Astronomyy – The Secret
Astronomyy was responsible for a couple of our favourite tracks in 2015 (“Somethin About U” and his shimmering edit of Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes”) so it’s reassuring to hear that he has no plans to drop the quality this year – in fact he’s developing his sound and just getting better.
Santigold – Banshee
Santigold has not yet had the career she deserves but, three albums in, it seems she is finally getting the attention and acclaim she’s long since earned. Santigold has consistently released quality pop songs which exuded joy. Songs which sound carefree but are meticulously crafted and dense. “Banshee” is the fourth track to be released from eagerly anticipated album 99¢.
Dua Lipa – Last Dance
Dua Lipa was featured on just about every tips-for-2016 list and she is already proving the critics right. After a couple years in the doldrums, it’s starting to feel like pop will reclaim its crown in 2016. That revolutionary undercurrent we can all sense is being spearheaded by the likes of Dua Lipa. Take a listen to hypnotic new track “Last Dance” and realise why we’re being so hyperbolic.
Hazing – What Youth
As premiered on this site, “What Youth” is the latest track to be lifted from London-based vocalist Hazing’s debut EP Joy Void. The track is ambient and free flowing; it doesn’t drag you around but leads you gently by the hand to someplace far better. This is dream-pop of the very highest order. Joy Void will be released on 4 March via Happy Valley Records.
HXLT – Together Ft. Kathleen Hanna
G.O.O.D. Music signee HXLT makes great records but on new cut “Together” he takes it to the next level by calling in the divine Kathleen Hanna. Kathleen Hanna can record whatever she likes and it would end up on this list by default. Fortunately, however, she chose to lend her vocals to a something special. HXLT’s self-titled debut albums drops on 26 February and it’s shaping up to be something quite special.
Sia – Cheap Thrills ft. Sean Paul
“Cheap Thrills” was already good but then Sia decided to add some Sean Paul which then made it amazing. It makes you realise that every song would be improved by some additional Sean Paul. It also makes you sadder about the fact that Rihanna turned this down, but let’s not dwell on Anti.
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – Astonished Man
San Francisco’s Thao & The Get Down Stay Down has shared the Brook Linder-directed video for “Astonished Man”. The track is taken from forthcoming album A Man Alive which was produced by tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus. Describing the album, Thao Nguyen said: “With this record I had clearer vision and aspirations. I wanted emotion. I wanted power. I wanted A Man Alive to be beat- and bass-driven…” Mission accomplished.
Gwen Stefani – Make Me Like You
“Make Me Like You” is the latest track to be lifted from Gwen Stefani forthcoming album This Is What the Truth Feels Like. This three-and-half minute sugary sweet confection was cooked up by Mattman & Robin, the production genius responsible for Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Run Away With Me”. Stefani’s new LP, her first since 2006’s The Sweet Escape, will be released on 18 March.
Michl – When You Loved Me Least
“When You Loved Me Least” is the soulful second single from Michl – the follow-up to last year’s equally intoxicating “Kill Our Way To Heaven”. Michl blends his woozy vocals with heavy electro-pop production to create a sound that somehow manages to be both warm but emotionally distant.
Tessa Rae – Seventeen
Tessa Rae’s “Seventeen” is the perfect antidote to the often romanticised view we have of young love. For Rae, young love is a minefield. It can screw you over at an age when you’re not ready to process one of our most complicated emotions. Love can destructive but it’s also beautiful. It’s something worth fighting for and excellent source material for an adept lyricist like Rae. “Seventeen” is your first taste of Rae’s upcoming mixtape Two Worlds.