12. Taylor Swift – Call It What You Want
Taylor Swift has dropped the fourth song off Reputation a week before its release. Call It What You Want follows on from Gorgeous and she will apparently play it on Good Morning America next week which will be her first appearance since announcing the release of Reputation. It’s the most downtempo song we’ve heard so far from the record but that makes it no less accessible.
11. Gorillaz – Garage Palace (Feat. Little Simz)
Little Simz teamed up with Gorillaz on this unreleased track that actually could’ve been one of the highlights of Humanz if it was on it. Damon Albarn brings the rave vibes and Simz matches it with a grime/garage aesthetic that is distinctively British.
10. NSTASIA – Hell Of A Time
North Carolina’s NSTASIA is the latest artist, effortlessly blending soul/R&B and pop stylings. Much like SZA and Starrah’s subtle, free-flowing R&B, NSTASIA is creating instantly accessible music that doesn’t go for obvious melodies or vocals. She’s spent some time writing for other people like Beyoncé and Pharrell and also featured teamed with Skrillex on this year’s Favor but now she’s ready to step out with her own EP. Her latest drop Hell Of A Time is taken from that EP and it’s instantly grabbed us thanks to its woozy synth-work and velvety vocals. It’s instantly addictive but its appeal is subtle, winning you over with the small details and melody that unfurls slowly.
9. Eves Karydas – There For You
Eves The Behavior is back and she’s adopted her real name Eves Karydas for forthcoming releases starting with There For You. It’s her first release in two years and follows a lengthy period writing in London. By the sounds of it, the time away has paid off handsomely because There For You is a haunting knockout. It combines her trademark dark production with an affecting pop chorus that displays some of her most confident vocal work yet.
8. RAYE – Decline
When artists use old songs in new choruses it usually ends up as a trash trop-house monstrosity but RAYE has done something really great. She’s used the melody of Ja Rule and Ashanti’s Always On Time in her new song Decline and turned it into something brilliant.
7. David Guetta & Afrojack – Dirty Sexy Money (Feat. Charli XCX & French Montana)
David Guetta continues to get all the big names on his tracks and this time around he’s roped in Charli XCX and French Montana. We’re not mad because it sounds like a textbook Charli song and it’s an A+ banger. The French Montana verse is one of the worst audible things we’ve come across this year but thankfully Charli is so good you can almost forget he said “Clap” 20 times.
6. Sophiegrophy – Fa$t Life
Lewis Cancut is in the producer seat here on this excellent single from Melbourne MC and vocalist Sophiegrophy. It’s a forward thinking knockout that combines electronic R&B vibes with bass-driven rap bars. Sophiegrophy is so multi-dimensional, she gives this song so many different aspects in just three minutes.
5. Miguel – Told You So
Miguel is back with another new song and for those who were missing those funk vibes on Sky Walker you’ll be happy to know they’re back on Told You So. Miguel’s voice sounds velvety smooth and the chorus is an effortless triumph. More of this please.
4. 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin – Ghostface Killers (Feat. Travis Scott)
This is a pretty huge group of rap’s finest and it really could’ve been a case of too many cooks but it’s really strong. Metro delivers one of his finest beats of the year, 21’s the sharpest he’s been since Savage Mode, Offset is wonky and melodic and Scott brings it home with a dark, haunting verse.
3. N.E.R.D. – Lemon (Feat. Rihanna)
N.E.R.D. returned this week and like the true gentlemen they are, they let Rihanna steal the show. Rihanna raps over the classic Neptunes beat proving for the second time this year (she was on Kendrick’s Loyalty too) that she’s got some serious bars. This is a brilliant return.
2. Kira Puru – Tension
Australian music all-rounder Kira Puru has made a big statement today with her massive new single Tension. Tension is the boldest Puru has ever been from a melodic standpoint, giving us a chorus that lustful and euphoric, ready to heat up dancefloors around the country. Puru has made a name for herself with her own experimental work plus features on tracks by Paul Kelly and Urthboy, but this feels like the track that’s going to take her to a much broader audience.
1. Kota Banks – Holiday
Halt your end of year lists because Kota Banks just came outta nowhere with one of the best pop songs of the year Holiday. She’s freshly signed to Nina Las Vegas’ NLV Records and label mate Swick has hopped on the production for this one giving us a crystalline, futuristic beats to match Banks’ flawless melody. It’s a total knockout pop song in line with what some of the more forward-thinking popstars overseas like RAYE, Mabel and Stefflon Don have been doing.
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