The age of buying singles as CDs from Woolworths may be well and truly passed, but artists still put singles out to advertise their albums, for radio play or to achieve internet virality. Join us as we take a look at our writers’ picks from the past year, spanning indie rock to hip-hop to extreme metal.
10. Intra Venus – Ne Obliviscaris
With a brooding and atmospheric intro providing the calm before the storm, Ne Obliviscaris continue to carve their own path. All the key elements are there: unrelenting blasts, soaring violin, emotive structures. The vocals both clean and harsh sound more polished than ever and, as always, the musicianship is unparalleled without becoming the sole focus.
9. Eye Contact – Ocean Wisdom
One question: how does he breathe? The latest track from this lyrical machine gun has a cool, understated groove to it, musically. What earns it its place in this list is the quite frankly astonishing speed with which Ocean Wisdom raps from the halfway mark, word after word coming in an endless spray for over a minute straight.
8. The Strangle of Anna – Moonlandingz ft. Rebecca Lucy Taylor
Experimental rock meets outer-space with Sheffield-born concept act The
Moonlandingz – the brain-child of the Eccentronic Research Council and Fat White
Family. The Strangle of Anna follows the story of Johnny Rocket – an imaginary front
man of an imaginary band. Their debut Interplanetary Class Classics is another
phenomenal experimental venture of Saoudi’s.
7. Front Face [LVL 36] – Levelz
LEVELZ is a 14-man collective of Manchester DJs and MCs, each one a unique character coming together to push UK bass music forward one party at a time. Very heavy on the bass, ‘Front Face’ boasts five verses from five genuinely distinctive and skilled rappers, plus a dusting of atmospheric synth overtones ensuring this is an immediate anthem.
6. This Old Dog – Mac DeMarco
I have had many a romantic moment waltzing round the kitchen to this. Lovely and heartfelt from the riverman himself McDMc.
5. Everything Now – Arcade Fire
The title track of Arcade Fire’s eagerly awaited, varyingly criticised fifth album
‘Everything Now’ wrestles with the strife of modern day greed and materialism. Its
damnation of contemporary culture is juxtaposed almost humorously with its 70s
disco Dancing Queen-style melody, rendering the song as confusingly catchy as ‘Do
They Know It’s Christmas?’
4. Man’s Not Hot – Big Shaq
The internet can be a bizarre and wonderful beast, and what started as a comedy ‘Fire in the Booth’ episode for Michael Dapaah’s parody ‘roadman’ character has become an unstoppable meme sensation. We’ve all heard rap as dumbed down as this done seriously, and it is a joy to take the piss whilst shouting ‘QUICK MAFS’.
3. Call The Police – LCD Soundsystem
Almost twenty years after the Brooklyn band rolled into the burgeoning genre of indie rock on a wave of glossy electro, punk and post modern interrogation, they returned to invigorate a post-truth world with the unabashed zest for life that ‘Call The Police’ proposes. Its instrumental element is so stirring, it plants a fervent sense of nostalgia for adolescent years gone by, similar to the timeless piano intro of ‘All My Friends’, whilst the resounding siren-esque synth instils the thrill of momentary urgency into the piece that the title promises.
2. Rockstar – Post Malone ft. 21 Savage
On a melancholy note, I think this song gives us an insight into our present moment re: Brexit Bojo and DJ Trump; not even the exploits of a famous rockstar who got everything he wanted are exempt from being a hauntingly vacant set of experiences both unsatisfying and unfulfilling. A pyrrhic victory for those who want and grab but feel hollow inside. Beautiful.
1. DNA – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick’s biggest unofficial single exploded onto our headphones this April following
the release of his eagerly awaited fourth studio album – an exploration of faith, fame
and fortune. With bags of energy and Lamar’s trademark witty lyricism, DNA. is a
testament to ‘the greatest rapper alive’.