Taylor, this song gives me goosebumps with every listen. I was recently at the 20th anniversary of Danny Krivit’s 718 Sessions here in Brooklyn and he dropped this: I actually saw people crying with their hands raised in the air. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment.
Gabriels – If You Only Knew
It’s no surprise that Gabriels have made it into my top ten again this year, I’m obsessed with this band! Taken from their latest album, Angels and Demons Part 1, this stunning gospel track pretty much leaves me speechless and takes me back to the greats like Aretha, Nina Simone, Glady’s Knight, and Mahalia Jackson.
Lanowa – My Fantasy
One of the best musical discoveries for me this year is Nottingham producer Lanowa who seems to nail it with every release. I absolutely love the summery, Balearic vibes off this track.
Beyonce – Virgo’s Groove
This is the best song on Renaissance for me and one I listen to daily. I love the disco-funk groove, but mostly the sensual lyrics and immediacy in her voice as she sings to the love of her life of how much she still needs and wants him.
Flevans – It Takes the Whole Day
I cannot get enough of Flevans’ new album A Short Distance to Fall. If you like The Avalanches, UNKLE and Massive Attack, then this album is the one for you. It’s full of beautifully produced dreamy, soulful tracks such as It Takes the Whole Day which makes great use of Percy Wiggins’ It Didn’t Take Much as a sample.
Melvo Baptiste, Jamie 3:26, Annette Brown – Gonna Be Alright
This has been getting a great reaction during my DJ sets: it’s an absolute belter of a house track that will have you dancing and clapping your hands in ecstasy and joy.
Kendrick Lamar – United in Grief
The opener on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers really got me the first time I listened to it. I was sunbathing on the roof here in Brooklyn, thinking all was fine and going about my day, then I heard this track, thought about my grandad, and fell apart. That’s grief for you: it catches you by surprise, often when you least expect it. I think Kendrick Lamar perfectly describes the process and how we all deal with loss in different ways, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively; there really is no right or wrong way though, it’s just all part of grieving.
Mistura, Dave Lee, Tiffany T’zelle – If You Ever Need Somebody
This track really lifts my spirits; taken from Dave Lee’s Produced with Love II, it’s a gorgeous disco song that reminds me of classics from Phyllis Hyman, Evelyn Champagne King, and Loleatta Holloway.
Danger Mouse, Black Thought, Kid Sister, and Raekwon – The Darkest Part
Cheat Codes, the new album from Danger Mouse and The Roots’ Black Thought is one of my favourite albums of the year and one of the finest hip-hop records I’ve heard in a long time. This is one of the stand-out tracks for me, with powerful lyrics and vocals, it is old-school hip hop at its best.
Sam Redmore feat. Lumi HD – Just Can’t Wait
Another brilliant track from one of my favourite producers Sam Redmore, Just Can’t Wait is a gorgeous, disco groove with sublime vocals from Lumi HD.