1. Flume ft. Kai & Kučka – Here
Always reinventing himself but at the same time creating work that is easily accessible, Flume wows again with a combination of distant beats and silky female vocals. Hypnotic and dissonant, the tune requires multiple replays in a row in order to grasp the magic of each segment.
2. Avelino – FYO
Extensive wordplay combined with some sci-fi sound, the delivery is fast and snappy, while aggressive in nature it becomes quickly relatable. A blooming career start, this is a showcase of cohesive material that could become a hit in the true sense.
3. Stormy – Scary
For those looking for harsh undercuts of the early grime sound, this digitized new version brings the best out of it. The lyrical introspective referencing diary entry-like experiences leans more into the honest side rather than striving for an image build-up.
4. J Dilla feat. Nas “The Sickness” (Prod. by Madlib)
A track that brings out the soul and head-bobbing energy we’ve got used to so far. The inimitable styles come together and create a piece that resonates through the average content of same genre billboard artists.
5. Rihanna – Needed me
The producing hands are highly noticeable, but then again they always were, covering up the real image of the artist. The hostile “hot shit” attitude is showcased once more, which can’t fail but appeal to the early 20’s female Coachella audiences. The video depicts her as a misunderstood guardian angel lost in a world of lust filled with slow motion money throwing and booty shaking, ever so intriguing as one wonders if you can succeed in this no man’s land without a grill or at least one golden tooth/face tattoo.
6. High Contrast – Remind me
The catchy upbeat yet heartwarming bassline that makes liquid drum n bass ever so lovable is kept alive and safe. This time, High Contrast brings a slow-burner with a retro build up, that’s hard to ignore and not lip sync to; one of the icons of the genre who could easily introduce anyone to this world.
7. Liss – Sorry
If One Direction were to take a turn for a ghetto keyboard pro-tools trial edition sound, this would pretty much be it. Without being too harsh, I do believe these kids are still trying to find their sound, but they should start off by using their human voices and abstain from throwing in samples of different genres they found cool at some point. Even the ending is abrupt as if they’ve (and by them I mean the record label) never heard of a fader. Sorry, you had to listen to this.
8. BearCubs + The Dealer- Look Up
A feel good kindergarten rap, this shows that a touch of infantilism can make all the good change needed. The analog piano gives a preachy vibe and I can’t help but think that this could be the Sesame Street banlieue version and appeal to young adults just the same. Drop the ego, stay in school, get a diploma in keeping it real.
9. Black Honey – All my pride
Surf guitar intermissions and a caterwauling voice give a new face to rebellion, in the term of self-battle. The vibe of the track, just like the rest of their album is poetically disgruntled and generally appealing in a non-shock-value feminist style, but in a way that allows you to delve into the charisma and attitude problem.
10. Beyonce – Lemonade
You might not be one for tabloid love disasters (otherwise you wouldn’t waste your time on The VandalList) but the new album goes through all the authentic states of a grieving heart, and with titles following the Kübler-Ross model, the motion picture depicts more of Beyonce than we’ve ever heard.
The multitude of genres that encompass each state of mind, the eye candy, and poetical intros make this a very personal journey that doesn’t run astray from fear of being largely relatable or easily commercialized. This is a pivotal move in her career and nothing might ever come out as truthful or groundbreaking.