Sunday, 17 January 2016

Tunes I'm currently loving // 2016 // Volume 1

As a new feature for 2016, instead of posting a weekly top ten, every few weeks or so I will post a list of my favourite songs of the previous few weeks, with a bit of blurb about why I'm loving them. Enough great songs have come to my attention over the past three weeks or so to justify the first installment of 2016, so here it is:

1. Pegboard Nerds - Emoji
2. EFF - Stimme
3. Alan Walker - Faded
4. Craig David & Big Narstie - When the Bassline Drops
5. Matt Simons - Catch & Release (Deepend Remix)
6. Little Mix feat Jason Derulo - Secret Love Song
7. The Corrs - White Light
8. The Corrs - Stay
9. Glasperlenspiel - Geiles Leben (Madizin Single Mix)
10. Tobtok feat River - Fast Car
11. 99 Souls feat Destiny's Child & Brandy - The Girl Is Mine
12. Danny L Harle - Broken Flowers
13. Sia - Reaper
14. Birdy - Keeping Your Head Up
15. Jess & Matt - Nothing Matters
16. David Bowie - Lazarus
17. Walk The Moon - Different Colors (Lost Kings Remix)
18. Rachel Platten - Stand By You
19. Sander van Doorn & MOTi - Lost
20. Zara Larsson - Lush Life

Danish dubstep act Pegboard Nerds have been entertaining me for the best part of five years now but Emoji is their best yet, and the video is really genius, bringing everyday objects to life. I'm quite surprised the video hasn't become a viral hit but then dubstep hasn't been in vogue for around five years so perhaps no real surprise.




Other fantastic dance tunes around at the moment include German language gems Stimme by EFF (a duo comprising of Felix Jaehn and Mark Forster) and Geiles Leben by Glasperlenspiel, UK garage legend Craig David's brilliant retro-infused gem When The Bassline Drops, the Lost Kings remix of Walk The Moon's Different Colors, the Deepend remix of originally acoustic song Catch & Release by singer-songwriter Matt Simons, Sander Van Doorn & MOTi's Lost and Norwegian DJ Alan Walker's stunning Faded.



Of the older tunes recently brought bang up to date, 99 Souls' mash-up of Destiny's Child's Girl and Brandy & Monica's The Boy Is Mine continues to be utter genuius while Tobtok's tropical house cover of Tracy Chapman's Fast Car is to my ears more enjoyable and interesting than the more popular Jonas Blue cover which is currently smashing in various countries.


The Corrs are still hanging around in my affections with the fantastic album tracks White Light and Stay while other MOR pop comes from Rachel Platten's uplifting Stand By You, Birdy's Keeping Your Head Up and Little Mix's latest single Secret Love Song - their third really excellent single in a row.


Otherwise unmentioned are Swedish singer Zara Larsson's Rihanna-esque jam Lush Life, the late and great David Bowie's haunting but genius new single Lazarus, Australian duo Jess & Matt's Nothing Matters, Sia's Reaper - the latest (and perhaps for me greatest so far) new track from her upcoming new album This Is Acting, and Danny L Harle's genius PC music track Broken Flowers, which features a fantastic video set inside a commercial printer's factory.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Top 100 songs of 2015

