What a Friday.
14. Sam Smith & Demi Lovato – I’m Ready
Sam Smith and Demi Lovato have come through with one of the most unashamed pop songs you’re likely to hear this year. They hold absolutely nothing back and it’s for the song’s benefit. OTT is the best possible way.
13. Florence + The Machine – Light Of Love
Florence + The Machine offers up a gentle, personal moment of comfort in these times. As always, Florence’s inner-turmoil is paired with a calming resolve.
12. JXN – Stellar
JXN continues to explore and extend his own sound. Stellar is one if the best yet. It’s a hypnotic, dizzying R&B cut that features an ear worm of a hook.
11. dvsn – So What (Feat. Popcaan)
We always head straight for a Popcaan feature on any record and he doesn’t disappoint on dvsn’s So What. It’s a slippery, sleek dancehall track that moves at its own comfortable pace.
10. Hayley Williams – Why We Ever
Hayley Williams says she wrote her latest song Why We Ever at her lowest point. There’s a strange calm to her sadness though, making it one of PETALS FOR AMOR‘s simpler moments.
9. Kelly Rowland – Coffee
Kelly Rowland is painfully underrated but she’s popped in to remind us she’s a potent force with COFFEE. It’s a short, sharp injection of soulful vocals and bedroom-centric lyrics that roll of the tongue with ease.
8. Joji – Gimme Love
Joji keeps maturing and getting bolder with his music. Gimme Love is his most instantly accessible song yet, giving us a frantic beginning that’s brought to bay by a stunning finale.
7. Playboi Carti – @ Meh
Don’t take too much of your time trying to figure this one out. @ MEH is just sound and feels good. From the aquatic beat to Carti’s unrecognisable murmurings, it’s unexpected ear candy.
6. 1010 Benja SL – Dobby
1010 Benja SL blesses us very rarely but when he does it’s always good. Dobby is his first release of the year and it’s beautiful. It’s a forthright love song accompanied by an acoustic guitar, making it 1010’s most intimate cut. His soulful vocals soar as he pours his heart out with lyrics like, “I need you so bad that it hurts me/Love you so much that it’s heart-wrenching.”
5. Jamie xx – idontknow
Jamie xx doesn’t go solo often but when he does he makes it worth it. idontknow is a chaotic, cluttered club cut that offers piercing moments of clarity when you least expect it.
4. Kehlani – Everybody Business
Kehlani is at her best when she’s in her feelings and spilling honesty. Everybody Business allows that at its fullest. It’s a raw, emotional R&B cut that showcases Kehlani at her lyrical and vocal best.
3. DaBaby – Nasty (Feat. Megan Thee Stallion & Ashanti)
DaBaby paired his greatest collaborators with one of the greatest R&B hook-makers of all time for a bedroom jam. He knew exactly what he was orchestrating. Brilliance.
2. Rina Sawayama – Bad Friend
Rina Sawayama‘s debut album SAWAYAMA is here and it houses this pop slam dunk. Bad Friend is the most straight-forward pop track to come from the record so far, delivering a vocoder chorus alongside nostalgic verses. She also offers up a soulful choir at the song’s close which an unexpected touch. As per usual, you can always count on Sawayama to take things too far in the best way.
1. Fiona Apple – Under The Table
“Blast the music/Bang it, bite it, bruise it,” Fiona Apple sings on I Want You To Love Me, the opener of her new album Fetch The Bolt Cutters. It’s a mantra she takes through the album, particularly on the extraordinary Under The Table. It’s a defiant, war cry that pairs melodic synths with raw, rallying percussion. “Kick me under the table all you want, I won’t shut up,” she sings getting more and more powerful with each repetition.
We pop all of ours faves into our Top Tunes playlist on Spotify. See for yourself: