, The 25 best songs of the month
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The 25 best songs of the month

The 25 best songs of the month

, The 25 best songs of the month

Nialler9’s favourite songs of the past month, all in one place.

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1.

Big Thief

Not

2019’s most productive band, Big Thief, return with the lead single of their second album this year. ‘Not’ conjures up visceral imagery through an absence of active description, merely hinting at the inscrutable subject of Lenker’s turmoil. Across six minutes, Big Thief use incredibly effective lyrical devices to build a soundscape of gut-wrenching desire. A lot has been said this year about music that focuses mainly on creating a mood but ‘Not’ tops them all. Lenker’s haunting and, at times, desperate vocals and screeching, country-influenced guitars make the listener feel a whole lot, even if we don’t know exactly what.

– Kelly Doherty

2.

Clipping

Nothing Is Safe

Clipping.’sThere Existed an Addiction to Blood is easily one of hip-hop’s most outspoken projects in 2019. The trio takes no prisoners in an overtly politcal, unflinching statement on violence, race relations and much more. ‘Nothing Is Safe’ takes scientific objectivity in detailing what appears to be a drug deal gone wrong. “Death is coming for you, but you already knew that”. Set against a fatalistic (yet surprising catchy) synth riff, the oncoming disaster seems inevitable from second one.

– Luke Sharkey

3.

Caribou

Home

‘Home’ is a slower soulful track compared to recent music from Dan Snaith’s Daphni project, but it doesn’t feel a million miles from the established psychedelic electronics associated with Caribou with stirring strings and a sample of the 1971 song ‘Home’ by Gloria Barnes, interwoven among Snaith’s vocals. Most notable perhaps is the reintroduction of more softer organic instruments a relative return to his earlier work before the breakthrough 2014 album Our Love.

– Niall Byrne

4.

Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron

Belief Pt 2

Phil Elverum continues his reign as the crown prince of pulling heartstrings on ‘Belief Pt 2’, the second collaborative single from his upcoming album with Julie Doiron. Recorded at night in hope of capturing the “night air” and “nighthawks”, ‘Belief Pt 2’ is a real sad, late hours song littered with hopeful moments and beautiful harmonies from Doiron. Grappling with last year’s divorce from actor Michelle Williams, Elverum stays faithful to the existence of love with a tender closing lyric – “there’s nothing else I can give/but love”.

– Kelly Doherty

5.

Autre Monde

On The Record

‘On The Record’ is “a song about the addiction to making pop songs and irresponsibly chasing the perma-receding horizon of professional musicianship,” and it’s a convincing aural argument for the satisfaction inherent in the process. Paddy Hanna’s vocals sound the closest we’ve heard to Win Butler as the bright delight of a song makes it way through with melodic exuberance soaked in music of the past, wearing a uplifting sax solo and a fun disposition despite the trying circumstances of navigating professional music pursuits in the 21st century.

– Niall Byrne

6.

Kanye West

Use This Gospel

One of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, Clipse (comprised of Pusha T & his brother No Malice) have long resisted financial or any other incentive to reunite. On ‘Use This Gospel’, West manages to pair them with none other than ’80s smooth sax king Kenny G for a serious contender for song of the year.

– Luke Sharkey

7.

Aoife Nessa Frances

Blow Up

Displaying some similarities to Cat Le Bon and Angel Olsen in vibe, single ‘Blow Up’ is a track written by Aoife Nessa Frances while she was studying film which borrows its title from  the Michaelangelo Antonioni’s Palme d’Or winning film of the same name from 1966 and is a song about finding self-determined strength, from the point of view of a woman living in Ireland before the abortion referendum was passed.

– Niall Byrne

8.

Julien Baker

Tokyo

Julien Baker‘s contribution to the Sub Pop Singles Club has finally gotten a digital release. ‘Tokyo’ brings Baker’s rawly honest lyricism forward to a more sonically expressive playing field. If until this point Baker’s instrumentation was largely a simple foundation to accompany tails of heartache and loss, ‘Tokyo’ builds upon that loud-quiet dynamic and fleshes it out into a fully-realised sound. Moving further away from folk-leanings and toward the epic highs and lows of post-rock, Baker sounds more confident and more like herself than ever before. ‘Tokyo’ is a career highlight and a sign of great things to come.

– Kelly Doherty

9.

Frank Ocean

DHL

‘DHL’ is a new take from Ocean, no surprises there. Gone is the sweet sentimentality of Blonde, Ocean’s last full length and easily one of the decade’s definitive album. In its place is a lo-fi sensibility, an interest in layered, adjacent textures and meandering vocals.

– Luke Sharkey

10.

Jacques Greene

For Love

Jacques Greene has been on a serious streak this year with his new LP, Dawn Chorus, unleashing a series of eclectic singles that have been small victories in their own specific ways. ‘For Love’ is his most recent success. The most overt dancefloor focused cut from the album, ‘For Love’ shapes Greene’s trademark melancholia into an immense house groove, complete with ambient breaks and infectious sampling.

– Kelly Doherty

11.

Cartel Madras

Goonda Gold

‘Goonda Gold’ is pure blistering trap-hop in its own right. Both Contra and Eboshi come through with serious bars, seemingly jumping at will from flow to flow. The track also boasts one of the hardest 808 sounds heard in hip-hop in 2019, with a golden hook to boot. It’s super solid songwriting from the foundation up.

– Luke Sharkey

12.