100. The Corrs - Ellis Island
99. Sigala feat Bryn Christopher - Sweet Lovin'
98. The Corrs - Gerry's Reel
97. The Common Linnets - Proud
96. Guy Sebastian - Tonight Again
95. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney - FourFiveSeconds
94. Otto Knows - Next To Me
93. The Arrows - Next Time
92. Lauren Aquilina - Time To Say Goodbye
91. Major Lazer feat MØ & DJ Snake - Lean On
90. Pegboard Nerds - Emoji
89. Years & Years - Eyes Shut
88. Omi - Cheerleader
87. Sheppard - Be More Barrio
86. Justin Bieber - What Do You Mean?
85. Isa - Don't Stop
84. Lost Frequencies - Are You With Me
83. Susanne Sundfør - Delirious
82. Samir & Viktor - Groupie
81. Kylie Minogue & Dannii Minogue - 100 Degrees
80. Alex Adair - Heaven
79. Mura Masa feat Shura - Love for That
78. Take That - Hey Boy
77. Taylor Swift - Blank Space
76. Kelly Clarkson - Heartbeat Song
75. Years & Years - King
74. Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really Like You
73. Fritz Kalkbrenner - Void
72. Paper Route - You and I
71. Paulini - By My Side
70. Delta Goodrem - You And You Alone
69. Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott - The Austerity of Love
68. Avicii - Waiting For Love
67. Madonna - Living For Love
66. Tina & Rene - Mi Amore
65. Galantis - Runaway (U & I)
64. Dolly Style - Hello Hi
63. Sigala - Easy Love
62. Zedd feat Troye Sivan - Papercut
61. Timo Odv feat Sarah Jackson - Save Me
60. High Dive Heart - Vintage
59. Lost Frequencies - Reality
58. Electro Velvet - Still in Love with You
57. Loreen - Paper Light (Higher)
56. Walk The Moon - Different Colors (Lost Kings Remix)
55. Loreen - I'm In It With You
54. Emmelie de Forest - Hopscotch
53. Birdy - Wings
52. Mariette - Don't Stop Believing
51. Nádine - Skildery
50. Kadebostany - Castle In the Snow
49. Mika - No Place In Heaven
48. Mørland & Debrah Scarlett - A Monster Like Me
47. The Common Linnets - We Don't Make The Wind Blow
46. Carly Rae Jepsen - Run Away With Me
45. Flo Rida - Once In a Lifetime
44. The Corrs - I Do What I Like
43. Philip George & Anton Powers - Alone No More
42. Grace feat G-Eazy - You Don't Own Me
41. Courtney Barnett - Debbie Downer
40. Justin Bieber - Sorry
39. Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian At Best
38. Jess Glynne feat Emeli Sandé - Saddest Vanilla
37. Ciara - I Bet
36. Andy Duguid feat Jaren - 7Even
35. The Veronicas - If You Love Someone
34. Truls - Circles
33. The Arrows - Pilgrimage
32. LunchMoney Lewis - Bills
31. Little Mix - Love Me Like You
30. Halleluwah - Dior
29. Polina Gagarina - A Million Voices
28. Wrabel - I Want You
27. Ulf Nilsson - Little By Little (Lulleaux & George Whyman Remix)
26. One More Time - Highland
25. The Corrs - Stay
24. Rachel Platten - Stand By You
23. Delta Goodrem - Only Human
22. Axwell Λ Ingrosso - Sun Is Shining
21. Jamie Lawson - Wasn't Expecting That
20. The Rua - I'm Okay
19. The Corrs - Harmony
18. Tove Styrke - Ego
17. Adele - Hello
16. AronChupa - I'm an Albatraoz
15. Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk
14. Little Mix - Black Magic
13. Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand
12. Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye To Yesterday
11. The Corrs - White Light
10. Fleur East - Sax
9. Galantis - Peanut Butter Jelly
8. Rachel Platten - Fight Song
7. The Rua - Fight for What's Right
6. The Corrs - Bring On The Night
5. Mura Masa feat Nao - Firefly
4. Walk The Moon - Shut Up and Dance
3. Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do
2. Delta Goodrem - Wings
1. Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes


For the second time in four years, the winner of Melodifestivalen and Eurovision tops my end of year chart. Having always been my favourite Swedish male artist, I was very pleased to hear Måns Zelmerlöw was taking part once again. And though the quality of Melodifestivalen was already quite decent this year, I was still very much waiting for a 'moment' and I knew that it had arrived when I heard the short preview of Heroes.

Abandoning the boring sound of previous album The Barcelona Sessions, this was Måns back on top pop form and to his very best with something of a tribute to David Guetta's Lovers On The Sun but with a much more triumphant melody and more charisma than that and a really stunning stage performance. 

It won Melodifestivalen quite easily and Måns then also swept to victory at Eurovision and returned the contest in very short order back to Sweden, while the song was a huge hit across Europe.

Elsewhere in my top five of the year are Delta Goodrem's Wings, a stunning return to form for my favourite artist - who it was incredible to see live and meet her this year, Ellie Goulding's power ballad from the 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack, Love Me Like You Do, Walk The Moon's 80s-influenced indie-pop anthem Shut Up and Dance and Firefly, a stunning dance track by Mura Masa and Nao - watch out for big things from both of these artists in 2016.

UK No.1 hits in my top 40 of the year, besides Love Me Like You Do, include Rachel Platten's Fight Song (#8), Jess Glynne's Hold My Hand (#13), Little Mix's Black Magic (#14), Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk (#15), Adele's Hello (#17) and Justin Bieber's Sorry (#40).

