1. Awolnation- Run
This electronic indie rock duo opened their new album with a single which shows unpredictability and off-the-scale inventiveness, changing its pace irregularly from smooth, melancholic vocals to powerful electronic infusions. Although standard length, the tune lures our ears into an extended trance, only to snap back out of it with both heavy and cumbersome mantra-like lyrics.
2. Rihanna- Bitch Better Have My Money
This stale trap track tries to overshadow the fact that Rihanna is merely a novelty act with massive social media promotional campaign. It’ not a raw sound, it’s just poorly produced. After FourFiveSeconds, this release tries to create the impression of a chameleon-personality type of artist, but in fact it just lacks any sound unity and meanders somewhere in between commercial and carefully marketed edginess.
3. Duke Dumont- The Giver
The juxtaposition of strong, gospel-like vocals and the slow-built den beat makes this track a clever mix of human and machine that goes to show technicality doesn’t have to compensate for instrumental flaws, but to enhance them. Although it might not make a hit because it is found somewhere in between edm and ambient, it creates an enjoyable cohesive retro/fresh sound.
4. Dinosaur Pile-up – 11:11
The rousing release tears down the idea of post-brit pop “guys next door” English groups, bringing brazen guitar riffs to the combo of dark whimsical delivery and a relishing nostalgia feeling of ‘90s alternative. The band goes to show they can make music that sounds safe enough to let your little sister attend a gig and harsh enough to request it in some dimly light rock bar at 3 am. Playing it safe, keeping it cool.
5. Ghostpoet feat. Nadine Shah- X Marks the Spot
Where does eerie meet street artist open mic night? Taken off the third album, this single’s delivery of organ, spoken word and uncompromising drum loops comes across as the break we needed in this age of image over sound. The lyrics skip from bad dreams to beautiful memories and feel as sent off through liminal time, which proves that catchy doesn’t go hand in hand with repetitive.