Sally Cinnamon is one of the nation’s premier DJs and party starters, here are her top ten tracks of 2019.
SAULT – Wildfires
Album/s of the year for me from Sault with their amazing Black Is (Untitled) & Black Is (Rise). It’s so powerful and so sad and so joyous all at once I honestly can’t think of a time an album captured the chaos and madness and outrageously insane times, so well. Drawing on funk, soul, Afrobeat and spiritual intuition, two beautifully crafted albums from the elusive UK group passionately consider the entirety of the black experience in this moment. It’s more than a zeitgeist documentation though. Of a tiredness of oppression and scourge It feels like a real message of hope too. It’s fantastic. Black Is (Untitled) arrived fittingly on Juneteenth, 25 days after George Floyd’s death. The lyrics on Wildfires are raw and to the point “take off you badge, we all know it was murder, murder murder”. Every track is sublime and has a clear and repeated message, featuring many artists like Michael Kiwanuka, Little Simz and Chicago’s Kid Sister. Two amazing bodies of work.
Alice Bowman – Don’t Forget About Me
This track boasts of everything we adore about the ever earnest Swedes in pop music. It is typically sweet and dreamy with catchy synths creating cute illusions. Perfectly cute pop track that gives you the warm and fuzzies.
Bonny Light Horseman – Deep In Love
Along with Sault, I think this was the only other album I listened to on a loop and throughout. It’s got the most traditionally folk sound with all the elements of traditional folk collaborations with a gorgeous contemporary feel. You can literally feel the magic from it, it’s just so special.
Fontaines DC – I Don’t Belong
Epically classic tune from the Fontaines. My favourite track on the album, it gave me shivers when I heard it and watched their Kilmainham Gaol gig which was one of the most special things I’ve ever seen. In a year that sucked all hope of preserving that magical live gig feeling that show just floored me.
Eddie Cachon – Pleasure, Joy & Happiness
Celestial soul music and an inspired comeback from a timeless master, best known for the great 90s soul duo Charles & Eddie. The album is very laid back and very very sweet, it’s produced by John Carroll Kirby (Solange, Frank Ocean, Blood Orange) MOJO called it a “mini modern masterpiece”.
James Blake – When The Party’s Over (Billie Eilish cover)
It wouldn’t really a top tracks list from me without a James Blake tune. He is master of covers. During lockdown Blake asked fans to suggest covers for him to do and performed them at home live on his instagram throughout the year. This is the one I listen to the most, it’s so beautiful. His cover of Don McLean’s Vincent is one of the best covers I’ve ever seen or heard. The video is one take sitting at the piano playing it live. It really is something very special indeed. Treat yourself if you haven’t seen or heard it.
Arlo Parks – Black Dog
What a beautiful song. It actually makes me cry but I can’t stop listening to it. The theme is so heavy, it’s an amazing depiction of the frustration and fear of living and loving someone with depression. The lyrics are so tender and sweet I love her voice too. There is so much amazing music coming out of London in the past 5 years and it’s all from young black women in their 20s. It’s awesome.
KOKOROKO – Baba Ayoola
This incredible band just keep churning out the most joyous and exciting afrobeat. They can do no wrong in my eyes. KOKOROKO consists of some of London’s most impressive young Jazzers like Cassie Kinoshi, Oscar Jerome and Tobi Adenaike. If you’re not familiar with this collaborative check out their debut, self-titled album, it’s really something special.
Jayda G – Both of Us
If this banger doesn’t make you feel like being at a festival off your chops then I don’t know what will. Oh god, d’ye remember festivals??
Channel Tres – Skate Depot
Channel Tres back with an another banger this year and it’s as bold and sexy as ever. I defy you to stay still when you hear this track. Compton cool cat Channel Tres has a knack for making great hooky tunes, he can also rollerskate as you will see in the video. He makes up tempo hip hop with heavy bass lines and sounds like Detroit techno. Cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Ahmed Ben Ali – Subhana
I absolutely love this track and it’s sound. Infectious Libyan reggae via Canada and London. It’s got a very old sound like it’s been salvaged from a golden archive which is what I love about it most.
Quantic – Theme From Selva
Will Holland is having an incredible few years of consistently top notch bangers. After Atlantic Oscillations last year and how epic that was you wouldn’t be surprised if he disappeared for a few years but he’s back with a whopper single. Both tracks are high energy floor fillers, the B-Side Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five is also fantastic. Jesus I miss dancing.
Bicep – Apricots
I don’t think there’s a track this year which makes me wanna be sweating and swaying in a crowd in a mucky field somewhere in the Midlands more. I can’t wait to play this track live on an obnoxiously large sound system to a crowd, I actually get teary thinking about it. God, remember how deadly dancing in a crowd was? Sigh.