Top 40 albums of 2015

40. Alesso – Forever
39. Jamie Lawson - Jamie Lawson
38. Carrie Underwood – Storyteller
37. Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love Songs
36. Walk The Moon – Talking Is Hard
35. Closer to Heaven (Original Cast Recording)
34. Galantis - Pharmacy
33. Marina and the Diamonds – FROOT
32. Zedd - True Colors
31. Lucie Silvas – Letters To Ghosts
30. Texas – Texas 25
29. Nerina Pallot - The Sound And The Fury
28. Tove Lo - Queen Of The Clouds
27. Disclosure - Caracal
26. Fleur East - Love, Sax And Flashbacks
25. Leona Lewis - I Am
24. Måns Zelmerlöw - Perfectly Damaged
23. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece
22. S Club 7 - Best: The Greatest Hits
21. Take That - III
20. Sheppard - Bombs Away
19. Taylor Swift - 1989
18. Kylie Minogue - Kylie Christmas
17. Avicii - Stories
16. Little Mix - Get Weird
15. Years & Years - Communion
14. Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
13. The Veronicas - The Veronicas
12. Adele - 25
11. Madonna - Rebel Heart

--------------

10. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit



Highlights: Pedestrian At Best, Debbie Downer, Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party, Depreston, Elevator Operator

9. Ellie Goulding - Delirium



Highlights: Love Me Like You Do, Something In The Way You Move, Lost and Found, Aftertaste, Keep On Dancin, Codes, Army

8. The Common Linnets - II



Highlights: We Don't Make The Wind Blow, Proud, Hearts On Fire, Dust Of Oklahoma, Runaway Man, That Part, As If Only, Days Of Endless Time, Soho Waltz

7. Tove Styrke - Kiddo



Highlights: Ego, Borderline, Even If I'm Loud It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking to You, Snaren, Burn, Walking A Line, Number One, Decay

6. Mika - No Place In Heaven



Highlights: No Place In Heaven, Talk About You, All She Wants, Good Guys, Oh Girl You're The Devil, Last Party

5. Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh



Highlights: Hold My Hand, Real Love, Rather Be, My Love, Take Me Home, Don't Be So Hard On Yourself, Saddest Vanilla, Ain't Got Far To Go

4. The Rua - Essence



Highlights: Fight For What's Right, I'm Okay, Without You, Reflections, Hear Them Calling, Stand Out, As Good As It Gets

3. Rae Morris – Unguarded



Highlights: Don't Go, Cold, Do You Even Know, Closer, Love Again, Unguarded, Grow, Morne Fortuné, This Time, Under The Shadows

2. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion



Highlights: Run Away With Me, I Really Like You, Making The Most Of The Night, I Didn't Just Come Here To Dance, Your Type, All That, When I Needed You, LA Hallucinations

1. The Corrs - White Light



Highlights: Bring On The Night, White Light, Harmony, Stay, I Do What I Like, Ellis Island, Gerry's Reel, Unconditional, Strange Romance, Kiss Of Life

--------------

A solid year for albums, with some really great comebacks and follow ups. The top ten kicks off with Australian indie darling Courtney Barnett, who is an absolute genuis, both lyrically and musically and her voice is so unique. This album is a lot of fun, very oddball and different to anything else out there at the moment.

Ellie Goulding's Delirium is a really solid and enjoyable effort, if a little too long if you bought the deluxe version like I did (then again even the standard is 16 tracks...). But there's an incredibly brilliant 12 tracker in there which is a worthy follow up to her predecessors. Sure it's a lot more poppy and commercial than she's been before but then I always preferred Bright Lights and Halcyon Days to Lights and Halcyon personally so this is sort of the record I always hoped she'd make.

The Common Linnets continue on top form with a second excellent album in as many years. I saw the Dutch country band live last October and they played almost the whole of this album as new songs at the gig so I already knew it was going to be great. The melodies and harmonies are so on point once again, even if the highlights aren't as high as those on the debut.

Swedish singer Tove Styrke first really impressed me in 2010 with the epic White Light Moment but the parent album didn't hit me as much because it was a little patchy. Tove has abandoned singing anything from that debut these days, which is a great shame for fans of White Light Moment and Call My Name but she equally hasn't disappointed with her new material. Again, I saw most of it previewed live at a gig last year so I knew it would be great, but the album certainly delivered, and then some. Classic melodic Tove is still here in Ego and more beat-driven Tove is evident on the rest of the album, but when the songs are as infectious as Borderline, I'm sold.

Mika has been a firm favourite of mine since 2007. His sound never evolves but because there's nobody else out there like him, it doesn't really need to, he fills a quirky theatrical pop niche very well. The highlights from No Place In Heaven are up there with anything from his debut and I'm pleased that Europe continue to support him so he can keep making stuff like this on a decent budget.

