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Best Of 2021: Songs In Order Of Preference Through August 31st

a shoulder to lean on

Rainforest – Noname – the new vanguard’s first release since last year’s best song of the year starts is this year’s best song of year, no doubt the album will put the year on its ear

Jonah – Kanye West – The choice is almost random, there are four or five other songs on Donda that could have made it (and maybe “Moon” or “Jesus Lord, Pt 2 should have) but this will cement Lil Durk’s position in hip hop and make a star of Vory, in this tribute to Jonah Ware, an independent artist in Louisville who was shot and killed on August 8, 2020.

Peaches (feat. Daniel Caesar & Giveon) – Justin Bieber – it’s the sound of cotton candy r&b, soulful and easy going with a fine chorus… also introduced us to new soul guy Giveon

Do You? – April Rose Gabrielli – a gorgeous song, I don’t know how she can beat this one though a couple I heard at The Bitter End come close

Black Myself – Amythyst Kiah – from the same well as former band mate Rhiannon Giddens, the Americana soul LGBTQIA+ woman has one of the best #BLM moments

rubberband – Tate McRae – Tate is sadgirl pop with electronic backing and a top, highly intelligent vision of her reality on her break-up song: “And I got this rubber band on my wrist, on my wrist and I snap it every time that I think about your lips”

brutal – Olivia Rodrigo – Olivia’s re-write of “Pump It Up” is getting exploited in search of her teenage dream

Question (feat. Don Jazzy) – Burna Boy – a brilliant piece of modern pop with a slithering beat and a Graceland vibe

Same Size Shoe – serpentwithfeet – on the strength of this song, it is safe to say nobody has ever written better about black men who love black men sexually.

La Chica De Hoy (This Year’s Girl) – Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Cami – not only having it sung in Spanish but also having a woman singer opens the song up to a wider interpretation than even is muted compassion implied

So May We Start (feat. Simon Helberg) – From “Annette” – Sparks, Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard – The lead off song from the sparks musical, is the most purely Sparks like song you’ll ever hear with its hook laden repetition based upon a clipped off marshall beat. Fifty years ago it would have been huge

Born This Way – The Country Road Version – Orville Peck – while Orville’s, gay masked, country affectation is beyond irritating, his thundering baritone is a locking up of gay pride on one of Lady Gaga’s greatest moments

Everything I had – Sun June – The Austin, Texas indie-pop five piece band have crafted a mini miracle of mood, an austere brooder that simmers till it becomes a wall of brooding sound as it falls into the one, undoubted truth of 2021: “everything I had, I want it back”

Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head – TORRES – if you believe it used to be as easy for a woman to be an out lesbian in pop, I have two words for you: Lesley Gore. So if we support lesbian musicians there is an additional reason though, really, who needs one for King Princess or Hayley Kiyoko, or Torres who gets more mainstream with every indie art rocker, especially this lovely ear candy rocker of romantic bliss until the toothbrush disappears.

Off the Yak – Young M.A – if Angel Haze was masculine she still wouldn’t be as good as Young. M.A., with the MC putting down the Courvoisier and a word to listen to: “three things I hate are liars, bills, and paying my taxes” as she writes new York Drill in her own image

Stuck In Time – Brando’s Lair – Former Let’s Talk About Girls leader Barry Holdship’s band have promised a new song a month, though he will be hard pressed to beat out this gorgeous, harpoon leaning, early 60s style folk rocker meets doo wop

drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo – Rodrigo is our first rock star in over a decade, and this very popular lost love is the first act of Olivia’s revenge and turned the US on its ears. She was seventeen when she co-wrote, eighteen as I write this

Fillin’ My Cup (feat. Little Big Town) – Hailey Whitters, Little Big Town – a superior drinking song from the country singer, rides a snappy fiddle

Friday (Remix) – Rebecca Black, 3OH!3, Big Freedia, Dorian Electra – the absolute hypothesis of hyperpop, they couldn’t throw any more at it

BUZZCUT (feat. Danny Brown) – BROCKHAMPTON – Danny Brown might well be the only rapper we don’t hear enough from, and Brockhampton  are on fire on this whirling, spiralled track best moment on their fine new album

Haunted – Laura Les – the 100 gecs hyperpop star with a song that promises to do for hyperpop what Duran Duran did for synthpop -bring in mainstream

As a Child – Madeline The Person – glorious, sadgirl lullaby

Toosie – Lil Gotit – Drake’s best song last year was “Toosie Roll”, and this variant on the chorus is a clever and catchy vision

KESI – Camilo – if Medellín is on your mind, it might be because you just watched J balvin’s documentary but if you are really lucky it’s because you’ve been listening to the sweet as molasses love song from the 27 year old singer songwriter with a peak track

No Hole In My Head – Tom Jones – TOOOO BAD

Hats Off (feat. Travis Scott) – Lil Baby, Lil Durk – Atlanta Trap meets Texas rap-art fusion sampling

Far Too Late – Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carrie Hope Fletcher – Andrew has said he is re-opening Cinderella on the West End with or without the government’s approval, and I can hear why on one of his loveliest ballads giving a sweepingly soft touch

Bad Luck [Feat. PlayThatBoiZay] – Denzel Curry – screamo meets rap

Let Them Know – Mabel – she is all about her business on this addictive and hook laden dance track

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