Song 33 – Noname – Noname apologized for this response to the J. Cole, but she shouldn’t. It is a 69 second vision of life for a black woman, and how she will change it. So much jumps out at you “one girl missing, another one go missing,” and “I’m the new vanguard” at the top of his list. How many songs care about transgendered women, how many songs push themselves to the forefront of a conscious change in perception. She buries into your subconscious you and on repeat it all becomes real in your mind. Noname has always been a great, but now she might be the greatest. Produced by Madlib.
Lilacs – Waxahatchee – a most gloriously tuneful indie folk stroke of love and difficulties, she sounds both scratchy and sweet and jumps up an octave on the chorus
death bed (coffee for your head) – Powfu, beabadoobee – a true original variant on sad boy dipped in electronics and a spectacular hook by the up and coming Filipino via London beabadoobee, the most original sound this side of 100 gecs
Bounce – Cazzu – Argentina trap queen but more youthful and exciting than even the most now Latin Trap
I Think You’re Great – Alex the Astronaut – The Australian singer songwriter has written the lick of the year here, a tasty acoustic underpinning which is among the best pep talks since Marina’s “I Am Not A Robot”. She is a terrific songwriter and her disposition completely pleasant.
Cut Me – Moses Sumney – Sublimely sung chill soul with an artful hip hop package and an intense lyric that swerves in and out around the horns
Space And Time – S.G. Goodman – One of our great new voices, hear she sounds worthy, and not just just with a glorious country ballad but with the voice, of being dubbed a modern day k.d. lang
The Father, My Son, And The Holy Ghost – Craig Morgan – in the face of the worst loss a person can suffer, the death of his son, Morgan finds strength in faith
ringtone (Remix) [feat. Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, Kero Kero Bonito] – 100 gecs, Charli XCX, Rico Nasty – The sine qua non of queer pop crossover.
I’m Not Getting Excited – The Beths – combustibile punk pop rocker about morbidity and death
la – Kelsea Ballerini – As a non-believer, I might be wrong. This is the best song of its sort since “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” (not the remix, the original), and Kelsea takes it exactly right with a gorgeous bridge.
Sweet – Porridge Radio – the sort of song that changes a semi-underground rock band from Brighton in England into overnight sensations
Do To Me – H.E.R. – dancehall H.E.R. continues her year in a lifetime
Forgiveness – Mandy Moore – all the action here has already happened off the tracks, in a divorce that became a referendum. But Mandy’s final response is devastating: “Will I forgive you? You don’t get to know…”
Only You Freestyle – Headie One, Drake – Drake’s best rap of the year (so far, there is a new album in the works) including a hello in Arabic, Headie One takes back on the track on his verses
Gary Lives in the Twilight Zone – Gary Wilson – The cult artists cult artist, obtuse, strange, a little otherworldly and bizarre and yet completely brilliant dance pop, and here is one of Gary’s very best.
Scared To Live – The Weeknd – The Weeknd’s genius pop ballad, with a very useful Elton John sample that is a study in how to use an expensive song
For The First Time – Best Coast – Bethany is always trying to change herself, album for album she tears up yesterday for today. The first single of the fine new album is an absolute slice of greatness about the joys of breaking up.
Happy Anywhere (feat. Gwen Stefani) – Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani – Blake at his country pop best, reminds you how great he can be when the mood takes him. No doubt Gwen helps
JU$T (feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack de la Rocha) – Run The Jewels, Zack De La Rocha, Pharrell William – “look at all these slave masters posting on your dollar bill”
a top debut ever by Lil Nas X
emo-rockers goes hip hop
a mini Punk Rock Bowling
The Viking warrior of Rock-n-Roll, Norwegian born superstar Rocky Kramer holds the very soul of music in his heart.
Rockstar Review: Steven P. Hamm
a lame 94K EAUs
sounds like Paul McCartney’s early 70s be bopping vibe as covered by the Meters
distinct and wondrous without being obvious or obnoxious
except for the title track the songs are on vacation
simultaneously self-effacing and egomaniacs