A relatively quiet release from German DJ and producer TB offers the best synthwave of the year. ‘Night Heat’ is car chase music, if your car is one of those hovering motorcycles from Tron and it’s pouring (digital?) rain.
Australian nu-R&B artist Col3trane offered up some of the freshest and most conceptually nuanced music under that label of 2018. ‘Penelope’ is equal parts psychedelic, melancholic and catchy. A broad spectrum for sure.
Le Boom continues to be one of the nation’s finest electronic acts with the release of ‘Animal’. The group, with this track, seemed to have nailed down the perfect balance between pop and dance. That being a track that works as well on a dancefloor as it does on the radio. Yuppa.
Against All Logic
Such A Bad Way
Nicholas Jaar is a long time favourite of mine. The Against All Logic project found the maestro producing the most straightforward dance music of his career to date. It’s glorious. All of it.
I Thought About Killing You
Ye is going to feature on this list in a few different guises. Up first is under his solo project. Inherently flawed and massively inconsistent, Ye is about as wild as the man himself. ‘I Thought About Killing You’ is one of the most real tracks of 2018 though.
In terms of flow and lyrical dexterity, JyellowL is the nations finest MC. ‘Yes Lawd’ is catchier and probably a more well-rounded production, but ‘Medusa’ gets the nod for its sheer verbal brilliance.
Silky smooth west coast R&B from an artist with an ear for both the avant-garde and the popular approach to the genre. Her vocals are tip-top, production crystal clear and the hook is of the kind that sticks with you for days after first hearing it.
This one is all about the lyrics. A superb account of self-reflection so heartbreakingly detailed, vulnerable and honest so as to move even the stoniest-hearted of listeners. Lately, this track has been a bit of a companion during tough times, a faithful one at that too.
I was a bit late in discovering Khruanghabin, only picking up on them at the beginning of summer. Having become a bit of cynic about the future of guitar music, it’s indescribably beautiful to hear a new group take a vintage sound and transform it into something vibrant and contemporary. That main riff is what I want to soundtrack my final moments if I do, by some insane twist of fate, go out in a Mexican standoff.
Iceage ft. Sky Ferreira
It was during this song at Iceage’s gig in the Workman’s that I was flattened by a giddy punk standing in front of me. That I don’t hold a grudge is a testament to just how blood pumping the Danish band’s rock music really is. That I still frequently return to this track 7 months on is testament to how strong the songwriting throughout Beyondless is.