Mango x Mathman

Deep Blue

‘Deep Blue’ nabs the one and only Lisa Hannigan on the hook for a love letter to Dublin city. The track is a euphoric dance-leaning track that weaves orchestration from Crash Ensemble, reminiscent of The Streets and the underground dance music that the duo love. Using the city’s close proximity to the sea as an establishing shot for this island nation, Mango’s lyrics focus on the resilience of the young people and his peers of Dublin city, that despite the hard times and difficulties of living here, is celebrated. “Still the energy lights my soul….I belong in this deep blue sea” he says displaying his kinship to the city with pride.

– Niall Byrne

13.

Bibio

Lover’s Carvings (WXAXRXP session)

A musical highlight of the month has to be WARP Records’ three day NTS takeover, celebrating 30 years of the trailblazing label. The event saw session recordings from Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Mount Kimbie and many more but a particularly special moment came from Bibio. The WXAXRXP session version of ‘Lover’s Carvings’ is a tender journey of intricate clarity. Dreamy and perfectly paced, the recording feels like a hopeful stroll to a much prettier world.

– Kelly Doherty

14.

Jape

Sentinel

‘Sentinel’ is a gentle and reflective song about beating out the inner critic inside you by getting up earlier than it does and exploring creativity without its voice commenting on what you are doing.

– Niall Byrne

15.

Rex The Dog

Mine Raiders

Analogue twiddler Rex The Dog dropped two new acidy cuts this month on Soft Computing Records. Have a go of ‘Mine Raiders’ for the best new dance music you’ll hear all week. It’s Ibiza meets Tron on this gem.

– Luke Sharkey

16.

Denai Moore

To The Brink

Jamaican native, London-based vocalist and composer Denai Moore returns with new single ‘To The Brink’. A mid-tempo electronica track with vocals delivered via a nu-R&B aesthetic. The arrangement here is metallic and icy, with any real sweetness reserved for a larger than life chorus section.

– Luke Sharkey

17.

Happyalone

Lucifer

After a brief break from releasing music, Cork hype band Happyalone. have returned with ‘LUCIFER’. The time away has done the trio well with ‘LUCIFER’ showcasing a far more refined sound and distinct character. Channelling emo aesthetics into a genre-fluid twist between rock and trap, Happyalone. sound nothing like anyone else around and, if ‘LUCIFER’ is anything to go by, they’ve got a big year ahead of them.

– Kelly Doherty

See Also
, The 25 best songs of the month

18.

Robyn

Ever Again (Soulwax remix)

Few people have a voice as perfect for the dancefloor as Robyn. Here Soulwax have taken the luscious grooves of Honey cut ‘Ever Again’ and turned it into an expansive, extended disco slab whilst staying true to the original.

– Kelly Doherty

19.

Green Tea Peng

Inna City

London rapper Green Tea Peng unleashes an arsenal of deeply smooth flows on ‘Peng’. With revolving, percussive beats laying down a bare-bones sound, Green Tea Peng’s rich vocals take centre stage on a track that majorly marks her out as a one to watch.

– Kelly Doherty

20.

Caroline Polacheck

So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings

Caroline Polacheck‘s debut solo album Pang is an esoteric platter of pop experimentation blending theatrical pop balladry with futuristic, PC Music production. ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ is one of the most accessible moments on the album, committing to a straight forward pop formula that channels the irreverent romance of contemporary pop music into a catchy, polished singalong. It’s a track that has huge sleeper chart hit potential and a highlight of the album.

– Kelly Doherty

21.

People Club

Who I Call My Baby

Berlin-based band People Club tackle toxic masculinity and the attitudes of a shitty guy on ‘Who I Call My Baby’. It’s a polished cut, brimming with defiance and a sense of social justice. Littered with gentle grooves and angular grooves, ‘Who I Call My Baby’ is a charismatically infectious statement.

– Kelly Doherty

22.

Shookrah

Why Can’t You Stay

The Cork band return with a soulful spirit on ‘Why Can’t You Stay’. If you like your jams smooth, this sultry, guitar-led number is the perfect match.

– Kelly Doherty

23.

Regularfantasy

MSN

A highlight from Regularfantasy‘s recent Pear release Anyways… has to be D.Futers collaboration ‘MSN’, a warmly produced, nostalgic shuffle that samples the MSN alert sound. Expect to be instantly transported back to spending hours trying to work out what lyric would be the coolest to set as your status (°·._.• vαмριяεs ωιℓℓ ηεvεя нυят үσυ •._.·°¯) was a personal favourite).

– Kelly Doherty

24.

Fynch, Marcus Woods

Milk Teeth

Burner Records’ FYNCH has finally landed his debut EP Bookies Pens & Loose Ends. Closer ‘Milk Teeth’, produced by Marcus Woods, is a highlight with spaced-out synths and discomfiting pacing building a wall of faded sound and soporific melodies. FYNCH’s lilting flow is at its most interesting on ‘Milk Teeth’ and the whole offering channels Xanax driven Soundcloud rap into an Irish context.

– Kelly Doherty

25.

Matt Berninger, Phoebe Bridgers

Walking On A String

Somehow, by some beautiful chance, Berninger & Bridgers have teamed up to release collaborative single ‘Walking On A String’ as part of the Between Two Ferns film soundtrack. It’s exactly the sort of warm, fuzzy downtempo indie you’d expect from the pairing. Even Galifianakis can’t seem to hide his genuine emotional response to it.

– Luke Sharkey


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