Jess Glynne's debut album is more like a greatest hits of the past two years, certainly if you've got the deluxe edition which features about five UK #1 singles. Her brand of string laden disco pop married with her distinct vocals stand out in the current market and it's easy to see why she's so well liked.

A trio made up of siblings, The Rua have obvious comparisons to The Corrs, and I think that's a big reason as to why I like them so much. Their debut album Essence actually came out last year but passed me by at the time. Fight For What's Right and I'm Okay would be huge Heart FM smashes, and the other highlights are just as packed with melody and brilliant violin sections.

Another very long awaited debut album was Unguarded by Rae Morris. I've loved her since I first heard Don't Go back in 2012 and have been waiting for this album ever since! Three years and various EPs later, I'd already heard the vast majority of the songs on it by the time of release and it was like another greatest hits set, but it didn't really matter as Rae has perfected her craft over the years and the likes of Cold and Do You Even Know? show how far she's come since Don't Go, which has been remixed for the album (and again since for a single release). Like much of my top ten, this is an album that deserved far more commercial success.

Kiss, an 80s-inspired bubblegum pop effort made my top ten albums of 2012 for Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen and I don't think I expected her new album to live up to that, let alone be far far better, after first single I Really Like You suggested it would be more of the same. But Emotion is a much more mature and well rounded album, with tighter production and bigger melodies, and taking inspiration from a different side of 80s pop music. Its one of those very few albums where I could remember nearly every track by memory after just one listen, it sounds like smash after smash after smash, yet the album didn't smash. 

In Taylor Swift's hands this would have been one of the biggest albums of the decade, and rightfully so, but due to Carly's apparent inability to sell albums it completely flopped, and can now be filed next to the likes of Rachel Stevens' Come and Get It forever more as an example of high quality and undeserved flop pop that we can all refer to for years to come.

My favourite album of the year by some stretch though is one that only recently came out, White Light, the new album by The Corrs. By far my favourite ever band, I've been waiting for this since 2004's incredible Borrowed Heaven and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Andrea, Sharon, Caroline and Jim stepped back out last month with this release after apparently not aging a day in the past ten years and delivered something spectacular.

I really hadn't imagined this album would be so great, but one listen through reminded me of exactly why they remain my favourite band. From the traditional Irish songs - Gerry's Reel, Stay, Harmony and Ellis Island - to the gorgeous lead single Bring On The Night, the drama of White Light and the dance effort I Do What I Like, nearly everything on here is perfect. Another surprise is Unconditional, which is close to the new wave sound of Taylor Swift's Style and One Direction's Perfect, keeping the band very current sounding and up to date. This album has been well worth the wait.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 21/12/15 - Christmas Chart

Top 10 Singles



1. The Corrs - Stay (2) (CR-7-2-1)
2. The Corrs - White Light (1) (CR-3-1-2-1-2)
3. Walk The Moon - Different Colors (Lost Kings Remix) (8) (CR-8-3)
4. The Corrs - Harmony (3) (CR-2-1-3-4)
5. Pegboard Nerds - Emoji (NEW) (CR-5)
6. Fleur East - Sax (5) (CR-9-2-1-3-4-5-6)
7. The Corrs - Bring On The Night (4) (CR-1-2-1-1-2-4-3-4-7)
8. The Corrs - I Do What I Like (6) (CR-8-5-6-6-8)
9. Sigala feat Bryn Christopher - Sweet Lovin' (10) (CR-10-OUT-10-9)
10. 99 Souls feat Destiny's Child & Brandy - The Girl Is Mine (NEW) (CR-10) 

Top 10 Albums



1. The Corrs - White Light (1) (CR-1-1-1-1)
2. Adele - 25 (3) (CR-2-2-3-2)
3. Fleur East - Love, Sax And Flashbacks (2) (CR-2-3)
4. Little Mix - Get Weird (7) (CR-2-3-6-5-7-4)
5. Ellie Goulding - Delirium (6) (CR-1-1-3-4-6-5)
6. Coldplay - A Head Full Of Dreams (4) (CR-4-6)
7. Kylie Minogue - Kylie Christmas (5) (CR-2-4-3-5-7)
8. Cam - Untamed (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Saint Etienne - A Glimpse Of Stocking (8) (CR-8-9)
10. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion (10) (CR-1-2-2-3-3-6-4-5-3-5-6-5-5-2-4-5-4-5-7-1-4-7-9-7-10-10)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 14/12/15

