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Our 100 favourite songs of the year. With a playlist on the last page after the countdown.
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Carla dal Forno
Side By Side
Australian DIY songwriter Carla dal Forno’s third album Come Around dropped in November, and opens with this eerie elemental jam that stuck to the hinges of my listening since.
We did a podcast episode last year talking about Amapiano, the house music from the African continent that has been taking over. It’s the genre of house music that brings in jazzy synths, organs, air pads, bass hits, Zulu vocals and percussion on long danceable tracks.
Teno Afrika is a 22-year-old now Soweto-based Amapiano producer and DJ and as exemplified by ‘AK Love’, his take is quite minimal and fits in to a lot of percussive modern experimental dance music.
Awesome Tapes From Africa released his new album Where You Are this year.
The bumping lead single from the December-released SOS album, the long-awaited second record from SZA.
Syd, Lucky Daye
The Internet’s Syd’s solo Broken Hearts Club album featured this taut funk pop song. With Lucky Daye on vocal support, it’s a beaut. Could you break a heart?
I gently uncovered the music of Sarah Beth Tomberlin this year. Just gorgeous songwriting and songs that have seeped in slowly. ‘Tap’ like album title track ‘Idkwntht’ (“I don’t know who needs to hear this’) reminds me of the brittle and swooning work of The Weather Station and Half Waif.
Searchin For Hiro
If you were looking for the modern version of the Skatt Brothers’ ‘Walk The Night’ congratulations you’ve found it. And of course, it’s on Soulwax’s Deewee label.
Nimmo are a UK duo making electronic pop and the tetchy and bombastic ‘Company’ recalled the best of mid-2000 dance like Simian Mobile Disco and Azari & III in its euphoric groove.
“Company is a celebration of your local queer space and the relationships we have made there. we were inspired by those very intense emotional transactions we’ve experienced in these spaces and the feeling of being truly liberated……being sweaty and shoulder to shoulder with our people.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Perfume Genius
Spitting Off the Edge of the World
‘Spitting Off the Edge of the World’ heralded the New York trio’s return with the fifth album Cool It Down (their first album in 9 years), with a sludgy crystalline anthem with bonus Perfume Genius vocals.
The Moscow-born artist Ivan Solimani Leznhev is a young singer-songwriter who “soulfully blends early psychedelia, glam and indie rock” on a debut album called Brand New Power on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound. ‘Cold Wind’ is a beaut of an intro to it.
Kieran Hebden had an unbelievable year of tunes, and the first of two I squeezed in here, is listed as the unsearchable array of characters ‘ vȯ)) ̷̨ʅ (ʅ(Ɵʅ():::()̵̳̗̊(Ɵʅ()vȯ)) ̷̨ʅ)’ more often known as ‘Feelings’ by KH, an absolutely honky fizzy banger.
See also his ‘Pax’ Chloe Robinson/ DJ ADHD remix.