Monday, 3 October 2016

Tunes I'm currently loving // 2016 // Volume 9

1. Daithí - Mary Keanes Introduction
2. Alyss - T S I E R
3. Kate Rusby - Big Brave Bill
4. Sia feat Kendrick Lamar - The Greatest
5. Delta Goodrem - The River
6. Shotgun Fakes - Slow Motion
7. Craig David - 16
8. LP - Lost On You
9. Al Gibbs - Asked Me To Dance
10. Delta Goodrem - White Light
11. Still Corners - Bad Country
12. The Weeknd feat Daft Punk - Starboy
13. Craig David - Don't Go
14. Lady Gaga - Perfect Illusion
15. Armand Van Helden - Wings
16. Zun - U.N. Owen Was Her
17. Emeli Sandé - Hurts
18. ROZES - Under The Grave
19. Regina Spektor - Older And Taller
20. KT Tunstall - Hard Girls

Top of the pile this month is Irish producer Daithí with his incredibly charming dance track that features spoken word samples from his 90-year-old grandmother Mary talking about her youth. The unique track was released last year but I only heard it recently. Beforehand I had previously heard Asked Me To Dance by Al Gibbs, another Irish dance track which pulls a similar trick, with a few female voices talking about memorable events and places in their life, but which uses production reminiscent of Prayer In C by Lilly Wood and The Prick.

Brighton-based singer-songwriter Alyss has been growing in profile over the past few months and her latest single, T S I E R (which stands for This Shit Isn't Even Real fyi) is her best yet. Starting with a slightly ghostly voice, it soon transcends into a pretty hypnotic beat that sounds like an indie/house hybrid take on Move by Little Mix. A real earworm that adds extra layers of lush production as it goes along (and with lyrics inspired by Shaman teachings apparently), it deserves to be huge.

A popular British folk singer best known to me for her collaboration a decade ago with Ronan Keating on All Over Again, Kate Rusby has never particularly caught my attention much but the singer's new track about fictional Yorkshire Tea-loving superhero Big Brave Bill is one of the most unexpectedly brilliant things I've heard in a while. The production is very Leddra Chapman-esque and the lyrics are quintessentially British, in a very endearing way. 

UK hits that I'm loving this month include Sia's latest single, The Greatest, which features Kendrick Lamar and is another solid gold 10/10 pop banger, and Lady Gaga's comeback single Perfect Illusion, which is great for about two minutes but then runs out of ideas quickly. Straight in at No.3 in the UK last week, Canadian star The Weeknd's collaboration with French legends Daft Punk, Starboy, is probably my favourite thing he's done to date. And amazingly it's been nearly five years since Emeli Sandé released her debut album, Our Version Of Events. She's now back with the fantastic dramatic ballad Hurts, which will hopefully set her second album up to be a success. 

Taken from the album that will hopefully debut at No.1 this week to complete an astonishing comeback are two songs from Craig David; dance banger Don't Go and the fantastic 16, a new version of the singer's 2000 No.1 hit Fill Me In that now adds extra rap verses that bring it bang up to date and production from Where Are U Now by Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber. If there's any justice this will be a huge hit over the next few months.

Delta Goodrem also has a double appearance with powerful and anthemic new single The River and leaked track White Light, an energetic electro-pop track that seems to be from around a decade ago but has just surfaced. South African duo Shotgun Fakes consists of honey-voiced Pamela Myburgh, the former lead singer of The Arrows, and her husband Stefan. Their new single Slow Motion is a reworking of an album track from Disaster Queen, The Arrows' final studio album before they disbanded. The cute romantic track was always a highlight of the album and it's good to see it get another outing, with a fresh 2016 production.

UK indie act Still Corners released a fantastic track called Fireflies a few years ago but I haven't followed them since. But I listened to their latest album a couple of weeks ago and the highlight is the brilliant Bad Country, with very relateable lyrics that almost make it seem like a post-Brexit anthem and a melody similar to Where Have All The Cowboys Gone by Paula Cole. American singer LP's track Lost On You has already started to smash in various parts of Europe, either in its original guise or the dance reworking by Swanky Tunes & Going Deeper. Both versions are great, it's a really fantastic song that sounds like an instant classic. And US dance veteran Armand Van Helden's new single Wings is probably my favourite single of his since Bonkers, an instantly catchy and memorable house track. 

Otherwise unmentioned are Hard Girls, the new single by KT Tunstall from her excellent new album Kin; Older and Taller, a quirky instant grat track from the brilliant Regina Spektor's new album Remember Us To Life; Under The Grave, a brilliant pop song from American singer ROZES, and a mad but fantastic instrumental track by Zun called U.N. Owen Was Her?