Top 10 Singles



1. The Corrs - White Light (2) (CR-3-1-2-1)

2. The Corrs - Stay (7) (CR-7-2)
3. The Corrs - Harmony (1) (CR-2-1-3)
4. The Corrs - Bring On The Night (3) (CR-1-2-1-1-2-4-3-4)
5. Fleur East - Sax (4) (CR-9-2-1-3-4-5)
6. The Corrs - I Do What I Like (6) (CR-8-5-6-6)
7. The Corrs - Ellis Island (9) (CR-9-7)
8. Walk The Moon - Different Colors (Lost Kings Remix) (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Grace feat G-Eazy - You Don't Own Me (5) (CR-6-4-OUT-9-5-9)
10. Sigala feat Bryn Christopher - Sweet Lovin' (Re-entry) (CR-10-OUT-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. The Corrs - White Light (1) (CR-1-1-1)

2. Fleur East - Love, Sax And Flashbacks (NEW) (CR-2)
3. Adele - 25 (2) (CR-2-2-3)
4. Coldplay - A Head Full Of Dreams (NEW) (CR-4)
5. Kylie Minogue - Kylie Christmas (3) (CR-2-4-3-5)
6. Ellie Goulding - Delirium (4) (CR-1-1-3-4-6)
7. Little Mix - Get Weird (5) (CR-2-3-6-5-7)
8. Saint Etienne - A Glimpse Of Stocking (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Sigma - Life (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion (7) (CR-1-2-2-3-3-6-4-5-3-5-6-5-5-2-4-5-4-5-7-1-4-7-9-7-10)

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 7/12/15

Top 10 Singles



1. The Corrs - Harmony (2) (CR-2-1)
2. The Corrs - White Light (1) (CR-3-1-2)
3. The Corrs - Bring On The Night (4) (CR-1-2-1-1-2-4-3)
4. Fleur East - Sax (3) (CR-9-2-1-3-4)
5. Grace feat G-Eazy - You Don't Own Me (9) (CR-6-4-OUT-9-5)
6. The Corrs - I Do What I Like (5) (CR-8-5-6)
7. The Corrs - Stay (NEW) (CR-7)
8. Kylie Minogue - Every Day's Like Christmas (NEW) (CR-8)
9. The Corrs - Ellis Island (NEW) (CR-9)
10. The Corrs - Gerry's Reel (8) (CR-8-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. The Corrs - White Light (1) (CR-1-1)

2. Adele - 25 (2) (CR-2-2)
3. Kylie Minogue - Kylie Christmas (4) (CR-2-4-3)
4. Ellie Goulding - Delirium (3) (CR-1-1-3-4)
5. Little Mix - Get Weird (6) (CR-2-3-6-5)
6. Atomic Kitten - Whole Again - The Best Of Atomic Kitten (7) (CR-7-6)
7. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion (9) (CR-1-2-2-3-3-6-4-5-3-5-6-5-5-2-4-5-4-5-7-1-4-7-9-7)
8. Now 92 (5) (CR-5-8)
9. Alyssa Reid - Phoenix (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Pure Moods (8) (CR-8-8-10)

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 30/11/15

Top 10 Singles



1. The Corrs - White Light (3) (CR-3-1)
2. The Corrs - Harmony (NEW) (CR-2)
3. Fleur East - Sax (1) (CR-9-2-1-3)
4. The Corrs - Bring On The Night (2) (CR-1-2-1-1-2-4)
5. The Corrs - I Do What I Like (8) (CR-8-5)
6. Kylie Minogue & Dannii Minogue - 100 Degrees (6) (CR-6-6)
7. Adele - When We Were Young (NEW) (CR-7)
8. The Corrs - Gerry's Reel (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Grace feat G-Eazy - You Don't Own Me (Re-entry) (CR-6-4-OUT-9)
10. Atomic Kitten - Daydream Believer (Beat Gallery Remix) (NEW) (CR-10)

Albums



1. The Corrs - White Light (NEW) (CR-1)
2. Adele - 25 (NEW) (CR-2)
3. Ellie Goulding - Delirium (1) (CR-1-1-3)
4. Kylie Minogue - Kylie Christmas (2) (CR-2-4)
5. Now 92 (NEW) (CR-5)
6. Little Mix - Get Weird (3) (CR-2-3-6)
7. Atomic Kitten - Whole Again - The Best Of Atomic Kitten (NEW) (CR-7)
8. Pure Moods (8) (CR-8-8)
9. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion (7) (CR-1-2-2-3-3-6-4-5-3-5-6-5-5-2-4-5-4-5-7-1-4-7-9)
10. One Direction - Made In The A.M. (4) (CR-4-10)